Your Body Posture

Inversion Table Vs. Inversion Chair: What is the difference?

Did you know inversion therapy is an ancient technique that has evolved over the years to what it is today? In ancient times, inversion therapy was done by lowering your head to the ground or by simply getting into an inverted lying or sitting position. The whole idea of inversion therapy has not changed. By shifting the body’s gravity, the pressure eases off your back while at the same time offering traction to your spine. if you are looking to start inversion therapy it is a wise idea to understand the difference between inversion table vs inversion chair

With current technology, medical scientists have developed machines that aid with the whole concept of inversion. It is important to note that Inversion tables came out first, followed by inversion chairs. If you suffer from occasional body aches such as back pain, inversion therapy is an excellent form of relief. However, before attempting inversion therapy, it is essential to consult your doctor to determine if, indeed, inversion therapy is a safe and viable option for you. This will also allow you to find out which device best suits your condition.

What Are the Basics of Inversion Therapy?

By now, you understand that inversion therapy is where an individual rests on a table or chair and attempts to change the gravitational force on the bones in their bodies. When standing up, the gravitational force is continually pulling down your bones, forcing them to rub against each other and never stretching.

Inversion therapy uses gravity to undo this kind of stress by literally suspending an individual. In a 90-degree position, gravity works in the opposite direction. This helps the individual’s body heal faster in case they have a bone or disc problem.

Picture your vertebra being compressed. This is the type of ailment that causes individuals to suffer immense pain. When your vertebrae are in this position, the pain worsens, and your physician may prescribe steroids to help you in healing stages. Over time, the compression finally ends, and the pain disappears. So, what causes this to take such a long time to heal? You’ve guessed it right, gravity.

Every single minute of the day, an individual puts 100 percent pressure on their spinal column. Therefore, if you have an injury, this pressure will still exist and stay there for some time.  However, when you are inverted, the percentage of pressure on your spinal column is zero percent, and some rare cases get into the negative range.

What Are the Effects of Inversion Therapy?

There’s very little hard research conducted by scientists about the effects of inversion therapy. Most times, device vendors offer a lot of information about the benefits of these devices. However, it is essential to note that suspending your body upside down affects your body. Medical professionals who support inversion therapy say it can help resolve and prevent back-related issues. Circulatory benefits, as well as stretching, can be useful in preventing future health-related issues. However, studies on these benefits are still inconclusive.

It is believed that inversion therapy has positive benefits on the spine through:

  • Forming more fluids around users’ spinal discs
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Getting rid of waste from the spine
  • Increasing blood circulation through surrounding muscles

Health Benefits of Inversion Therapy

According to 2017 clinical guidelines from the ACP, evidence on clinical benefits of inversion therapy as well as traction therapy as a whole is not conclusive. According to medical specialists offering these services in their practices, there are a few benefits of making a habit out of inversion:

inversion table vs inversion chairKeeps your spine healthy

Gravity puts a lot of pressure on the muscles and spine on the back, forcing your body to remain upright, and the spine will begin to compress over regular use. The physical manipulation of the human spine, muscle stretching techniques, and massage often work to release compression. When you suspend your body upside down, it works to stretch your spine in a similar way to these methods.

It is important to note that doing specific yoga poses and using the inversion equipment every day will work to improve the overall health of your ligaments and spine, reducing pressure on the muscles found in these areas.

Works to reduce chronic back pain

Most people who use inversion therapy, such as inversion table exercises to alleviate back pain, are looking for a comfortable, non-invasive method to treat their pain symptoms. Inversion therapy works to reduce the pressure on weight-bearing joints allowing them to recuperate and rest.

The inversion therapy effect of decompressing can assist with many sources of back pain, such as joint and disc pain. The process of decompression will also work to reduce the intensity of any muscle spasms in the back.

Can help avoid surgery

A study published in 2012 in Disability and Rehabilitation discovered that inversion therapy reduces the need to have surgery in patients with lumbar discogenic disease. This is a rare condition that causes the discs in the back to become weak and thin. However, it is advisable to consult your physician or chiropractor about the best method of treatment for your condition.

Are There Any Risks of Inversion Therapy?

It’s important to note that suspending your body upside down will increase your blood pressure putting pressure on your inner ear and eyeballs while at the same time reducing your heart rate. Due to this, inversion therapy treatment is not advisable for individuals with:inversion table vs inversion chair_RisksOfInversionTherapy

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • A hernia
  • History of stroke
  • Obesity
  • Broken bones

Individuals with conditions that may affect the head also need to avoid inversion therapy. Some of these conditions include:

  • Pink eye
  • Ear infections
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal detachment

Inversion therapy is also unsuitable for individuals who are currently on blood clotting medications or blood pressure medications. It is also advisable not to get inversion therapy if you are expectant or pregnant.

Types of Inversion Therapy

If you suffer from body aches such as back and neck pain, inversion therapy is something you need to consider. While the inversion table is perhaps the most popular type of inversion therapy, there are far more options patients can consider. Therefore, if you are looking to start inversion therapy anytime soon, it is a wise idea to understand the difference between the two popular types of inversion therapy.

The Inversion Table

As inversion therapy evolved over the years, the inversion table was the first machine developed by modern science to help in inversion therapy. As the name suggests, the inversion table is a type of table with straps that help support the user when suspended. To use the device, you need to stand on the table’s footrest with the rest of your body lying on the flat table surface. Your ankles need to be strapped at the footrest, ensuring your weight shifts back towards the table gradually until you are suspended or in an inverted position.

The inversion table is designed with different degrees of inversion, making it possible for users to start small before progressing to full inversion. The central concept of this therapy is that the patient’s body weight rests on their ankles, knees, and feet since these are the moving parts when inverted

After the inversion therapy session, you will need to shift your weight again to your ankles so that you are in a standing position. It is with the same concept that the inversion table was made that led to the development of the inversion chair, especially after most users started complaining of pain in their ankles, neck, feet, and hips because of the strain.

When in the suspended position of the inverted table, your body gets relief when your body muscles relax, eliminating the pressure that is at the joints. Due to this, the body is healed from aches and pains. Like any other form of exercise, users are advised to start small before extending their range and inverting their entire body on the table.

Best Inversion Table

Teeter EP-560 Inversion Table

The Teeter EP-560 inversion table is our favorite choice of an inversion table. Apart from offering unrivaled therapy, it is also FDA approved. It has an economical design with some of the most sought for features when it comes to inversion tables. This inversion table measures 48.5 by 30 by 8.9-inches weighing about 70 pounds. It comes with ankle clamps that have extra padding for users to experience the utmost comfort when reclining. It also has handholds that are designed in the frame that help make reclining more effective. Due to its economical design, its bed looks stern, but it’s comfortable bending discreetly around the user’s body to help support areas that are experiencing pain.

TeeterEP560InversionTablePros

  • FDA Approved
  • Foldable inversion table
  • Good quality design
  • Comes with acupressure nodes

Cons

  • It has an economical design that looks plasticky and cheap, which can be a turn-off for some buyers.

 

Innova ITX9600

If you are in the market for a budget inversion chair, then the Innova ITX9600 is your ideal choice. It costs a little over $100. This inversion table weighs 52 pounds and measures 46 by 28 by 63-inches, which is quite impressive for a reasonably priced inversion table. The Innova ITX9600 is fully adjustable with a padded backrest and feels comfortable aching on your back. It also has a weight capacity of 300 pounds. Its handlebars are made of foam, which helps grip your hands during inversion. This inversion table allows users to adjust between 5 level angles. The Innova ITX9600 also comes with ergonomic rollers, and the entire frame is made out of heavy-duty steel.

InnovaITX9600Pros

  • Very pocket friendly
  • Foldable
  • Top-rated features
  • Holds up to 300 pounds

Cons

  • It might be challenging to assemble, and you might need assistance.

 

The Inversion Chair

The Inversion chair was designed as the revised edition of the inversion table. As you would expect, the inversion chair takes the form of a chair with a backrest and a sitting surface. During inversion, the user sits on the chair and gets strapped across the laps with support straps. Leaning back into the chair elevates the user to an inverted position.

It’s, however, essential to note that there are two designs used to make the inversion chair. The first method works like an inversion table. With this design, the user needs to first get to a seated position before slowly turning into a fully stretched out position. The second model lets the user turn into a sitting position only. In both models, comfort is the key.

Inversion Table Features

So how is the inversion chair capable of offering functionality and comfort? Well, when the user is in a seated position, it’s very easy for them to rotate back and forth on the chair. The idea that the user’s weight is not concentrated on the feet and ankles means that there will be no further injuries caused while performing the inversion therapy.

Apart from the features and functionality, both these inversion therapy machines differ when it comes to the kind of benefits they offer. The full inversion of the inversion table takes off the pressure from the joints and muscles, granting the user full-body relaxation. However, it is essential to note that the table is not recommended for patients with conditions of arthritis either in their knees and ankles or other knee and ankle pains, this is because these conditions could be aggravated after the inversion table therapy.

The inversion table, on the other hand, is ideal for users with back pains problems and those who would wish to have a relaxed inversion experience. The inversion chair is also suitable for individuals with knee and ankle problems since their backs are typically stretched out while the rest of the body is in a seated position.

However, if you are unsure of which device is ideal for your situation, get in touch with your doctor so that you can make an informed decision. Also, check with your vendors if you can get a test run on either of the types or models of the products before you settle on an option.

Best Inversion Chair 

Stamina Seated Inversion Chair

The Stamina Seated Inversion Chair is a popular choice suited for different types of users. It measures 50 by 27.7 by 54.5-inches. This inversion chair weighs 74 pounds and has the capability of holding up to 250 pounds. The Stamina Seated inversion chair has been designed specifically for comfort, stability, and security. It comes with a leg lock feature that holds the user’s ankles to support their weight securely. With the push of a button, you can release or keep your ankles seamlessly.  It also comes with adjustable footrest, backrest, paddle handlebars, and an adjustable beam.

StaminaSeatedInversionChairPros

  • Appropriate for the elderly
  • Easy to mount and dismount
  • Ideal for individuals with conditions of sciatica
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • A bit of a learning curve during setup.

 

Stamina Inline Inversion Chair

The Stamina Inline Inversion Chair is termed as one of the best inversion chairs in the market currently. It measures 44.5 by 23 by 53-inches. It weighs 62 pounds and can hold up to 250 pounds. The Stamina Inline Inversion Chair comes with a sleek modern design. Compared to the Stamina Seated inversion chair, this inversion chair is ideal for young people suffering from back pain as a result of occupational conditions or due to sporting activities. 

StaminaInlineInversionChairIt can also work for the elderly who are experiencing back pain as a result of slouching due to back weakness. This inversion chair features a foot bar adjustable to different heights, a ratcheting leg lock system since your legs support your weight during inversion, this lock system is capable of holding up to 250 pounds. It also comes with an ankle support feature to help prevent bruises from pressure caused by the leg lock system. For security, this inversion chair comes with foot protectors, and an adjustable belt and strap.

Pros

  • Comfortable and durable
  • Easy to mount and dismount
  • Can be used by the elderly

Cons

  • Complicated to assemble

 

Inversion Table or Inversion Chair: Which Is the Best?

When it comes down to picking which of the two is better, none outweighs the other in terms of the benefits achieved. It is possible that standing offers some advantages, especially for the lower extremities allowing more comfortable blood flow compared to a seated position. These benefits help detoxification of the organs to occur quicker than in a chair.

Individuals who lack mobility or are paralyzed will also find that using inversion chairs is easier as it offers much more support and stability compared to the inversion table.  Older individuals or those that have ankle issues are better suited at using inversion chairs since it provides a platform where they can remove all of the weight and stress found on the ankles, joints, and knees. The rehabilitation of injuries such as the back or knee injuries, also make it easier to use an inversion chair.

Therefore, the best choice of equipment boils down to your needs as well as the current medical and health conditions. Inversion tables are suitable for individuals who are in good health without any underlying medical conditions.

The inversion chair is ideal for:

  • The elderly
  • Those with limited mobility
  • Individuals with joint and ankle issues

When it comes to the overall benefits of both these devices, there’s a slight difference. The elderly will find using an inversion table more pleasant compared to the inversion table. It’s also important to note that you will still enjoy the spine and detoxifying benefits regardless of the model you purchase.

Bottom Line

Depending on which device you decide to pick for your inversion therapy, you must consider the likelihood of your condition, such as back pain before you purchase a chair or table or any other related device. Also, before getting a machine, talk to your doctor; they will advise you if, indeed, inversion therapy is ideal for your condition. They will also discuss other alternative remedies, treatments, and exercises to relieve pain caused by your condition.

Based out of Minnesota, home of the world-famous mayoclinic.org, and founded by a team of health professionals, including Chiropractors and Physical Therapists. Yourbodyposture.com was started with the goal of being your go-to resource for all things posture and physical health-related.


In addition to helping users identify the underlying cause of their pain, we look to share product reviews,  treatment strategies, and other health hacks to help the user improve their quality of life.  In fact, our articles and tips have helped more than 200,000 readers to date. During our research, we like to use sites like medlineplus.gov,Webmd.com,  acatoday.com, PubMed.gov, Healthline.comPrevention.com, and health.com to gather knowledge and help you find the most reliable and trustworthy information.


For product research, in addition to first-hand use of several of the products,  we use the thousands of credible reviews from sites like ConsumerReports.org, Amazon.com, Target.com, and the Wirecutter.com, as well as our years of experience in reviewing consumer goods to help you make the right decision for your product needs.


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