This is a breath of fresh air for those suffocating with chronic backache – the discovery that back pain, irrespective of whether it is caused due to disc misalignment, a ruptured disc, compressed or herniated discs, sciatica pain, or stress, can be relieved by suspending oneself upside down in a stress-free position. By doing so, the pressure on the spine, nerves, and the muscles will ease slowly, and the vertebra gets decompressed in a few minutes time. The device that helps one to perform this magic act is an inversion table. In fact, the advantages or benefits of an inversion table does not end there, but it is also useful in relieving stress on other muscles in the body, draining blood from lower body parts, enhancing lymph flow (swinging action required), and better blood circulation to the brain.


The inversion table is available in various models, but the standard construction involves heavy gauge tubing made of steel and a pivot design to facilitate the inverted or angled movements. A strong angle grip ensures that the person lying on it won’t lose grip and follow the laws of gravitation as laid down by classical physics. Further, one can set the angle of the inversion with minimal effort.


Finally, like in the case of workouts, for optimal results, it is important to use the inversion table in the proper way. That is, it is advisable that beginners may start their activities with a small inversion angle (20-30 degrees) initially before gradually increasing the slant towards vertical inversion. Starting from a minimal angle is suggested because, for a raw body, higher slopes may be enough of a trigger to pull a muscle or strain a nerve in the back. Also a lot depends upon one’s weight. Well, it may be a tad impractical to draw generalizations as every person’s physique is different from one another, it is still advisable to listen to one’s body and perform the inversion well within its limits. That is, take care to under do the exercise than overdoing the exercise and letting any injury play spoil sport in the end.


Most people could experience complete decompression of the spine at 60 degrees. A few minutes in that position will completely relieve the spine of all stress. Complete inversion or an angle of 90 degrees must be attempted only if you are comfortable in that posture. Better practice it for short intervals before trying it fully. Higher angles are generally required for people with strong muscles such as sports people or athletes. For them, doctors usually advice oscillations in an inverted position for complete stress relief of muscles and back bones.


For a common man out there, inversion tables are available in different sophistications and price tags. Hence, one may better analyze his/her requirements and budget before buying one. Seeking the advice of your doctor or trainer is also advisable. Finally, make sure that you get all of the required accessories – from gravity boots to knee support – before attempting to invert yourself. Nothing should be done at the expense of safety.


Tail Piece: While working on an inversion table, the shallower the angle of inversion, the more time it will take to decompress the spine. Hence, beginners must lie on an inversion table for longer durations than somebody who is trying to hang 60 degrees or more.