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Understanding Inversion Tables For Back Pain/Sciatica (Buy One Or Not?)

This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in April of 2022. For the original video go to

Brad: We are going to tell you and explain clearly how inversion tables work for back pain as well as Sciatica. And we're going to help you decide if you should actually buy one and get it to your house as well.

Bob: Yes we are.

Brad: What do you say, Bob? Let's go to work. This is how I explain it to patients and other people. The inversion table acts like traction. In other words, the weight of your torso from the waist up is hanging upside down and pulls on your lumbar spine. Let's show this model.

Bob: It's like decompression.

Brad: That's exactly what it is.

Bob: I'm applying a force here.

Brad: So you're like gravity. And the inversion table would be tipped or inverted. So what's happening is things are getting pulled apart. And the red is the injured disc with the herniation, there is the model and our pulling. Now let's look closely and zoom into there and we've got a model for this.

Bob: Let's see what happens.

Brad: Now, here it is. This we're going to pretend this cup is L5. So we're looking at this vertebra and here is L4. Okay. This red ball represents the disc.

Bob: It's the same color.

Brad: Yeah, it is. It's a wonderful thing. Now what happens here is the disc and the vertebra. Now here, the spinal cord actually goes right through the vertebral canal. Imagine that. And then there are the nerve roots that come out of the foramen. Now, what happens when you have a herniated or bulging disc, you can see it's bulging there. Now with the traction that we demonstrated that occurs with the inversion table, the two vertebrae pull apart, and as a result, look what happens to that ball.

Bob: It's like it vacuums up.

Brad: Yep, it brings it in that pulling apart, decompression brings that back in.

Bob: Good demonstration!

Brad: Yeah, it was kind of fun, huh? So what we want to do when you're on the inversion table and you're tilted back, that traction occurs and you want to continue that not more than one minute or two minutes, the first time on there. Okay, we have a video with some specific details, on how to set this up in exactly 10 steps. I also want to cover some precautions. In other words, some reasons that you may not be appropriate to use one of these. If you are a healthy person, chances are good. But a couple of examples. If you have blood pressure problems, you may be able to use one, but you need to talk to your physician and get that cleared.

Bob: Heart disease.

Brad: Heart disease, yup anything with that. If you have got eye problems, like glaucoma.

Bob: It decreases the pressure on your eye. So you don't want to do that.

Brad: So get that cleared through your doctor. Like if you have a hernia, that can change things and we want to make sure we're safe there. There is actually a whole list of other precautions. We promote Teeter because we like them, they're well built. And you can go to There are other brands so you can just Google inversion table precautions, you'll get a list of them. The best thing to do is ask your doctor. But if you're a healthy person, you've had no surgeries, no hardware in your back. You're probably able to work with these.

Bob: It'd be nice. If you could try one before you bought one.

Brad: And that's a good point. Because these Teeters are so well built. This is why we cover these. I used one that wasn't a Teeter and it worked fine. These are just built well, they are FDA registered. They're UL certified. If you don't know what UL means, it's Underwriters Laboratory. If they stamp it, you know the quality is good. It's safe. Now the interesting thing, when you're looking at these, this has smooth plastic support or a backrest which you might think is better if it's cushioned but you don't want it cushioned. You want it smooth.

Bob: So, you can slide.

Brad: Exactly. You want your body to slide without resistance. So that's another thing to look for. This does have a lumbar support that you can remove, put in, and adjust it. I don't have it here.

Bob: You don't like it either.

Brad: I don't like it for myself, but you may like it. And some may or may not have that. It's not a big deal. It's just a little benefit. If you will. Traction handles are another accessory. This model of Teeter doesn't actually have them, but you could use these. And that's when you're inverted all the way back or to 60 degrees. You put your hands on them and you push a little bit. Just to get a little manual traction with your arms.

Bob: Otherwise, just use your body weight.

Brad: Right, typically it's body weight, but that just gives you a little tweak, it's not a big deal. And then make sure they're easily adjustable, which the Teeter is. Again, you don't have to buy a Teeter. If you want to know you're going to get a good one, we recommend the Teeter.

Bob: You get what you pay for.

Brad: Pretty much, yeah, exactly. I did want to mention should you buy one? Some people say I've got back pain, I'm going to spend a few hundred dollars on one of these. Is it going to work or is it just going to be something you could throw your clothes on?

Bob: Right, a laundry catcher.

Brad: Exactly. So the best way to know, if these are going to work is to try one.

Which presents a little bit of a problem, particularly if you don't have one available. If you have a friend or whatever, that has one go over to their house, and make sure you know how to set it up for yourself. Again, we've got a video on that and try it. And if you get good results, yeah, you should buy one. If you don't have that option, I know Teeter gives you 60 days to assess it. If they don't like it, you can mail it back to them. They'll give you your money back in full. You have to do it within the time period. The other thing about it is to make sure you keep the box.

Bob: Right.

Brad: If you threw the box away, you could contact them they'll give you a box that it fits in. I do believe the shipping is not covered to get it back to them. I'm not a hundred percent sure about that, but I believe that's the case.

Bob: By the way Brad, I want to mention that they have videos too, on this.

Brad: Teeter does a great job. As a matter of fact, you know, Roger Teeter the inventor, he just passed away in January of this year. I believe it's his daughter, Riley, I don't know for sure. I believe it's his daughter. She does a lot of videos.

Bob: Maybe daughter-in-law.

Brad: It could be, I don't know, but she does a really good job of instruction on their products. So good company, you can't go wrong. Okay, and that wraps it up for this. Again, we do have one video out. We're going to put another one out with 10 steps on how to properly and safely use one of these. That's going to be to a point video and work out well. So Bob, what do you say?

Bob: I believe you're getting taller, Brad.

Brad: We should do a study on how much you actually grow.

Bob: If only it would make you smart too.

Brad: Well, all those things just not going to happen.

Bob: All right, thanks.

Brad: Take care.

Interested in learning about the products mentioned in today's video:

Teeter FitSpine Inversion Table:

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