Inversion Tables vs. Spinal Decompression Therapy

3 min read

Spinal decompression therapy devices and inversion tables are both designed to help relieve back pain, but they go about this process differently. A spinal decompression therapy machine gently stretches your back under the supervision of a chiropractor to relieve pressure on the discs that hold the spine together. Inversion tables will also accomplish this but by turning your body upside down. Both treatments are designed to help correct spinal subluxation, which means that your vertebrae aren’t lined up correctly, causing back pain.

What is Spinal Decompression Therapy? 

Spinal decompression therapy is a safe and effective treatment method that involves relieving pressure on your spine in order to reduce irritation and inflammation while stimulating healing processes and improving spinal mobility. 

The most common type of spinal decompression therapy is lumbar traction. In short, lumbar traction uses mechanical forces to relieve pressure on your spinal discs and surrounding nerves. 

At Village Chiropractic we use a Back on Trak table to slowly and carefully relieve pressure on the spine by stretching it just a little bit at a time. It’s good for people with sciatica, herniated discs, bulging discs, worn spinal joints, injured or diseased spinal nerve roots, spinal stenosis, arthritis, and other sources of back pain.

Related blog: What is Spinal Decompression Therapy? How Does it Help?

How Does Spinal Decompression Therapy Work?

In decompression therapy, an adjustable traction unit reduces pressure on a patient’s spine as they lay down on a table that is designed to pull in two directions, applying traction forces with gentle pressure over time. Each session is a few minutes up to 15 minutes long, depending on how the patient is feeling and how much pressure they’re having in the spine. Reduced pressure on your spine can help reduce pain or discomfort in other areas of your body and improve mobility. 

What are Inversion Tables and How Do They Work?

Inversion tables use gravity to decompress or elongate your spine and relieve pressure on any lumbar discs that may be bulging or herniated. The patient lies down on a table, is strapped into it, and then the feet are raised above the head. The tables are adjustable so you can change the angle of incline depending on how much pressure is being placed on your spine. 

An inversion table can be used both as a treatment for ongoing discomfort and as a way to help you recover from an injury. They can also be an aid in stretching.

Why it May Not be a Good Idea to Use Inversion Tables 

Some people use inversion tables as a way to reduce back pain and improve their health, but there are a few downsides to these machines that many users don’t know about. 

  1. People with more severe conditions may experience worsening symptoms with continued usage of an inversion table. This is because inversion can aggravate certain conditions such as degenerative disc disease and nerve impingement. If you experience any increase in lower back pain or leg pain after using an inversion table, it is recommended that you stop using it and schedule an evaluation with a chiropractor or doctor. 
  2. Inversion raises blood pressure which means that anyone with high blood pressure, heart disease or history of a stroke should not use this method for back pain relief. 

Which Option Should You Choose? 

Spinal decompression therapy is our preferred way to treat back pain without surgery or medication over an inversion table. Often used in combination with other treatment options, spinal decompression can provide patients with pain relief and help them return to work and normal activities more quickly than using other methods alone without risk for those with other medical conditions.

Sitting upside down for periods of time brings risks for many people that can be avoided by using decompression therapy under the supervision of a chiropractor.

Chiropractic Care for Back Pain

Chiropractic treatments are highly effective for back pain. Village Chiropractic in The Woodlands is available to give you an evaluation and create a personalized plan for your care. Request an appointment at our office in Alden Bridge so you can start to feel better!

Back to Blog >


More from Our Blog on This Topic