Inversion Table vs Inversion Chair: What Is the Difference?

Inversion therapy is definitely something that you want to try, but there are far more options than just inversion tables to consider.

When thinking about starting inversion therapy, it is important to know what the difference is between a table and a chair.

Primer on Inversion Chairs

Unlike tables, chairs allow the user to sit and still enjoy the benefits of being inverted in the process. Inversion chairs are simple and straightforward to use.

Instead of standing, the user sits in a chair that has a strap that will keep the user from falling out of the chair when it is fully inverted.

By sitting, the user will be able to still stretch out their spine and ensure that gravity is allowed to fully decompress vertebra. The major benefits will be:

  • No foot pain
  • No knee pain
  • No ankle pain
  • No hip pain
  • Easier torso movement

Users that have bad ankles or problems with their joints will find that sitting is able to eliminate most of these issues while still providing the same benefits.

Sitting has been said to also allow a user to move their torso with great ease, which will be welcomed by anyone trying to stretch their back or core muscles.

Swinging into the inverted position is easier with a chair. This allows for more overall control felt by the user and should be a consideration with anyone that lacks mobility. When standing, getting into the inverted position is awkward or very difficult to accomplish, but with this one, it is a breeze.

2020 Best Selling Inversion Chairs

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Primer on Inversion Tables

Tables are the most utilized form of inversion therapy and work by having the user first stand up on the table and gradually move into an inverted position. If you are thinking about getting new inversion table, read our article with 8 big factors you should consider.

These may come with straps and handles and often include varying degrees of inversion that a user can easily adjust. These tables are affordable, but they are not without fault.

Staying on the table is done through hanging. Your feet or ankles are used as the main support when inverted which is where the major fault in tables resides. When inverted, users will often complain of:

  • Foot pain
  • Ankle pain
  • Knee pain
  • Hip pain

These pains are a direct result of the design of a standard table. After all, your ankles are not meant to be the main anchor of your body.

2020 Best Selling Inversion Tables

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Inversion Chair vs Table – Which One is Better for You?

Neither are better in terms of the benefits that are seen. Standing may provide some benefits for lower extremities and will allow for blood flow to move much easier than in a sitting position. These benefits may allow for detoxification of the organs to happen a little faster than in a chair.

Anyone that has a lack of mobility or that is even paralyzed will find that inversion chairs provide the utmost in support and stability.

Older users or those with ankle issues will also want to go with an inversion chair as they will be removing all of the weight and stress that is put on the ankles, knees and joints. Rehabilitation of injuries, such as knee or back injuries, is also made easier using a chair.

The best choice for you will depend on your needs and current medical and health condition. Inversion tables are ideal when in good health and no medical issues are present.

To sum up, the inversion chair is better for:

  • elderly individuals
  • users with joint & ankle issues
  • for those with lack of mobility

In terms of overall benefits, there is only a slight difference between an inversion chair and a table. Elderly individuals will often find the chair to be more pleasant, but the choice is up to you. All of the great detoxifying and spine benefits will be seen with either model chosen.

Inversion Therapy Basics

Inversion therapy is a process wherein a person lays on a table and attempts to change the gravitational force on the body’s bones. When you stand up, gravity is continually pulling down on your bones causing them to rub together, compress and never stretch.

Inversion therapy utilizes gravity to undo this stress by literally turning a person upside down. When in a 90 degree position, gravity will be working in the opposite direction. This allows the body to heal faster when bone or disc problems are present.

Imagine your vertebra being compressed. This is an ailment that causes people to suffer in immense pain. As your vertebra stays in this position, the pain worsens and you may be prescribed a steroid to help with the swelling and healing process. Over time, the compression comes to an end and the pain has finally subsided. So what causes this to take so long to heal? Gravity.

Every moment of the day there is a 100 percent pressure on your spinal column. If you have an injury, this pressure still exists and will stay there for quite some time.

When inverted, the pressure is 0 percent and will actually go into the negative range in some cases. This allows for a slight pulling apart of the vertebra which will not be felt or be painful, but actually releases the pressure felt on the vertebra.

Inversion therapies work in this way so that gravity does all of the work. All that you literally have to do is get into this position and the rest is done by nature.

How an Inversion Table Can Help

Over 2,300 years ago, the first documentation of this therapy can be found. What occurs is that the pressure on the bones is reversed, but also, the blood in the body flows differently. This allows for muscles to be filled with blood easier, alleviates pains and even helps the organs flush out toxins.

There is much debate on how long a person can stay inverted, but it seems to be done on a per-person basis. Even 10 minutes a day has shown to be very beneficial. These tables can help a person with the following:

  • Back Pains: The number one reason for purchasing this product. People with back pain have found relief through inversion tables and the relief has been studied time and time again. What occurs is the pressure is relieved, allowing the back to find relief. Everything from disc compression to muscle strains have been relieved using this method.
  • Joint PainsArthritis and joint pain can be greatly reduced when inverted. The blood flow and relief of pressure on the joints provides near immediate relief without the use of medications.
  • Muscle Repair: Muscles repair and grow when blood is pumped into them and oxygen flows freely. When upside down, you will be causing blood to flow into your organs and muscles in an atypical manner. This allows for muscle growth and repair to occur much faster and is the main reason why professional athletes use these tables routinely.
  • Organ Health: The body is filled with toxins that make it perform less than adequately. Unfortunately, there are not many ways to flush these toxins out of the organs. When inverted, the blood is forced to cycle out of the organs allowing your body to be less filled with toxins.

How Inversion Tables Work

Inversion tables come either motorized or with manual operation options. The latter is the norm and is the least expensive option to choose from. Depending on the model chosen, there may be a few features that are not listed below, but the same general functionality will exist.

  1. The user stands on the table in an upright position and straps their ankles into a holder.
  2. The user leans back as the table begins to invert.
  3. The user chooses the degree setting they want (if applicable).
  4. The user eventually works their way up to a full 90 degree angle where they will be upside down.

Typically, you will be standing in a leaning position when applying the straps and will need to unlock the table so that you can lean back. The goal is to not go to a full 90 degree angle until your body is used to the positioning. If you do go too far too fast, you can expect to get very dizzy, lightheaded and maybe even nauseous.

2020 Best Selling Inversion Tables

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Further Resources

References & Studies

  1. Inversion Therapy in Patients with Pure Single Level Lumbar Discogenic Disease: a Pilot Randomized Trial
  2. Inversion Therapy: a Study of Physiological Effects
  3. Vagotonic Effect of Inversion Therapy Upon Resting Neuromuscular Tension
  4. Inversion Devices: Their Role in Producing Lumbar Distraction
  5. Blood Pressure Response to Inversion Traction
  6. The Effects of Inversion Traction on Spinal Column Configuration, Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, and Perceived Discomfort
  7. Signs & Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve in a Shoulder Blade
  8. Inversion Therapy: Can it Relieve Back Pain?
  9. The Upsides and Downsides of Inversion Therapy
  10. Why Do Muscles Feel Stiff and Tight?
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