Just thought I would share my experience with my new inversion table. Been thinking about getting one for a few years now due to my lower back problems, but never really pulled the trigger. Quick summary: I'm planning on going into a lot of details, so for those just interested in whether it works... I believe it does. I hated it AT FIRST. But now I cannot live without it. It does wonders for my back. That said, on with my review.
Well I fell for the late night Teeter commercial with the old guy swinging around like a 15 year old kid while hanging upside down. I have a local place that sells them with a big markup, so I went there to try them out before ordering one online. Seemed to help relieve pressure in my back, so I was ready to order. I had been spending about $30/week at the chiropractor for a few months now, and the thought of spending $400 more was not sitting well, but I figured it was an investment in my health and future.
So on to the inversion table. I went with the EP 950 since it was marketed as a "comfort" model, and I'm pretty much willing to pay a few extra bucks for comfort. I think it came with a new extra padded bars, some over-sized tubing/framing, and a head pillow.
It took about 10 days for delivery... and it arrived in a fairly large box. I was setting mine up in a room upstairs and I was unable to carry the box upstairs (since I have a bad back). Kind of funny that this thing comes in such a huge, difficult to carry, box when most folks ordering them have back problems. ;-)
So I ended up taking the pieces out and carrying them up one at a time to my room. Putting it together was pretty easy. It came with all the tools needed, though the tools were a bit cheap. The wrench they sent actually bent when I was trying to tighten some of the bolts. I had to get some pliers to finish the job. Most of it came put together. It only took me about 30 minutes of that to assemble.
Once assembled I was pleased to see it was very sturdy and smooth/quiet. We have it in the room next to our baby's room, and I can use this thing at night without worrying about waking our baby. It is very solid and quiet. I weigh about 200 pounds (6'2) and I fit very well on it. I think it can adjust to accommodate up to 6'6 and 300 pounds.
I skipped the instructional video DVD and pretty much jumped right on the thing. There is an adjustment tether strap for controlling how far you can invert. I decided to go for the whole thing right away to see what it was like... full inversion. That was a mistake. Apparently your body has to get used to it, and you should start slow and at a small incline and work your way steeper as you get more comfortable. I was extremely uncomfortable on it fully inverted. The ankle holders hurt my ankles, and my own weight was pulling pretty hard on my knees to the point of pain and discomfort. Needless to say I was pretty worried I made a bad investment.
After a few days of trying it out at some pretty steep inclines, my knees were really starting to bother me. I thought I was going to have to stop using it. I didn't want to trade my bad back for some bad knees. Well I figured out something very helpful. To get the benefits of the inversion for your back you don't have to invert that much. I put it at about a 30 degree inversion. It barely put much pressure on my ankles and knees (no pain or discomfort) but it still felt great on my back!
Now I only use it at the 30 degree angle and I feel like I can fall asleep on the table. I use it about 3-4 times a day for 5-10 minutes at a time. It is like a reset button for my back when I'm having a bad day and my spine is stiffening up. I just climb on and invert for 5 minutes and I feel great afterwards. I'll often stretch myself out even more while I'm inverted by using the handles.
Result wise, I no longer have daily pain in my lower back. I even started playing basketball again which I had given up before... thinking I would never play again. I do combine my inversion with daily stretching and some back exercises they show on the DVD. I spend about about 10 minutes doing those in the morning before I go on the inversion table for 5 minutes. So about 15 minutes in the morning. And then 5-10 minutes on the table a few more times throughout the day.
Also important to note, I have not needed to go back to the chiropractor since I started using this inversion table. I can't say the table alone is the reason for my turn around since I am also religiously doing back stretches and exercises every morning as well... but the combination has changed my life. It went from what I thought was my worst investment to something I don't think I can live without.
Sorry for the long review, but I really wanted to try to paint the picture of my experience with it to help others see whether it might work for them. Overall I think it probably works best on lower back problems. My wife has a lot of stiffness in her mid-upper back and she didn't get much relief from it. If anyone has any questions, feel free to message me here or send me an email.