The Inversion Table vs. The Backbridge: Two Spinal Decompression Tools With Very Different Methodologies

When it comes to wanting a quick solution to an issue, people turn to the internet for information, answers, and potential quick fixes. For those seeking advice on relieving back pain and preventing back injuries they often stumble upon a spinal decompression tool known as an inversion table. The question then we often hear is, what is the difference between an inversion table and the Backbridge?

Both inversion tables and the Backbridge provide spinal decompression — spinal decompression is a procedure to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or on a compressed nerve root in the spinal column. Lifting this pressure decreases the pain felt and helps the healing process. While both tools do this, the methodology and the intensity of each are quite different. 

While we praise the results that can be delivered from an inversion table, acquiring those benefits through that tool can be tricky. Below we break down some of the key differences between inversion tables and the Backbridge; but first, what are each of these tools exactly?


Inversion Table: The Upside-Down Exercise Device

An inversion table is a device that allows one to hang upside, or in an inverted angle, from the legs, ankles, or feet to relieve back pain. There is a cushioned table that you first stand up against and strap yourself into; once you’re fastened securely you move the table slowly until you’re inverted.

Being upside down or at an angle takes pressure off the spine and stretches it to provide pain relief. This type of therapy requires guidance from a doctor or physical therapist. It can have positive benefits, but there are also people that should avoid hanging upset because of the blood flow increase to the head and eyes; this includes people with hypertension, circulation disorders, glaucoma, or retinal detachments.


Spinal Decompression Tool: How to Decompress Spine Without Inversion Table

The Backbridge is a spinal decompression tool that is five interlocking, individual, soft foam arches that stack together for different levels of support. The Backbridge rests on the ground throughout specific decompression exercises, so it always feels safe and approachable.

“Backbridge allows a patient to graduate levels and go at their own pace as they use progressive extension,” says Dr. Todd Sinett, the New York-based chiropractor and applied kinesiologist who created the Backbridge. “While both inversion tables and Backbridge can be helpful I’m biased toward the slow and steady approach that Backbridge provides, not to mention it is quite easy and quick to use.” 

The design of the Backbridge also allows for use in other ways, such as helping with stretching throughout the body that will ultimately help in overall back health. 

 Inversion Table vs Spinal Decompression 

1. Inversion Table Basics

  • Decompresses the spine by gravitational pull as one hangs by the feet in an inverted angle or entirely upside down to feel relief.
  • Using an inversion table can be scary, challenging and intimidating, especially for older people 
  • Supervision is best when using an inversion table as one is strapped into a device while hanging upside down so one’s quick reflexes are compromised— should something go wrong or you need to quickly get upright again
  • People with high blood pressure and eye issues need to avoid hanging upside down 
  • Inversion tables are large and take up a lot of space in the home
  • Pricey


2. Spinal Decompression: Backbridge Basics

  • Offers 5 interlocking, individual, soft foam arches that stack together for different levels of support
  • Once you master the exercises—best with help from a doctor or physical therapist—you can easily use the Backbridge by yourself
  • The learning curve is short as the Backbridge is very easy to use
  • The Backbridge is versatile as it can be used for other exercises and stretches
  • The Backbridge works with patients regardless of their flexibility and pain levels
  • The Backbridge is great for people that are older and feel intimidated by spinal decompression exercises
  • The Backbridge is compact for easy storage


Learn more about the Backbridge and how it works; and check out more posts on how the Backbridge can help maintain your overall health!


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