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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2009
I have a herniate disc at L5/S1 and this version of the teeter hang up has helped me so much. My sciatica down my leg has almost disappeared 1 month after using it. The first few times I used the machine it was uncomfortable for my head because of the pressure, but I have learned to go slower and it is much more comfortable now. It has taken me about a month to learn to relax my muscles, so there is a learning curve for sure. The quality of the machine is excellent. Very sturdy. Overall this is an excellent product.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2008
I had actually intended on getting a Roman chair to do back extensions, but Amazon's great price ($175) on this dual capability machine convinced me to give it a shot and also add the capability of inversion. As for the machine itself, it's quite heavy-duty, but very easy to assemble. Make sure you have the floor space available as it does not collapse after assembly. As for user weight limitations, in my judgment it will easily support even the extremely large individual.

The unique design for inversion takes all the stress off the knees and ankles as the weight is supported primarily on the upper thighs, anchored by pads behind the calves. These pads are adjustable vertically, but not horizontally. So, if you have short legs, you will not be able to hold the legs in a 90 degrees angle as you hang upside down ( the lower legs will be somewhat extended behind the pads.) This may be an issue if you intend to invert for extended periods. I have not found it a problem for my ~ 10-min inversions.

Individual machines typically costing $200 or more apiece would obviously do a better job at both back extensions and inversion; however, at $175, this versatile machine is well worth the money. Also, highly recommended for larger users who want the benefits of inversion but cannot take stress on the knees and ankles.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2010
This item was easily assembled. It is exactly what I expected. A strong and sturdy machine that stretches my back and neck.
If you're tall your head will hit the floor as this machine does not adjust to the height of the individual.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2012
GENERAL SAFETY CAUTIONS REGARDING INVERSION:
Inversion is most helpful for back pain due to degenerated & bulging spinal discs, and may not help other sources of back pain; also, people with certain health conditions should avoid inversion; as always before starting any new exercise, check with your doctor and read up on the contraindications on the web; google "health conditions contraindicated for inversion". Always being gentle and gradual and not forcing your body is a good rule of thumb with inversion.

As with any exercise or stretching, as much as possible, always be gentle & build up gradually with intensity & length of time that you do inversion and don't force your back or body; if it causes more than slight discomfort, STOP immediately; you should not be getting sharp pains from inversion if done properly!

TEETER DEX LIMITATIONS & NEEDED MODIFICATIONS:

I have used the Dex for about six to seven years (since approx 2006) and it has worked great for me, BUT I had to make customized retrofitting modifications to it because of the roller not being able to be moved closer to the edge (as mentioned in one of the other reviews of the Dex); it was indeed a little too far back for my thigh length, and I am 5'11"! Thus it did cause a little mild knee pain before I modified it since as the other reviewer noted I could not fully bend my knees to a right angle but had the knee rollers against my upper calf. I wish Teeter would fix this, as it is so close otherwise to being a perfect inversion machine. This should be fixed so that people with average length or shorter thighs should be able to benefit from the DEX as well as taller people.

I actually pirated parts from the regular Teeter-Totter type inversion table that I had first bought (which I stopped using since hanging from my ankles hurt my knees and ankles alot). I used those pirated parts from the Teeter-Totter style inversion table to make the Dex knee roll adjustable horizontally for thigh length, in addition to it being already adjustable vertically for thigh width. This required a hack saw, power drill with metal capable drill bit, some heavy duty nuts and bolts, and a bit of ingenuity! I also cut away some of the hard foam between the pads next to the hanging edge to make more room for the groin (yes, I am a guy, not a Ken Doll!) which helped a lot with the issue of "pinching" in that area, which some reviewers have noted for both the DEX and the Total Back System (see below):

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Total Back System VS. DEX:

Shorter people (especially those with shorter thighs) might see if the Total Back System works better (see links below); according to reviews it may not be as sturdy as the Dex, but may work for shorter lighter people; not sure if the thigh pad is shorter or not on the Total Back System but it appears to be the right size with the woman in the photo. However, other people have complained in reviews that the Total Back System is not only a little rickety, but also makes it hard to relax the back because the thigh pads are tilted forward a little instead of parallel to the floor. The DEX keeps the thigh pads parallel to the floor, so that is not an issue with it, and it is also incredibly sturdy and solid with industrial quality parts meant to last - no reviews have complained about it being a little loose, wobbly, or rickety with cheaper parts like they have with the Total Back System.

On the plus side for the Total Back System: 1) its a little cheaper than the DEX II (but some reviews have said its still overpriced for the lower quality of the parts), 2) Total Back System can actually be folded up and put away unlike the DEX which is completely solid when assembled (the Total Back System's fold up feature could be a boon for apartment dwellers or those with small living spaces), and 3) Total Back System can also be converted to an incline straight leg back extension machine (DEX can be used this way too but with knees bent instead of straight - I don't do back extensions on the DEX nor would I on the Total Back System as both are too hard on my low back, instead 2x/week I use a more gentle back extension machine at the gym for 20 reps and not too much weight, and an ab machine used the same way, which also help my back).

Total Back System - Inversion Therapy Unit

Fitness Plus Total Back Care System

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HOW I USE THE DEX FOR MAXIMUM BENEFIT FOR MY LOW BACK PAIN DUE TO DEGENERATED & BULGING LUMBAR DISC:

As with any exercise or stretching, always be gentle & build up gradually with intensity & length of time that you do inversion as much as possible and don't force your back or body; if it causes more than slight discomfort, STOP immediately; you should not be getting sharp pains from inversion if done properly!

During inversion, I wear shoes with rubbery grip thick soles which helps a lot with safely mounting and dismounting when using the Dex. I have found that if I use the Dex for inversion for a few minutes each night immediately before lying down in bed that it helps the most, so that I can lay down all night with my discs decompressed and allow them to gradually heal somewhat. I had very severe back pain and sciatica from my L5-S1 bulging & degenerated disc, and using the DEX as described in this section has helped more than anything else I have tried - I used to have to take massive amounts of ibuprofen just to function before this. Strengthening the legs and core and stretching properly also help.

When I use the Dex, after inverting I gently rotate and do a spinal twist from side to side several times, but don't use my hands gripping onto the rails to force the twist like they show in the Dex pictures, I just rotate on my own with my hands placed against the back of my head as if doing situps. I also found using the handgrips to increase the force of the inversion once inverted (as shown in another Dex picture) tended to make my pain worse and was not necessary. Instead, I rock or swing my body forward and back gently while inverted which helps gradually pulse the decompression, allowing my disc(s) to most effectively be decompressed without locking up the tendons, ligaments or muscles. I also do regular straight ahead inverted crunches, plus crunches combined with a twist, or "cross-over" crunches (where you have your hands behind your head and move each elbow towards the opposite knee alternately); this frequently gives me some good "pops and cracks" in my low back that feel great, similar to a chiropractic adjustment! Right after using the DEX when I lie down in the bed on my back I do a gentle laying down yoga spinal twist in each direction, and then pull my knees gently to my chest; I also sometimes do these stretches first thing when I wake in the morning before getting up; this helps keep my low back muscles from being stiff from the decompression.

My back has gotten progressively better the longer I have used the DEX, so stick with inversion since it has a cumulative effect over time. It may not completely heal degenerated discs, but it has greatly reduced my pain & increased my ability to be active, without surgery. I rarely have serious back pain or sciatica now, unless I really overdo it with standing a long time or lifting and bending too much. When I overdo it like mentioned in the previous sentence are primarily the only times anymore that I need to take ibuprofen or Celebrex (which is gentler on the stomach than ibuprofen). Doing the Dex is most effective & much less painful after you have reduced the inflammation somewhat from overdoing it, by taking NSAID anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen or Celebrex and also possibly putting ice on the painful part of your spine (frozen corn in its bag inside a pillow case works well for this; my chiropractor recommends 20 minutes on of the ice, 20 minutes off, for several cycles, for inflamed joints shortly after they are injured; I have found this helpful especially for my neck when it locks up or gets painful). If you ice your back or neck, let your body warm up fully and gently stretch a little before using an inversion machine so you will be loose enough to benefit without hurting yourself.

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FOR LARGER PEOPLE WHO NEED AN EXTRA STURDY INVERSION MACHINE:

If you are wanting something extra sturdy, make sure to check out the original DEX (which has a solid flat metal base & is the one I have & is VERY STURDY & SOLID) and the DEX XL (same as DEX but for larger & taller people). I have only used the Dex because when I bought it 6 or 7 years ago, the Dex II did not exist. The Dex II still looks quite sturdy for about half the price of the Dex. The original DEX and DEX XL were not available on Amazon when I just looked but can be found if you google "Dex XL Decompression".

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FOR THOSE WHO ARE MORE FRAGILE AND NEED A GENTLER AND EASIER WAY TO MOUNT A DECOMPRESSION DEVICE AND FOR GENTLER DECOMPRESSION, THESE TWO ITEMS LOOK PROMISING (SEE LINKS BELOW for Healthmark Inversion Chair & Stamina Chair Mounting Style inversion table).

Similar to the DEX or Total Back System, the Health Mark Inversion Chair should also not put undue pressure on the knees or ankles (which the teeter totter inversion tables tend to do). The Healthmark Inversion Chair is much easier and gentler to mount and dismount and is a much gentler inversion than the DEX (since it does not take you all the way upside down & you can limit the angle of inversion to what it is comfortable, so it should be better than complete inversion like the DEX or Total Back System for people with more health problems or who are older, weaker, or more fragile. Similar to the DEX & Total Back System, the Health Mark Inversion Chair also keeps the right angle between the thighs and the back which I have found is most effective in decompressing the low back discs with less pain and less time needed in inversion than when your body is completely straight like the teeter-totter style inversion tables.

Health Mark IV18600 Pro Inversion Therapy Chair

The Stamina inversion chair style table appears to be easier to mount than a regular inversion table, and also allows you to keep your knees somewhat bent, which I believe should be easier on the knees and better for the disc decompression (based on my experience with regular teeter-totter tables and the Dex). It still does not keep a right angle between the torso and the thighs, though, which in my experience is the best position for effective low back disc decompression (like the DEX and the Healthmark Inversion Chair).

Stamina InLine Inversion System

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LEAP Ergonomic Office CHAIRS:

I also bought 2 LEAP chairs in 2007 by Steelcase (1 each for both my work office and home office) which has helped alot with reducing my low back pain - if I sit for long periods of time in the LEAP chair, it does not give me back pain but instead makes my back feel better, unlike any other upright chair I have tried (all other upright chairs eventually make my back hurt). See links below to LEAP chairs on Amazon. I got mine from the local Steelcase dealer to save on shipping and also got a discount from them because I asked. They are quite sturdy, very adjustable, and allow your back to move naturally while still supporting the lumbar curve in your low back.

Steelcase Leap Fabric Chair, Black

LEAP CHAIR FULLY ADJUSTABLE V2 MODEL BY STEELCASE - BLACK FABRIC

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ZERO-GRAVITY CHAIRS FOR RECLINING WITH GOOD BACK & NECK SUPPORT:

Finally, foldable "Zero-Gravity" Chairs work to support my back much better than softer "mushy" indoor recliners when reclining to watch TV, with an inflatable adjustable cushion added for my low back & a small non-inflatable cushion added for my neck (see links below).

Lafuma Evolution Mesh Recliner, Moka Brown Please note that this link is a different chair than I purchased; I purchased the highest end Lafuma Evolution Air zero gravity recliner (google it, I couldn't find it on Amazon through the reviews interface but it was available on Amazon in limited quantities when I googled it, as well as other online stores). I got it because it has some built-in cushioning and also does not have a bar across the base of the footrest which hurts bare feet after a while (remember I am using it indoors not outdoors with shoes). It was well worth the extra money to get the top of the line one, but there are cheaper versions by Lafuma and even cheaper brands available at Target, Kmart, and Walmart, or online. I got tired of the cheap ones breaking after about a year of use, however, and decided to spring for one that should last for years and has replacement parts available (in other words, Lafuma brand, which makes the highest quality, most durable of these types of chairs and is the original designer and manufacturer of the zero gravity recliner). It is very comfortable; the only problem I had was that the wooden armrests were of mixed quality & needed to be replaced; those replacements were shipped to me for free under the warranty. The wooden armrests also felt hard after a while of reclining (which is why I added the armrest cushions as discussed below).

I also added Anywhere Memory Foam Arm Cushions to the armrests of my Lafuma Evolution Air zero gravity recliner because the armrests are wood and after a while of sitting it can be a bit uncomfortable on the elbows (see link below). I bought wide rectangles of velcro tape and put those on the chair armrests (the stiffer side of the velcro up) and the armrest cushions are already covered in a material that velcro will stick to. This allowed almost the entire bottom of the armrest cushion to be in contact with the velcro, which worked the best to attach the armrest cushions, much better than the small pieces of velcro or the elastic straps that came with the armrests (still a great product though - see below link).

Inflatable Back Cushion - back inflatable pillow; inflatable lumbar pillow

Anywhere Arm Cushions (Black) (2"H x 4"W x 12"D)
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MEMORY FOAM/TEMPURPEDIC MATTRESSES & BED PILLOWS:

Finally, I got a generic memory foam mattress and bed pillow about 10 years ago, which helped my back tremendously, and upgraded to a TempurPedic memory foam mattress about 4 years ago. These conform to your body contours which relieves a lot of the pressure against your spine and joints that you get with regular mattresses. If you can't afford a TempurPedic, check online for direct-to-you factory manufacturers of memory foam mattresses, which is where I got my first one (I believe they were based out of NY state). You can also try out the TempurPedic mattresses in most major furniture stores with beds, so you can see how comfortable it is. Also, some memory foam mattresses are available on Amazon (see example links below):

Sleep Innovations 12-inch Sure Temp Memory Foam Mattress - Queen Size

I hope all of this helps some of you as much as it has helped me! Blessings for a healthy, more active, pain-free back and life!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2008
The machine came very quickly from Amazon and I could set it up within 15 minutes with the tools they even provided in the (large) package.

This machine notably does not have a center support but two on the side so that you do not hit your head when doing upside down crunches. It is of quality construction.

My back feels much better with the time spend stretching it out at the end of a day sitting. A very worthwhile purchase.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2011
Since many people have well covered the great health benefits of inversion boards,this review focuses on the convenience aspect of this particular unit. If this unit will be used by multiple persons of varying sizes, they may find this unit inconvenient. One person will only have to adjust it for their height and thigh width once, but will likely find the lack of adjustment for the knee rolls to be the downside of this unit. There are three adjustments on this unit and thse are not the most user-friendly. You must first adjust the bar holding the padded knee rolls to accommodate the size of your thighs. This involves unscrewing the hand knob and sliding the bar forward or back to the appropriate hole-cut and turning the inch or so of screw back in. It sounds simple, but the piece fits tight so you must back the screw out almost completely,reposition, and back in the threading which seems to take forever when you do it every day. To accommodate your height, you have to loosen another knob slightly and then pull horizontally on a spring loaded rod to disengage the main platform. (This platform will be horizontal when in use and is where your thighs rest once you are in the inclined position.) This platform bar is heavy and you have to hold it up and giggle it slightly until the spring loaded rod engages the appropriate hole for the desired height position. This can be a bit challenging for one person. Snugging down the the holding knob in no problem. These adjustments are not too bad, but slightly awkward and again, inconvenient if you have to do these every time you use it because different size family members are sharing the unit.

Adjusting the height of the platform allows you to mount the unit without hurting your groin. If you are tall and someone smaller used the unit last, you may be able to get away with not making this adjustment; after you incline, your arms will just drag the ground more. In the reverse, the shorter user has no choice but to make this adjustment, or he/she will find it impossible or dangerous to mount the unit. Similar to mounting a horse, you must lift your leg up and over the bar that holds the knee rolls. The knee pad is what you will use to brace yourself once inclined and it is supposed to hit you,surprise--behind the knees. Here is where Teeter made no provision to accommodate that people have different size thigh bones, and the platform is too long. Most people will be bracing against this roll with their calves. If you are shorter than six feet two inches or have a shorter thigh bone, the knee rolls will hit you somewhere below the knee. This will also be true if you have any amount of "muffin roll." You will have to move forward on the platform in order to hang optimally from just your pelvis, at a perfect 90 degree angle.

The absence of a lever for adjusting the knee rolls after inclining is the downside of this unit. You will likely be bracing some of your weight with your calves. This will put some strain on the back of your thighs, calves, or both. It is probably still an improvement over hanging from your ankles if you have issues with this. Teeter did not make this unit adaptable where it is needed most or user friendly for multiple persons. At the very least, the knee bar should adjust to accommodate thigh lengths not just thigh widths. It would be a real plus if the adjustments were ratchet-type levers rather than awkward pulls or time consuming hand screws. Contouring the front of the platform a bit to accommodate the natural curve of the human body would seem a no-brainer. Otherwise, the unit is heavy duty and well made.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2008
I was experiencing severe lower back pain for twelve weeks which became nearly "paralyzing". I received my DEX II within 4 days of ordering through Amazon. It was very easy to assemble and by the next day I was feeling much better; two days later I was almost back to normal and nearly pain free.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2007
Delivery was on time. Easy assembly. Very good for traction on lower back. The only drawback for me is that I can only hang upside down for a couple of minutes at a time. Not a miracle, but it is definitely beneficial to my lower back.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2009
This is an alternative to a roman chair that I was looking for to reduce stress on my knees. I just had surgery on my left one. I've used a traditional roman chair for years to work on my back, as well as to sit on and do sit ups. The leverage on this chair is on the upper leg, so the knee is unstressed and it works for both sit ups and the traditional back up. My ideal roman chair permits adjustment of the angle for back ups, this does not, permitting only a horizontal back up. The decompression hang is ok and, at least, a bonus. The quality of construction is very good. Don't go swinging around on it because it can tip, but with normal use its very stable. There are cheaper roman chairs, but the price for what this is is fair enough. I'd highly recommend this for someone who wants the benefits of a roman chair without the stress on the knees and/or wants a simple decompression hang. Best for someone with a least a modicum of fitness.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2012
About me: 28 y/o, 5'10 170lbs athletic build, soccer player (ex!) very active, work on cars, homes, yard work, you name it... w/ bulging L5-S1 disc on MRI and sciatica going down the right leg, sitting down hurts, standing up hurts, laying down hurts unless in certain positions, basically it hurts 90% of the time! chiropractors were no help at all... First i would like to say that the rating is not for the machine itself, it is for people who are buying it for disc traction use... the machine is well built, does what it is built for without any issues, nothing special, it just works... the machine is sturdy but its a bit wobbly at the joint where it swings and inverting takes a little extra care not to flip fast, people over 6'2 might wanna consider the bigger machine.... With that said i wanna add that each person is different and their bulging/ruptured disc will have different pressure points/symptoms depending on posture and core muscle imbalance bla bla bla if you're like me desperately looking around the internet for info and anything that might help your bulging disc you already know all the details. Back to business... This machine has doubled my pain, the process of inverting itself will send sharp shooting pain down your sciatic nerve which tells me that it actually makes the disc bulge out more since you are bending forward, a biggg no no if you have a bulging disc especially at L5-S1 which will always be in a position as if your are bending forward on this machine... Sure once you're upside down you can try to hyper extend your back but in my case it makes it ten times worse. Bottom line without going into further detail cuz i hate long reviews, this machine has made things worse in my case, if you are desperate and really looking for something that works you might not listen to my review and think what the heck, well, that was me and now i'm about $1000 dollars short after having wasted all this money on all these silly sacro wedgies, compression belts, topical products, traction machines.. u name it! with mostly good reviews. On the plus side Amazon was very nice and gave me a refund minus 40$ shipping charges. So if you are buying the machine for other reasons i'm not sure i can give you a review for that all i can say is the machine works as it should but def. not for me and the reason i bought it for... Bottom line, if you have a bulging disc what really helped me is Ginseng tea and ground organic flax seeds (i'm no doctor but i was taking those before soccer games just for general health and stopped for a while, till the other day i decided to take them again and boy what a difference!). That plus when i sleep, i sleep on the side opposite to where the sciatica is with a pillow (or part of my wife lol) between my knees. The best advice i can give is to relax for the first week or two after your injury and then get to exercises and stretches that do not aggravate your condition asap cuz being lazy is your worst enemy. Trust me i know its verrry painful but regardless of what you've read it actually heals, this is my second time i hurt my back after all pain went away i went back to my old restless self! and activities and hurt it again but from my experience it heals you just have to be careful with your future activities cuz it will never go back to being "perfect". With that said, save your money and see a professional first, then if that doesn't work take some Ginseng tea, ground flax seed, and do core muscle exercises, and work on your weight and posture... once you're past the first two weeks and pain has gone down, go over to a local store and try out their ellipticals to work out your hips/legs etc since its gonna work you out without running or too much pressure on the back... then if you think it helps, buy it (from Amazon ofcourse :P )... I bought one and it helped me a lot. Sorry for the long review but hopefully my review helps at least one person. GOOD LUCK!
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