Top positive review
Excellent Results: One Physician's Personal Experience
Reviewed in the United States on November 8, 2015
Let me start by saying that I'm a medical physician. I have no association with the Teeter company or any other inversion company. This review is my own and reflects my own personal experience. As a doctor, I am more skeptical than most people when it comes to claims of medical cure. I've suffered with chronic, recurring, debilitating episodes of lower back pain since my 20s due to disc bulges and herniations throughout my lumbar spine. I'm now in my 50s and have had several orthopedic specialists and MRIs that confirmed the above findings. Surgery had not been recommended because I was told that, despite the episodic severe pain, the risks did not yet warrant the possible benefits. Over the years, the pain episodes had become more debilitating and frequent and recently have been occurring about 3-4 times per year where I would be either bedridden and unable to work for 3-5 days or, at a minimum, on crutches for 1-2 weeks at a time. During these episodes I was beginning to feel truly disabled and dependent on others for help with routine tasks. Feelings of desperation were beginning to encroach upon my sense of well being and self-sufficiency. I had been only vaguely aware of the technique of inversion as a treatment for chronic back pain. My orthopedic specialists (and a chiropractor I had tried) never mentioned inversion. I began to accept that surgery might be my only hope for lasting pain relief and began researching it. As a last resort, about 3 weeks before publishing this review, I began to research inversion in earnest and purchased the Teeter 960 because of its very high user ratings and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certification for meeting safety standards and high quality. When it arrived, I was about 1 week into my most recent severe back pain episode that had kept me from working for about 5 days. Despite the residual pain, I was desperate to get my inversion table up and running. I assembled the table and studied the instructions very carefully before getting on the machine. The results have been amazing. I am not exaggerating when I say they've been miraculous. After my first 3-5 minute inversion, by back pain began to subside.
I had been bed-ridden the week before, and improving, but still in significant pain and on crutches. That first day, I inverted at only 30 degrees three times (morning, afternoon and before bed). Within 24 hours my back pain was completely gone and has remained so. The next day, I was even able to help my daughter move into her new home, something that would have been impossible for me to do the day prior to beginning my inversion program. It has now now been about a week of inverting 3 times a day for about 3-5 min each at only the most gentle angle of 30 deg. So far, the back pain has remained completely gone and I am absolutely amazed at how quickly and effectively this technique has worked. I am also somewhat appalled that not one of my orthopedic surgeons (nor the one chiropractor I tried) ever mentioned a word about this technique. It's hard for me to believe they are not aware of it. But, being generous, I believe that it's just not in their repertoire of therapies. In reality, it should be at the forefront of their therapeutic repertoire. I'm assuming that the effectiveness of inversion may vary for different people, depending on the cause of their pain. One should also consider the potential risks to someone with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, aneurysms, glaucoma, or other conditions that might present a dangerous situation for some people due to the increase of blood and hydrostatic pressures in the upper body and head when inverted. However, one must decide if the possible benefits outweigh the possible risks, so consult your physician on that question. With regard to the actual machine, it is very sturdy and appears very well constructed of high quality materials. I would very strongly advise you to study the assembly instructions very carefully because we are talking about being suspended upside down to varying degrees here and improper assembly or failure to take this machine seriously could result in a person's serious injury or even death and that is clearly stated in several places by the manufacturer. I would advise a user to enlist someone to be a spotter, at least until you become very familiar with the device and your personal reaction to inverting. I would also advise a user to keep a cell phone within reach just in case you experience a problem while inverting. Do not lock yourself into a room so that someone can get to you in case of a problem. But DO make sure your ankles are properly locked into the machine. I do feel that, in some future version, it would be wise for the engineers of this machine to develope some sort of lock that prevents inversion until the ankle locks have been engaged, just as a safety for someone who might forget to lock their ankles before inverting.
As for me, I've experienced incredible relief of pain. While inverting probably works by causing traction on the spinal column, somewhat separating the vertebrae and relieving the impingement of the spinal nerves, the underlying pathology is probably still present and therefore pain could return if inversion is stopped for a period of time. As a physician, I'm very curious if regular inversion has any potential to reverse intervertebral disc bulging or even herniations because of the reversal of the forces that contribute to these lesions. I plan to get a repeat MRI at some point to see if the bulges and herniations have anatomically improved. I can only say that, for me, this technique has been a great success and, if not yet done, inversion should be the subject of some very serious scientific investigation for the tremendous potential benefit it could provide to the millions of human beings suffering with severe chronic back pain.
On or about 10/2/17 I had a relapse of moderate back pain requiring the use of crutches daily up to and including today, 10/9/17. This is the first significant relapse in the 23 months since I began using the inversion table. I have been using the table about 3-5 times per week but only for short periods of 30-60 seconds at 30 degrees and mainly after workouts with moderate weights using a bench only (never standing). From this I conclude that the underlying pathology is probably still there, although I have not had another MRI since the one prior to using the inversion table for the first time. Therefore, I cannot definitively state if this is a relapse of an existing herniation or a new injury. I can only say that the pain is in the exact same place as it was historically. However, going 23 months without a major relapse when previously I was having serious back pain requiring crutches several times a month before using the inversion table I still must give credit to inversion as a very likely factor in the mitigation of my back pain. Having said this, I can also state that my current relapse is only moderate in comparison to the severity that I had experienced prior to using inversion. Therefore, I continue to believe that inversion was quite beneficial in my case and I continue to use it on a regular basis.