Inversion Table or Decompression Table: What's the Difference?

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When it comes to great health and spine  care there are few things more important than your table. After all, it’s one of the most expensive pieces of equipment you’ll buy and it’s the thing your patients will spend the most time with. Your table can make or break your practice. Patients almost always ask the question: “What’s the difference between spinal decompression and inversion?”  Or they may say, “I have an inversion table that I use every day and it does help temporarily.  I just feel like I need something more.” A very easy way to explain to patients the difference between inversion and spinal decompression is to say “Spinal decompression is like inversion on Steroids.”  Or if that isn’t your personality you could say the “Spinal decompression is a much more effective, controlled version of inversion.” An inversion table is actually a really simple device. It’s a thin table with some straps that rotates so the patient can climb onto the table in basically a standing position and then flip over into a handstand position where they stay while their spine relaxes and the vertebra spread out. The benefits of inversion tables are:
  • They are fairly inexpensive ($100-$500)
  • They are simple to understand
  • The patient feels like they have a lot of control
However, inversion tables also have some serious limitations:
  • You can’t use them if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or eye diseases
  • They can occasionally induce fainting and acid reflux issues
  • The forces involved (gravity and patient body weight) are not strong enough nor controlled enough to make a lasting difference for most patients.
  • Not enough time: Patient are usually uncomfortable if they need to stay inverted for more than a couple minutes and they simply can’t stay on them long enough to generate negative pressure inside a disc which prevents them from achieving effective, long term results.
  Spinal decompression actually achieves long-term pain relief by allowing the spine to relax but it does it through different means. Typically speaking, a spinal decompression table is much larger than an inversion table and is meant to be laid on by the patient. Then the decompression table slowly moves so as to stretch out the spine. Benefits of decompression tables include:  
  • Patients are much more comfortable because the spine and surrounding muscles are relaxed and not guarded. 
  • They are run by computers which control the exact amount of prescribed force so there is better data and consistency of care.
  • Doctors, engineers and specialists  have put a lot of time and money into developing the current spinal decompression tables.  Also research and hundreds of thousands of happy patients prove its effectiveness. 
  • Proven effective for treatment for long-term results.
  There is basically a single drawback to spinal decompression tables: their cost. Running anywhere from $10,000 to $80,000 , these are serious pieces of equipment that require a commitment on the part of the doctor. However, these tables can often be purchased for up to 80% off of the original price used in excellent condition. Whatever path you choose to follow with your  practice, the odds are that you’ll need a great table to work with. Do your research and make sure you choose what’s right for you! How did you choose your table? What do you love about it? Want more info on how to take your chiropractic clinic to the next level? Download our FREE report, “19 Reasons to Add Spinal Decompression to Your Practice” today!

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