Inversion therapy has been around for many centuries and helping people with back pain for just as long. Inversion therapy is described as putting your head in a position that is lower than your heart. This can be done by practicing certain Yoga positions (down dog anyone?), using inversion tables, or using chairs. The last two have become increasingly popular but is one better than the other? That really depends on the user.
When you use an inversion table, you recline back in a straight position against a standing table. This can be a little difficult to use if you already suffer from joint pain, or lack core strength. Seated inversion benefits include reduced strain on ankles, knees or hips while inverting. Getting in and out of a seat tends to be easier. It also is easier to rotate and tilt the chair if you're concerned about that.
The main downside is price. Many chairs or seated model are as expensive or more expensive than the higher-end tables. Is it worth it? That depends. If ankle, knee or hip pain is keeping your from enjoying the benefits of inversion therapy, I'd say yes. But if you can comfortably and safely use a table, there's really no good reason to pay more for a chair. You can check out my reviews of the top inversion tables here.
The Health Mark IV18600 is one of the leading chairs on the market. It's is ergonomically designed so you experience greatest comfort while inverting. It is constructed out of heavy gauge tubular steel and can hold up to 300 pounds with a maximum tilt angle of 70°. If you're worried about tilting too far, this may be just the right option for you.
Comfort was definitely considered in the design of this chair. It has a padded chair with adjustable back rest as well as padded, rolled front ankle and knee supports. This chair comes with an adjustable safety lap belt so you will feel secure while inverting.
Most users feel that this chair is sturdy. Several users commented on how quick and easy it was to assemble. The main issue that some users have with this chair is the safety strap that comes across your thighs which some find uncomfortable. They suggested placing a pillow between your legs and the strap. Overall, this chair has received very high reviews and most users would recommend this product to their friends.
The Stamina Seated model is a hybrid. You start in a seated position but recline into a fully stretched out table position as your tip back. This makes entry easier and safer but doesn't really give the other benefits (ankle, hip pain, etc.) of other chair. It is designed with comfort in mind with a thick cushion, upholstered seat and seatback. It also has foam-padded ankle supports and padded handlebars for you to hold on to while you invert.
This chair has a heavy-duty steel frame and skid resistant rubber floor protectors. Safety was also considered, because this chair has a push-button lever to release the holds on your ankles quickly. No fumbling around trying to get yourself unstrapped! There is also an adjustable lap belt and a separate strap that helps you control the inversion. This product comes with a one-year frame warranty and also a 90-day parts warranty.
This product does need some assembly. However, most users reported that it was quite easy to put together. Several users have commented that the chair is so comfortable they’ve almost fallen asleep!
The majority of users also felt that this product was well built and would last them quite a while. Some of the taller users reported that it was not built to fit them and that their head hung past the end of the chair and was not supported during inversion. Others have also stated that they wished it could be folded up to be stored. Unfortunately, this product is not capable of doing that. You might need to find a designated space for this chair!
Same Benefits, Less Strain
Seated inversion can provide many of the same benefits as using an inversion table. If you already suffer from previous ankle, knee or hip pain, seated inversion might be a better option as there is less strain on those joints. It is also easier to get in and out of the chair. It is still recommended that you start out slowly when using inversion. Try using it for just two to three minutes each day at a low angle until you are comfortable. As with the inversion tables, it is also important to follow all the safety precautions.
Finding the best model can be a challenge, but the Health Mark and Stamina models are two solid options. They have both received great reviews from users, are comparable in price and made with sturdy materials. If ankle, knee or hip pain is a primary concern, I'd recommend the Health Mark. But if you just want easier entry and exit with the feel of a table when tilted back, check out the Stamina.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com