Inversion Table & Spinal Decompression Therapy for Sciatica (Pros & Cons)

If you’re suffering from herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, foraminal stenosis, and lumbar facet syndrome, you may find some pain relief from spinal decompression/traction.

Spinal decompression therapy is a non-invasive treatment where the space between the vertebrae is increased and this decompresses the spine.  This relief of pressure in the low back helps you heal faster and decreases pain.

Although spinal decompression helps many people, you should avoid doing these if you have the following conditions:

1. Spinal fusion
2. Osteoporosis
3. Spinal tumor

Disc Decompression Therapy

If you go to a Chiropractor’s office you will see a disc decompression therapy table, which is computerized bed that is connected to a computer.

This computer regulates the amount of force used to stretch your low back.  Once the doctor straps you down, the computer will start stretching your low back.  This special table has the ability to detach from the middle and this feature allows your low back to be stretched and decompressed.
disc decompression therapy

Pros
Supervised by a Doctor

Cons
If your condition requires many visits, it can become expensive, however, this will still be way less than surgery.

Inversion Table

Decompression therapy at home can be achieved through the use of an inversion table.  This is a table that looks like a suspended stretcher.  It has a special attachment on the bottom to anchor your feet down.

The way inversion works is by using your upper body weight and gravity to traction the low back.  By moving your arms you can control how much you invert.  You don’t have to completely invert to benefit from this treatment either.  As little as 45 degrees of inversion can be helpful to decompress the spine.

inversion table

Pros
1. Relative inexpensive.  You can buy one for $100 – $300.
2. Pay once and continue to use it.

Cons
1. You have to put the table together.
2. People with ankle and knee problems may feel more pain in those areas because you’re supporting your bodyweight with your lower extremities.
3. You will have blood rushing to your head (from hanging upside down) so people with conditions such as heart problems, circulatory problems, inner ear problems, glaucoma, and high blood pressure shouldn’t invert.

An inversion table is relatively inexpensive since they cost anywhere from $100 to $300. You pay for it once and continue to use it.  The inversion table I recommend is this one.

Decompression Vest

A decompression vest is a vest that you can attach to your rib cage and hang from a pull up bar. It uses the weight of your lower body and gravity to decompress your lumbar spine.

decompression vest sciatica

It costs about $60 but it may be uncomfortable for women because the breasts may be compressed.  You can get the decompression vest here.

Pros
Inexpensive – $60

Cons
1. It can be uncomfortable for women because the breasts may be compressed.
2. You need a pull up bar.

If you’re looking for natural ways to treat low back pain and sciatica, now you have 3 more options.

Resources mentioned in the video:
1. Inversion table
2. Decompression vest