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Using an Inversion Table for Back Pain: Is It Safe?
Episode 2426th October 2020 • Back Talk Doc • Sanjiv Lakhia - Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates
00:00:00 00:19:01

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In the world of back pain, there are a variety of vendors in the marketplace offering purported solutions. And, with patients searching for alternatives to injections, physical therapy, surgery, and traditionally prescribed medications, the market for these alternatives treatments is booming. With these solutions ranging in efficacy from widely accepted remedies to ineffective and potentially harmful, how do you know what is and isn’t safe? Welcome to Back Talk Doc.

In this episode, Dr. Sanjiv Lakhia is taking on gravity-assisted devices, more commonly known as inversion tables. Dr. Lakhia reveals his personal experience and research with inversion tables and addresses the most common questions he receives from patients: “When I tilt on [the inversion table], it helps. But, is that safe? Is this something that's effective? Something that I should use?"

Dr. Lakhia presents two studies on inversion therapy, explaining the methodology of the studies, and the conclusions presented. Dr. Lakhia then provides examples of how to perform common gravity-assisted interventions for low back pain.

Highlights from the episode:

·     Inversion Therapy in Patients with Pure Single-Level Lumbar Discogenic Disease: A Pilot Randomized Trial (02:16)

·     What is an inversion table? (04:14)

·     Lumbar decompression (5:08)

·     Warnings about using gravity-assisted devices (9:47)

·     The Effects of Aquatic Exercise Programs on Low Back Pain Disability in Obese women. (11:17)

·     Summary of the two research articles (16:56)


Resources mentioned on this episode:

·     Inversion Therapy in Patients with Pure Single-Level Lumbar Discogenic Disease: A Pilot Randomized Trial by Prasad KS, Gregson BA, Hargreaves G, Byrnes T, Winburn P, Mendelow AD.

·     The Effect of Aquatic Exercise Program on Low Back Pain Disability in Obese women. by Abadi, F. H., Sankaravel, M., Zainuddin, F. F., Elumalai, G., & Razli, A. I.

For more information on Dr. Sanjiv Lakhia’s practice, visit

If you enjoyed this episode of Back Talk Doc, check out our episode Worth a Shot? Spinal Injections with Dr. Andrew Sumich.

Back Talk Doc is brought to you by Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, with offices in North and South Carolina. To learn more about Dr. Lakhia and treatment options for back and spine issues, go to To schedule an appointment with Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, you can call us at 1-800-344-6716 or visit our website at