Have you used the Teeter Hang Ups inversion device to treat back problems? We'd like to hear from you!
Anyone who has had back problems knows how debilitating they can be, and the back pain industry is big business. This author has plenty of first-hand experience with back pain, and a close loved one of mine has very significant back issues. So today we’re going to take a look at the Teeter Hang Ups inversion device, which is claimed to aid in back pain, and which we have tried.
The concept of inversion is simple: the patient is suspended either at an angle or upside down using the pull of gravity upon one’s spine. It is claimed that it takes pressure off of the spine and provides relief.
Not all doctors specializing in back pain recommend inversion, for a variety of reasons. We asked Dr. Lon Kalapp, a chiropractor in California, his thoughts on inversion devices. He responded, “My practice has been filled with patients who felt this would fix their back problems. I never recommend inversion to people over 50…” This video from another chiropractor also discusses the differences between decompression and inversion.
You should not use inversion devices if you have glaucoma, recent or unhealed fractures, ear infection, hernias, high blood pressure, or if you are pregnant.
Teeter Hang Ups
The Teeter device isn’t new or necessarily unique, but it is arguably the most heavily-advertised and well-known. There are a variety of models, from the $229 Fit-100, all the way up to their $1499 Contour Power.
I have used the Teeter device, as well as other inversion products. On the positive side, the EP-550 Teeter device I used was very well-constructed. Other devices like this have seemed shoddy, similar to the cheap gym equipment you’d find at Wal-Mart. While I don’t swear by inversion devices, there are occasions where I enjoy the stretching sensation. You can invert yourself to a variety of angles, to the point where you are upside down. I found some angles more comfortable than others. The amount of time spend in inversion and the angle of inversion are all a matter of preference.
- Ankle Hooks: The Teeter model I used had rather uncomfortable ankle hooks, especially when hanging at steep angles. It only took a couple of minutes before my feet started to hurt in this position. Other models apparently include more comfortable boots, but I didn’t get those. You can order those separately. I found that wearing two pairs of thick socks helped a little.
- Folding Feature. I find it ironic that the Teeter is supposedly easy to fold and put away, because I found the folding process to be so cumbersome that I almost hurt my back in doing so.
- Price. The “good” Teeters are the ones starting in the mid-hundreds. It may be worth it to check out some competing products.
- Assembly. May not be easy to assemble for some people. The box weighed about 60 pounds. I don’t think my elderly parents, both of whom have back problems, could have put it together very easily, so I assembled it for them. Be sure to watch the DVD, which includes assembly instructions that are easier to understand than the written instructions.
- Inversion. Some angles of inversion felt much more comfortable than others. Some angles felt downright uncomfortable.
- Self-Treatment. Treating back problems without any supervision can be risky, and it is possible to make your back problems worse, as several chiropractors have suggested to us. Not all back pain has the same cause or the same cure. While inversion devices may be well-suited to certain back issues, it may do more harm than good for other types.
- Made in China. This is an issue for some people, but obviously isn’t related to the product’s effectiveness.
My father has severe back problems and wanted to try out the Teeter Hang Ups. In his case, it was not a good match at all. His back problems were perhaps too severe, and he complained that it was uncomfortable, nor did he like the sensation of being inverted. He tried it for about a month, but didn’t feel as though there was much benefit from it. Some have suggested that it might take 2 months to see any benefit.
I have used it, and I can’t say whether or not it fixed any of my minor back issues, but I do enjoy the stretching sensation on my back. It is a well-made piece of equipment.
Searching for objective reviews online is always a challenge. On Amazon, for example, you will be hard-pressed to find anything but 4 and 5-star reviews of the Teeter Hang Ups. And it’s certainly possible that so many people enjoy the product, but you should also take Amazon reviews with a grain of salt. A common marketing ploy involves companies infiltrating sites like Yelp and Amazon with planted (fake) reviews. That’s just how it works these days. So when I see the Teeter Hang Ups with nearly 200 glowing reviews, it makes me take pause – and it is my opinion that some of those reviews were likely planted. Let’s not forget that their biggest competitor, the Ironman Gravity, has almost the exact same ratio of positive reviews. It’s difficult to reconcile this with my own experiences and warnings from chiropractors. For this reason, we’re seeking reviews from our readers. Have you tried Teeter Hang Ups? We want your thoughts – good, bad, or indifferent.
Take a look at one of the Teeter Hang Ups commercials:
Inversion devices may help some people, but you may want to get your back checked out before investing hundreds in such a product because – as we stated earlier – not all back pain has the same cause or requires the same treatment. Inversion may or may not help your specific issue.
Have you used Teeter Hang Ups, or a similar device? We want to hear your thoughts in the comments below.