Most people use inversion tables incorrectly.
This can cause joint pain, especially in the knees and ankles.
Hanging upside down from your ankles naturally puts a lot of force on them, as well as on the knees.
Used correctly, good inversion tables are designed to take this into account and protect your joints.
But that’s the key: you have to use them correctly.
Strapping yourself in is half the battle. If you’re not doing that correctly, you could seriously damage your ankles.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about inversion tables and your ankles.
Table of Contents
- 1 Inversion Table Hurts My Ankles
- 2 Inversion Tables Hurt Ankles: Final Thoughts
Inversion Table Hurts My Ankles
It’s not uncommon to encounter ankle pain after using an inversion table, especially if it’s your first time.
Ideally, you will have some level of coaching and supervision while using an inversion table to ensure your form and posture are right.
The main reason that people encounter bone and joint pain is due to improperly strapping themselves in (too loose or too tight).
Sure, you’ll help your spine decompress, but at the cost of ankle pain and joint damage. Form and posture are everything here.
The unfortunate news is that if you have pre-existing medical conditions or weak joints, you may endure ankle pain after inversion therapy, no matter what you do.
But in most other cases, you should still be able to use an inversion table. Follow these guidelines to keep ankle pain at bay.
Preventing Inversion Table Ankle Pain
Use these best practices to keep pain at bay while using an inversion table. It’s all about posture and form, and making sure you avoid rookie mistakes that could cause week-long injuries or more serious issues.
Please consult your doctor before doing inversion therapy.
Don’t Overdo Things
Inversion is intended to alleviate pain (primarily in your back), so there’s no reason to put that tension on your ankles. It should be evenly distributed throughout your body. Until you’re fully used to inversion therapy, call it quits when any pain starts to creep up in your ankles or knees.
Read Inversion Table for Knee Pain to learn why these tables are a terrible idea to alleviate any type of pain in your knees.
Do Your Research
Inversion tables have mixed reviews. On the one hand, people have used really cheap, ineffective inversion tables and had horrible results.
On the other hand, people use well-designed inversion tables and claim they’re a lifesaver. Both of these claims are true, because with something this critical to your spinal health, the old motto of “You get what you pay for” very much holds true.
Focus On Stability
Wear lace-up shoes and socks to keep your ankles stable. Apart from just keeping your ankles in place, this helps you have better footing so you won’t slip and accidentally—even if it is briefly—shift tension to the wrong areas of your body. Stability can help prevent injuries in your ankles and the rest of your body.
Inversion Table Ankle Pads
One of the best possible things that you could get for inversion therapy, especially if you’re new to the process, is a set of ankle pads.
You’ll be able to increase stability, while also using your inversion table for longer without enduring pain.
Ankle pads go around your ankles (as you may have imagined), enveloping them and providing cushioning for comfort, and rigid stability so that your ankles don’t bend out of place even from misuse.
They’re your best defense against inversion table ankle pain. Some of these may also offer compression, which can help with circulatory problems during inversion therapy.
Other Potential Negative Effects Of Inversion Tables
Anything that can be good for you and have a positive impact can have an equal (or greater) negative impact. Inversion therapy is no different. Here are some additional concerns.
High Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure, you can actually make your blood pressure issues worse. Risks of high blood pressure include raising your risk of a heart attack, sexual dysfunctions, vision problems, and kidney issues. These problems can be expedited by inversion therapy.
If you have a hernia, you’re only going to be causing more discomfort and eventual pain by using inversion therapy. This is a specific condition that needs to be fixed surgically before you use inversion therapy.
If you have osteoporosis, you run a higher risk of fractures and bruising. Extra strain on your bones can warp them or cause breakage depending on how you use an inversion table.
This is a cautionary tale more than anything else. When used correctly, inversion tables present minimal risks for fractures, but it’s still a risk.
If you have a heart condition, you’ll encounter similar issues to high blood pressure: increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and circulatory problems. Avoid inversion therapy if you have arrhythmia or other heart conditions.
There are other therapies available for decompression that don’t impact your bones, circulation, or joints. It’s not just the ankles that can be negatively impacted by inversion therapy. The aforementioned issues are also a concern.
Inversion Tables Hurt Ankles: Final Thoughts
Inversion therapy can actually be detrimental to your ankles if you aren’t careful. It is important to be aware of the state of your ankle joints and bones, and to speak with a doctor before attempting inversion.
If you don’t secure yourself properly, you will damage your ankles by unintentionally putting weight on those joints and stressing them out.
It’s akin to when someone does a hundred pull-ups, but in the wrong form.
Yes, it’s progress in a sense, but it increases the chance of injury and doesn’t optimize your workout routine for the best possible growth.
Put that mindset to work and focus on getting strapped in properly to avoid possible ankle injuries.
Note: This article was not written by a chiropractor or physician. While we research our articles and do our best to provide solutions, do not attempt anything revolving around spinal decompression, inversion, or pain management without seeking out help from your primary healthcare provider first. We are a website, not a medical community.