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Dr. Keith Kinsley discusses the differences between the Inversion Table and Spine Shark

Many of our customers have asked, “What is the difference between the Inversion Table and the Spine Shark?” I would like to start off by saying that both are excellent devices purposed in reducing low back pain, but both take the approach very differently. Let’s start off with explaining the functional differences and intended purposes of each device.

Most people know that the ultimate goal of using the Inversion Table is to reduce low back pain and hopefully in reducing a mild hernia or disc bulge that may be resulting in Facet Pain or Sciatica. As a physician, I often recommend this device to my patients, but caution them that if they start to feel any adverse effects to stop. How does it work? The Inversion Table works best with the person laying flat in a supine or face up position on the table and in an inverted position being slightly less than horizontal to the floor to being completely suspended upside down for a few seconds to 1-2 minutes at a time.

From a functional perspective, the only benefit I see is that the spine is stretched open slightly resulting in decompression of the disc spaces primarily in the lumbosacral regions using the forces of gravity. That’s it. But, the axial forces have very little effect on the upper thoracic and cervical regions. Obviously, there are cautions. Inversion Tables are not recommended for anyone with high blood pressure or has had surgical implants, such as Harrington Rods, plates or screws.

In comparison, similarly, the Spine Shark works best using gravitational forces as well; not with the person being in an inverted position, but rather just laying in a supine or face up position. The Spine Shark targets the spine by providing an upward and horizontal stretch at each segment from the base of sacrum to the base of the skull resulting in Decompression of the Entire Spine. Because the Spine Shark has a Patented Spine Tracker system, the entire spine is being targeted intentionally rather than primarily targeting one specific region. The Spine Shark’s purpose is to relax the tissues around the spine, strengthen the spine and rehabilitate the spine resulting in a better stability of the affected area. From a cautionary approach, I do not necessarily recommend the Spine Shark to anyone that has Harrington Rods, but I have recommended the Shark to certain individuals with plates and screws. Please consult with our Spine Shark Team or your medical doctor if you have concerns about certain surgical devices in your back.

5-1Both devices have their intended uses.
I do recommend the Spine Shark over the Inversion Table based on evidence and not on bias. I like the fact that the Spine Shark is a much more portable device and can be used for longer periods of time and more often due to its portability.
Dr. Keith Kinsley, DC

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