Welcome to the Health Gear ITM5500 Advanced Inversion table review. Let’s take a look at the features this inversion table offers (there are some unique features as well) and figure out if it’s worth spending your money on. If you are looking for an inversion table for lower back pain, please continue reading.
Inversion tables have been around for a long, long time. The theory behind an inversion table is that by using gravity to your advantage, you can relieve the pressure on the discs in your spine, helping them to rejuvenate and recover.
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Some people use an inversion table to help stretch out tight lower back muscles, from all the sitting they do throughout the day. Other people use an inversion table for more complex, or structural issues like a herniated disc.
The whole idea is to relieve pressure and realign your spine so that your body can recover on its own.
So with that in mind, let’s take a look at this inversion table.
Product: Health Gear ITM5500 Advanced Inversion table
Rating: 85 out of 100
Company: Health Gear
Dimensions: 60” H x 50” L x 27” W
Product weight: About 57 pounds
User height: 5’1” to 6’5”
User weight limit: 300 pounds
Ankle support system
The ankle support system is one of the most important aspects to an inversion table as far as I am concerned. This is the mechanism that holds you in place while you are inverting, or maybe even while you are hanging entirely upside down.
Having said that, I think it’s pretty essential that you feel like you are secure, and are comfortable while inverted. The ankle supports on this table consist of oversized foam rollers that are adjustable to ensure you have a proper fit.
The extra-long locking arm is critical in my opinion. This is what locks you into the unit and also allows you to release yourself when you are done inverting. The extra-long handle means there is less bending over, something that can be especially difficult if you are dealing with a back injury. For me, this extended handle is a must.
Other models of inversion tables have short handles, and this is fine if bending over is not a problem. I was once dealing with a herniated disc and bending over was not really an option for me, so a long handle is a must-have in my opinion.
User height adjustment
Typically adjusting for user height is pretty straightforward. There is a locking pin that you remove and set your height to the corresponding marks on the height adjustment tube.
Because everyone has a unique center of gravity, you may have to adjust the height to compensate. Ultimately you should be able to rotate in and out of inversion by raising and lowering your arms. If this is not the case, you can adjust the height setting to work with your center of gravity.
There are foam padded handrails if you need to help yourself up from the inverted position, but ideally, you should not have to use these and should be able to operate the unit with your arm movements.
Inversion angle adjustment
One negative aspect of this unit is the inversion angle adjustment system. You have three angle options, 20, 40 or 60 degrees.
Here is why I think this is a negative. I was recovering from a back injury in 2015. Once I got to the point that I was able to use an inversion table again, I had to start out at a really shallow angle like 15 degrees. I had to slowly and gradually work up to a more aggressive angle. Moving up 20 degrees at a time was not an option for me.
For a lot of people the incremental adjustments will be fine, but for me, and others in a similar situation, this table just might not be for you. This is something that I think you have to consider when buying an inversion table.
What sets this table apart?
To answer this question, we need to look at the most visible part, the backrest. This baby is equipped with a vibrating heat and massage pad to help with your back pain. The backrest is also made with four-inch thick memory foam, so it’s super comfy.
The heat and massage pad runs the length of the backrest, right down the center of your back, where the spine is. The pad is also removable, so you can take it with you, to the office, traveling, or wherever you need it.
So, Health Gear is really trying to set this table apart with some cool additions.
Tip of the day
My advice is pretty simple, and this is even outlined in the owner’s manual for the unit. Wear shoes. That’s a simple yet beneficial tip. Wearing a pair of good athletic shoes, adequately laced of course, will make your inversion experience so much better.
I have been there and tried inverting barefoot, and honestly, it hurts. The reason I tried this method is that I was in such pain when I bent over, that it was challenging to put on shoes and socks. I had to employ my wife or kids to help me with that. But that is a story for another day. Anyway, wear shoes, and you will be much happier.
Do you like to build things? Well, I do, so I am sorry if you don’t share my passion in this area. Yes, the inversion table requires you to pick up some tools and use them. Thankfully I am able to share this excellent assembly video with you to help.
Ideally, having a helper is the way to go here, but you can still enjoy the experience all by yourself if you want. Inversion table parts are heavy and awkward, so a helping hand is really nice to have.
Of course, there is always the option to pay for assembly, but where is the fun in that?
Okay, so here is where I usually go on a rant about how difficult inversion tables are to move, etc. Well, the fine folks at Health Gear have built a little helper into this table, wheels. Yes, it comes with transport wheels, which makes your life so much easier.
Inversion tables are heavy, awkwardly shaped and can be cumbersome to move. I keep mine in my office, fold it up and lean it against the wall and call it a day. I used to try to take the backrest off and put everything under the bed. What a pain that was, especially with a back injury.
Typically I recommend you set up in a basement or other space where you can have easy access to the table and just lean it up against the wall when you are done.
This model is still not easy to fit under a bed, though it does fold up, the transport wheels do make portability easier.
- Transport wheels for portability
- Heat and massage back pad
- Well priced for the additional features
- Thick memory foam backrest
- Extra-long ankle release handle
- Hand controller for massage and heat
- Some tall people have commented that this table is not great for them, over 6’5”
- A limited number of inversion angles
Conclusion: Health Gear ITM5500 Advanced Inversion table
Okay, so that about wraps up the review. I think this table has some really great features but lacks in other areas. The heat and massage function is a great addition, but the lack of inversion angles is a real drawback in my opinion.
I think for a lot of people, this table would be just fine, possibly even great. But based on my personal experience, the lack of adjustment angles is deal-breaker. It just depends on what you want out of this table. I think this table is on the verge of having so much going for it.
If you are really interested in the heat and massage function and are not concerned with the other lacking features, then, by all means, go for it. For alternatives, you might want to take a look at my post, Best Inversion Tables for Back Pain.
I would like to say thank you for taking some time out of your day to stop by. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below, and I will get back to you as soon as I can.