Man sues sporting goods store claiming inversion table injury

EUGENE, Ore. - A man who tested out an inversion table at a sporting goods store filed a lawsuit claiming the device on display sprained his muscles and damaged his back and knees.

In a lawsuit filed in Lane County Circuit Court, Donald Walken says a trip to the Big 5 sporting goods store at Woodfield Station at 29th and Willamette in South Eugene went wrong when he strapped in to an inversion table.

Walken's attorney said his client did not want to comment on the case. Efforts to reach Big 5 for comment were unsuccessful Monday.

Inversion tables are used to relieve back and muscle pain by laying on a flat surface which rotates 90 degrees, allowing the person to hang upside down.

"The simplest movement of just changing my hands," explained physical therapist Megan Mosley, "changes the position of the machine."

According to the lawsuit, the table quickly flipped backwards. Walekn claims the inversion table didn't have a safety chain, which would have controlled the machine.

Mosley said the strap isn't always necessary.

"You don't have to use the strap at all," she said.

Mosley said she has never seen someone injured by the machine. She trains clients before allowing them to use the inverstion table.

"It's perfectly safe to use, just make sure you know how to use it," she said.