An inversion table is a device designed primarily for inversion therapy which involves bringing the body to an inverted or upside down angle to help relieve issues such as back pain. The ankles are strapped to this device as the person using it slowly inverts his or her position.
With the right angle and duration, it has been noted that there are a lot of benefits in this.
This article will review the benefits of inversion therapy and how inversion tables can help relieve pain and enhance the respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems in the body.
With inversion therapy, you put your head lower than your heart in order to reverse the effects of gravity on the body. This is done using an inversion table which allows you to hang upside down to stretch out the spine. The inversion table uses straps or clamps that wrap around your ankles. Some inversion tables also use chest straps to help support you and keep you in place.
The secret of using gravity to straighten backs and other parts of the skeletal system, by turning the body upside down or hanging by the feet, has been around for many thousands of years. Even Hippocrates, who was born nearly 500 years BC, was known to use it in his practice to set bones. Not only that, but he even had a bed with ropes and weights which was designed to pull and stretch the body in various ways for medical benefits.
When it comes to inversion tables, there several different types to choose from. There are manual inversion tables and power inversion tables. Everyone can use an inversion table; however, it is essential that you get your doctor’s permission before using one.
What are the Benefits of Inversion Therapy?
Continue reading to learn how you can reduce stress, reverse the sides of aging and improve your sleep quality with an inversion table and enjoy the benefits of inversion therapy.
Getting Rid of Back Pain
If you suffer from back pain, your physician has probably prescribed pain medication. In addition to this, surgery may also be recommended. If you must undergo surgery, the recovery period can take months or even years. Once you recover, you may or may not be able to fully function.
Our bodies fight against gravity on a daily basis. It compresses the body, including the joints and can result in pain. At times, this pain can be nothing more than a dull ache but at other times, it can be severe. Inverting your body and decompressing the joints allows gravity to work in your favour and can help to relieve pain.
Luckily, you may be able to avoid surgery, thanks to the benefits offered by inversion technology. With an inversion table, you can live pain-free for years without needing surgery.
A study was done on the effectiveness and benefits of inversion therapy from February 2003 to September 2006 at Newcastle University in England, UK. The study investigated how effective inversion therapy was on 22 patients who suffered from sciatica due to a disc protrusion. The patients’ doctors had recommended surgery; however, the participants were trying to avoid surgery.
The participants were split into two groups. One group received physical therapy. The other group received physical therapy and inversion therapy. An astounding 78 percent of those who received only physical therapy ended up having back surgery. In the group that received both inversion therapy and physical therapy, a mere 23 percent needed back surgery. This meant that 77 percent of those who received inversion therapy did not require surgery!
As this study has shown, if you suffer from back pain, an inversion table may help prevent this major surgery. When used to relieve back pain, take note that inversion therapy is not a permanent solution, but rather an effective temporary relief. If you do have serious back problems, you might want to consider getting yourself checked by your doctor to know if inversion therapy is the best option for you.
Do You Suffer from Headaches?
Those suffering from headaches may also benefit from inversion therapy. Inversion therapy helps relieve headaches by:
- Realigning your spine to help reduce neck and shoulder muscle spasms
- Improving circulation and removing toxins from the lymphatic system
- Relaxing the muscles in the neck, face and skull
- Decreasing stress.
These benefits can help relieve tension headaches, cluster headaches, and even migraine headaches. In order for inversion therapy to be effective in headache relief, it must be done several types a week. As with any other alternative treatments, you should discuss inversion therapy with your physician before beginning.
Do You Suffer from Lung Issues?
When you are in an upright position, blood pools in the lower part of the lungs. When you are inverted, this pooled blood redistributes through the lungs to help improve lung functions and provide you with more oxygenated blood.
Inversion helps to improve circulation in the nasal passages and flush the sinus cavities. Inversion also helps to strengthen your diaphragm, which helps make it easier to breathe. Additionally, inversion allows you to breath deeper. The lower portion of your lungs is generally healthier. so, when you are able to breathe deeply, your body will receive more oxygen to promote health and healing.
Improve Cardiovascular Functions with Inversion Therapy
One of the other benefits of inversion therapy is that it can help improve cardiovascular functions in several ways.
First, when you are inverted, the heart does not need to work as hard because gravity pulls blood to your extremities. This allows your heart to rest. Additionally, as blood is rushed to the brain, the brain releases neurotransmitters which signal the heart to slow down. Many patients suffering from heart arrhythmias have reported a reduction after using an inversion table.
Another benefit offered by inversion tables is the prevention of varicose veins. Varicose veins occur when the blood pools in the lower extremities. Inversion therapy pulls this pooled blood from the extremities and redistributes it through the body to help prevent the formation of varicose veins.
Although inversion therapy is very beneficial to your cardiovascular health, you should always get your doctor’s okay before using inversion therapy. If you suffer from certain heart conditions, you should avoid inversion therapy. This is why it is essential to discuss inversion therapy with your physician before trying it.
Do You Suffer from Digestive Issues?
The benefits of inversion therapy are also available to those suffering from digestive issues. When you are inverted, the digestive system can work more efficiently. While inverted, old fecal matter trapped in the intestinal tract will be removed, allowing toxins to be pulled from the body. Once these toxins are removed, your digestive system will be better equipped to work efficiently, resulting in less bloating, cramping and better digestion.
Improve Your Lymphatic System with Inversion
The lymphatic system helps remove toxins and waste from the body, and it transport white blood cells throughout the body to fight off disease and infection. One of the most common symptoms of a poorly functioning lymphatic system is edema (swelling) in the extremities. If you suffer from swollen ankles, feet, and legs, you may benefit from inversion therapy. Inversion therapy allows these fluids to be redistributed in the body so that toxins can be removed more easily.
Helps rehydrate the spinal discs
Clinical studies have revealed that these spinal discs can be rehydrated through inversion, which causes an increase in separation in the vertebrae.
This allows moisture to enter the soft tissues located in the discs, plumping the discs as well as increasing its nutrient content for improved flexibility and absorption.
Helps in realigning the spine
The activities we do daily might be a reason for possible changes in posture or misalignments in the spinal column. Carrying a heavy bag on one’s shoulder, wearing high platforms or heels, or prolonged sitting in a slouched position are only few of the activities that cause pressure in the spinal area.
When misalignment occurs, it can cause changes to the body that can be seen through one’s posture. When inversion occurs at around 60 degrees, the pressure caused by misalignment drops to zero.
Along with some mild stretching, the vertebra can easily move back to its original alignment.
Can Help Posture And Flexibility
When the body is in the same position for an extended period of time the compression of the fluids in the joints tends to settle into one spot. This is partly what causes all of the popping and cracking that a person experiences when they arise from sitting too long.
By using inversion to relieve the compressive stress due to gravity, the joints can then be more flexible without all the cracking. Posture is also improved by allowing the inversion to straighten out all of the joints and let them realign themselves correctly without the pull of gravity. One of the benefits of inversion therapy is maintaining proper posture. This is important as we age because a stooped over frame tends to get worse as time passes.
It’s a well known phenomena that we grow shorter over the years as we age. If a person wishes to combat that process, it’s believed that just a few minutes per day on an inversion table would help them keep their bones straightened. This also helps the tendons and ligaments straighten out and reposition themselves for better posture to maintain the original height.
If you are thinking of getting your own inversion therapy table, but are unsure of the many inversion benefits, you should find a health club or yoga studio that has one and try it out. Just 10 minutes per day for a week and you’ll already feel the difference, it’s that amazing.
Reduces the pressure in the nerves
As the discs get rehydrated, there is enough clearance for the nerve roots to exit the spinal column. This prevents any pinching or pressure from happening to the nerve roots. Any damage that causes the spinal discs to lose their natural alignment might result to a condition called root nerve entrapment, more commonly known as “pinched nerve.” This causes pain that usually begins in the back area.
Relaxes tense muscles
Inversion is known to effectively stretch the muscles. This also helps increase the circulation in the body, providing relief for tense muscles.
In a nutshell, using an inverted table for back pain provides the benefits mentioned above. An inversion table can help provide full-spine traction that helps relieve back pain by elongating and stretching the muscles.
Inversion therapy can help to relax the mind and promote the healthy flow of blood, which is why it also helps a person sleep better. It has been found that during inversion, muscle tension drops to only 35%, which is also an added factor to a why a person’s sleep quality improves through inversion.
Some people attest to the fact that inversion therapy helps relieve stress. People who get stressed too much tend to suffer more from back pains, joint muscle pains, and headaches. A study done by physiotherapist LJ Nosse states that inversion therapy helps decrease muscle tension which can lead to a decrease in muscle pains as well. Stress due to physical pains is also reduced.
Inversion helps promote stronger ligaments which are responsible for holding your bones together. Strong bones lessen the risk of bone-related ailments and accidents as well.
Can be Used for Home Fitness
An inversion table can also be used to strengthen your core abdominal muscles. Several tables include features to enable users to perform sit-ups as well as core strengthening exercises.
Low Cost of Inversion Table vs Frequent Doctor Visits
When people are suffering from back pain and go to the chiropractor or other form of doctor, it can typically take several visits before they start to experience any form of relief. The cost of these visits can mount up and easily exceed the amount allowed by the insurance company in any given year. Since this can be the case, people should consider purchasing an inversion table to use at home and not constantly worry about visiting the doctor all the time to get the relief they want. This inversion table benefit will not only save people money, but also a fair amount of time as well.
Is it Safe?
Although it has been mentioned that there are many benefits of inversion therapy and using an inversion table, there are a few things that should be borne in mind first.
Inverting the body longer than the recommended amount of time produces risks for people who suffer from glaucoma, heart disease, or high blood pressure.
Another risk to look out for is that inverting the body for too long might place pressure on one’s eyeballs and might cause a few blood vessels to pop.
Not a long-term treatment
Although there are many benefits of inversion therapy, it should not be regarded as a long-term treatment for back pain.
It would be a great relief to find a type of therapy that decreases any pressure or pain felt in the back. However, this type of therapy is not for everyone. This is why the advice of a health professional is of the utmost importance before attempting to do inversion therapy at home.
As you can see, there are many benefits of inversion therapy. If you suffer from digestive issues, cardiovascular problems, respiratory problems, back pain or headaches, you should ask your doctor if inversion therapy is right for you.
Then again, even though there are a lot of benefits of inversion therapy, there are also risks involved. This equipment could also worsen the medical conditions of some patients.
Women who are pregnant as well as people with high blood pressure are not advised to use this equipment. Likewise, those who are suffering from glaucoma and heart diseases should refrain from inverting, unless allowed by a physician.
You should always consult with your doctor or medical adviser before trying out or purchasing an inversion table.