Do inversion tables work for back pain? This is the question that many people who are unfamiliar with inversion tables often ask.
Some people have said that the table is supposed to treat back pain and stretch the body, which makes you feel loose and relaxed. Although this sounds simple and reasonable, most people, including myself, can’t help but ask the above question.
Although there are thousands of reviews online that recommend the use of the table for inversion therapy and back pain relief, there are still those who question the equipment’s credibility.
It’s not surprisingly that they are somewhat sceptical as they wonder if they will get the results they desire and whether it would be worthwhile them purchasing one.
You have probably read from various inversion table reviews that it has been proved that they do indeed work! Several studies have been carried out over the years and, one in particular, in the mid 1980's, showed that there was a significant reduction in pain following the use of an inversion table for only 3 minutes!
Back pain is probably one of the most common body pains complained of and is very common among adults. This type of pain can cause mild to severe discomfort, and can prevent people from being able to complete their daily chores. This is one of the reasons why there has been such an increase in devices, such as inversion tables, that relieve back pain. Some of the most common spinal problems are:
- Herniated discs
- Lumbar osteoarthritis
All of these issues can contribute to back pain.
What Is Inversion Therapy?
When trying to determine “do inversion tables work”, you first need to understand the history of inversion therapy.
One of the most well-known techniques to help relieve body and back pain is what medical professionals call “inversion therapy”. Inversion therapy is nothing new. It is an age-old technique that has been around since early 400 B.C, and its goal is to negate the effects of gravity on the body.
The therapy is a procedure that involves suspending the entire body in an upside down position or lying at a raised angle. Since one of the causes of back pain is the compression of the discs in the spine, the force of gravity in the opposite direction that comes with the inverted position helps in decompressing the herniated discs. This, in turn, causes a relaxing and rejuvenating feeling in the spine area which eventually leads to the relief of any back pain.
There are different treatment options for the pain including cortisone injections, anti-inflammatory medication and traction. However, it has been observed numerous times that not all these treatments produce long-lasting relief. Inversion therapy, which is another option for treatment using an inversion table, is no exception to this and is probably one of the reasons why there has been some debate surrounding the implementation and success of the treatment.
What is an Inversion Table?
An inversion table is a customized form of table that is used during inversion therapy. The table can also be considered as exercise equipment. A person’s feet can be supported on the table with a type of ankle assembly, and these types of tables can be adjusted to various angles. However, many patients prefer that their table is tilted at a slight angle and not fully vertical.
The amount of time that a person spends on the inversion table is dependent on the angle of the table. The shallower the angle, the more time the person will need to stay on it. Manufacturers provide manuals that detail how the table should be used, and the instructions should always be followed closely.
The only disadvantage to inversion therapy is that not all patients are suitable candidates for the therapy.
Some patients who should not use inversion tables include those who are: Heart disease patients, Patients with high blood pressure, Women who are pregnant, Patients who have eye disorders.
In order to avoid the use of medication or surgery, some doctors and chiropractors recommend using an inversion table as it is a safe and natural therapy in the treatment of back pain and other health issues.
Inversion tables can also help in the treatment of several health problems. However, the most common use is for the treatment of back pain. They are much safer to use than medication. Not only that, they can also treat the problem at its source and not just the symptoms. There are also no potential side effects that you can get from using medication. There is no risk as there could be with surgery.
Some research indicates that inversion, although momentary, causes most of the internal organs to settle into their correct positions. You can almost think of it like a massage for your tummy where your digestive tract will feel relieved. You can also probably compare it to a jar of pickles with most of the liquid settling at the bottom. If you want the contents to more evenly spread out, then all you need to do is to turn it upside down and keep it inverted for a few minutes.
Another thing that an inversion table can do is to create good blood flow to the head and brain and many people believe that being inverted really helps in improving blood circulation in the head. Gravity compresses the spine and pulls against your muscles. This makes it all the harder for blood and oxygen to flow around the body.
(It isn’t just inversion tables that can be used to create an improvement in people’s blood flow. Did you know that many Yoga poses involve inverted positions? Some poses performed by Yoga enthusiasts involve raising both feet up in a straight vertical position. The whole lower body is raised and supported by the shoulders and neck which is bent.)
It is for these reasons that inversion tables have become more popular for their various health benefits.
When used regularly, an inversion table helps to improve your strength, balance, and orientation. It also helps to relax tense muscles. It can even help you to reduce your stress levels and helps in relaxation.
Many people report that using an inversion table is a good way to stretch muscles and ligaments and improve circulation. Stretching also stimulates the lymph glands to increase the flow of lymphatic fluids, part of the body's waste disposal system.
Inversion therapy can also help relieve motion sickness and stress.
Possibly one of the biggest reasons why inversion tables don’t appeal to some people who have asked the question “do inversion tables work?” is because they try it out or use it incorrectly. Contrary to what many people believe, you are not supposed to turn a full 180 degrees. It’s not healthy to suddenly put your body in a completely upside down position without warning like many people do with inversion tables. The correct way is to start out gradually at a comfortable angle. What this comfortable angle is depends entirely on you. It could be a 60 degree diagonal turn or horizontally flat.
Although safe to use in the majority of cases, you should always check with your doctor before using an inversion table. Using one is not recommended if you are pregnant, have heart disease, suffer from blood pressure issues or eye diseases. Also, if you have recently had surgery to your back or suffer from acid reflux, consult a doctor before using an inversion table.
It is also recommended that the first time you use one, you have someone else around. This is in case you need assistance or suffer from previously unknown health issues.
Do Inversion Tables Work?
There have been numerous benefits reported by those who have tried inversion therapy, using an inversion table.
Patients have stated the therapy has helped with all types of ailments such as motion sickness, muscle pain, blood circulation, and flexibility, not to mention back pain. In some cases however, these ailments are only temporarily relieved with an inversion table.
If you have decided that you want to see if inversion tables work for your back pain, you should always consult with your physician before buying an inversion table. Once your physician approves you for the therapy, you should follow the instruction manual carefully so as not to injure yourself.
So, as to the question “do inversion tables work?”, when inversion therapy is used appropriately and correctly, it can be a very effective way to relieve back pain.