If you are suffering from back or neck pain, your chiropractor may well have suggested that you use the inversion table. At this point, if you have no idea what an inversion table is, please do not worry, I am here to help you.
Inversion therapy is slowly becoming a common practice in many health sectors. Tracing its roots back to 400 BC, it can be attributed to Hippocrates, who is often referred to as the “Father of Medicine”. Back then, he would hang his patients upside down on a ladder in an effort to realign spines as well as curing many illnesses.
This therapy boasts of being a beneficial treatment for a majority of illnesses. Most popular is that of alleviating back pain. In addition to these, there are therapy benefits which include:
- Elongated spine
- Spinal alignment
- Boosting of brain power
- General improvement of blood circulation in the body
- Better lymphatic system and so on.
Recommendation by many therapists, this treatment gained more popularity in 1960, thanks to Dr. Robert Martin. He doubled as a medical doctor and a chiropractor. His extensive research went a long way to helping this therapy gain ground in the medical profession.
It is always best to use this equipment with the approval or recommendation of a medical practitioner. It is extremely effective in alleviating the symptoms of many conditions. However, it can prove detrimental to people with certain conditions Always seek medical advice when in any doubt.
What Exactly is Inversion Table Therapy?
The inversion table therapy relies heavily on the ability to reverse gravity simply by the body being in inverted. There is a degree to which the muscles and tendons stretch in this position. The upside to this is greater spinal movement and a more relaxed body.
If you follow inversion therapy, your body would be positioned so that your head is placed lower when compared to the heart. Some of the practitioners tend to place your feet above head as well. However, it is not mandatory to place feet above the head. Inverted position of your body has the ability to reverse the negative effects that gravity can cause on the human body. Hence, it has become one of the most effective options to treat back pains of people. In addition, this therapy is in a position to deliver a variety of benefits such as the reduction of mental stress, improving the nervous system, fixing load bearing joint issues and defying the aging process.
The fact that this method of therapy has been around for nearly 2000 years only proves that it is a dependable method with astounding benefits, which has only benefited from improvements over the years.
With time, the spine is known to compress. When one is hanging upside down, the effect of gravity on the body is reversed, leading to decompression of the spine, which can result in a reduction in back pain.
Most tables are well designed for their purpose. They have a twistable knob that allows you to adjust the height to suit your height. You also have the option of altering the degree of inclination. If you are a beginner, start with the lowest angle of 20–30 degrees and work your way up over a few weeks. Slide onto the table and allow it to recline. Almost immediately you will feel a change in blood flow. Ensure there is no strain while in this position.
At the angle of 20–30 degrees for 2–3 minutes twice a day, you will experience better blood circulation. There will also be a noticeable change in your muscles and joints. At 60 degrees it is possible to get the full range of benefits, meaning that you don’t have to go all the way to a 90-degree invert.
There are padded forms and high-quality straps to give you comfort as you invert. On-skid protectors are equally important.
As you begin your inversion journey, ensure you are not alone, to help you in case anything goes wrong.
What equipment is being used during the inversion therapy?
Simply put, this is a table that works against the effect gravity has on the human body. The table is constructed as a pivoting flat surface, onto which you lie and gradually invert your position until your body is upside down, with your feet in the air. This will have you hanging by the legs in an effort to attain benefits associated with inversion therapy.
The degree of inversion depends on how long one has used the table, as well as the desired results, ranging from 10 degrees – suggested for beginners – all the way up to a complete 90 degrees for those already accustomed to the process.
Long hours in traffic and endless days stuck behind uncomfortable office furniture are likely to take their toll on our health. Do you suffer from consistent backaches and frequent muscle cramps? Relaxing on the table for 2–3 minutes, at least twice a day has proven very helpful for the majority of inversion table users.
Lying on your back like this has the effect of relaxing your muscles and spine. This comes with additional benefits, such as better blood circulation and much better oxygen flow to the brain.
There are a variety of these tables on the market and while a particular table may work for one person it might not work for another. This is an important consideration when sourcing one. Another important factor to consider is the construction and capacity of the table. The aim of this therapy is to alleviate pain. It would be tragic to sustain an injury while inverting due to a table’s poor construction.
Other factors to consider include price, safety features, comfort while inverting and your ability to be in control. You don’t want to end up on the floor, possibly hurt, due to poor construction and quality.
Do doctors recommend inversion tables?
Doctors, medical practitioners and other professionals in the medical world do highly recommend inversion therapy. Plus, regular exercises to improve your spine and joints health. Use of inversion tables is ideally medically recommended;
- Because the alternatives like surgery can be sometimes not only risky without satisfactory outcomes but also unaffordable in the long run.
- It is a remarkable non-invasive option or solution to patients.
- Use of inversion tables applies to those patients who don’t want to necessarily go through the surgical procedure but also can easily be treated with the use of inversion tables, given their condition.
- Statistics indicate a daily use of inversion tables for ten minutes brings decrease back pain-related cases and resultant recovery.
- This is as good as the results one could have experienced by undergoing surgery or actually better than the outcomes associated with surgeries.
So, does an inversion table Work?
Yes it does and helps you experience a lot of benefits including;
- Helping minimize or prevent possible muscle spasms
- Helping stretch out your body muscles that might be tight, sore or tense
- Assist in enhancing body blood circulation. This resultantly improves or increases oxygen flow throughout your body.
- Bring about spinal decompression and reduced pain or pressure around your nerves, muscles and back vertebrae discs.
- Helping relax muscles, minimize aching and deliver oxygen-filled blood flow to your upper part of the body
- Assisting in boosting the lymph flow, stretch ligaments while encouraging good posture
- It helps relieve the soreness, discomfort or pressure on the various points on the body.
How to use an inversion table?
- Position your inversion table either at a flat angle or any other angle of your choice that also suits your weight while moving your hands.
- Strap yourself onto the padded ankle grip and lie back on the table mat while positioning your hands above your head.
- Freely allow yourself to hand upside down. But also you can do a lot of types of exercises while in a comfortable position.
- You can adjust the ankle grips for extra comfort and stable gripping.
- Most inversion tables have handles mounted onto its frame to pull yourself onto the upright position when you want to get off the table.
- If you are using the inversion table for the first time, consider utilizing its manual guide and instructions or getting a trained medical professional or expert advice to make the most out of it.
What has contributed towards the popularity of inversion therapy?
As mentioned earlier, the ability to treat back pains in an effective manner can be considered as the main reason behind the popularity of inversion therapy. It eliminates the need to go through a surgery in order to treat back pain. A surgery to treat back pain can be extremely painful. A person going through this surgery will have to wait for several months to be recovered as well. Moreover, they are being asked to be careful with a period of up to two years after the surgery. However, inversion therapy is not associated with such hassle and people who go through the treatment would get the opportunity to keep the peace of mind.
The duration of inversion
There is no fixed guideline well explained on how long to use an inversion table. As a user, what you should do is to examine your own body and do what seems to comfort you most. This is because of the difference in our bodies possessing various traits.
As a beginner, you can start with 1-2 minutes per session. Please make the inversion process slow and steady. As time goes, you can go for 3-5 minutes. You can even stay longer in the inverted position as long as you are comfortable in this process.
It is always important not to overdo it. Because the whole process revolves around relaxation and enjoyment.
You can invert several times in a day. Each session should last for at most five minutes for the first time users. Therapists and chiropractors recommend making it slow and steady. It’s because your body requires time to improve gradually from one step to another. You should always have someone to assist you in this process to avoid any injuries that may take place.
Taking rest after the inversion process is also something you can’t ignore. If you are overdoing it makes your pain worse or very exhausted.
In the below video it is described how long you have to use the inversion table. Although the user picked the Teeter inversion table, you can use any inversion table of your choice.
Inversion Table Use Frequency – How frequent you should use Inversion Table?
For this process to give you the best results, you have to take it as a routine. That is; you take it as part of your body fitness routine each day. If you do it timely, you will get much relief from back pain. It also works for Anxiety, muscle discomfort and improvement in blood circulations.
Inversion can work best for you if you regularly maintain it. You should ensure that you do it moderately. Not too much or not to repeat it at short intervals. The best times for doing this are morning wake-up hours and evening hours. Even better if you can take some rest after the inversion process.
Best Ways to Enhance Your Inversion Experience
There are several ways to improve your inversion experience. These work well to give a better result for your body fitness. They include the following;
Addition of Acupressure notes to your table
This gives customized pressure-point relief, help to release tension. It also helps to increase blood flow (circulation) and gives relief from any muscle pain during the inversion. It allows the body to feel all time fit and active. This can also free you from the stress which may have been caused by some mental discomfort.
The use of vibration cushion generates pulse and vibration give the additional benefits.
This helps to temporarily relieve muscle tension and also improve surface circulation. It also enables the body to get rid of muscle pull which causes discomfort. You become more flexible when you use this cushion.
Messaging the core muscles with the T3 massager or roll on a Foam roller gives even the better stretch.
This can make you more flexible and hence more relaxed. Therefore, you can always be ready to face any activity which requires the flexibility of the body.
To improve your inversion experience, you should know how to do both the upsides and downsides movements properly.
Christina Lasich, M.D, author of chronic pain and osteoarthritis for Health Central suggested a great rule for the newbie. If you decided to use inversion therapy, start slowly with not more than 15 degrees. Also please do not do it for more than 5 minutes per session.
The best experience also comes when you enjoy using the inversion table
This is through making as many trials as possible at different angles and for different duration of time. Enjoying the use of the table at own pleasure promotes body fitness by creating flexibility and comfortability.
Prepare your back for the inversion
Molton Schexneider says that to get the best results with inversion therapy during the treatment of herniated disc, you need to properly prepare the back. He is an Orthopedic physical therapist at the back pain relief center in Louisville.
You can do this by first warming the muscles up and stretch them before doing 10-20 minutes inversion.
The inversion therapy slowly and significantly decompresses the vertebrae. And this allows the ruptured disc to move back to proper position. The pain is eliminated by the time pressure is allowed to get out of the pinched nerves.
Therefore, healing of the damaged disc is enhanced when the circulation in the disc increases drastically. Hence allowing waste products to be removed and enough oxygen flow in.
What are the benefits linked to inversion table therapy?
If you have been suffering from back pain for quite a long time, it is time to deal with your aches through inversion therapy. A study indicates that through inversion therapy, a high percentage of people find natural relief from pressure and pain on the spine through inverting at home.
People who go through inversion therapy will be able to experience a variety of health benefits. Here is a list of some of the most prominent health benefits that are delivered to people by this therapy.
Reduced back pain
This is the core benefit and function of an inversion table. Back pain can prevent you from effectively performing your daily duties and from having a relaxed rest. Having an inversion table will go a long way in quickly inverting to relieve the pain. Inversion tables are designed to use gravity to reverse the pressure on the spine. Lying upside down or at a specific angle helps in decompressing the spinal cord thus relieving back pain. This is one of the best inversion table benefits which is absolutely needed to highlight.
Proper balance is important because it reduces the chances of injuries taking place. When your muscles are tight, there is a high chance of becoming less flexible. Inversion tables help by giving you a natural stretch that decompresses the muscles as well as elongates the muscles hence making you flexible. In the long run, you achieve muscle efficiency and you become more flexible. Inversion therapy also helps in realigning your spine and stretching shortened muscles. If you use the tables for a long time, you can get a permanent posture permanently.
Improved spinal health
Inversion therapy is in a position to improve the space that can be found in between your spinal discs. As a result, pressure accumulated in between them would be eliminated. Day to day activities such as bending, running and sitting can put a tremendous amount of pressure on the spinal discs. This can increase your risk of getting back pain and many other complications.
Reduced need to go for a surgery
An inversion table comes in handy to people who are freaked out by the thought of having a back surgery. Shivers run through my body whenever I think of having a surgery. For this reason, I utilize my inversion table which helps me relieve the pain. Whenever I think of how long it will take me to recover from the surgery and how a surgery might go wrong, I opt to keep using my inversion table. The recovery process might take ages of more pain, unlike the inversion therapy which can suppress the pain in a reduced span of time.
Reduce sciatica and scoliosis
Inversion therapy has the ability to assist you to stay away from sciatica and scoliosis as well. You might think that the nerve pain caused in your spine cannot be eliminated through any other technique than surgery. However, inversion therapy can help you get rid of these health conditions without going through a surgery.
Reduce hip pain
If you are experiencing pain in your hips, you will be able to follow inversion therapy to overcome it as well. That’s because inversion therapy can position your hips in such a way to promote effective healing. Your hip would go through repeated motion throughout the day. As a result, it will be subjected to wear and tear on a daily basis. Inversion therapy would promote fluid movement in your hips and promote natural healing. Thus, it will help reducing the hip pain.
Using the inversion table to pass out Kidney stone
Having kidney stones can be very frustrating. Sometimes the pain becomes unbearable, especially whenever you are trying to pass out urine. The experience of dealing with kidney stones can make the victim go through hell. But a quality inversion table has a capability of helping push the large stones out of the urine tubules. Unblocking of the tubules eases the pain.
Maintaining your height
Inversion table benefits are endless. Did you know that inversion therapy helps in maintaining height? How? Between the time you arise and the time you rest to bed, gravity causes the spine to compress up to ¾ inches. Through inversion, you stretch the spine and this helps in maintaining your normal height.
Relieving pain and pressure in the joints
Having a tough work out or general fatigue can cause pain and pressure in the joints especially in the limbs. There is no need of alarm if you have an inversion table. Inversion table comes in handy in helping you relieve the pain, pressure, and fatigue at the limbs. While inverting the stretching of the limbs helps relieve the pain. Inversion has also been known to be capable of correcting disorders that result from one-sided activities. Such activities include tennis, hockey, and golf.
Beneficial to the lymphatic system
Inverting helps the lymphatic system to work more effectively. When stretching your body while in an upside-down position, it helps increase the flow of fluids in the lymphatic system. The upside-down position helps remove toxic fluids from the lymphatic system. This position quickens the removal of the toxic fluids which their accumulation brings pain to the muscles.
Beneficial to blood circulation and other circulatory organs
The upside-down position goes a long way in helping the blood flow against the gravitational force. Blood normally flows against gravity. Gravity affects all parts of the body. Besides improving your blood flow, inversion table helps in decongesting the body organs. Studies also show that when you lie upside down, the flow of fluids in your body increase which boosts the lymphatic system as well as promotes the removal of waste.
Inversion tables are beneficial in maintaining an upright body posture
Having an upright posture is not a something optional, it is a necessity. It not only exudes confidence but also sophistication. The process of inversion helps stretch, relax and exercise your spinal cord. An upright posture is good for that young look you desire. Bad posture and slouching make an individual older than they actually are. A relaxed and a frequently exercised spinal cord is a key to an upright posture. Frequent sleeping compresses the spinal cord and inversion decompresses it thus helping maintain an upright posture and maintain the height.
Back pains can be very frustrating if they are accompanied by headaches. But luckily, inversion tables have several means of helping relieve those headaches. First, inversion helps relax the muscles of the head, shoulders, neck and the skull. Relaxed head muscles relieve the headaches. Secondly, the elimination of the toxic substances from the lymphatic system helps in elimination of the headaches. Thirdly, inversion helps in alignment of the spinal cord which in turn relieves muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders, a top cause of headaches. Fourthly, inversion generally increases blood flow to the brain, a process that increases mental activity and therefore reducing stress.
Boosts your Immune System
A lymphatic system that is functioning well is a necessity to a superior immune system that is capable of fighting numerous infections. Those who use inversion therapy will realize they have less infections and diseases as compared to those who have never used inversion tables. This is evidently true because the bodies of inversion users are always free from accumulated toxic metabolic wastes, and in case of an infection, the immune system does not have to strain. Freeing the immune system from toxic wastes enables it to effectively fight bacterial and viral infections. In summary, enhancement of the lymphatic system goes hand in hand with enhancement of the immune system.
A better physical appearance
The first outward experience of your body goes a long way in creating a good first experience. People who invert have been known to have a bright skin that glows. This is brought by the relaxed muscles and improved blood flow. A well-functioning lymphatic system that eliminates wastes efficiently will help prevent skin conditions such as rashes and acne. The upright posture as mentioned earlier adds up to a better physical appearance.
When stress is relieved, you will be generally a jovial person, a characteristic of inversion table users. Improved flow of blood to the scalp nourishes the hair follicle which in turn makes your hair more beautiful. Lastly, but most importantly, I guess, because of this process, the users appear to be younger than they actually are.
No more insomnia!
You know how it can be unpleasant to take hours on your bed before catching sleep. If you want to sleep like a baby, you should definitely try out inversion therapy. First, being stress-free is a ticket to sleeping soundly. Secondly, going to bed with exercised yet relaxed muscles makes it very easy to catch sleep. Thirdly, with the increased circulation of blood and oxygen, you are guaranteed a heavy sleep. You will no longer suffer from sleepless nights if you are into inversion therapy.
Less fatigue, more energy!
As you start your inversion journey, you will slowly realize you are more energetic than before. You will feel like you are slowly by slowly becoming less fatigued than before. This comes after a number of benefits that are brought by inversion which include:
- Better circulation of blood
- More circulation of oxygen to the organs and especially the brain
- Better function of the body organs
- Quick excretion of toxic substances
Being energetic will see you improve on how you perform your daily activities and duties such as sports, school work, and your job.
Improved breathing system and easier breathing process
The inversion therapies have been known to be beneficial to the breathing system. People who frequently use the inversion table have been known to have no problems while breathing. Most of which have been eliminated after they started inversion. The more you invert, the stronger your diaphragm becomes.
A stronger diaphragm means less effort when breathing. Easier breathing means more oxygen to the body organs. Furthermore, inversion therapy also improves the functioning of the lungs. While sitting or standing, blood tends to be more in the lower parts of the lungs. This is reversed whenever you invert, providing more oxygen to the upper parts of the lung.
Improves general functioning of the heart
While inverting at the upside down position, your heart is less strained. This gives the heart a chance to have a little rest because it will be less hectic for the heart to pump blood. The blood that reaches the brain triggers the release of neurotransmitters that signal the heart to slow down the pumping process. Most people who use inversion table therapies have a lower risk of heart arrhythmia after using an inversion table. The risk of contracting varicose veins is also reduced to the user of inversion tables.
Varicose veins are mostly brought by clogging of blood in the veins of the legs. Inversion helps unclog the veins.
Get rid of herniated disc
Last but not least, you should keep in mind that inversion therapy is one of the most convenient methods available for you to get rid of the herniated disc. You will become a victim of herniated discs when the rubbery cushions located between the bones stack up. Inversion therapy would help you to overcome this through the improved flow of blood and spinal fluids.
Does inversion therapy have some risks?
There are so many benefits that you will get from using inversion tables. However, if you have certain conditions, it can be risky if you indulge in inversion therapy. Because you will lie in an upside down position, the blood pressure rises and your heart rate reduces. This leads to much pressure on your head specifically the eyeballs. People suffering from the following conditions should consult a doctor before using inversion tables.
- High blood pressure
- Spinal injuries
- Herniated disk
- Heart disease
- Pink eye
- Ear infections
- Retinal detachment
As you can see, inversion table therapy can simply be defined as the practice of engaging with short stretches, under an upside down position. This has the ability to decompress your spine. It has the ability to provide excellent results to the individuals who are dealing with the frustration of back pains. Moreover, it has the ability to provide an excellent assistance to the individuals who are looking forward improving flexibility. Inversion therapy would not just deliver short-term benefits. It has been identified that some people have been able to receive long-term benefits out of this treatment as well. You don’t need to spend a fortune to go through inversion therapy and the benefits delivered by the treatment are completely worth when compared to the amount you pay. It is definitely a cost-effective option than a surgery.