There are four major causes of back pain. Infection, arthritis, accident, and posture. No matter how you acquired your back pain, one excellent method of alleviating it is Yoga and similar stretching exercises. While these exercises can certainly be effective, for many, especially in cases where someone is suffering from severe, chronic pain, Yoga alone is not enough. In those cases, some other, stronger and more effective solution must be sought.
If this describes your situation, you should consider using a back stretching machine. You may be thinking that a back stretcher and an inversion table are the same thing, but they are not. They are similar in some ways, but are completely separate devices, with the back stretching device being generally more cost effective than an inversion table, but also less full featured. That is to say, an inversion table can do a lot more than just stretch your back, but if that’s your primary need, then you can save money by acquiring one of these devices. The bottom line though, is if you suffer from back pain, there are a few different devices you may want to consider before making a purchase. We’ll outline the possibilities for you just below, to get you started in your research.
The Back Stretcher
The back stretcher is not so much a product in and of itself as a broad range of devices designed to gently stretch and decompress the spine. Spinal compression is where the pain actually comes from. When spinal discs become compressed, they often pinch nerve clusters. By decompressing, the pressure is relieved and the nerve clusters and pain recedes. As you'll see, these devices can take a variety of forms, but they're all basically designed to do the same thing, which is to assist you in helping your spin regain its proper alignment.
You would actually be surprised at how quickly you can get relief from your pain and start seeing results by using devices like these. Many people have reported a reduction in their pain levels after a single use, although to get the most out of it, especially if you suffer from chronic back pain, this is something you will want to use frequently, and incorporate into your day several times a week. There are a variety of models available, but they all tend to be functionally similar. After all, the human spine has a particular arch to it, and while manufacturers can offer different colors, materials, and a few accessories, at the root, these devices are all fairly much alike.
The Lumbar Extender
The lumbar extender is a small arched structure designed to lie on the floor. The user rests atop it with hands over head, and the gentle arch of the device helps to stretch the back so that it regains proper alignment. This is where the healing and therapeutic value of the device actually comes from. By stretching your back in such a manner, you foster proper back and disc alignment, relieving pressure and allowing the discs in your spinal column to decompress. The stretching and relaxing motion assists your lymphatic system by helping with circulation, which can go quite some distance toward re-lubricating your discs.
Portable Back Stretchers
Most back stretching machines are fairly portable anyway, but there are a few that specifically call themselves portable devices. Among these is the Teeter Portable back stretcher. Teeter’s product is a fairly different from the arched device described above. It is comprised of a central metallic column with handles extending out at an angle on both sides. The user lays atop the device, securing ankles in the ankle holders, then using the handles, the user is able to press them toward the body, which extends the central rod, thus stretching the spine. The beauty of this device is that it is extremely portable, with some of the devices weighing less than five pounds. They take up almost no space and can be taken and used most anywhere.
Inversion tables can certainly stretch you back, but they can do a lot more than this besides. The inversion table is non portable (even the smallest tables are not terribly portable) and is a proper table that you actually lay down on. The table swivels and rotates into various positions, with some tables even allowing for a “full inversion” which sees you upside down, with head pointed to floor, and feet secured at the ankles. These tables will invariably have some means of “locking out” in full inversion, allowing it to function as an inverted abs toner. This can be further aided by accessories you can buy for some tables.
The great thing about inversion tables, aside from their sheer versatility is the fact that there are a staggering number of models available, so there’s truly something for every budget. If you’re on a budget, you can find a perfectly acceptable inversion table in the neighborhood of $100. If you’re willing to spend more, you can find other tables that offer a variety of features, including the inclusion of a lumbar support pillow to facilitate better stretching. Some units even include far infrared (FIR) pads build in to provide a gentle warming of back muscles during inversion, and even massage and/or heat units that when combined with the inversion itself, can provide even more therapeutic benefits. Their only real disadvantages are, as mentioned, their lack of portability and their cost, relative to the other devices mentioned here.
In conclusion, as you can see, there are a dizzying number of products on the market today to help control and ease your back pain. No matter what the source, no matter what caused it to begin with, most people can benefit from some kind of back stretching device, whether it takes the form of a simple arch you lay on the floor, something you hang in your door frame, or a full blown table with all sorts of bells and whistles. The bottom line is, there’s absolutely no need for you to suffer your back pain. You’ll find something for every need that can fit most any budget. Don’t let your back pain control your life. Take control of it instead, with the help of one of these devices. Your back will thank you, and you’ll feel much better for it.