If you are thinking about using inversion therapy to help with your back pain, the first question you probably want answered is, "Are inversion tables safe?" The answer is usually "Yes", but you should always talk to your doctor first. If you have had recent back surgery, especially spinal fusion, you want to be sure you have completely healed. Inversion therapy requires proper spine strength to carry your full body weight. It is better to wait until your doctor gives you the green light before getting on the inversion table.
Inversion tables provide relief for a variety of back problems: from relieving your back pain, to decompressing your spine. Reduce your stress levels, improve your blood circulation, and stretch your muscles at the same time. Some pregnant women will find benefits from using the inversion table. Doctors do not recommend inversion while pregnant, but for patients with severe back pains this therapy can be useful.
Benefits From Inversion Therapy
Inversion therapy has been successfully used since 400 BC when Hippocrates first flipped a patient upside down in the earliest version of the inversion table. With such a long history of use, physical therapists, doctors, sports trainers, and even the United States Army agree that inversion is safe to use for most spine and back problems.
Get relief from back pain: Inversion lengthens the spine, which increases the spaces between your vertebrae. This, in turn, releases the pressures on your nerve roots, discs, and ligaments. Inversion is the best therapy to reduce the stress levels your back pain brings you. Muscle tension in the spine can be relieved as much as 35% in the first ten seconds of therapy.
Improves your circulation: As inversion therapy works to improve your circulation, you also accelerate the time it takes your body to clean your blood and lymph fluids. While upside down your body stretches, re-aligning and strengthening your ligaments. It also helps to increase the flow of oxygen to your brain, and, due to a better blood flow, may help reduce varicose veins.
Decompress: As you go about your daily life your body starts to compress due to the laws of gravity. Inversion therapy (at a miniscule 25°) for just a few minutes will help you relax those tense muscles, and speed up the flow of your lymphatic fluids. These fluids are responsible for flushing out bodily wastes, and carrying them to your blood stream. The quicker this waste is removed and replaced with oxygen, the quicker pain and stiffness in your muscles will disappear.
Most people can safely use inversion tables to treat their back pain. People with any of the following medical problems are advised to talk to their doctor before beginning any new therapies:
Patients who have weak bones or who have had recent fractures
People with conjunctivitis or glaucoma
Patients with spinal injuries
Those who use anti-coagulants
Anyone with a hiatal or ventral hernia
Patients with retinal detachment
Anyone who has had a stroke
Patients with circulatory problems, or high blood pressure
The inversion table itself can be a problem sometimes. Do make sure that you feel comfortable and are securely locked into the device before anyone begins to flip you. Do not start out by going fully upside down; start with a slow and steady 40° to 60° oscillation, and go from there. Once you are fully upside down, do not hang like that without moving for more than a minute. Prolonged inversions can cause your blood pressure to soar, while also causing the small blood vessels in your eyes to bleed.
Final Words of Wisdom
There are many different types and brands of inversion tables. Before you put cost at the top of your list, be sure to read a lot of reviews. A lot of manufacturers will use cheap materials that usually result in poorly made products that break too quickly. Instead, look for these two important safety considerations: you want to be sure of the stability of each inversion table, as well as the overall safety when using the device. Be sure you can control the inversion table when you are on it. Also, make sure all instructions for assembly, use and storage are included with whatever device you choose. Pick wisely and you will enjoy the maximum benefits of a relaxing inversion therapy session for years to come.
Remember, if you have any of the health concerns listed above, always consult with your doctor before beginning inversion therapy. It is better to be safe, than have something go wrong and make your problems worse. Your doctor will know if your health issues will allow you to to use an inversion table, follow his advice and you will soon reap the benefits of this unusual therapy. Inversion during pregnancy is not recommended, but some women may experience much needed back relief from just a session or two. You don't usually hear the phrases "inversion table" and "high blood pressure" in the same sentence, usually because hanging upside down has a detrimental effect on your blood pressure. However, some patients with blood pressure made get pain relief from a few minutes on a slightly inclining inversion table. This is why discussing this new therapy with your doctor is a must.
When you decide that inversion therapy is safe, and whether this is something you want to do, remember all of these tips to ensure your experience will be one of pleasure, rather than an experience where the pain you are trying to rid from your body is only intensified. Successful treatment on an inversion table is very possible.