Inversion tables and inversion treatment/therapy could help with low back/leg pain and sciatica. It’s non-surgical and an option your doctor, or chiropractor could recommend to you before looking into more invasive options. Individuals with low back pain, sciatica or both found inversion therapy with an inversion table provided relief from symptoms, and continued use has kept them and their spines healthy.
With an inversion table, you don’t have to use gravity boots or completely hanging upside down. There are inversion boots and hanging racks that also offer inversion therapy, this type is not for beginners. With experience, you can move on to this type but for now, leave it to individuals in top health and athletic condition. This type of inversion table therapy is an alternative that doesn’t require being completely upside down.
An Ancient Therapy Brought Back
Inversion therapy is nothing new. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, saw what inversion therapy could do and the benefits around 400 BC. The goal is to use gravity to release compression in the spine. The downward force pulls everything toward the earth’s center.
How It Works
Inversion therapy works in a way like spinal traction.
For example, when we stand and sit gravity pulls the spine downward and this is what compresses the discs, vertebral bodies, nerves, and other spinal structures. The physical dynamics along with gravity helps relieve spinal compression. As the spine is stretched out the pressure on your back is reduced.
The theory behind inversion therapy sounds like a fantastic non-surgical option to back pain. However, the research going into inversion therapy is a bit more mixed. One study found that almost 77% of patients that were candidates for surgery no longer needed the surgery after using inversion therapy. For patients that didn’t use inversion therapy, only 23% avoided surgery.
But like all back pain/sciatica treatment plans, it’s what works for you. Ask your doctor/chiropractor about the pros and cons of this type of treatment as it relates to your condition to make an informed decision.
Many patients report that inversion therapy is a great way to:
- Stretch the muscles and ligaments
- Reduce muscle spasms
- Improve circulation
Stretching stimulates the lymph glands which increases the flow of lymphatic fluids, that are part of the body’s waste disposal. Cellular health depends on healthy blood circulation to be delivered, to nourish and remove waste.
The therapy also helped to relieve motion sickness and stress. This is because the body is more aware of its spatial orientation along with balance as the inner ear gets stimulated while inverted. As stated earlier it is not necessary to be positioned completely upside down to benefit from this therapy. Inversion tables are adjustable and offer the flexibility to find the best angle.
Discuss Inversion Therapy with A Doctor
Before you start using an inversion table talk to your doctor. Certain medications and health conditions could make using an inversion table unsafe.
It could be recommended against inversion table therapy if you have:
- Detached retina
- Eye infection
- Heart condition
- Implanted device
- Middle ear infection
- Spine injury
There could be other medical conditions that are not listed but could interfere with inversion therapy, so make sure your doctor knows all your medical history/conditions and current health state before beginning.
Starting Inversion Therapy
How to start an inversion therapy program? Take it very slow, easy, taking your time and have someone there to help and assist until you are comfortable doing it on your own. The tables can be set at different angles and it is recommended you start at the first and work your way to the last. At the 15-degree angle, your body will feel a stretch along with the benefits of increased blood circulation.
Most people don’t have to go beyond 60-degrees, as the spine decompresses at this angle. But you might want to completely invert yourself as you work through the different degrees and go for the full inversion. But don’t overdo it and listen to what your body tells you.
The tables come in a variety of styles, so be sure to research the different brands. Some tables can include a sliding backrest and foot lock that lets you work in gentle stretching exercises during inversion. This could include head movements from side-to-side, stretching the arms overhead, and doing abdominal sit-ups or crunches.
But first, find out from your doctor how often you should invert and the kinds of movements that will help with your condition and enhance your inversion program. Inversion therapy is another option for a back, sciatic pain treatment plan. For the different forms of spine pain, a doctor will try several non-surgical treatment options before discussing surgery. Inversion therapy could be part of a conservative treatment plan and could help prevent the need for spine surgery.
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The spine is the primary support for the body. When it breaks down, the body suffers. Regular chiropractic treatment ensures that the spinal column remains in proper alignment which, in turn, keeps the body in proper alignment. It helps with joint health as well as the health of the related muscles and ligaments.
Your chiropractor can also recommend stretching and strength-building exercises to help keep your spine healthy and supple. Chiropractic helps to keep the back flexible which aids in preventing injury. A healthy spine is also less likely to become misaligned or experience pain. It can significantly improve your quality of life as you are more flexible and mobile.