Can hanging upside down relieve back pain?
Whether you sit or stand for most of your day, your back is in a constant struggle against gravity. The vertebrae begin to compress and work against the discs that cushion them. The longer you stay in one position, the stiffer you become.
To remedy this, inversion therapy can reposition your discs and vertebrae so they can return to a more comfortable alignment. Inversion therapy literally “turns the tables” on back pain. The device, called an inversion table, lets you recline until your spine can work with gravity to realign and relieve the pain. This is just one of the many benefits of using inversion tables.
Being completely upside down is not necessary. In fact, when you first use this treatment, a little goes a long way. At as little as a 15 degree inversion, you will feel the benefits. Each day you can increase your angle and your time – slowly. This way you can avoid the stiffness and tension that could result from doing too much, too fast. Adjustable tables allow you to choose the angle in a slow easy progression.
As you increase your angle, try increasing your time. Ideally, 10 – 20 minutes twice a day will realign your spine and decompress the discs. This will take the pressure off of the nerve roots and relieve the pain.
Gravity is not the only culprit to cause problems for the spine. Muscle imbalances caused by poor posture also cause the vertebrae to press hard against the discs.
Over the course of a day, this pressure causes the fluid to drain out of your discs. Some of the fluid is recovered during sleep, but not all. So, by the time we are seniors, we have lost ½ to 2 inches of our height. Reversing the spinal compression is considered one of the most important benefits of inversion tables.
The compression squeezes the nerve roots and we get pain. Most of us have an uneven distribution of pressure on our discs. When this pressure builds up, the discs can bulge and even herniate. This type of spinal damage will result in chronic pain.
Inversion helps your joints stay supple which increases flexibility and ease of activity.
The inversion table therapy is a proven method of relieving back pain by decompressing the vertebrae, and relaxing the muscles around the spine. It can even help realignment after one-sided sports, such as golf or tennis.
A recent study done at Newcastle University shows inversion therapy to be a highly effective treatment for back pain. The study found that “over 70% of patients who performed inversion therapy were able to cancel their scheduled back surgeries.”
As you can see there are numerous benefits of using an inversion table and inversion therapy should be an integral part of your self treatment plan.
To see which inversion tables we recommend, click here.
Written By: Updated: June 24,2011