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Inversion Tables: Do They Work?

Mayuri Kulkarni Oct 03, 2018
Do inversion tables work? This is a very common question, asked by people who are willing to buy one, to get rid of their back pain. They are popular back pain relievers, where your body hangs upside down. Read on to know how effective they are...
Back pain is one of the most common complaints in adults these days. Back pain can be very discomforting, as it does not allow one to do daily chores and hence, people are in search of the best back pain reliever. Spondylolisthesis, herniated discs, lumbar osteoarthritis and coccygodynia, are some of the spine problems, that give rise to back pain.
Anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, tractions, etc are some of the treatments provided for back pain. It has been observed, that any treatment provided for back pain, does not show long-lasting results. Inversion therapy is one such treatment, whose implementation has always been a question of debate.

Inversion therapy

Inversion therapy is an age-old technique of relieving back pain. This therapy originated sometime during early 400 BC. It involves hanging the body upside down or at an elevated angle. Back pain is caused due to compression of the discs present in the spine.
The position of the body in inversion therapy is believed to reduce the back pain because it decompresses the spine. The spine relaxes due to the inverted position and since the stress on the spine is reduced, it eventually reduces the back pain. Ways to implement the inversion therapy includes head-first suspension, inversion frames and inversion tables.
Inversion tables are customized tables, used to implement inversion therapy. These are also used as exercise equipment. One can keep the body in an upside down position, with the feet supported by an assembly, at one end of the table. These tables can be adjusted to various angles and the patients have found it beneficial when the table is partially tilted.
The time to be spent on it is directly proportional to the angle of the table. Lesser the angle, more is the time required for relieving back pain. Every manufacturer provides an instruction manual, and it is recommended that one follows these instructions carefully while using the table.
However, not everyone can use it. People who should not use it include:
  • Patients with heart disease
  • Patients with high blood pressure
  • Pregnant women
  • Eye disorder or glaucoma patients
Following are some of the reported benefits of using an inversion table.
  • Reduces back pain
  • Increases flexibility
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Reduces muscle pain
  • Relieve stress and motion sickness
Though these are the benefits of using inversion tables, most of them are temporary. In fact, some users have experienced sudden back pain after getting back to upright position. According to a survey, 155 out of 175 people, who used inversion tables for back pain, could get back to work.
Not everyone who uses it is benefited. If not used in a proper method, it can cause some serious spine problems, due to injury.
Inversion tables should always be used after consulting a physician. Before using one, read the manual provided by the manufacturer to make sure you do not hurt yourself while lying on it. The bottom line is, it can be an effective back pain reliever if used in the right way.