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Inversion Table

Inversion therapy is a form of spinal traction. Inversion therapy has been around for a couple of thousand years. Basically, inversion therapy is just hanging upside down. Hanging upside down stretches the spine, which may relieve lower back pain.

The inversion table is a popular piece of equipment used for inversion therapy. Your feet are securely supported as your body hangs upside down - and the spine is stretched by your own body weight.

Inversion tables adjust to tilt to various angles. You don't have to hang totally upside down. Many people prefer partial inversion. Even hanging in a slightly inverted position (20 - 30 degrees) can stretch the spine and relieve back pain.

As you get used to being inverted on a slight slant, you can increase the slant to about 60 degrees to increase the stretch. Many people don't feel safe hanging totally upside down and it is not necessary. If you are feeling uneasy, your muscles will tense up (contract), which will work against the muscles being stretched and relaxed.

The amount of time you spend inverted on an inversion table depends on the angle you are inverted at. The smaller the angle of the inversion table, the longer you will feel comfortable inverting. Many people begin with inverting a couple of minutes at a time and build up to 10 minutes as they adjust to the feeling of being inverted and can relax. For lower back pain relief, you may want to use the inversion table a 2 or 3 times a day.

Inversion tables stretch the back to relieve lower back pain. The inversion table stretches the muscles of the back and increases the space between vertebrae - reducing pressure on intervertebral discs and nerve roots, and thereby relieving back pain. If you have poor posture due to shortened muscles, an inversion table can help elongate the muscles and may relieve back pain caused by poor posture.

Besides being used for chronic lower back pain relief, the inversion table is also used to increase the blood flow to the brain and increase mental alertness.

*Consult your doctor before using an inversion table
* Inversion therapy is contraindicated in those with increased pressure of the eye, high blood pressure, or heart or circulatory problems, or osteoporosis (brittle bones) etc.

Though there is a lack of scientific evidence that any form of traction provides long-term benefits for chronic lower back pain, spinal traction is a widely used and accepted treatment for the temporary relief of chronic lower back pain, especially sciatica.