Do Back Pain Inversion Tables Work?

Back Pain Inversion Table

A back pain inversion table is designed to improve posture and increase circulation. They are also thought to decompress spinal discs by eliminating the usual gravitational pressure off the legs and spine. The pain relief process used by these machines is called traction of the spine. This means to use weight to create more space between the vertebrae. In this case, the weight utilized is the patient's own body. This form of natural dorsalgia treatment is usually recommended for those with diagnosed herniated disc problems or degenerative disc disease, although inversion is also used to treat spinal arthritis and a host of other health concerns.

This essay provides a glimpse at inversion apparatus that can be used to effectively treat and manage a diversity of back pain syndromes.

Inversion Therapy for Back Pain

Inversion therapy is thousands of years old. It has been used throughout history to treat many diseases and pain conditions. It has also been used as a torture and even a means of execution.

Inversion therapy should begin with a short duration of only 5 minutes, once a day. Once the body is used to being upside-down, then the time can be increased up to 20 minutes, twice a day. The angle of inversion should also start out small and grow as the body acclimates to the treatment.

Many back pain patients have reported some short term relief from using an inversion table. A fair number of these patients have also reported significant pain in their backs upon returning to an upright position.

Inversion table manufacturers warn to slowly return to an upright position. This avoids shocking the spine as the weight load shifts to the normal gravitational position. A few patients credit inversion to curing them of pain completely. It is not known conclusively whether these benefits are provided due to actual efficacy of the treatment or by placebo effect alone.

Back Pain Inversion Table Equipment

Inversion tables come in 2 basic forms, motorized and manual. The actual designs vary and the price to own one ranges from about $100 on the low end, to over $10,000 for a full featured motorized version. There are also inversion chairs and rack systems, complete with inversion boots. Of course, assembly is usually required.

While the basic idea of inversion treatment does not change much, the features of the device used and creature comforts provided can vary considerably. However, we never recommend investing in an expensive inversion table until you are sure that this is a treatment which will benefit you for many years to come. A moderately priced device will serve most patients quite well.

Back Pain Inversion Table Warnings

Inversion therapy may be dangerous to those suffering from hypertension, heart disease, glaucoma or other eye disorders.

Pregnant woman should not invert.

All patients who are interested in using inversion are cautioned to speak to their doctor first. This way, it will be clear whether the treatment is appropriate for the diagnosed condition. Anyone with a significant health condition, including back pain, should never invert alone. It is always best to have someone else nearby, just in case something unforeseen occurs. At the very least, be sure to have a telephone handy in case you need to call for help.

Bottom Line on Back Pain Inversion Tables

I have tried inversion therapy myself, but not just for back pain specifically. I have used inversion combined with exercise, to build abdominal muscles. I quit using inversion all together after noticing some tenderness in my back and simply not seeing any noticeable improvement in my abs, compared to normal exercise. Inversion might be a better option for those patients suffering from poor lower body circulation and varicose veins.

If you feel like a thrill and want to try an inversion table to treat your back pain, I would advise you to be careful and have supervision. There are safety features in the tables, but you don’t want to be hurt and hanging upside down all alone.

Personally, I have heard lots of good about inversion from patients, but have also been told some truly horrible stories of injury, as well. Be careful!

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