Using an Inversion Table for Back Pain and Overall Stress Relief and Relaxation

When done properly and regularly, using an inversion table can give significant relief to back pain, particularly lower back pain, and provide stress relief and overall relaxation. The inversion table allows a person to comfortably and safely have varying degrees of being head down and feet up. Some people may feel uneasy with the idea of being inverted, but they can allay that fear by starting at a very small inversion angle and working up to more and more as the comfort level increases. While on an inversion table, the person is in complete control of the amount and speed of the inversion. The inversion table works on the pendulum theory and whatever end the most weight is on is the end that will tilt. The table is adjusted to the height of the person and when he gets on the table, leaning back and raising and lowering the arms can control the amount and rate of inversion. Also, bending the knees changes the center of gravity and brings the table back to upright position. There is a strap, or tether, that can control the maximum inversion desired. Having another person available until one become familiar with the inversion table may be advisable.

Everyone has Mother Earth’s constant gravitational pull on the body, so inversion is actually prudent for most anyone and can promote overall health and stress relief. That constant downward pressure, over time, even without evidence of back problems, serves to pull down on the body’s muscles and spine. The inversion technique simply allows the whole body including the muscles of the legs, spine, shoulders and neck a momentary reprieve from the constant downward pull as well as improving circulation helping the skin and hair. The gentle stretch that it gives the body is unparalleled.

The fact that the inversion table is primarily sought by people who suffer back pain is not surprising. Back pain has many different causes including stress, injury, nerve problems, and disc compression. The back pain can rank from a mild annoying discomfort to being severely debilitating. Regardless of the cause of the back pain, muscles tighten and inflammation may be present which decreases the amount of blood flow to the affected area. The decrease in blood flow diminishes the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the area and also diminishes the release of waste from the area. Thus the problem can keep compounding itself. If a disc is ruptured or ballooning out causing pain, the pain can be excruciating.

Using the inversion table allows the muscles in the back to have a gentle stretch promoting increased circulation, allows the discs between the vertebra to have the pressure released and move back into a more normal position, and allows the spinal column to realign itself if one of the vertebra has moved slightly. Often times, some relief, if not total relief, is obtained almost immediately. Depending on the cause of the back pain, some people, with regular sessions, may be able to obtain the level of relief they desire. Even when the back pain is relieved, regular sessions on the inversion table is advisable to keep the back muscles and spine from the deteriorating effects of gravity.

The amount of inversion chosen is totally individualized. Amazingly, even small degrees of inversion can be very beneficial so one can start with a 20-30 degree of inversion and work up as desired. Some people like the feeling of being totally inverted and some don’t. The body does not have to be totally upside down to obtain results. The main thing is to invert to the degree that brings the amount of relief desired and that can allow total relaxation and enjoyment of the experience.

The amount of time inverting is also quite individualized. Even regular short intervals of 2-5 minutes of inversion time can promote the back pain relief and relaxation. Some people want to invert a bit longer, up to 15 minutes.

People with a history of certain conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke or any other medical condition, including pregnancy, that may be affected by increased pressure during inversion should check with their doctor before using an inversion table.

Having an inversion table in the home is highly advisable as its use can not only provide stress relief and relaxation for the whole family, regular use may prevent episodes of back pain in the future. Should back pain occur, particularly low back pain, it can help promote a natural, effective way to obtain relief.