Saturday, August 6, 2011

An Inverted Position

As someone who has had lower back issues for most of my adult life yet would rather avoid drugs or surgery, I was happy to discover inversion therapy. I have been using an inversion table for several years, although much more frequently these days.

I began using it primarily to relieve pain from sciatica. The idea behind inversion therapy is that it reverses the effects of gravity. By hanging upside down from the feet, your body weight helps to decompress the vertebrae, which helps to restore the shape of the discs, which over time and with pressure can become flattened or ruptured.

However, I found that I was getting a lot more benefits from hanging upside down than just relief of back pain:

  • In the morning, it gives my back a nice stretch and relieves stiffness
  • It wakes up my brain and energizes me
  • It helps to relieve tension and stress and relaxes me at night before bed

According to, here are the benefits of inversion therapy (although I do have a Teeter table, this is not an endorsement):

  • Relieves back and neck pain
  • Provides care and feeding for the discs
  • Stimulates circulation and relieves stress
  • Works the core with no pressure to the spine and keeps joints flexible
  • Can be used for recovery from high-impact workouts
  • Relieves pain from workouts more quickly by stimulating the lymphatic system
  • Helps to strengthens ligaments
  • Provides balance and orientation training
  • Helps to keep the spinal column long and prevent problems associated with the internal organs settling as we age
  • Relieves depression

They even reveal that the U.S. Army has adopted inversion therapy as part of their fitness regimen.

Of course, like most alternative treatments, there are critics of inversion therapy. Some of the objections are described here. I will say, though, that I do agree with the caution that if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or glaucoma, you should check with your doctor before using an inversion table.

For me, it’s part of my daily routine that works…

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