A few weeks ago, I accompanied a friend to buy an inversion table. While the contraption is not new to me, I still found it intriguing.
I never thought of my friend as someone who has chronic back pain. And when it comes to managing back problems, an inversion table is often one of the last things that will enter my mind.
Nevertheless, I helped my friend look for inversion tables to buy in Australia. At the same time, I decided to find the real score about inversion therapy and inversion tables.
The Idea behind Inversion Therapy
Inversion therapy has been around for many decades. It is one kind of therapy wherein traction is applied to increase the space between individual spinal discs. This will help relieve the pressure on the disks and the nerve roots within.
The person undergoing inversion therapy will be in an upside down position – her head lower than her feet. Gravity pulls on the spinal discs so that the gaps between them also increase. This is what relieves pressure and lead to a reduction in back pain.
Inversion Tables and Back Pain
Inversion tables are neat contraptions that can help relieve the pressure on the spinal column. What you do is you lie down on a bed and turn on a handle to put it in an inverted position.
This way, your back is still resting on the bed or table. It is unlike other inversion therapy modalities that do not provide support for the back.
As you lay upside down, the pressure within the spinal column eases up. This leads to a reduction in the irritation of the nerve roots. Consequently, you should be able to feel instant relief from back pain.
But then, here’s the thing. I found out that inversion therapy may not provide long-term relief of back pain. It may be good for short-term back pain relief. But if you’re looking for pain relief that lasts longer, then inversion therapy is not the answer.
The reason is simple. Pain relief exists only insofar as you remain in an inverted position. This means that you are standing upside down. This is the only way you can relieve pressure off of the nerve roots and spinal discs.
However, you cannot sustain this position for long periods because of the effect of gravity on the blood rushing to the brain. As such, as soon as you go back to the upright position, then the pressure in the discs will build up again.
Risks Involved in Inversion Therapy
There are also risks involved. I learned that there are a number of people who should never use an inversion table or any other contraption for inversion therapy. Individuals with hypertension, heart disease, and glaucoma should never use an inversion table.
As I mentioned earlier, you are in an upside down position. The flow of blood is towards the head. This will put a significant strain on the brain, the eyes, the lungs, and other vital organs that are not accustomed to such an orientation.
What’s the Real Score?
Inversion tables may be a good way to manage back pain by relieving pressure on the spinal column.
However, I don’t think we should view it as a miracle pill. Doctors can provide people like my friend with more appropriate treatments for their back pain.
Some may also recommend the use of inversion tables. My point is that we need to view inversion tables as a treatment methodology.
Hence, it should be under the guidance of our doctors. Or at least, let them know what you are trying to accomplish using such a device.