How to Use an Inversion Table for Sciatica

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If you are suffering from sciatica, the good thing is that there are options out there that will help you relieve the pain. Sciatica is a common pain symptom that affects many people, and something that can become quite frustrating.

In this article, we look at sciatica in slightly more detail, looking at its causes, how to use an inversion table for sciatica, together with the benefits of using inversion therapy. We hope this will give you more ideas on how to combat your sciatica if you are a sufferer, or perhaps that of a friend or family member.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is known as a type of pain which affects the back, hip, and leg. It is mainly caused by compression of the spinal nerve root deep in the back, which can occur after the degeneration of an intervertebral disk.

Sciatica is, therefore, the pain caused by an irritation of the sciatic nerve. It is known that the sciatic nerve may be the longest nerve present in the body; the pain that this nerve can cause can range from mild to extreme.

The sciatic nerve is the one which controls various muscles in the legs, and supplies most of the sensation to the skin and majority of the lower leg. Experts estimate that around 50 percent of people will suffer this symptom during their lifetime.

What Causes Sciatica?

There are many different factors which can lead to sciatica. As we have briefly mentioned, the primary reason sciatica is caused is when the roots of the spine become irritated. This then leads to pain occuring in the back, especially in the lower area.

Other common causes can include the following:

Muscle spasms

These can be in the back or in the buttocks and can lead to nerves being irritated.


When a female is pregnant, this might also cause some pressure on the spine as the baby may be heavy for the frame of the woman, and might cause some spinal issues, leading to sciatica.

Degenerative disk disease

Degenerative disk disease is the breakdown of disks in the spine. These discs act as cushions between the vertebrae, and so breakdown eventually can lead to sciatica.


Spondylolisthesis is a condition where one vertebra slips in front of another, and this will also lead to sciatica.

Lumbar spinal stenosis

The condition of lumbar spinal stenosis, is where the spinal canal of the lower back becomes narrower. As the spinal canal is thinner, it will require some treatment to strengthen it.

For many of these cases, treatments can be performed to help the spine return to its healthy state. One popular treatment is known as inversion therapy.

What is Inversion Therapy?

Inversion therapy is a treatment which is given to those who suffer from back pain. This can be anything from mild to extreme pain; however, it is most useful for those suffering from chronic back pain and symptoms of sciatica.

Inversion therapy is the process of working to remove back pain by using an inversion table. The individual is positioned at a certain angle on an inversion table, which allows them to stretch the spine into a healthier alignment for the body.

There can be several different angles which can be tested on the inversion table, and the more times people use the treatment, the more they can increase their angle until they are comfortable with being completely upside down. Being in an upside down position is said to have amazing effects with aligning the spine, and for some, it cures sciatica altogether.

How to Use an Inversion Table for Sciatica

So how can an inversion table be used to combat sciatica? Using a sciatica table is known to be one of the most effective methods to relieve sciatic pain.

Usually, it is recommended to perform this treatment under professional supervision, especially when first starting out. However, it is also possible to purchase an inversion table and do the exercises at home.

To begin using an inversion table, merely position the body on the inversion table, and move your back into a position that feels most comfortable. Some inversion tables may include a lumbar bridge in the middle of the bed, and this can be adjusted to create different arches in the back which will be useful in realigning the spine.

When positioned on the inversion table, simply stretch back slightly placing pressure on the feet to keep the table balanced. You can then start to move and see what feels right for you. You may want to try a certain angle recommended by your doctor at first and work your way up to a completely inverted position.

When you are ready and want to go into a complete inversion, you should simply place your hands on the traction handles at each side of the table, which adds manual decompression. This allows you to push against the lumbar bridge with your back, which lifts the spaces in the vertebrae and hopefully relieves any pain being felt.

Inversion tables also include two stretch handles at the top half of the equipment, which can be grabbed as you turn the body to stretch left and right. This allows you to position the body and stretch in different ways until you find the best stretch for you.

Using inversion therapy on a regular basis is said to be really effective for lower back pain, especially sciatica, and can help relieve individuals of their symptoms for good.

Benefits of Using Inversion Therapy

So what are the benefits of using inversion therapy? Not only can this type of treatment help to remove sciatica altogether, but it also has other advantages, which we will take a look at below.

Reduces chances of future back pain

Everyone can suffer from chronic back pain at some point. If you would like to reduce the amount of pain felt, then regular inversion therapy could help to lessen the pain in the future. This is thanks to the body being stretched, which helps to alleviate pain and even train the body to eliminate it for good. Having inversion therapy often can also help the body to become more flexible.

Better posture

If you suffer from poor posture, regular use of an inversion table could help to improve your posture, as you are regularly stretching the spine and working the back muscles. Lying in a straight position will, therefore, contribute to increase the position of the back, and decrease kyphosis from occurring.

Increased blood circulation

When using an inversion table, and going into complete inversion, the body is tilted in an upside down position. This means that circulation will improve and may even help release any tension in the head. The increase in circulation also gives the heart a rest as it doesn’t need to work as hard to pump blood around the body.

Relaxed muscles

As well as improving overall back pain, using an inversion table regularly can help relax muscles. Sometimes when muscles aren’t used often enough, they become tense and will create pain in the body. Therefore, using the inversion table will undoubtedly help to relax more muscles in the back, legs and even other areas of the body.

Avoid surgery

A significant benefit of using inversion tables is that it helps avoid surgery. Studies have shown that using an inversion table significantly reduces the need for surgery, in particular for those suffering from lumbar discogenic disease.

For some extreme cases of back pain, however, surgery may be required. Nevertheless, inversion therapy has been recommended by experts to treat minor backaches to the stronger chronic pains and is very useful in many cases without surgery being required.

Better spinal health

Whether you have suffered an accident or simply jerked a muscle, you may have issues with your spine, and until it is fixed, you might not be at your healthiest.

Inversion therapy works by physically manipulating the spine, which therefore strengthens muscles and helps to realign the spine into its correct shape. This can help to improve the overall health of the spine for the future. Having a healthy spine is key to living a long and fulfilling life, and so it may be worth checking if your spine is aligned correctly, and see if you can improve it.


We hope this article has given you more information on how to combat sciatica and back pain in general. Hopefully, now you know how to use an inversion table for sciatica and are aware of the many benefits it can bring when it comes to treating symptoms like sciatica. Always read the directions that accompany your spinal table for features and the proper way to use it.

If you are thinking of using an inversion table to treat your back pain, we highly recommend speaking to a health professional prior to trying any therapy, as it is essential to understand what angles will work for you and how to use the table in the safest way possible.

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