Inversion Table Pros and Cons
If you have ended up at this article, chances are you are interested in finding out the various pros and cons of inversion tables.
An inversion tables is a very popular piece of equipment, that is used to provide inversion therapy. This unique method of relieving pain has been carried out for many years and has provided significant advantages for the many who have tried it. There are many pros to this treatment, as well as some long-term health benefits.
This method doesn’t come without its disadvantages, however, and so in this article on inversion table pros and cons, we will try to highlight as many advantages and disadvantages as possible, as well as provide information on their effectiveness along with alternative methods of pain relief for back pain.
What are Inversion Tables?
So for those of you who have perhaps heard of inversion tables, but are not exactly sure what they are, let us enlighten you before we continue.
Inversion tables look like a piece of equipment you’d most likely find at the gym. They are made with a heavy-duty structure and are capable of holding a person, usually up to 300 lbs. They are adjustable and include a head and backrest for the user to remain comfortable each time they use it.
Inversion tables are used to relieve pain in the body, and more specifically back pain. They function by having the person lie down entirely on the structure at a certain angle, and work by stretching the body so that the spine can extend into a healthier position. People can be positioned at different angles until they find one that works for their specific problem. This is also known as inversion therapy.
What is Inversion Therapy?
As we briefly mentioned, inversion therapy is the stretching of the spine and is a form of spinal traction. To carry out inversion therapy, the person must be on the inversion table and hung upside down. The theory is that by remaining in this position, it is said to help relieve any lower back pain as the spine stretches. However, the inversion table can be adjusted to certain angles, so not to be completely upside down, as you can imagine this would be quite uncomfortable for more extended periods.
The gravitational reversal applies a strong pull on the entire body, bones, and joints, and this is said to relieve any pain. For those who are just starting their inversion, they usually begin in a position at a slant and then work up to a fuller stretch at a more extended angle.
If you have severe lower back pain, it is recommended to use the inversion table around three times a day until the pain subsides.
Inversion Table Pros and Cons
Of course, with any treatment, there are always going to be some pros and cons. With inversion therapy there are a few pros and cons which we will highlight below.
Relieves lower back pain
The main advantage that an inversion table brings is that it drastically relieves lower back pain. This is because the therapy increases spinal disc space and reduces any pressure between them, which stops the pain from occurring. It also aids in stretching and elongates the spinal column at the same time.
Improves blood circulation
When the body is inverting, this allows gravity sends the blood to the brain without the body having to work as hard. This, in turn, helps to improve heart functionality as it rests for a while, leaving gravity to do the job.
Reduced headaches and tension
With such an influx of blood to the brain as well as improved circulation, this can help to improve any pressure in the head as well as any tension. In turn, this helps improve any head pain like headaches or migraines.
As there is a lot of stretching involved when using an inversion table, it means the muscles are more susceptible to pulling or tearing. Therefore, more muscle pulls can occur during the process, and this can be quite painful if it does happen.
Higher blood pressure
Although inversion tables can help improve blood circulation, it has been said that at the same time they can even increase blood pressure. As the body is placed in an upside down position, it slows down the heart which can raise blood pressure. This can be especially dangerous for individuals with hypertension.
This process is therefore not recommended for those with a history of stroke, heart disease or high blood pressure, as it would only aggravate the symptoms and possibly cause more harm to the individual.
Increased pressure on eyes and ears
Being positioned upside down can increase pressure to both eyes and ears. This means for those individuals who suffer from retinal detachments or glaucoma; they may experience some extra pressure on eyes which could potentially result in bleeding. Additional pressure in the inner ear may trigger some hearing issues among other discomforts. Therefore, those who are suffering from ear infections should also avoid this kind of treatment.
In order to make sure you are safe to take an inversion therapy, it is highly recommended to consult with a professional doctor before attempting any inversion table treatments yourself.
Long-term Benefits of Inversion Table Therapy
As we have seen, there are many pros of using inversion tables for your health. However, what are the long-term benefits? There are quite a few. We will look at them below.
Improved Spinal Health
If you are suffering from pain, whether from an accident or through a pulled muscle, then carrying out inversion therapy on a regular basis will help to improve things for the long-term.
Inversion therapy physically manipulates the spine, strengthening muscles and helping the spine to align in its correct position, which can definitely help to improve the overall health of the spine and ligaments for the future. A healthy spine is crucial to a healthy and positive well-being, and not many people consider the health of their spine as such a key factor, when in fact, it is one of the most important.
Less Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back pain is something that many people suffer at some point in their lives. If you are looking to reduce the amount of pain you feel for the long-term, then conventional inversion therapy could help to decrease the pain threshold for the future.
The pain can be reduced as the body is regularly moved into certain positions, which help it reduce any pain and possibly even eliminate it. Regular inversion therapy can also lead to more comfortable movements and increased flexibility in the body.
No Need for Surgery
One of the most significant benefits of using inversion tables is that it helps avoid surgery. One study published in the Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation found that using an inversion table greatly reduces the requirement for surgery, especially for those suffering from lumbar discogenic disease.
Surgery may be needed for those with extreme conditions. However, it has been said that those with minor pain, as well as those who cannot undergo surgery, can benefit greatly from using an inversion table to reduce their pain and improve their situation.
Do Inversion Tables Actually Work?
Inversion tables are said to be useful for many people when used in the correct way for their problem. However, as you can see from the various cons, they may not be suitable for everyone.
If you are trying to relieve lower back pain without using an inversion table, many experts recommend trying alternative methods, for example perhaps looking at practices like Yoga will work.
Yoga can be a good substitute as it involves stretching the spine in certain positions, and doesn’t require being positioned upside down. Shoulder- or headstands can be equally as effective when performed correctly. Poses including the Dolphin and the Plow can also be great for relieving any chronic back pain.
Practicing some basic stretching of the body daily can also be effective.
It is clear that inversion tables are very popular pieces of equipment, and do work for many people who suffer from lower back pain. However, there are a few individuals who may suffer from health problems which if they use an inversion table, might work against them.
Therefore, we recommend using an inversion table only after consulting a health professional who can explain how to use it in the best way possible.
We hope this article has been informative on inversion table pros and cons, and hopefully, you will be able to keep the advantages and disadvantages in mind before you use one in the future.