If you’ve been suffering from back pain for any length of time, you may have heard of the so-called benefits of inversion table therapy. It’s supposed to be a non-invasive form of back pain treatment that can treat lower back pain, sciatica, soreness, and poor circulation. But does inversion therapy work? Or is it merely another over-hyped medical treatment with little scientific support?
I have put together this resource based on years of experience and research as a back-pain sufferer. I have tried numerous treatments for my back pain, and so far inversion therapy seems to be the one that has helped the most.
In this article, I will discuss 5 key inversion therapy benefits you should consider when determining how to treat your back pain. In order to make this article as comprehensive as possible, I have included both personal experience and scientific evidence so that you can form the most educated opinion possible on inversion therapy tables.
If you think inversion therapy is right for you, the end of the article has a link to a review of my favorite inversion table (my recommendation) if you want to get the most bang for your buck.
1. Releases Pressure From Your Spine
Gravity is an incredibly powerful force and it weighs down on us heavily all the time. Over the course of the day, all of this pressure from gravity forces the vertebrae in our spine to compress which means there is less distance between each vertebrae. When this happens, it creates pressure on the nerves in our spine and can result in back pain.
Inversion therapy is an ingenious way to “turn gravity on its head” so to speak. By turning upside down you are forcing gravity to apply an opposite effect on your spine thus forcing the vertebrae to decompress and loosen up. This releases pressure on the nerves and alleviates back pain.
The benefits of inversion table therapy for chronic back pain sufferers (including lower back pain and sciatica) cannot be overstated. By decompressing the vertebrae in your back, you can alleviate a huge amount of tension in your spine and relieve a considerable amount of pain.
2. Inversion Therapy Improves Circulation
Another key benefit of inversion therapy is that it can help improve the circulation (or blood flow) in your body. In addition to forcing the spine to compress, gravity can also force blood to pool in the lower extremities of your body.
A great way to counteract various circulation problems is by reversing blood flow in the body. By sending blood in the other direction for a short period of time, you can improve lymph flow and send more blood to the brain. Famous DaVinci code author Dan Brown swears by inversion therapy, as he says it helps him sparks creativity.
While you don’t want to lie inverted for too long, a brief period of inversion can improve blood flow and help improve brain function.
3. Inversion Therapy Is A Great Way To Stretch and Improve Flexibility
Both back pain sufferers and fitness enthusiasts are drawn to inversion tables because they can vastly improve flexibility by stretching out the body in new unique positions.
Over the course of the day, your vertebrae compress due to gravity and push a jelly like fluid out of the discs in your back, which inhibits flexibility and stability. By lying in an inverted position your are allowing the vertebrae to stretch out and some of that fluid to go back into your discs. Most people that use inversion table notice that they are able to move their body more easily after inversion therapy.
Scientific Evidence of Inversion Therapy Benefits
Many scientific studies have been conducted on the benefits of inversion therapy – which is often referred to as gravitational traction in the scientific community. As a result, inversion therapy is a well-established means of treating back pain. However, you don’t often hear about it as much since inversion therapy can be conducted by the user, and does not require the aid of a chiropractor, physiotherapist, expensive pharmaceuticals, or massage therapy.
Now I’m not going to suggest that these other methods don’t work and that health care practitioners are greedy people – but I will say that the therapeutic benefits of an inversion table are way cheaper and less invasive than other forms of treatment. Some would even go as far as saying that inversion therapy was the answer they were looking for in treating their back pain.
A scientific article featured in The Spine Journal in 2008 suggested that traction could be considered an effective form of lower back pain treatment. Part of this can be attributed to reversing the effects of gravity on the spine and allowing the vertebrae to separate and loosen up. Over the long-term, inversion therapy can help realign the spine.
A comprehensive study conducted in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that traction (aka inversion therapy), was a recognized form of back pain treatment, with particular effectiveness in treating sciatica. These finding were supported by a similar article in the Rheumatology journal, which found that traction was an effective treatment for patients with both lower back pain and sciatica.
As you can see, there is considerable scientific evidence supporting the positive effects inversion therapy can have in treating various forms of back pain.
Conclusion: Is Inversion Therapy the Answer?
I cannot definitively say that inversion therapy will work 100% of the time for everyone. However, I can say that it has worked wonders for me and thousands of other people who have tried it. Plus it has substantial backing from the scientific community as an effective treatment for back pain – although you don’t often hear about it.
Ultimately, the only way to tell whether inversion therapy is right for you is to invest in an inversion table. For many people, buying an inversion therapy was the only thing that actually helped them achieve relief from their back issues. For those people, deciding to buy an inversion therapy was one of the best decisions they had made.
Now with a price tag of a few hundreds dollars, these inversion tables may seem expensive. But when you compare that to years of treatment from chiropractors, massage therapists, or pharmaceuticals, the price really pales in comparison. Plus if you buy it from a reputable seller, you can actually get to try it for 30 days to see if it will work for you. I strongly urge you to take advantage of those offers when they come, as they can often make all the difference in realizing more effective ways to treat your back pain.
If you want to see my recommendation for an inversion table, check out my review of the Teeter Hangup EP-560. It’s the one that I personally use, and one that is high quality, backed by a solid warranty, and features a money-back guarantee. It’s also not as expensive as other ones on the market.