The plethora of products available for people looking to combat back pain at home has left many wondering which, if any, will work for them. The inversion table is one of many products that has piqued the interest of back pain sufferers.
Inversion tables use gravity and the body’s weight to elongate the spine, stretch muscles and ligaments that are compressed throughout the day and increase intervertebral disc space. They accomplish this simply by tilting the body at an angle so that the head is lower than the feet. This reverses the pull of gravity we normally experience, decompressing our joints, muscles, ligaments and spinal discs.
Along with herniated discs, inversion tables may help with general muscle tension accrued throughout the day, as it allows tissues to stretch in the opposite direction. They may also help to relieve joint stiffness and restore alignment to the spine.
What the Science Says
A number of medical studies support the efficacy of inversion tables for treating certain types of back pain. One such study conducted in the UK by Manjunath Prasad KS et al found that candidates for surgical intervention for sciatica were 70.5% less likely to require surgery after inversion treatments combined with physical therapy than patients who tried physical therapy alone. Sciatica is often caused by a bulging or herniated disc in the lumbar spine.
What People Are Saying
Whenever you are considering purchasing a product for back pain home treatment, it is wise to see what other customers have to say about it. Amazon.com is a good place to go for comparing prices and reading customer reviews.
There are a number of inversion tables between $100 and $200 that have been rated with 4 to 4.5 out of 5 stars by over 200 customers. Compared to the cost of frequent trips to the chiropractor, physician, physical therapist, or, worse, the cost of surgery, inversion tables are certainly a more affordable treatment method.
Amazon reviewers attest to inversion therapy’s ability to relieve some types of back pain. Customers who have not found relief from doctors or chiropractors rave about the miracle of the inversion table. We must note, however, that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for back pain due to the fact that there are many potential causes.
There are certain forms of back pain that inversion therapy is not likely to relieve, especially those caused by harmful behavioral patterns.
Poor posture, improper body mechanics and muscle imbalances will not be cured by inversion therapy. Resolving those issues requires a change in everyday behaviors and movement patterns. Muscle imbalances in particular require targeted exercise and stretching routines to stretch tight muscles and strengthen weak, overstretched ones. Tilting upside-down isn’t enough to reverse the harm caused by long-term bad habits.
Inversion therapy is a cost-effective treatment for many types of back pain that can be pursued from the comfort of your own home. Always do your research when considering the purchase of a back pain product, and be sure to follow safety guidelines.