Before we come to a clear cut conclusion about whether inversion tables are good or bad, the effect they may produce in an individual, and who can use them, we must learn as much as possible about their use. Those who believe in inversion therapy recommend its use for back pain relief and many people have found them to be useful.
In our day-to-day activities, we do many different types of movements. Almost all these movements involve the use of the spinal column. We rely on it and take it for granted, so much so, that we tend to forget its existence and requirements. The spinal column protects the spinal cord, supports the head and ribs, gives one a posture, and by enabling each one to stand erect, makes one a man. It is made of vertebrae and intervertebral discs. These are positioned between two vertebrae which prevents them from coming in contact with each other.
These discs are filled with a jelly like fluid that absorbs shock waves which occur during movements such as walking and running. These discs, along with the muscles and tendons that are attached to the vertebrae, holds all them in the proper position. Whenever we stand the gravitational force of the earth is acts on the spine. Because of the pressure created by the pull of gravity, the fluid in the discs seeps out and the distance between the vertebrae is reduced. So, during the course of the day we lose 1/3 inch of height to this force. While sleeping at night we recover a part of it which is not all that enough.
This pull also causes the muscles and tendons to strain and stretch. This may cause misalignment of the spinal column resulting in harm to the nerves that lead out of the spine. The combined effect of this is back pain and restricted movements of the back.
Inversion Table Benefits
A chronic back pain is a kind of pain that can drive anyone desperate and resort to extreme measures to get relief from it. However, there is nothing extreme about using them. On the contrary, users of these exercise equipment have found them quite useful in regaining physical fitness and freedom of movement that one is denied by back pain. The therapy uses the same pull of gravity to relax the spinal column. While using an inversion table, one lies on it and the angle of inclination of the table is adjusted such that the user's head is lowered close to the ground.
This reversal of direction and giving the head to the teeth of gravity, works wonders. It results in the pull of the gravity which, now, instead of compressing the spinal column, acts on it to stretch it and relax it which is the primary inversion therapy benefit. The lessening of the pressure lends the cushioning discs a big hand in retaining and recovering the fluid lost. This position also eases the strain on the muscles of the back which helps with the alignment of the vertebrae. This is the reason why they are also used for sciatica.
Additional benefits include improved tone of skin, blood supply to the brain, and lymph flow through the lymphatic system. Even with all this information, it would not be proper, at this stage, to come to a conclusion, unless, we go through the disadvantages.
All these benefits may make you jump and start using them immediately, however, it cannot be recommended to all individuals and one should be cautious before using them. The feeling one gets when inverted is not one that everyone can adjust to. After a certain age, getting to used to this feeling is difficult. In an inverted position, blood rushes towards the head which in some health conditions, can cause them to aggravate. For this reason, start doing inversion exercises only after consulting your doctor.
A lot depends on what type of table one is using; whether you do a hand stand while using it or are hung by your ankles also matters. Normally, one is secured to it by the ankles and in some individuals, it causes joint pain in the knees as well as ankles. These joints have to bear the weight of the body in a fashion they are not designed to. Hanging by your ankles may also cause muscle pain.
Ensuring one's safety is of utmost importance, along with obtaining the benefits of back exercise. While inverted, you are tied to the table with straps. A strap that is not properly tied or positioned may come undone and drop you on the head, leading to an injury. All these factors place certain limits on who can use the inversion table. Before buying one, it is a must for you to go through the best reviews to get familiar with the characteristics and the security provisions of this equipment.
Not everyone gets benefited by the use of a particular item or an exercise equipment. Same is the case with the inversion tables. Good or bad outcomes of their use are not same to all the users. However, in a person suffering only from back pain it can be said that their use brings relief.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.