Inversion Therapy for Back Pain Relief

Inversion Therapy for Back Pain Relief

Back pain is a significant problem amongst all ages, races, and genders. It almost seems that human anatomy has not caught up with standing on two feet. In fact, the incidence of back pain in the United States alone is astounding. 

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) reports that, 

  • About 31 million Americans experience low back pain at any given time
  • Experts estimate that put to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives
  • Back pain is the third most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, behind skin disorders and osteoarthritis/joint disorders
  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year

The statistics can go on and on but the truth of the matter is that if you ask most people, they will report experiencing acute, chronic, or past back pain in one form or another. Avoiding back pain takes good maintenance such as weight loss, exercise, and a medium to hard firm mattress. However, there is a good natural addition to this maintenance that could help significantly with a variety of back pain challenges and other systemic compromises called inversion therapy. 

What is Inversion Therapy?

According to Healthline, 

“Inversion therapy is a technique where you are suspended upside down to stretch the spine and relieve back pain. The theory is that by shifting the body’s gravity, pressure eases off the back while also providing traction for the spine.”

So, hanging upside down is all it may take to help relieve back pain and possibly other related health issues such as: poor circulation, sciatica, kidney stones, and scoliosis. Yet, you may ask yourself, “How the heck do I hang upside down?” Well, inversion therapy is assisted by an inversion table. This is a specifically designed cushioned, swiveling table that enables you to lie on it and, through using a simple lever, gently turn the table to hang securely upside down. There is no risk of passing out or getting stuck as the table is designed with safety measures in place. 

However, inversion therapy is not recommended for people struggling with high blood pressure, heart disease, history of stroke, osteoporosis, hernia, broken bones, or obesity. Also, those with ear or eye compromise should not do this therapy as hanging upside down decreases the heart rate while increasing blood pressure which could put pressure on the eyeballs and inner ear. 

After getting clearance from your doctor, using an inversion table or hanging from anti-gravity boots may give you the relief you’ve been seeking or surprise you with relief you didn’t even know you needed.

What Inversion Therapy Can Help

As mentioned, inversion therapy has been linked to alleviating back pain with some reporting a decrease in back medication due to the accumulated benefits from hanging upside down. It has been found that the response of using inversion therapy (also reported by Healthline) is linked to:

  • Decreasing inflammation 
  • Removing waste from the spine
  • Creating more protective fluid around spinal discs
  • Increasing blood circulation through surrounding muscles

Avoid Surgery

For those who have tried everything to help back (or related) pain, invasive surgery is the last resort. This can be a number of different procedures including the mechanical fusion of vertebrae; desensitizing nerve endings through laser cauterization; or disc removal. The success  

of these and many other surgical procedures to reduce back pain is usually short-lived and subsequent operations may be needed or preferred out of pain desperation.

Inversion therapy could be the alternate choice to surgery. 

Published in the Journal of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, the study ‘Inversion Therapy & Zero Gravity Concept: For All Back Pain Problems,’ offered a compelling conclusion, stating that:

“Inversion traction therapy would reduce the need for a surgical procedure in subjects with sciatica and other back problem; Zero gravity position also has many health benefits for the human body. Inversion therapy and zero gravity concept is an alternate and effective approach towards back pain problems.” 

More people are considering inversion therapy before succumbing to surgery. 

Improve Flexibility and Circulation

Along with back pain comes reduced flexibility, muscle pain and compromised circulation. All of these could be the result of gravity pressing down your back and your body all day long. Add in some unwanted pounds and the pressure increases exponentially. Using an inversion table opens the spine enough to allow for circulating blood to “feed” healing oxygen to joints and muscles. A study published in the journal, Isokinetics and Exercise Science concluded that,

“Inversion traction at an angle of 60° reduced back pain or discomfort and improved lumbar flexibility andisokinetic trunk extensor strength in patients with CLBP [chronic lower back pain] following an 8 week program.” 

Strapping yourself to a swiveling table that places you upside down may sound outrageous but the science stands. Inversion therapy for back pain may help you re-set, rebalance, and recharge for a more pain-free, energetic, enjoyable life ride.