Inversion therapy is the use of gravity to stretch the spine (traction) using a specially designed table. In recent years the traction method normally used by hospitals and doctors was to lay a patient on a bed and strap the patient’s legs to a pulley and adding weights to create traction. This method was cumbersome and extremely uncomfortable for the patient. An alternative to using weights was the use of inversion boots which were designed to hook on a parallel bar hanging the patient upside down. This had limited treatment for most patients because of the extreme degree of incline. The inversion table became the most effective means of traction treatment because of its ease of use and control of incline.
Inversion therapy was first used at the time of Hippocrates (400BC) where he suspended patients to allow gravity to exercise traction. In the 60’s inversion therapy was introduced by Dr Robert Martini as the”Gravity Guidance System” into his therapeutic procedures.
How does it work
The patient straps in his feet in an upright position against the table and then lowers himself head first according to the desired angle of rotation. He controls the rate of rotation with handles on either side of the table. The balance of the inversion table is precise and can be controlled by simple arm movements. The table can be set at any angle up to 90 degrees where it is then fully inverted.
Benefits of inversion therapy
Inversion stretching realign’s the vertebrae and relaxes the vertebral muscles and ligaments, helping to relieve pain and discomfort from overwork and bad posture.
Inversion therapy relaxes and stretches the muscles promoting and enhancing blood circulation in the muscle tissue and accelerating muscle health.
Inversion therapy causes decompression of the intervertebral discs helping the discs to regain their elasticity and functionality.
Inversion therapy relieves back pain and discomfort in the spine caused by overwork resulting in pressure on the vertebrae, intervertebral discs, joints and pinched nerves (Sciatica) and relaxing muscles that are in spasm.
Inversion therapy helps to realign the spine relaxing muscles and muscle spasms and improving posture.
Always consult your physician or other healthcare professionals before beginning any exercise program.Also, make sure that you have read the manual and applied the assembly and safety precautions correctly.
How to use an inversion table
1. Make sure your feet are tightly strapped and properly locked in place. Use comfortable shoes with added padding on the ankles if necessary. Begin with standing with your back against the bed with hands at your side. Raise your arms slowly allowing the bed to rotate slowly backward. Before you start you can control the angle of rotation with a strap that will keep the table at the desired angle. The strap is connected from the frame to the movable table and can be lengthened or shortened according to your desired angle of inclination, the strap once completely unhinged will give you a complete inversion (90 Degrees)
2. Begin slowly, invert fifteen to twenty degrees, to begin with. Stay inverted as long as you are comfortable and return upright slowly. Dizziness is usually the result of coming up too fast. If you feel nauseous do not persist but come up as soon as you feel queasy.
3. Make the angular changes very gradually. Make changes only when you are comfortable and increase the angle only a few degrees at a time. Increase the time of use from an initial one to two minutes increasing to ten minutes over a period of weeks.
4.If you have any injury pay attention to any pain or discomfort. Keep moving, moving while inverted encourages blood, lymph and spinal fluid circulation and aids in alignment of bones and organs. The movement may include rhythmic traction and light exercise.
5. Use regularly, two to three times a day for a maximum period of five minutes at a time. The greater the incline the less should be the period of inversion. Try to schedule it for the same time each day.
6.If you are able to exercise while inverted do not use jerking or abrupt movements but use gentle and controlled movements to avoid injury. Do not do strenuous exercises at a sharp incline unless you have increased your strength up over a period of time.
Do not use inversion therapy under the following conditions
1. Ligaments, joints or fractures that have not fully healed.
2. Cause of back pain not of a mechanical nature, for example, tuberculosis or cancer etc.
3. Acute infection for example joints, sinus, middle ear infection etc.
4. Recent operations or hernias.
5. The artificial prosthesis or skeletal implants.
6. Heart or circulatory disorder like high blood pressure, thrombosis etc.
7. Severe osteoporosis.
9. Extreme obesity.
10. Severe spinal injury.
Do not use inversion therapy for at least 2 hours after a meal.