5 Inversion Table Studies and Research You Should Be Aware Of

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Inversion therapy tables are among the hottest trends in the health and fitness industry. However, with all the over-hyped health and fitness trends on the Internet, it can be hard for consumers to weed through the nonsense and find the truth about this ‘physical therapy.’

Inversion Tables

People are right to seek evidence for the claims made by-products, especially if it concerns their health, blood circulation, blood pressure, and well-being. Luckily, inversion table therapy has been extensively studied, and there is no shortage of information available for people looking to learn more about this growing trend. Here are 5 inversion table studies you should know about.

Inversion Tables Reduce Chronic Lower Back Pain

In 2013, a study was released that analyzed the effect of inversion tables on low back pain disorders. The study was done over 12 months and sought to determine if chronic back pain disorders could be stopped from worsening. At the end of the study, employees who use an inversion table for at least 10 minutes per day took 33% fewer sick days.

Sick days due to back pain and the sciatic nerve fell by 8 days per person on average. The study concluded that “Inversion is an efficient and cheap way to improve employee health and possibly reduce sick day costs to the employer.” Back pain that causes employees to miss time can hinder career advancement, success in the workplace, and overall happiness. It would appear that inversion tables offer more benefits than simple pain relief.

Inversion Therapy Greatly Reduces The Need For Surgery

Some back-pain sufferers may feel that surgery is their only option on the road to pain relief. One study sought to identify whether the therapy could affect a patient’s need for surgery. People who were told they require sciatic nerve operations were separated into two groups. Group one did inversion therapy as well as physiotherapy, while group two only participated in physiotherapy.

The findings were quite telling. Only 23% of the people in group one required surgery at the end of the study compared to 78% of people in the physiotherapy-only group. That’s an incredible difference and a massive saving of surgery time and recovery time for patients who previously believed that surgery was their only option.

Inversion Therapy Can Offer Quick Relief

The above studies found that long-term use of inversion therapy could have drastic effects on the well-being of patients. Another study found that those benefits can start being felt almost immediately. In the Noise study, a biometric monitoring system was used to track EMG activity in the lumbar area.

EMG activity is an indicator of muscle pain. Within 10 seconds of starting the therapy, EMG activity declined by 35%. In this study, they also found that spinal length was increased. The study concluded that there appears to be a correlation between EMG activity and spinal length.

Of course, this doesn’t mean patients can see complete relief by only using an inversion table for a few minutes. Long-term treatment is still required. However, the study does show that the positive effects of inversion therapy can be seen almost immediately. Combine fast-acting pain relief with long-term results, and you can see why so many people rave about the benefits of inversion tables.

Inversion Therapy Is Safe

All the above studies have shown that inversion therapy can certainly be effective, but many may still wonder if it is actually safe. One study set out to discover if there were any health risks associated with inversion therapy. During the study, subjects were inverted for 15 minutes, and measurements were taken every 5 minutes. It was found that blood pressure and pulse rate decreased.

The study concluded that inversion therapy was safe for healthy individuals. This was contrary to what some people believed at the time. Of course, it is never a bad idea to ask your doctor before beginning any treatment. They will be able to determine if any risk factors should be considered.

The US Army Uses Inversion Therapy

The US Army Physical Fitness school incorporated the therapy into their physical training plan. Military training is tough, and the painful effects on the body can prevent soldiers from performing at their absolute best every day.

The US Army found the therapy a very effective restorative fitness program. It decompresses joints, allows for faster healing, and helps prevent injuries from even occurring in the first place. If some of the world’s top soldiers are using inversion therapy, it speaks volumes about its benefits, considering the harsh training environment soldiers must endure.

Inversion Therapy Is Trusted, And Effective

An inversion therapy table is nothing new on the market. This is not a new fitness scheme or some physical therapy aimed at sucking your wallet dry. As you can see, there have been many studies going back several years that tout its benefits for everyone from office workers to elite soldiers.

The therapy isn’t just for people with sciatic nerve pain (sciatica) or other severe back pain near the discs or lumbar spine. For example, by lying in an inverted position with spinal traction, going against gravity can also help strengthen muscles, improve blood circulation and blood flow, and reducing blood pressure.

In fact, if anything, starting the therapy before serious pain arises is a major part of staying healthy and active. Of course, there is no magic cure, and these studies don’t make that claim. Rather, they agree that inversion tables are a sensible part of a broader treatment and training plan.

If you are experiencing pain or facing a costly surgery with a long road to recovery, consult the above medical studies and ask a trusted health care professional if inversion therapy can be helpful as you work toward a healthier, more pain-free future.

Dr. Lucas Carrera is a board certified physiatrist. He graduated from University of New Hampshire. Dr. Carrera received his medical education from Boston University School of Medicine and completed his residency at Harvard Medical School.