Have you been experiencing neck pain? Well, it turns out that you have plenty of company. Based on recent research, neck pain, along with back pain, are the third-largest causes of healthcare expenditure for Americans.
The good news is, improved ways of treating neck pain have emerged. One such procedure, which has quickly gained popularity, is inversion therapy. In the following post, we’ll highlight some of the causes of neck pain, the benefits of an inversion table for neck pain and explain how inversion therapy can be used to treat neck pain.
Causes of Neck Pain
Many assume that neck pain or stiffness is the direct result of an injury or medical condition. While this is true in some cases, research has shown that a major cause of this condition is the type of lifestyle we lead.
According to a recent study by Nielsen, Americans spend more than 10 hours every day staring at screens. Similarly, a majority spend at least eight hours sitting at work, interacting with their laptops. This sedentary lifestyle is one of the reasons why so many Americans are getting diagnosed with neck and lower back pain.
Physical therapist Chrindye Dietz explains how the act of looking down at your tablet or mobile for an extended period strains the muscles around the neck region. The result is that these muscles exert unnecessary pressure on the nerves, and the resulting pain extends all the way down to your shoulder blades, arms, hands, and head.
Other causes of neck pain include:
Worn joints – as with other joints in your body, the neck joints weaken as we grow older, and more so if you’re suffering from osteoarthritis. This condition causes the cartilage between your vertebrae to weaken. Due to this, your body experiences bone spurs, which affect joint mobility and cause pain.
Injuries – auto collisions are the primary cause of whiplash injury. In this case, your head is thrust backward and forward, causing strain on the soft tissues of your neck.
Diseases – there are several diseases that cause neck pain such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer or meningitis.
Does an Inversion Table Work for Neck Pain?
In case you’ve not come across this term before, an inversion table is a swivelling table where an individual lies upside down with their back resting on a bed. Inversion tables are used in inversion therapy, which until recently, was only used to treat back pain.
According to Mayo Clinic, the concept behind inversion therapy is that it eliminates gravitational force from the nerve roots and disks in your spinal system. As a result, the space between your vertebrae increases, and this relieves pressure off your nerves; hence, mitigating pain.
So does inversion therapy help treat neck pain? The short answer to this is yes. By increasing the space between vertebrae, inversion therapy helps to stretch any stiff muscles in your back and neck area.
Benefits of Inversion Table for Neck Pain
If you’re not a fan of medication, an inversion table is the perfect alternative treatment. Here are some of the benefits of using an inversion table for neck pain:
- Relieves stress and tension
- Helps to realign your cervical vertebrae
- Improves your posture
- Decreases the amount of compression in your neck
- Reinforces support muscles and ligaments in your neck region
- Improves your range of motion and flexibility
Helps to prevent pain in other areas of your spine.
How to Use an Inversion Table for Neck Pain
With just a couple of steps, your inversion table should be safe and ready to use.
For starters, you should find a large enough space to set up the inversion table. Next, inspect the table and ensure all the joints, pivot and straps are working properly. This minimizes the likelihood of any injuries happening during your inversion therapy.
In fact, you should inspect your inversion table each time you want to use it. Next, go over the instruction manual thoroughly to ensure you don’t miss any crucial details.
Once you’re through with your inspection, put on proper footwear. Experts recommend that you never use the inversion table bare feet. Doing so not only causes discomfort but it also increases the likelihood of injuring yourself. With athletic shoes, you have extra support, stability, and safety.
Finally, you can step onto the table. Remember to pull the lever that locks your feet in place and fasten the other straps across your body. Once you’ve buckled up, you can start the inversion process. With your back resting on the bed, hold onto the side straps, and press the necessary buttons that cause you to turn into the upside-down position.
Start off the inversion process at a gradual pace. Be sure to listen to your body as you undergo the therapy. Avoid overexerting your body as this can cause unnecessary discomfort or pain.
If you are looking for a good alternative for pain medications or surgeries then consider an inversion table for neck pain. Based on several studies, using an inversion table is a safe and effective way of relieving neck pain.
However, it’s always a good idea to consult your physician before investing in an inversion table. Plus an expert can advise you on how much time you should spend on the inversion table and the right inversion angle.