Inversion tables have been around for hundreds of years and, recently, they appear to be growing in popularity. As with any health and fitness product, it’s important for consumers to ask, “Do inversion tables work?” Some of the benefits of inversion traction via the tables like reducing back pain and improving flexibility sound impressive but are they marketing claims or based in fact? Doing your research before starting inversion therapy is important.
The truth is that inversion therapy and inversion tables have been heavily studied by researchers. First, researchers had to find out whether inversion therapy actually works. The other task was to ask, “How do inversion tables work?” Let’s consider the benefits of inversion tables and then look at the research done to either prove or disprove the claim.
Relieve Back Pain
One of the biggest claims of inversion therapy is reduced back pain. Those that suffer back pain will often look for any relief from their chronic pain. However, are inversion tables even helpful for relieving back pain or is it simply a placebo effect?
Back in 1978, there was a study done on inversion tables that showed the use of an inversion table can help relieve pressure on the spine and relieve the muscle spasms that are often the culprit for back pain. This study was an early study on inversion tables that inspired a lot of future research.
The results of the study were impressive and researchers have found time and time again that inversion traction is beneficial at relieving pressure on the discs in the spine which can lead to a wide range of other pain issues in the back and throughout the rest of the body.
Help With Joint Pressure
Inversion tables aren’t just for relieving back pain. Joint pressure is also a common point of pain for many people. Inversion tables have been shown to relieve pressure in joints and help provide long-term relief if used regularly.
Our joints take a lot of the brunt of daily like. They support your body, the things you carry and fight gravity all at the same time. Inversion therapy relieves pressure in the joints for immediate pain relief. However, long-lasting pain relief is also possible.
When you use an inversion table, the reduced pressure in your joints allows the fluids in those joints to move back into the proper position. After inversion therapy, the pain relief could last as you go throughout your day. Continued inversion therapy allows some to reduce their need for painkillers.
Improved Blood Flow
Your heart has to pump blood against the pull of gravity. The heart is, of course, a very strong muscle but even it could use a little help every now and then. Improved blood pressure is especially helpful after working out or being on your feet all day. As your legs are active the heart must pump blood to the big muscles in your legs to feed them with oxygen so they continue to work. When you are no longer active, inversion therapy can help improve the flow of blood back to your core so your heart can move blood more efficiently throughout the rest of the body.
Of course, if you have circulation or high blood pressure issues, especially due to being overweight, then you should speak to your doctor before starting inversion therapy. Research has been done that shows the risk of issues from inversion tables is incredibly low but it’s always important to start any new health routine carefully if you have pre-existing conditions.
Better Recovery After Exercise
Blood flow back to the core isn’t the only reason to use an inversion table after being active. There are other great reasons to hit the inversion table after you hit the showers. When working out, your joints are working extra hard to support your body. Give them a break with a little bit of time on the inversion table.
As mentioned above, inversion tables help decompress joints and allow fluid to flow back into the joints. If you have been running, jumping, or lifting weights then an inversion table can make your recovery a lot more successful so you don’t miss any time when working out or playing sports.
Inversion tables are also great for stretching out the body and relieving tight muscles. Muscles spasms are one of the main causes of pain after working out. A good stretch from an inversion table can relieve muscle pain while providing a lot of other benefits—all at once!
Just as important as the benefits of inversion tables is the level of safety. Many studies have been done and found that healthy individuals have nothing to worry about when using inversion tables. It is a safe way to get pain relief and enjoy a number of other health benefits.
However, when buying an inversion table, make sure that it is heavy duty preferably made from a tubular steel frame with quality nylon straps for the ankles—and that you don’t exceed the weight capacity when in the inverted position. It is recommended that people start slow when beginning inversion therapy.
Use a small degree of inversion for a shorter time and work your way up to get used to using an inversion table. The benefits of inversion tables are huge, especially for those with chronic pain. Best of all, inversion tables have the research to back up the health claims. You can feel confident when beginning inversion therapy. It’s a safe, effective way to achieve the results you want.