Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral
curvature of the spine. Usually, the spine appears straight when viewed from
the back. With scoliosis, it may take a C or S shape to either side.
Scoliosis can be found in 2-3% of the population. It is diagnosed when the curvature measures 10 degrees or more.
Can you fix scoliosis with exercise? Mild scoliosis can be effectively reduced with exercise. More severe cases may require a brace or surgery, but it can still be helpful. Below, you’ll find a list of the scoliosis exercises to straighten spine, as well as some recommended sports.
Stretching exercises are excellent for straightening the spine and achieving a better posture. It’s recommended to extend in the direction of the curve, rather than in the opposite direction.
The bend in your spine causes some
muscles to be elongated. When stretching them even further, you can trigger a
reflex that will pull them back and shorten them. This evens out the muscles
around your spine.
Bending on the opposite side of your scoliosis curve may be difficult and ineffective.
Another effect of stretching is to elongate the spine and reduce the weight of gravity on the vertebrae. This can be achieved with specific stretches, such as hanging from a bar, inversion yoga, and using a tool such as an inversion table.
Whatever stretching regimen you choose, avoid backbends, as they can cause excessive stress on your spine, which increases the bend. Excess spine rotations may also contribute to the problem.
Side bending is not a common position
for daily activity, which makes it a beneficial stretch. There are many
variations you can try, including standing, sitting, and using dumbbells. The
important thing is to do it often.
Press one hand on your waist, on the
side of your spine curvature. Raise the other arm above you and slowly bend
with the curve.
Alternatively, extend both arms above
you and bend to the direction of the curve. This is best done while standing up
to help relieve the excess weight on your spine.
Repeat the stretch for 50-100 times for a focused session, or do it often throughout the day. If you have an S curve with a significant bend on both sides, you can repeat and alternate between sides.
This pose is an inversion yoga pose, which helps reduce the weight of gravity on your vertebrae. You can also try other inversion poses or use an inversion table for a similar effect.
Gravity forces your spine even further into the curvature, which can exacerbate the condition.To do the stretch, simply lie down with your back flat on the floor and raise your legs against the wall.
Move closer or further away from the wall until you find a position that feels comfortable. To take it further, split the legs into a V shape. This stretches the hips as well.
The cat-cow stretch is a flow between two yoga poses. It helps stretch your midsection and is excellent for lower back pain. This makes it an ideal scoliosis exercise for adults.
To try it, start with your hands and
knees on the floor. The wrists should be parallel to the shoulders, and the
knees placed hip-width apart. Keep your head in a relaxed position and your
For the cow pose, take a deep breath. Drop your midsection closer to the floor, and lift your chest, shoulders, and head up, pointing your gaze to the ceiling. Hold the pose for five seconds or so. For the cat pose, exhale.
Draw your belly back toward your spine, in the same way, a cat would stretch. Drop your head down without forcing your chin towards your chest.
The piriformis is a fan-shaped muscle
that links the hips to the tailbone. It can become tight on one side,
especially if your scoliosis causes one hip to stick out.
You can perform the stretch by lying on your back, with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Rest the right ankle over the left knee, and pull the left thigh toward the chest. The legs should form a 4 shape.
Hold the stretch for several seconds, then repeat for the other side. Another way to stretch the piriformis muscle is to lie on your back with knees bent, just like before.
Grab the left knee with your right hand, and pull towards the right shoulder. Hold for several seconds then repeat for the other side.
Many scoliosis patients avoid
particular sports, thinking that it could exacerbate their condition. However,
staying active is vital for spine health.
You may only need to avoid competitive
sports, particularly after surgery. Consult your doctor to determine which
sports would be appropriate.
Some sports put uneven stress on the spine, including figure skating, tennis, javelin throwing, and other activities that depend on the use of one arm.
It’s best to avoid these. Additionally, sports that compress the spine, including anything that requires heavy lifting or hard landings, can be dangerous for scoliosis. This includes cheerleading, gymnastics, running for long distances, and of course, weight-lifting.
Swimming is an excellent way to
strengthen the spine in a weightless environment. It’s a good cervical and
lumbar scoliosis exercise, but may not be a good option for thoracic scoliosis.
Daily swimming, such as that required to swim competitively, can flatten the middle of the spine. This can make the curve of thoracic scoliosis worse.
Aside from that, swimming exercises many muscle groups in a low-stress environment. It also encourages symmetry more than any other sport.
Soccer is an excellent option for
those with thoracic scoliosis because it helps reduce the flattening of the
Restoring the natural back-to-front curve of the spine helps reduce the abnormal lateral curvature. Except for the goalkeeper, any position on the team would be fine.
A scoliosis diagnosis doesn’t mean you
have to quit any of your current activities. It merely means that you need to
adapt them to your condition. Exercises represent a necessary scoliosis
treatment at home. It’s best to discuss with your doctor the best course of
Tired of going to the gym and not seeing results? Then it’s time to make a change in your gym exercising routine towards the most effective exercises known to man. It’s time to take up inversion exercises.
Inversion therapy has been around for a while and using inversion therapy tables is great for reducing sciatic nerve pain (sciatica), helps relieve back pain, and improves blood pressure. Nowadays more people are using inversion exercises to gain the kind of strength that matters at the end of the day.
Give yourself the power to do things you’ve never thought you could before, moving or carrying heavier loads longer and farther than before. You can do anything with the strength you have, you just need to achieve it first.
And you can do that than with these five awesome inversion exercises. Like with inversion therapy, they’re easy to do, require little to no equipment, and give you life-changing results in no time. Just get on an inversion table and start getting the body you want. There’s no reason not to start doing these exercises today.
Let’s begin with a variation that most of you should know.
In the fully inverted position on the table, place your hands on your chest and use your abs to lift your upper body about one-third of the way up. Gently lower yourself back into resting position, but do not relax your ab muscles.
Lift yourself back up again one-third of the way, lower, and repeat. Be sure not to strain your neck muscles or hold too much tension in the head or face, as this could give you a stress headache and other injuries. Other than that, it’s a simple exercise that strengthens the core quickly and efficiently.
Inverted Russian Twists
This is a variant of the crunch, but with more muscles worked at a higher intensity. Lay flat on your inversion table with your hands resting on your chest. Then sit up almost to the full sitting position (tension should still be held in your abs).
Twist left, so that your body faces the left side of the machine and your right oblique is worked, then face right so that your left oblique is worked. Once that is done, lower yourself once more to a flat position, but not fully, so that your abs are always engaged throughout the entire process.
15 to 20 of these should make you sore for the next couple of days, the sign that your body is changing for the better.
To get a butt that turns heads, there’s no better exercise than the squat. Without an inversion table, you’d simply stand with your feet shoulder length apart, squat as if you’re about to sit down in a chair, then return to standing position. You can alter intensity with dumbbells or other weights, but it’s a classic for killer glutes.
With an inversion table, you’d do pretty much the same thing, except now your body is inverted to fight gravity. All you have to do is hang yourself upside down from an elevated position and start squatting.
Your hamstrings and glutes will pull you up, and you’ll feel them working soon into the exercise. If you have back pain but still want to work out these muscles, then inversion will take pressure off your back and allow you to work your butt into greatness.
The initial rush of blood to your neck and head might be uncomfortable, but unless there is pain present the inversion should have no negative effects up there, only positive effects through exercise.
Inverted Leg Lifts
Yet another ab champion. This one allows you to keep your upper torso flat on the machine, so you can watch Netflix or read the news as you do this.
Laying flat on your back on the machine, press your ankles together and lift both of them up about a foot off the machine. Hover in the air for about five seconds, then slowly lower your ankles to resting position.
Do this in sets of 15 to 20, and do multiple sets throughout your workout. It’s tough, but it’s great for adding definition to the lower abs.
To increase the difficulty (as if the force of gravity wasn’t enough), you can always add ankle weights or heavy devices to your shins to add more resistance and thus work the muscle more.
Inverted Diamond Push-up
Did you think we forgot about your back and arms? Of course not! The push-up is a great, simple exercise to work those muscles until you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s younger, more attractive sibling.
Simple lay stomach-down on the machine, making a diamond with the tips of your thumb and pointer finger pressed together under your chest. Then push against the machine, lifting your upper body off the table.
Hold yourself up for about three seconds, then lower yourself back down. Do this in sets of ten, since even on the ground this is a tough one.
However, nothing will be better for working those backs and arms on the table. You’ll start seeing results in no time.
Importance of Stretching
Inversion exercises are great for adding resistance to your exercise routines, but be sure to stretch properly before you jump into squats or push-ups or Russian Twists. Stretching prevents injury and keeps you in tip-top shape so you can continue exercising.
There are no set exercises for stretching on an inversion table, but it’s best to do what you’d do standing regularly on the machine. You lie on the table and raise your hands above your head so you’re one straight line.
This should stretch your back muscles and loosen up your core. You can touch your toes by sitting up and reaching for them or stretch your hamstrings by lying down and raising one leg so that it’s eye level.
Do what feels natural and continue until you feel loosened and relax. After that, grab some water, take a swig of your protein shake, and start your exercises.
Inversion exercises are great for exercising the whole body due to its gravity-resisting properties. Do the exercises mentioned above and you’ll get that killer body you’ve always wanted in no time.
If you’re suffering from back issues of any kind, you already know how difficult it can be to get relief. It’s no secret why back problems are so insidious: the spine and back muscles must bear many of our body’s burdens, and our modern lifestyle doesn’t help them to stay in a state of readiness for the task.
Inversion tables are great options for addressing your back issues without turning to drugs, surgery, or more expensive physical therapy or massage. Among all the inversion tables on the market, we’ve found that the Innova ITM4800 Advanced Heat and Massage Therapeutic Inversion Therapy Table is the best overall. In this Innova ITM4800 review, we’ll tell you exactly why.
Back pain and muscle tension can sometimes be impossible to iron out without a bunch of different treatments working together. As anyone who has suffered from back pain will tell you, once you’ve found the perfect combination of treatments, you stick with it for long term therapy.
Until then, it’s a game of hunting down the combination that gives relief.
A typical inversion table offers you only one kind of treatment, which has two parts: spinal compression and extension, both because of inversion. If this one treatment is enough to cure your back pain, that’s great—but for some people, the quest for relief must continue.
The ITM4800 could potentially help you find relief in one all-encompassing package where other inversion tables might only address a fraction of your issues.
Because of the ITM4800’s massage and heating functions, it can offer a lot more than a typical inversion table to those who have treatment resistant back pain or muscle tension. Thermotherapy and massage therapy are both new treatment fronts that the ITM4800 can offer you but a normal inversion table can’t.
If your back pain and muscle tension have responded to inversion, thermotherapy, or massage therapy in the past, you likely have a lot to gain by combining all three at once. This table is also great for those who need a super effective inversion solution and who can’t shell out the cash for a high-end model that you might find at the chiropractor or physical therapist.
The Innova therapy table isn’t right for everyone, though.
If you’ve tried inversion in the past but didn’t get the results you wanted, there’s a good chance that the ITM4800 could give you a helping hand by bringing more treatments to bear on your issues. If you found inversion to be more uncomfortable than doing nothing, this table won’t be any different.
In the same vein, if you’ve already experimented with another heated and massaging inversion table and haven’t seen relief, there’s a good chance that the ITM4800 can’t help you either. You might want to check out cryotherapy, aromatherapy, or deep tissue massage therapy instead.
If you’re not sure about what your inversion needs are or how your body responds to inversion in general, the features on this table might be a bit too much for your needs. There are cheaper tables which may give you pain relief without requiring as much setup or as many bells and whistles.
The Exerpeutic Inversion Table is a good example of a more basic table which might give you pain relief on a tighter budget and with less confusion regarding therapy modalities.
The Company Behind the ITM4800
Innova Health and Fitness is a personal health hardware company that makes inversion tables, indoor cycling bikes, treadmills, and strength-training benches.
Throughout their different product lines, Innova is well-known for the sturdiness and durability of their products. Recently, users praise Innova for its commitment to user comfort in its various product lines, which we see reflected in the ITM4800.
If you ever have to interact with Innova customer support, you’ll find that they’re kind, helpful, and very responsive.
Critical Features and Benefits
The ITM4800 has most of the features that you’d want from an inversion table, but also a few extra which you might not realize are beneficial if you aren’t familiar with inversion tables. In this section, we’ll look at the features the ITM4800 has and how they stack up with what you’ll need to make the most out of the table.
Sturdiness/Durability (and Safety)
Given that you’ll be potentially completely upside down, it’s obvious that every inversion table needs to be 100% sturdy and also extremely durable. The weight-bearing areas of the table are the hinges which attach the table itself to the mount and by proxy the ankle cups.
If you’ve ever used a less-than-perfect inversion table, you’ll know the utter fear that an errant creaking or shaking of your table introduces while you’re in the very vulnerable state of total inversion. The ITM4800 will serve you well because the stand and also its hinges are heavy duty.
Aside from the hinges on the unit, the ITM4800’s handles are also critical safety features which startlingly not all other inversion tables have. The handles will help you to make the transition between inversion angles as well as helping with strapping in and climbing out.
The Innova is an inversion table with heat, which requires a few precautions. The ITM4800 needs to plug into a wall outlet before these functions will work, which shouldn’t be a problem for you, but it does introduce a unique hazard which other inversion tables don’t have: tripping on the ITM4800’s very long electrical cord.
In our book, that’s a minimal risk that’s more than worth accepting to make use of the ITM4800’s stellar energy consuming features. The need for power does make the ITM4800 not the best possible inversion table for transporting around, but you probably won’t be moving your inversion table outside of your home or gym very much anyway.
The ITM4800’s comfort is hard to beat, which is important for a few reasons. First, comfortable elongation of your spine via adjustable pads and leg supports guarantees that you’ll be able to tolerate being inverted long enough to get a therapeutic effect, which you can’t say about many of this table’s competitors.
Second, the cushions and padding are washable, meaning that you won’t have to worry about getting dirty or picking up germs—another feature that the ITM4800’s competitors lack.
Finally, the ITM4800’s inversion settings are diverse enough that you won’t have to compromise on a slightly too inverted angle instead of one that isn’t inverted enough. You’ll be able to pick the exactly right angle for your back thanks to the calibration pin system.
Ease of use
The ITM4800’s ease of use is one of its stronger points. To change the inversion angle of the table, simply remove one of the pins and insert the pin which is labeled with the angle that you’d like to experience.
It’s hard to mess things up as far as correctly configuring the angle goes. The other points of user customization are in the ankle cups and the headrest. Adjusting the headrest is easy, as is elongating or shortening the support that carries the ankle cups.
Some users have reported that the ankle cups are too small for their ankles or that they tend to be in an awkward position about their height even with adjustment. Overall, this won’t be an issue unless you have knee or leg issues that would prevent you from holding them in position during the more steeply angled inversions.
The handrails on either side of the table itself are also adjustable, allowing lanky or gangly users to grasp them at a comfortable angle while inverting or returning to normal. Be aware that the handrails don’t have pads, and friction across them for whatever reason may be irritating to your hands.
Innova’s inversion table is a great value for consumer grade inversion tables. You won’t have to break the bank to get an effective device, and you’ll get quite a few features for your buck.
If you buy the minimum package which contains just the inversion table and the normal warranty, you’re getting the best value for the ITM4800. If you decide to buy the expert assembly option, you’ll be paying a lot extra—sometimes, as much as the table’s cost.
Similarly, the 3-year protection package might be a good pickup because it’s relatively inexpensive, but the 4-year package is much costlier.
Regardless of the expensive additions, you’re unlikely to find an inversion table that’s as good for the same price as the ITM4800.
The ITM4800, like most other inversion tables, can be collapsed into a flat package at the hinge while not in use. You’ll be able to fit the ITM4800 into a closet without any difficulties, save for two.
First, the table’s handrails and ankle cups limit the amount that you can compress it into a flat package. If you remove the handrails or ankle cups, you’ll have better results, but also add assembly time whenever you’re interested in using it next.
Second, the ITM4800 lacks a way of holding the two halves of its stand together when it’s in the compact position for storage. This won’t be a problem if you lean it against a wall or have other objects pressed against it, but it does mean that it’s possible for the stand to accidentally unfold under certain circumstances.
Flexibility (Inversion Angles etc.)
The ITM4800 boasts four inversion angles with a fifth available for those who like to live dangerously. You’ll be able to pick between 120 degrees, 140 degrees, 160 degrees, 180 degrees, or shallower degrees if you’re willing to improvise your calibration pins.
Most users will be fully satisfied by the inversion degree options which come stock. We suggest that you start with the less inverted degree options first, then work your way up to a full inversion as you feel comfortable—and as your therapeutic needs require.
The strap on the table’s center will keep you grounded against the table while also providing an enjoyable heat, at your command. The strap is more than flexible enough to accommodate most body types, and its light stretchiness shouldn’t interfere with your spinal elongation.
Add-Ons / Extra Features
With this inversion table, you’ll grab a few bonus features like heating pads and massage pads. Most other inversion tables can’t claim to have these two features, and they’re practically a steal. The heating pads provide a gentle level of therapeutic heat directly to your problem areas which you’ll appreciate during your inversion.
With the ITM4800, you’ll get a heated massage table and a heated inversion table all in one package.
The massage pads have a couple of different settings and offer gentle tactile pressure to your back while you’re inverting. Some people might find it a bit overwhelming at first, so definitely try inverting without the massage option first and then introduce it in future inversions while you’re at a gentle angle.
Aside from the electrical features, you also have the option of upgrading your ITM4800 package in a few different ways. The ITM4800 has options for expert assembly and device protection plans. In our view, the expert assembly might be worthwhile if you tend to have difficulty with assembling things, but we’ll get into more detail on that topic soon enough.
As mentioned before, the protection plans are a toss-up. If you think that you’re going to be making heavy use of your table for the next few years, it’s probably worth opting for the 3-year plan, which isn’t that expensive. The plans cover normal wear and tear, which you’ll be sure to accumulate.
The 4-year plan probably isn’t a good addition to your table’s purchase. It’s vastly more expensive than the three-year plan and approaching the cost of the table itself when it’s on sale. Rather than buy the 4-year protection plan, you might be better served by simply buying a brand-new table after four years.
If you’re of average height and weight, you’ll fit comfortably into this inversion table. If you’re shorter than 4 foot 10 or taller than 6 foot 6, you shouldn’t be using this table as it might be uncomfortable. Additionally, if you’re heavier than 300 pounds, you shouldn’t be using this table because it might be unsafe.
The taller you are, the more you’ll have to configure your inversion table to suit your needs as best it can. Taller folks are typically dealing with things that aren’t the right dimensions for their body, and the ITM4800 is no exception. Though there are a lot of areas where you can optimize the table for height, the biggest problem will always be leg length.
If your legs are very long, expect to struggle a bit with the ITM4800—otherwise, you should be all set.
A 1-year warranty comes stock with Innova’s inversion tables. It’s rare to find manufacturing defects in the ITM4800, but you’re all set if you happen to find one. Similarly, no users have complained of incomplete packaging or assembly kits, but if your unit is still under warranty, you’ll have no problem getting a new part.
Assembling the ITM4800 seems to be extremely hit or miss. Many users claim that they assembled the unit in about an hour with no difficulties along the way or afterward. Other users claim that they incorrectly assembled their inversion table and found out only afterward, necessitating their complete disassembly and subsequent reassembly.
If you’ve never assembled an inversion table before, you might have a hard time assembling this table—or maybe not. If you’re extremely concerned about incorrectly assembling the table or don’t have roughly an hour to assemble it, it’s always an option to pay for the assisted assembly.
Having someone else assemble the table for you is expensive, but guarantees that your table will be assembled correctly and quickly. If you’re good enough at putting stuff together to nail Ikea furniture on the first try, you’re fully qualified to take on assembling the ITM4800.
If you’re not able to move a 50-pound object easily, you should probably get help setting up your unit and moving it around.
Innova’s customer support is perpetually responsive and sincere, which is great. Though their hours are a bit short, you should be able to get in touch with a customer service representative without any difficulty, if necessary.
Furthermore, most major online retailers of Innova products are overseen by an Innova representative who will answer questions that users post and respond to reviewers. Check out a few of these responses to get a feel for how effective and personalized Innova’s customer support can be.
Do You Really Need Heat and Massage for Your Inversion Table?
Now that you know all about the ITM4800, you’re probably weighing your options and wondering whether it’s the right purchase for you. It’s undeniable that the heat and massage functions of this inversion table add to its price tag, and you may be wondering whether they’re necessary features.
As it turns out, heat and massage aren’t necessary features for an inversion table, but they can add quite a bit to the table’s therapeutic potential and its comfort. In this section, we’ll let you know what heating and massage can do to help your therapeutic inversion and clue you into a few alternatives to the ITM4800 that might be right for you.
What’s the Advantage of Heat and Massage Combined with An Inversion Table?
Adding heat to your inversion table has a few functions. Heat during inversion is a form of thermotherapy, which increases blood flow, reduces inflammation, relieves muscle spasms, reduces pain, and helps joints be suppler. These benefits are clinically proven, and many inversion tables have heating elements.
The exact method of heating varies from table to table, but the most common are via infrared heating, much like a heat gun, and surface contact heating, like the ITM4800 uses. Infrared heating tends to be less consistently distributed, but some users prefer it because it feels different than surface contact heating.
Either way, heating elements are great features to have on your inversion table because thermotherapy can be combined with other therapies for your muscles and spine.
This means that when you use heat during your inversion therapy, you’ll be doubling up on the therapeutic effects of your inversion because inversion helps to accomplish most of the same things as thermotherapy. While there haven’t been any studies specifically investigating thermotherapy during inversion, it’s a safe bet that thermotherapy is a great addition to your table.
Adding massage to your inversion table is also helpful for a few reasons. Massage helps relieve pain, relieve anxiety, reduce blood pressure, and reduce muscle spasms. Many of these benefits of massage overlap with the intended functionality of the inversion table as well as the thermotherapy.
When you introduce massage to your inversions, you’re providing another layer of therapeutic effects to your back. Because the same goes for thermotherapy, you’ll likely get a much better outcome when using an inversion table that has both heating and massage elements, like the ITM4800.
It’s possible that you can get pain relief with an unpowered inversion table which doesn’t offer massage or thermotherapy, but your odds are much better with the ITM4800.
What Are My Alternatives?
Perhaps the ITM4800 isn’t the right inversion table for you due to its price or capacity. The good news is that there are a few great alternatives which you’ll be able to pick from and still get a great table.
If you’re on a budget, try Innova’s ITX9600, which is a model without heating or massage elements but still maintains Innova’s standards of quality. The ITX9600 is just as serious as the ITM4800, but it’s a bit more travel-friendly, less expensive, and doesn’t have any electronics that might fail.
Conversely, if money is no concern, check out the Teeter Inversion Table for a table with all the bells and whistles that is overpriced but packed with features. The Teeter is too expensive for the features it offers, but if you’re looking for a comprehensive number of massage points and deeply configurable heating and tilting, it could serve your needs.
Finally, if you’re looking for a table with a higher capacity than the ITM4800, try the Ironman IFT 4000, which has a capacity of 350 pounds and includes thermotherapy. Beyond the IFT4000, you’ll need a medical grade inversion table to accommodate anyone who is over the capacity.
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What Most Customers Say
Most customers love their ITM4800 and experience relief from their symptoms by using it consistently. Furthermore, most customers find the ITM4800 easy to use, easy to clean, durable, stable, comfortable, and affordable. There’s an entire audience of happy Innova reviews by users out there on the internet, and many of them are vocal about how much they’ve been impressed by the table. For most customers, calibrating the table is no problem, though initial setup may be difficult.
Very tall users that technically fall within the table’s advertised capacity will probably have issues with fitting their legs into it gracefully. It’s important to note that very tall people will probably struggle with most of the consumer grade inversion boards on the market, so this isn’t a drawback that’s specific to the ITM4800.
Most importantly, inverting on this table helps users have healthier backs and spines by effectively decompressing the spine, allowing trapped nerve endings to become dislodged. Similarly, customers report that the traction caused by the table’s full 180-degree inversion helps to give relief to their lower back musculature and increase their blood flow.
The ITM4800 is an excellent heated and massaging therapeutic inversion table that’s hard to beat for its price point. For therapeutic use, it’s hard to ask for any additional features from this inversion table. You’ll experience a table which is easy to use and safe thanks to its superior quality construction.
If you’re in the market for an inversion table, the ITM4800 is a very smart buy. It’s even enjoyable enough to simply sit in un-inverted to enjoy its heating and massage features, something that isn’t true of most other inversion tables.
You’ll get a table that can ease your back pain and help with your chronic symptoms while also providing relaxation and muscular support. Because of its sturdy construction, buying the ITM4800 will equip you with a table that you’ll have for years of use.