For the modern generation, inversion therapy might be a trendy thing, but inverting one’s body has been a natural therapeutic modality that has been in vogue for centuries. It has been used for stretching, pain relief, strength-building, and more. There are many practitioners of this therapy who vouch for the benefits of inversion therapy.

Inversion Therapy

Gravity is known to pull the organs, muscles, as well as joints downwards, which compresses them against the spine.

Over time, this compression can cause fatigue, chronic back pain, and other related symptoms. A spinal health technique, inversion therapy involves angling your body downward for a few minutes.

Practiced on an inversion table, this therapy utilizes gravity and as well as a person’s own body weight for stretching and elongating the spine which in turn relaxes the compressed discs.

In this therapy, the user secures oneself and adjusts the angle of the tilt. One can remain in an inverted position for around 10-15 minutes, depending on the tilt.

Practitioners of inversion therapy usually use it during their chiropractic or physiotherapy visits. However, many also practice this at home using inversion tables.

Inversion Therapy Helps With?

Spinal compression is believed to be the major reason for many cases of lumbar pain.

With people being sedentary and hardly moving their body, holistic solutions like inversion therapy are believed to help in reversing the effects of not having enough circulation and movement.

Some of the conditions that inversion therapy is believed to help with include:
  • Non-specific back pain
  • Chronic lower back pain
  • Sciatica pain
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Muscle tension

Benefits of Inversion Tables

Regular users of inversion tables state it has benefitted them and improved their quality of life.

Because inversion tables stretch and releases tension from spinal muscles, inversion therapy is also believed to reduce stress, promote blood circulation and increase flexibility.

Some major health benefits of inversion tables include
  • Improved spine health
  • Reducing the need for painkillers
  • Preventing surgeries for sciatica or lumbar pain
  • Reduction of stress
  • Increased mobility

So Does it Really Help?

The short and long answer is a resounding NO.

Theoretically, inversion therapy releases the gravitational pressure off the vertebral column and the nerve roots and increasing the space between intervertebral discs.

Inversion therapy is among many techniques where spinal traction is used for relieving back pain. Inversion therapy does not provide any long-term pain relief from chronic back pain. Also, inversion therapy is not suitable for everyone.

This therapy requires a person to hang upside down. However, this head-down position is not suitable for people suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, or glaucoma.

When a person remains inverted for a considerable length of time (two or more minutes), the heartbeat slows down while the blood pressure shoots up. Ocular pressure also increases, which makes it a very dangerous proposition for many people.

Well-designed studies that evaluated spinal traction found that this technique is not very effective when it comes to long-term relief.

Spinal traction can help temporarily, albeit as a supplement to a comprehensive treatment program aimed at lower back pain.