Maybe you've heard about inversion therapy to treat back pain. By strapping into a pivoting support that rests on a stabilizing frame, you can hang upside-down (or at an angle) to help relieve the stress and pressure on your back. How does this work and is it an effective way to treat back pain?
First of all, I want to warn you that you should not try inversion therapy if you have a heart condition, are pregnant, suffer from high blood pressure, or have any sort of eye problem such as glaucoma. Inverting could potentially prove harmful if you suffer from one of these conditions.
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Seek out the opinion of your doctor before trying inversion therapy to reduce to risk of hurting yourself or making any condition worse.
- By inverting, what you are doing is applying an opposite force to the body that you normally receive from standing. The pull of gravity while inverting helps to decompress the joints and increase the space between the discs of the back. This allows the discs to replenish themselves with fluids to help support the back, it takes the pressure off of the nerves in the spine and allows supporting muscle groups to relax and relieve tension.
- The pull of gravity while inverting can also help to correct misalignments in the spine and hips, which are known to cause muscle imbalances and result in back pain. This may also benefit your posture and help you stand taller and more confidently.
- Additionally, many people do not only passively invert themselves, but also use exercises while inverted to strengthen muscle groups and stretch their bodies in ways that they could not while upright. The benefits are primarily increased muscular strength, which helps to support and balance the body and spine. Over time, this can also help to improve posture and correct misalignments.
- Another claim is that inversion therapy can help to improve circulation in the body. This would allow better oxygen supply to areas of the body that may not be receiving enough oxygen. Sometimes back pain can occur when circulation is not adequate, and many believe that this is an effective way of improving circulation.