Looking For Back Pain Relief?
That moment of relief when the pain lessens is what many people with back pain look forward to. A number of therapies are effective at relieving back pain, though one of the main one growing in use in private homes is the inversion table. With relief at their fingertips, inversion table owners set their own schedule, and take care of their own pain management. This is important, particularly for those who wish to avoid overuse of pain medications, and increase their general wellbeing. So, how do inversion tables help back pain?
Something as simple as bad posture can be the cause of neck, shoulder and back pain. Good posture not only affects your looks, it can have an effect on your overall health. When your shoulders slump or your spine is curved inward your body is out of alignment and subject to pains, and even intestinal problems. Inversion tables, through the use of gravity and positioning, help your spine to straighten, and can help you achieve better posture day by day. With regular use of your inversion table, bad posture and the back pain associated with it can become a thing of the past.
Relieving Muscle Tension
Muscle tension is often the cause of everyday back pain and neck pain. Whether you are an office worker, a construction worker or an athlete, tension can invade your muscles and send them into spasms. Inversion tables help back pain caused by tension by allowing your muscles to relax and stretch on their own. This is different from stretching exercises which, while good, can create even more tension in some areas, while you work others. With the inversion table, all your muscles can relax at once as they settle into the gravitational pull.
Relieving Spinal Pressure
Using gravity to reduce pressure on the spine is another way that inversion tables help back pain. Your body when upright is fighting against gravity every moment, causing your muscles to contract and putting great pressure on your spine. When you lay on an incline your own body weight does the work of reversing gravity, and decompressing your spine.
Your spine basically consists of 2 forward curving parts (the thoracic spine, and the sacrum), and 2 backward curving part (the cervical and lumber spines). These curves balance each other out so that your head sits in a direct line above your pelvis. Once your back gets out of alignment you start getting muscle imbalance and tension, and pain soon follows.
When you use an inversion table the weight of your head gives the correct amount of traction for the top of your spine (cervical), the weight of your body from your chest up gives the right traction for your mid-spine (thoracic), and the weight of your upper body gives the right traction for your lower back (lumbar spine).
This gravitational traction helps separate the ‘building blocks’ of your spine, and creates space for the bones and discs in-between to realign themselves. At the same time this reversal of pressure allows the discs to resume a more natural shape, and helps to take pressure off the sciatic nerves – resulting in less pain in your lower back and the referred pain that shoots right down your legs.
As anyone who has ever had a disc out of alignment knows, this type of back pain can be severe due to the pressure placed on the sciatic nerve. Inversion tables help back pain caused by poorly aligned discs, without the potential damage that some other methods cause. Lying on an inclined inversion table is more beneficial for relieving back pain than lying flat due to the effect of traction overcoming the tension of your back muscles. The incline relieves pressure on your vertebrae and discs, and the gravitational pull gives the discs in your back the room and opportunity to slide gently back into place.
Overall Health Benefits
Pain can be debilitating, particularly if it is recurring. Most people with back problems suffer at least some pain during the day. This can be direct back pain, or other pain associated with back problems. The use of inversion tables not only helps back pain, it can help alleviate headaches, muscle aches, joint pain and other problem areas.
The absence of pain can have a beneficial effect on your outlook on life, other health problems, and even your sleep patterns. Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep every night, but everyone does need a certain amount of deep, or REM, sleep. Pain can cause interruptions and reduce the amount of deep sleep you get each night, and a little time spent on an inversion table before bed can help you sleep comfortably and well.
Some Final Points…
Inversion tables may not be for everyone, nor can they alleviate every pain. People with high blood pressure or glaucoma should consult their doctor before using inversion tables, and everyone who uses them should listen to their body.
The aim of inversion tables is to relieve back pain; they shouldn’t be the cause of it. Start off slowly if you are new to inversion therapy, and adjust the maximum incline angle of your inversion table to work best with your body and your needs. Learn the feeling of the gravitational pull, and let it work with your body so that the inversion table becomes your partner in alleviating your back pain.