1

votes

Benefits/Risks of an Inversion Table?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 07, 2012 at 2:02 PM

I saw this mentioned on a thread about scoliosis, but wanted to ask directly if anyone has experience with inversion tables and whether you recommend them. I acquired a bulding disk in my neck from a car accident a few years back, and have some mild scoliosis myself, and wonder if something like an inversion table can help mitigate the damage I do to myself sitting down most of the day. I'm going to get a standing desk, but even so, I'd like to know if there is more I could be doing. So does anyone know of any actual benefits, or potential negatives, or have any anecdotal evidence of their efficacy? Thank you in advance.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 08, 2012
at 05:58 AM

Don't drink and tilt. The way mine is designed, should you pass out, your feet come unhooked because you have to actively flex your feet to stay in, and you'll just slide out and get a concussion.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 07, 2012
at 06:39 PM

Agreed with the help with lower back issues, but not upper back or neck. My husband bought one when he was having terrible sciatica, and using it every night when he got home seemed to undo some of the pain induced by his desk job.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on August 07, 2012
at 05:22 PM

Fair enough Kent thanks for weighing in. Hope you do eventually find something that helps.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on August 07, 2012
at 05:21 PM

Thanks John great answer. I have read that the effect is greater lower in the spine, and as I also have some twinges there from sitting all day I guess it couldn't hurt to try. As for risks I mostly wanted to understand if it could cause damage. I'm definitely healthy enough to walk briskly up some stairs :)

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4 Answers

5
417ac0e162dc468b8ca61a574e5cd3c0

on August 07, 2012
at 03:13 PM

I have an inversion table in my office and use it therapeutically with patients suffering from sciatica. I have recommended home-use this type of device for dozens, if not hundreds of patients. An inversion table, when used properly and carefully for the proper reasons/conditions, can be a phenomenal, effective and inexpensive spinal-health-benefiting device for many people, by helping to counter or mitigate the many detrimental, chronic, bio-mechanical stressors of modern living. That being said, it has virtually zero effect on the cervical spine (neck). Its primary impact is on the lower part of the lumbar spine (the lumbar-sacral junction) and its effect decreases as you move upward on the spine. Once you are at the level of the Thoracic spine and above, it has very little effect, if any. Therefore, any scoliosis, disc problems, etc. that are located at or above the thoraco-lumbar junction would receive very little effect or benefit. For disc problems in the neck, you might want to look into using a simple device called a Denneroll (google it).

Of course I am assuming you have been examined by a good chiro.

As for risks, there are some minor risks for folks who are already suffering from substantial health problems. I rarely to never use or recommend the device on people who are: obese, have high blood pressure, are beyond the age of 70 (or so), etc. In general, if a person is healthy enough to walk briskly up a stairs, they can probably handle an inversion table with no problem. Helpful hint: do not go beyond 45 degrees past horizontal (not necessary in most cases).

Good luck.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 07, 2012
at 06:39 PM

Agreed with the help with lower back issues, but not upper back or neck. My husband bought one when he was having terrible sciatica, and using it every night when he got home seemed to undo some of the pain induced by his desk job.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on August 07, 2012
at 05:21 PM

Thanks John great answer. I have read that the effect is greater lower in the spine, and as I also have some twinges there from sitting all day I guess it couldn't hurt to try. As for risks I mostly wanted to understand if it could cause damage. I'm definitely healthy enough to walk briskly up some stairs :)

1
07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on August 07, 2012
at 05:09 PM

I bought an inversion table in an attempt to alleviate som chronic back pain I've had for years that hasn't been reduced by doctors, drugs, injections, chiropractors, massage, acupuncture, physical therapy, or trigger point therapy.

Or the inversion table.

Your mileage may vary, of course. I only bought it because of the wealth of positive anecdotal feedback in dozens of reviews around the internet. I decided to overlook the negative reviews.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on August 07, 2012
at 05:22 PM

Fair enough Kent thanks for weighing in. Hope you do eventually find something that helps.

0
E2db1519690001648433e8109eb2c013

on August 08, 2012
at 02:40 AM

Possible downsides: blood pressure etc. just as for headstands and handstands. I have also seen claims that inversion/traction actually increases pressure on vertebral disks because of the natural stretch response.

My colleague Galen Cranz, who's book 'The Chair' launched much of the standing desk/furniture reform talk nowadays, reduced her scoliosis from 90% --her x-ray showed a curve like a question-mark-- to less than 60% after a few years work with the Alexander Technique.

Look it up.

-1
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on August 08, 2012
at 02:41 AM

You may drown in your own blood.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 08, 2012
at 05:58 AM

Don't drink and tilt. The way mine is designed, should you pass out, your feet come unhooked because you have to actively flex your feet to stay in, and you'll just slide out and get a concussion.

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