If you’re curious about what an inversion table is and how it works, you’re not alone. An inversion table is a piece of exercise equipment that has become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to the growing awareness of the importance of spinal health. In this article, we’ll explore what an inversion table does, how it works, and the benefits it provides to your body.
What is an inversion table?
An inversion table is a special piece of exercise equipment that allows you to hang upside down by your ankles, with your head tilted downward. The table itself is usually made of sturdy metal or plastic, and it is designed to support your body weight while you are inverted. Some inversion tables have added features, such as adjustable settings for the angle of inversion or padding for added comfort.
How does an inversion table work?
The way an inversion table works is relatively straightforward. When you lie on the table and invert, your body’s weight is distributed differently from when you are in an upright position. This redistribution of weight creates a decompressive force on your spine, which can help to relieve pressure on the vertebrae and discs in your back. In addition to spinal decompression, the decrease in gravity stimulates circulation and lymphatic flow which helps to remove toxins from the body.
What are the benefits of using an inversion table?
The benefits of using an inversion table are numerous, but here are some of the most significant:
- Relieves back pain
- Reduces stress and tension
- Increases blood flow and oxygenation throughout the body
- Improves posture and alignment
- Provides a natural mood booster
- Strengthens the core and back muscles
Who can benefit from using an inversion table?
Virtually anyone can benefit from using an inversion table, but if you fall into one of the following categories, you may find it especially helpful:
- Those with chronic back pain or sciatica
- Those who sit for extended periods of time
- Office workers who experience shoulder and neck tension
- Athletes who experience frequent muscle soreness and tightness
- Those who want to improve their overall health and well-being
How to Use an Inversion Table Safely
It is essential to use an inversion table safely to avoid injury. Here are some tips to follow when using one:
1. Read the instructions carefully
Before using your inversion table for the first time, read the instructions carefully to ensure that you understand how to use it properly.
2. Start slowly
When using an inversion table for the first time, it’s best to start slowly. Begin with a shallow angle of inversion, no more than 20 to 30 degrees, and gradually increase the angle over time as you become more comfortable.
3. Always wear shoes
It is best to wear shoes when using an inversion table to provide additional support for your feet and ankles.
4. Use a spotter
When using an inversion table, it is always a good idea to have a spotter nearby in case you need assistance getting in or out of the inverted position. You can also ask the spotter to give you a gentle push to help you achieve a deeper stretch.
5. Avoid overuse
Using an inversion table for an extended period of time or inverting to a deep angle for too long can cause discomfort and even injury. It is best to use the table for short periods of time, no more than 5-10 minutes initially, and work your way up to longer inversions.
Using an inversion table is an excellent way to care for your spine, reduce pain, and promote overall wellness. With proper use and instruction, an inversion table can be a valuable tool in maintaining a healthy body and mind. As with any new exercise program, always consult with your doctor first to determine if it is safe for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some of the most common questions people ask about inversion tables:
- Q: Are there any risks associated with using an inversion table?
- A: While inversion tables are generally safe, they may not be suitable for everyone. People with certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, glaucoma or heart disease may not be able to use them. Always consult with your doctor before trying an inversion table.
- Q: How often should I use an inversion table?
- A: It is recommended to use an inversion table daily, preferably in short sessions of 5-10 minutes at a time. A routine of 2-3 sessions per day can be beneficial for people experiencing back pain or tension.
- Q: How long should I invert on an inversion table?
- A: It is best to start with a small degree of inversion, five to ten degrees, and gradually increase the inversion angle over time as you become more comfortable. It’s important to note that the table should be adjusted so that the body is not fully upside down. Most people find the range of 20-60 degrees to be the most comfortable and effective.
- Q: Can an inversion table help with spinal stenosis?
- A: Yes, using an inversion table can help in alleviating pressure and tension in the spinal column. Always consult with your doctor first before trying any form of back pain therapy or exercise.
- Q: Is it safe to use an inversion table during pregnancy?
- A: No, it is not safe to use an inversion table during pregnancy.
1. Tejero-Fernández V, Membrives-Torcal J, Pardos-Gascón I, Cebrián-Pérez JÁ. Efficacy of Inversion Tables in Patients With Lumbar Disk Herniation. Rehabilitation nursing : the official journal of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses. 2018 May;43(3):141-146.
2. Goble S, Mochizuki G, Juvenal G, Delaney JP, Williams A, Thomas M. Inversion therapy: can it relieve back pain? Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association. 2013 Dec;57(4):296-302.