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Do inversion tables work?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by tplyons, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    For those who don't know I'm 22 with bad back pain at times. On occasion it's so bad that I can't even sleep.

    I'm looking into getting an inversion table. From what I've read, they alleviate back pain, increase circulation and improve posture and energy, all of which I could really use.

    Does anyone have any experience with these and if so would you recommend it?
  2. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    I saw a neurosurgeon on Wednesday for a flare up of a recurring problem that I have with a herniated disk in my neck. An inversion table was one of the things that he recommended to me.
  3. nataku


    Jun 21, 2004
    San Jose, CA
    I know an older guy who used one for a while after surgery, and it seemed to really help him in the long run.
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    IME they do work, at least as part of a larger program of rehab. What doesn't necessarily do much (from what I've read) is the arch-shaped back extender bridge-doodads you'll see on sites with lots of testimonials. Apparently those are no more effective than a good stretching exercise with no special equipment.
  5. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    What's your Dr. say?

    My wife solved her lower back pain with a Tempurpedic mattress on an adjustable bed frame. By being able to raise her legs at night, it took the pressure off of her back.
  6. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Don't know. Haven't been able to see him since his office just burned down. He's been seeing his higher priority (elder) patients first.
  7. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I think they can be helpful, just be sure your ankles are securely fastened. My wife (who's a certified massage therapist and is familiar with such devices) was using one (without a spotter) and the ankle holder thingy slipped. She fell straight onto her head and I thank the good Lord that she's OK. She could have been a quadriplegic.

    If there are any acrosage practitioners in your area that's also an option. They are plentiful where I live in Northern California. In the hands & feet of a skilled person it can be a very beneficial form of massage.

    Don't know whether your pain is the result of injury, posture, congenital condition or what. For me studying the Alexander Technique, yoga (poses like cat-cow) and building some core strength with Pilates has been very helpful for back/hip issues I've had.
  8. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    My dad got one (subsidised by the NHS) and it's really helped him with his back pain. I like it after a hard days gardening.
  9. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    they have helped me in the past :)
  10. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    ...I thought this was going to be a thread about chord inversions. :bag:
  11. Fontaine


    Apr 27, 2006
    how long would you stay in these each time u use them?
  12. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I used to have back pain...then bought the hardest mattress I could find.

    Its gone away now.
  13. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    Same here, although I sleep on a board I attached to my wall now.

    Its a small 5x7 board that comes down on a set of hinges and has a chain holding either end, as well as braces on the bottom. Its comfortable and its a real space saver as well.

    It even works when company shares your bed, so long as you built it right it should be sturdy. I'll take a picture for those interested when I get home.

    Memory foam also works wonders as well.

    /chronic neck back and shoulder pain sufferer
  14. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    This is something I'd be interested to look into, but I'm skeptical. I doubt it will work to reverse what initially caused the herniation (tear in the annulus fibrosus), but it's possible that it will relieve some pain.

    However I don't like the idea of hanging upside down. That's going to cause a huge blood pressure increase in your head. Plenty of people stand on their heads in yoga so it's unlikely to outright kill you on the spot, but I'd check with a doctor first to make sure you're healthy enough to try it. At 22 I would suspect yes, but as Wikipedia alludes, there are many conditions which would put you at risk. Having done head stands in yoga before I find it uncomfortable. You can really feel the blood pooling in your head and eyes, building up pressure. As I have a family history of stroke, the idea of putting more blood in my head is worrisome.
  15. stevetx19


    Sep 28, 2006
    Denton, Texas
    head stands in yoga are apparently quite beneficial, but i've always been told not to do them if you have eye conditions. Since these inversions are similar, perhaps that is something to consider.
  16. DanAleks

    DanAleks Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2009
    I had one. It helped, but I had to get rid of it due to lack of space. The ceilings weren't tall enough.

    Recently, I was at a golf show in Chicago. I had taken the EL to the show & my hips & lower back were killing me because of the crappy seats.

    I saw some insoles called "happy feet" at the show. They're filled with glycerin that flows around & feels like a foot massage when you walk. I bought a pair and after wearing them for 10 minutes, my hip and back pain went away. They're $40, but REALLY helped me.

    I don't work for the company & I don't get any kickbacks from them for advertising.


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