Inversion tables are used in inversion therapy in which a patient is suspended upside down for several minutes. The aim of the treatment is to relieve back pain or similar ailments. The underlying theory says that by inverting a person, it is possible to reverse the effect of gravity on the body. Gravity causes muscles, bones, and joints of the back compress spine over time and it is the reason that contributes chronic back pain. Inversion therapy acts as a gentle massage and thereby helps people find some relief from chronic back pain.
In some cases, inversion therapy is an effective way to heal short-term back pain. However, in many conditions, they don’t work because they are effective only with disc and stenosis conditions which are rare and affect only 1% of the population. Most patients assume they have such conditions despite having muscular or ligament pain.
It can aggravate your pain
When your body is hanged upside down, the muscles around your spine stretch. With an inversion table or any other inversion therapy, you can’t calculate the specific force for the right segment. Due to this reason, people tend to overdo it. It the muscles around your spine stretch too much, it may cause serious injuries.
The relief will only be temporary
Using an inversion table may make you feel good when you are doing it. However, the effect will not be long-lasting. The treatment time is too short, and in order to decompress a disc completely, the force must be applied every day for at last 15-25 minutes. Remaining inverted for such a long duration is dangerous and can have other side effects.
It may injure the patient
Inversion therapy may cause issues for patients suffering from hypertension. Hanging upside down increases blood pressure. So, it must be avoided in such cases. Inversion also increases pressure in several body parts, including inner ears, and eyes. Though all these may not happen in every case, some patients are not aware of these facts. Using the inversion table can make their condition worse.
Inversion tables do not target specific disc
Another prominent reason why inversion tables don’t work. You cannot target a specific disc through inversion therapy. Also, there are no means available to determine the specific amount of force required to reverse the pressure within that disc effectively. To decompress a disc, a specific amount of force is needed. This typically includes using a percentage of body weight and the area of the spine need to be treated. In addition, to target specific disc, the spine should be positioned in a way that it focusses only the affected disc, not healthy ones. Unfortunately, inversion therapy is a straight line traction force that is very different from decompression.