If there’s one thing that springs to mind about Inversion table therapy, it’s that it looks intimidating. Resembling more of a medieval torture device than a pain relieving apparatus, just one look at its straps, buckles and 360 degree rotating table, can make you want to stay firmly seated in your chair.
Yet there are good reasons for getting up off the Chiropractic bench, and strapped in to an Inversion table. Especially in the case of Fibromyalgia patients, it can provide a quick, gentle and effective release of compression from the lower spine.
But why in the world would you want to even contemplate getting yourself turned upside down in one of these things, if there are other treatment methods that can do the same?
Good question! You’re about to find out.
The beauty of Inversion table therapy is not in its looks, but rather its ability to help gently shift compression and nerve pain in as little as 30 seconds to a minute.
It can improve a number of back-related ailments and can be used as a maintenance tool, to counteract gravity caused tightness from everyday activities such as sitting and standing. It can also help to improve lower back injuries slowly overtime.
In the case of Fibromyalgia, there are three main benefits of inversion tables.
- It is a lower back treatment that can work when other hands on methods are just too painful
- It is a treatment that can be beneficial when others have failed
- If you own your own inversion table, it can be used regularly to shift pain and also prolong visits to your regular practitioner.
How Do Inversion Tables Work?
The upturned position of inversion table therapy allows for gravity to softly stretch out the spine and spread out restricted connective tissue. This gentle action naturally creates more room between the vertebrae, neurtralizes compression caused by everyday gravity and alleviates pressure on nerves and disks.
In more serious cases that are the result of injury, such as a herniated, bulging or diseased disks, inversion table therapy can help to maintain the natural curve or “S” shape of the spinal disks.
These disks can become misshapen, flatten or swell due to gravity related squeeze. Inversion helps to maintain their natural curve while also creating better circulation and blood supply so chemical irritants can be removed and good nutrients can be delivered.
Also, as our disks act as the body’s natural shock absorbers, elongating the spine can help to relieve some of the pressure they endure, by providing a truly non weight-bearing environment.
What Fibromyalgia Related Conditions Can Inversion Improve?
- Bulging Disks
- Herniated Disks
- Issues with the sacroiliac joint & sacrum
- Sciatica (often a symptom of a herniated disk)
- Can help relieve general aches and joint pain
Getting Used To Inversion
Of course to be able to benefit from this treatment, you first have to get used to being inverted. Transitioning from upright to lying flat, to upside down, is actually a fluid movement, that admittedly can make you feel a little silly at first, but it will soon pass over time.
What you really need to be prepared for though is the side affects of hanging upside down.
Inversion Side Affects
Nausea, vertigo and dizzy spells are all symptoms of Fibromyalgia, and even if they’re not your usual symptoms, being tipped upside down can highlight these sensations.
Also, if you are turned upside down too quickly, you will experience a quick rush of blood to the head. This can be minimised, if you are slowly positioned at different angles at different intervals.
What can’t be avoided however is an increased pressure in your eyes and blood vessels. This is not particularly pleasant and can become quite uncomfortable. You can always try inversion table therapy starting at 30 second intervals and slowly make your way to a minute or more, as you become more accustomed to the sensation.
What Sort Of Relief Might You Feel?
If the side affects don’t impinge on you, inversion table therapy can be an excellent method for quickly and conveniently reducing many common Fibro symptoms. Although it must be noted that how long the positive affects last, is really down to the individual.
Inversion Table Benefits Include:
- Alleviate lower back pinching
- Alleviate headaches and sometimes neck pain
- Can help to encourage the correct posture
- Relieve nerve pressure
- Improve sleep
- Is very gentle on the spine
What Inversion Table Therapy Can’t Do
What Inversion table therapy can’t do is replace your regular Chiropractor or Osteopath, and it certainly can’t replace a spinal adjustment if that is what you are used to.
Used regularly what it might do, is help maintain the health of your lower back, which means you might not need to have as many Chiropractic or Osteopathic treatments.
Testing It Out
If you like the sound of Inversion tables, then it’s a good idea to find a practitioner that uses one. Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Physiotherapist most commonly use these devices.
It’s also a good idea to try it a few times before making your final judgement about its effectiveness. Your first experience with inversion might only create a gentle and minor stretch of the lower back, and its effects may not last very long.
Just like any part of the body, it takes regular gentle stretching before you can feel the real benefit, and inversion table therapy is generally the same.