Gravity Inversion Table and Other Back Pain Treatments

Back pain is a common medical concern of many people. The pain can either be on the lower or upper back area. The type of pain also varies from one person to another. It can be described as a dull, sudden, or even stabbing pain. The duration also varies depending on the severity. Back pain greatly affects not only your work but your overall quality of life and satisfaction. There are already various measures and treatments that can help manage back pain.

Various Methods of Managing Your Back Painspine

Below are some of the treatments sought by back pain sufferers. Depending on your situation, one of more of them may be used.

  • Medications. Physicians usually prescribe pain relievers like Paracetamol or Ibuprofen to individuals suffering from back pains. In some cases, they will even prescribe stronger drugs like Celecoxib. Diazepam can also be prescribed to relieve muscle spasm which causes the pain.
  • Warm and Cold Compress. Alternate warm and cold compress is found effective by some individuals suffering from back pain. It can be placed on the affected area for 10-15 minutes alternately. The compress should not be placed directly over the skin as it may cause burn/scalding. Ice/Hot packs are best wrapped in a clean cloth before application. During episodes of back pain, some people also find it relaxing to have a warm shower or soak in a bath tub with warm water.
  • Sleeping Position. Most people experience pain upon waking up in the morning. Therapists suggest placing pillows between the knees when sleeping on a side-lying position. For those people who sleep on their back, pillows should be placed under the knees.
  • Proper Body Mechanics. Back pain also surges after strenuous activity thus it is best to practice proper body mechanics to avoid straining the back muscles. When lifting any object, bend your knees rather than bending your back. When sitting, try to maintain the straight position of your back, don’t slouch on the chair or sofa as it will just strain your back muscles.
  • Massage. Tense muscles that are compressing the nerve roots can be relaxed through massage. Therapists target areas around the painful area to relieve muscle spasm.
  • Acupuncture. This Chinese alternative medicine has been found effective in reducing upper and lower back pain. It is achieved through insertion of very thin needles to various points of the body.
  • Weight loss. This measure is for obese individuals in order to relieve the vertebra from too much weight that causes compression of the nerve endings.
  • Exercise. Constant mobilization regulates blood flow and helps relieve back pain. Popular exercises for back pain are swimming and yoga. Exercise will also allow individuals to return to their daily routine.
  • Surgery. This is actually the last resort if all treatments fail. It is also done to individuals with underlying causes of pain such as HNP (Herniated Nucleus Pulposus), vertebral fracture, or spinal root compression.

What Other Solutions Are There Besides the Above

There are now products out in the market that promises relief from back pain. One of those products is the gravity inversion table. The goal in using this device is to take gravitational pressure off the nerve endings by increasing the space between the spinal column. What you basically need to do is just lie on the table, secure your feet, and invert it with your head towards the floor. These inversion tables come with safety handles on the side where you can hold on during the process.

Who Should NOT Use Inversion Therapy

Inversion tables, however, are not advisable for all individuals. According to Dr. Edward R. Laskowski of the Mayo Clinic, inversion therapy causes bradycardia (slow heart beat), increases blood pressure and increases ocular pressure. These effects worsen the longer a person stays inverted. That is why it not advised to individuals with heart problems, hypertension, and glaucoma.

So What Are the Benefits of Using a Gravity Inversion Table?

  • Helps relieve back pain. Since a person will be inverted, the weight will be taken off the compressed nerve roots thus causing relief from pain. This is particularly beneficial to people experiencing back pain caused by slipped disk.
  • Helps blood circulation. The pooled blood on the lower extremities is returned to the circulation making oxygenation more efficient.
  • Relaxation. This device also helps an individual relax by providing spinal traction. Since the spinal nerves are connected to various parts of the body, its relaxation will result to a good feeling throughout the body.

Tips When Using Inversion Tables

  • Consult your doctor. Before using this device, you should ask your doctor if you can undergo inversion therapy as there are medical conditions wherein inversion is prohibited.
  • Be sure to place the table in a dry, non-slippery surface. Even if these tables come with a sturdy base, it will be a lot safer to do your therapy on a room/space where the device won’t slip.
  • Perform stretching. Like any other exercises, you should also do some stretching for a few minutes prior to doing the inversion therapy.
  • Start slowly and progress depending on your comfort. When doing inversion therapy, an individual should just start around 15-20° for several minutes then slowly progress up to 60°. Do not overwork yourself; if you feel lightheaded, you should immediately resume upright position.
  • Choose a durable gravity inversion table. You have to do proper research to find the best inversion tables before purchasing it. There may be cheap inversion tables but they are mostly not durable and unsafe for use. There are tables on the market that can accommodate up to 350 lbs and height of up to 6’8″. Select inversion tables such as Teeter inversion tables that are made up of durable steel frames that can accommodate your weight and height. Also inspect the framework, hinges, and springs before buying it. It is advisable to inspect your device prior each use.

Caring For Your Back Pays Off

Back pain may be common for many but you should always check on your exercise routines and current health status before embarking on certain treatments. Frequent back pains and radiating pain should warrant a consultation to your doctor or chiropractor. Don’t take back pain easily as this may already be a symptom of a worsening medical condition. Keep in mind that our back houses the vertebra and spinal cord that controls many vital functions of the body. So we should always take care of our back through healthy diet, correct posturing, proper body mechanics, regular exercise, and yearly physical check-ups.