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Inversion therapy

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Lower Back Pain
I wonder what the current feeling is about inversion therapy such as this use of an inversion bar


does anyone think it helps?


  • I threw my back out reaching to turn off the alarm clock. Actually set off the facet-joints, sciatica, within an hour, barely able to hobble on a cane, was looking for my other cane in case I needed it to get to ER. And you want me to try to get upside-down? Not bloody likely!

    Took more than a week to settle down again.

    For those that can, go for it! LOL
  • done inversion therapy on an inversion table - much easier to get in and out of. I did benefit from the decompression, but then one day it started bothering me more then helping. I guess I would compare it to medication working and then all of a sudden for no reason not helping - weird. I still have it and on occassion I do still use it. I was using it regularly - 2 - 3 times a day. The you tube video is a joke - most folks with back/neck probs could never use such a bar - heck even when my spine was completely healthy I'd probably struggle. All the best, Mike
  • Paul,
    I have to agree with you. If i could get in that position I wouldn't be on here to even read about it. I am lucky to open the gallon of milk and someone thinks I can test a inversion bar...rofl. I am curious as to why this person is sending out so many buddy request or even found this website. I am going to say this is going to end up to be some serious spam. If you could even entertain the idea that you could use that equipment I doubt you have any serious spine issues, or a check of your meds is in order.
  • This was a first post of Citylights but as no direct product mentioned will comment.

    Inversion or Gravity boots were around at least 30 years ago and confess I did this exercise around 28 years ago in a gym and sometimes held dumbbells but did not continue for long. There were various rumors at the time that discredited its benefit particularly for those with blood pressure such as people blowing blood vessels in eyes etc. I have not seen Gravity Boots in a Gym for a long time which should say something.

    From a more practical perspective the center of gravity of a female is slightly lower than a male but still in the Pelvic area (I believe). As such if you are looking to stretch the lower spine there is little difference from hanging you body weight from the arms (head up) or feet (head down)! In other words if you could do 3 minutes of Pull Ups or hang by your arms would think similar decompression benefit to lower spine. You would also not have risks associated with not being able to get back on your feet.

    The other factors that would make me worry is the stability of the timber door frame (hope no wood rot or soft timber) or insufficient length or numbers of screws and then falling on your neck. Sure the equipment may not have failed (just your fastening). Because it is in a doorway he placed so close to the top of the frame (so doorway was still useful) he had issues getting feet in (and therefore out)!

    If insufficient upper body strength to hang by arms for the 3 minutes or so that the demonstrator suggests then suggest try an inversion table. Definitely some people feel benefits from having their spines manually stretched, and Physiotherapist was pulling my leg recently (and do not mean =)) :))( ) so inversion table may have helped. Certainly when the Physiotherapist was treating me I couldn't possibly have done this (had trouble standing). I would steer away from this particular configuration however!

    Note: This is a personal opinion only and do not have a medical background!
  • thanks for the feedback - I'm still not decided whether inversion is a significant long-term benefit but I'm optimistic that it will be - I know I feel better immediately after the exercise but it doesn't tend to last too long - some people tell me it helps maintain height - I can understand and sympathize that for some of you, the back pain is too great to even try it.
  • Welcome to Spine Health. It would be cool if you could go to the Intro section and introduce yourself. It's not a requirement, but it is a nice way for everyone to get to know each other.

  • Hi. I went to a sports equipment store today and took a look at the inversion machines. I was thinking about getting one but as I mentioned in my "How long does it take a pulled tendon to heal" post my back hurts more if I let it dangle. So I got onto one of those machine where you support yourself by your elbow and do stomach crunches without your feet touching the ground. This time I really felt my back tendons getting pulled by the weight of the lower half of my body. It hurt more. When I got back on the ground I felt less stable in my posture and I had more pain.

    So I put off that idea for now. I always though stretching your back can only help with you have back pain. In my case it seems to hurt. Why is that...
  • its ok if your an athlete..i have it on good authority the some of the table types of inversion devices are very good an easy to use but this one in the video looks like hard work not for me folks
  • I have an inversion table. I wouldn't even try the gravity boots and hang from a bar. As I understand it. You do not need to completely invert to provide benefit.

    Let's say for reference. 0 degrees is standing position. 180 degrees is fully inverted. My table came setup to allow you to go about 135 degrees. At that point you have passed neutral and your weight is extending your spine. Not pulling real hard. You should be able to do this. Start for a few minutes. Supposedly work up to 2 - 15 minute session per day. I'll do 2 - 5 minute sessions or 1 - 10 minute session.

    I did adjust the table and set it for 180 degrees. Full inversion. It is tough on the ankles. I found at 180 degrees that the pain in my hip increased. I believe the spine did open up spacing. I also believe I was stretching muscles quite a bit and it was causing the nerves to light up in one area. I have gone back to 135 degrees. It isn't helping me avoid another surgery. Some days it feels good, other days it doesn't.

    PS: Paul I really don't see the big deal about people posting links to something to ask if others have tried it. It wasn't a sales pitch competing with any vendors on here. Ya'll need to really lighten up a bit.

  • I agree with the earlier post. I couldn't even get to the point of inversion. If I were to bend that way, I might be like that forever....lol
    I have looked at several inversion tables but have not seen any evidence that it will help severe issues. You may want to look here:

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  • seems like there is no clear predictable result of inversion and very much depends on an individual's unique set of conditions - it's helpful to read all these comments about it.
    For myself, after using my inversion bar for about ten months, on average twice a week, its benefits are hard to quantify - I know I feel good immediately after. And I have the general sense that the stretching out of the vertebrae that occurs while inverted, is probaly going to help me in the long run.
    If you still have the physical health and dexterity to undertake the inversion exercise, I would say give it a try - and please let me know how you get on. And, like everyone here, I'm always looking for new ways to cope with the back pain/strain that inevitably comes with long hours working on computers!
  • Ever though about pilates or yoga? I have heard good things about both.

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