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Does inversion therapy work? If you have chronic lower back pain or feel joint pain after a high-impact workout, evidence suggests you can get relief from inversion therapy. Proponents claim it not only relieves back and joint pain but improves posture, increases flexibility, and stimulates abdominal organ function. Some go as far as to say regular sessions on an inversion table preserves their height and that the increased blood flow to the head stimulates their brain and scalp.
While we’re not saying an inversion table will make you taller and help grow a Momoa-esque mane of luxurious hair, the evidence is pretty clear that short-term sessions of inversion therapy can help alleviate back pain for most people. If you’re ready to give it a try, this inversion table gets an incredible 4.5 stars after over 5,600 reviews on Amazon. And it’s surprisingly reasonable.
Inversion therapy is when the spine is elongated upside down for short periods of time, using so-called “gravity boots” or by lying on an inversion table. By elongating and stretching the spine, traction forces reverse the gravity that has compressed it. The head is tilted downward to relieve pressure on the discs and nerve roots and increase the space between vertebrae, reducing the pressure on the discs. Additionally, inversion therapy stretches the muscles and ligaments around the spine and can temporarily relieve muscle spasms. And all you have to do is lie there.
Will an inversion table work for you? Let’s look at some of the other things inversion therapy can do.
Relieve Joint Pressure and Pain
Your joints can experience stress after a strenuous gym session—especially after a high-impact workout. An inversion table stretches your muscles and ligaments, and after a hard run or jumprope session that can relieve stress and pain. An inversion table may even correct minor misalignment caused by one-way activities like golf or kayaking, where you use a single-sided motion over and over.
Help Circulation and Stimulate Abdominal Organs
Blood only flows one direction for most of our waking lives; hanging upside-down can improve circulation simply by forcing our blood to move against gravity for short periods of time.
Many inversion proponents claim that hanging upside down on an inversion table decongests their abdominal organs. And there’s some evidence to suggest that stretching upside down flushes the lymphatic system, clearing out lactic acid and other waste.
Improve Posture and Maintain Height
Because of spinal compression from being upright all day, studies show that the average guy can shrink up to 3/4-inch from when he wakes up to when he goes to bed at night. Sleeping, of course, corrects this over the course of hours. But proponents of inversion tables claim that reversing the force of gravity by hanging upside down quickly negates this spinal compression.
Further, sitting at a desk all day can be murder on our posture. Stretching out your back on an inversion table can help correct bad posture habits derived from sitting in one place for hours at a time.
Before beginning inversion therapy, however, experts recommend consulting your doctor if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or glaucoma or other eye problems.
Ready To Try It?
If you’re ready to give inversion therapy ten minutes a day, check out this top-rated inversion table on Amazon [$120; amazon.com]. This is no exaggeration: thousands and thousands of reviewers swear by it. It has a large backrest pad and soft touch foam handlebars, a reversible and ergonomic ankle holding system, an innovative 6-pin angle selection system that lets you easily find and maintain your center of gravity, and an adjustable headrest pad so it fits users from 4’10” to 6’6″. It has a weight capacity of 300 lbs. Best of all, it folds up flat for easy stowage.
Ten minutes a day is all it takes. Remember to consult your doctor before beginning inversion therapy. But if you have chronic back, sciatic, or joint pain, this inversion table make give you the relief that’s been eluding you all these years.
Get It: Pick up the Innova ITX9600 Heavy Duty Inversion Table ($120) at Amazon
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