Inversion Tables, or Inversion Therapy Tables, are specially-engineered tables that are designed to safely position your body upside down or at a downward angle for therapeutic benefits. Because of the traction and stretching of muscles achieved during inversion therapy, inversion tables are often recommended as a way to help relieve back pain, increase blood flow, improve posture, and increase flexibility in certain parts of the body. Inversion tables are available in an assortment of styles with different features such as massaging cushions, electric motors to make inverting yourself easier, gravity boots, and handles to pull yourself up with. Besides therapeutic purposes, inversion tables can also be used for performing abdominal exercises to strengthen and tone your core muscles.
Inversion tables suspend your body upside down by anchoring your feet using either gravity boots or a lever-based system. When your body is suspended in this position with your feet anchored, gravity pulls on your body and decompresses joints. By using an inversion table, you are allowing each joint in your body to be loaded in the exact opposite way it is when you are standing upright. This change in load on your body allows blood vessels to open up, joints to expand, and tendons to stretch and lengthen.
Supporters of inversion therapy believe that use of an inversion table is beneficial because it relieves pressure on spinal discs and nerve roots, allowing the discs to recover lost moisture and return to their original shape, which puts less pressure on nerve endings. It is also believed that the traction created by use of an inversion table can help to realign the spine, which in turn helps promote proper posture.
An increase in flexibility can also be obtained by doing specific stretching exercises with an inversion table. Stretching methods for the spinal flexors, side flexors, and extensors, which are impossible to perform while standing, can be done on inversion tables. Increased spacing in joints caused by use of an inversion table allows muscles to be lengthened ever farther than while standing or laying down. Inversion tables are also used for more effective abdominal exercises such as sit-ups, crunches, and lifts.
Inversion tables present a high risk for health problems for those with heart disease, high blood pressure, and eye diseases (such as glaucoma) or women who are pregnant. Consult your doctor before starting any sort of inversion therapy program if you have any of these conditions. Use of inversion tables is still possible, but it is essential to start at very light levels of inversion. The first time anyone uses an inversion table, they should have someone nearby in case they experience any sort of medical issue or need help getting out of the device.
Inversion tables are a great way to improve flexibility, reduce back pain, increase blood flow, and exercise your core muscles. Be sure to take the necessary precautions and you can safely enjoy the benefits of your inversion table.