Inversion table benefits have been documented since the late 70’s and yet today, more and more people are just discovering the therapeutic effects of regular decompression table therapy. No matter what brings you here today I’m confident we are going to touch on all of the most common benefits available from a regular incline table routine. First I want to touch on how simple achieving some very therapeutic results through inverted therapy can be. For most people you can expect to see real results within a few weeks by simply using your table for as few as 2-3 minutes at a time. It is recommended that you plan on 2-3 sessions per day on your table for maximum benefit. So in as few as 10 minutes per day, you could see dramatic changes in your health and wellbeing. Let’s take a look at some of the table benefits that might help you.
A Little About Your Spine
We all go through our days dealing with the effects of gravity on our spines. Whether you spend much of your day on your feet or seated, the base of your spine acts as a base and support mainframe for the main weight bearing part of your body.
So during your waking hours or in other words, while in an upright position, your spine is taking the downward pressure of your upper body weight and gravity constantly compressing and grinding at it.
I’m going to describe the parts of your spine so you can refer back to here as needed. Your spine is made up of 24 articulating vertebrae and 9 fused vertebrae at the base of the spine.
The upper 24 vertebrae are classified as articulating which simply means that they move. These vertebrae are separated by intervertebral discs which act as shock absorbers for the spine. Together these protect the spinal cord in the spinal canal.
The 9 lower vertebrae of the sacrum and tailbone are normally fused together in adults. It’s important to understand that the inter-vertebral disc’s act as ligaments to hold the vertebrae together and yet let them flex, while also acting as pathways for nerves leaving the spinal cord.
There are three main sets of articulating vertebrae in your spine as shown in the image. The base of your articulating spine has 5 Lumbar Vertebrae. Next you will see 12 Thoracic Vertebrae, with 7 Cervical Vertebrae at the base of your neck. If your Doctor talks about a vertebra by number, begin at the top of each group as number 1. So in the Lumbar range, the second from the top would be called L2. When your doctor discusses a disc problem they will often talk about the space between L3 and L4 to speak about a specific disc. That will end my anatomy lecture, so now we can begin talking about the real benefits of inversion table therapy.
Herniated Disc Degeneration
Herniated disc problems are probably one of the most common of back pain suffers. A herniated disc occurs as a result of a bugle or rupture of the jelly like center of the soft disc tissue. This is why herniated discs are often referred to as a ruptured or slipped disc. The fact that this inflammation is constantly irritated by daily compression of the spine usually results a surgical recommendation from your doctor. If not surgery, they will probably recommend a cortical steroid injection to try and reduce the swelling. Spinal decompression through inverted table therapy has been shown to promote natural healing of the herniated disc. This is because the user can experience a gentle decompression of the spinal area which can temporarily remove the pinched nerve pressure while at the same time decompression can cause a dramatic increase in circulation of the disc area. This process helps increase extra oxygen flow while also removing waste products to promote natural healing. It’s hard to find much documented research that proves the success of decompression for herniated disc treatment since most medical research is funded by big pharmaceutical companies more interested in more invasive treatments and the use of prescription drug treatments.
Relieving Sciatic Nerve Pain
Sciatic nerve pain can appear in many forms, from numbness, to a tingling feeling or in extreme cases extreme pain. This pain can cover a large area because it is being driven by the Sciatic Nerve. There are five common causes of sciatic nerve pain or Sciatica as it is referred to. These causes are as follows.
- Spondylolisthesis, which occurs in the lumbar vertebrae region. This occurs when one vertebra slips over another.
- Tightly contracted lumbar region muscles (think low back) where these muscles are pressing against the sciatic nerve.
- A herniated disc in the low back or lumbar region of the spine.
- Spinal Stenosis occurring in the lumbar region. Spinal Stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal.
- Pregnancy that is putting excessive pressure on the sciatic nerve.
The great news is that through a regular decompression regiment, the discomfort from all of these symptoms can be eliminated. (do not attempt inversion while pregnant before first getting an OK from your Doctor, see medical disclaimer at end) This is because, as we mentioned when talking about a herniated disc above, decompression helps restore healing fluids which deliver rich oxygen and help eliminate waste materials to promote healthy natural healing.
Decompression Helps Reduce Osteoarthritis Pain
Osteoarthritis is caused by the wearing down of cartilage in your joints. This is caused by physical wear and tear as well as inflammation. Over time this wearing down of the cartilage eats away at the cushion of the backbone area giving way to eventual bone on bone scraping. This as you can imagine is very painful. Inversion therapy through decompression can help slow down the effect of Osteoarthritis and significantly reduce the pain associated with the disease. The process is the same as mentioned above and with the increased fluids flow bringing more nutrients and removing more waste products, it is possible to see very positive results.
Decompression Can Reduce Headaches
So how can decompression therapy help reduce headaches, I know that’s what you are asking? Here are some great benefits of decompression that will help you avoid that next headache. First, regular decompression helps relax the muscles in the facial region, as well as the neck and skull, thus reducing the possibility of tension headaches. Since realigning your spine through regular inversion will help reduce or eliminate muscle spasms in the neck and shoulder region, this will eliminate another common source of tension headaches. How about reducing your stress level? That’s right, regular inversion has been shown to reduce stress naturally. But here are the two big ones. Since regular decompression will naturally increase your circulation system, this will get your lymphatic system working efficiently to remove the toxins from your system known to cause headaches.
Inversion Helps Breathing and Lung Function
Two very different and important things happen when you use regular decompression therapy. First, decompression helps strengthen your diaphragm which will make it easier to breath during regular activity. While in a state of inversion you are processing more oxygen through the lower part of your lungs which are able to collect oxygen more efficiently than the upper lung area. So, during a state of inversion your will be providing a higher level of oxygen to your brain and vital organs which promotes general healthy recovery. Secondly, while inverted, the blood in your lungs is better distributed providing more oxygen and better overall lung function. This is as compared to how the blood tends to pool in the lower lung region while standing in a typical upright position. Did you know that while in a state of decompression, your heart will not have to work as hard because gravity works to pull more blood from the extremities and return it to the heart? Since you are in-effect fooling gravity, blood that has pooled in some areas of your body will be flushed back towards your heart naturally.
Improved Lymphatic System Function
Your lymphatic system is responsible for moving waste material through and out of your body. Did you know that with simple decompression therapy at least twice a day you will be able to significantly improve lymphatic function? This is because the lymphatic system work by pure gravity to move waste products out of the body, as a result many people suffer from swelling of the legs, ankles, and feet as a result of lymphatic fluids pooling in their extremities. Decompression helps naturally move these fluid along because the effects of gravity have been reversed. The best way to keep the lymphatic system flowing is through movement. So the best overall effects can occur with a combination of regular exercise…movement…and decompression therapy to reverse the gravitational flow of the lymphatic fluids. Since proper lymphatic system function is the key to good immune health it becomes easy to see why decompression table therapy also benefits your healthy immune system. When the lymphatic system can more efficiently remove toxic materials from your body, your immune system remains free to take care of other needs of the body.
Inversion Table Benefits like Improved Posture
Did you know that years of bad posture will cause severe compression of the vertebrae in your upper neck and back region? This leads to additional stress on the muscles associated with the upper back and neck areas. Over years of repeated slouching your muscles will develop muscle memory causing them to stay in a state of contracted tension for as many as 24 hours. Decompression therapy works to cause gentle decompression of the spinal vertebrae area which in turn helps relieve tense muscles. Through regular decompression therapy sessions, you will begin to realign your spine while providing nourishment to the vertebra discs as well as improved blood circulation to the muscles in the area.
Achieve Better Sleep with Inversion
It’s been proven that a decompression session shortly before bed time will help you fall asleep more quickly. This is thought to be because the decompression naturally lower your stress level. I have personally found inversion to be a form of meditation where I can quietly zone out for a little while. When heading to bed you will find your muscles to be more relaxed, your lymphatic system will be functioning better and you will have a fresh oxygen rich supply of blood to your entire body.
Being Inverted Boosts Creative Thinking
This has to be one of my favorites. Because of the increase in oxygen through blood flow to the brain, you will see an improvement in mental clarity as well as creative thinking. Regular decompression therapy has been shown to present up to a 14 percent improvement in brain function accuracy.
The Fountain of Youth
How wonderful would it be to find the fountain of youth? After all, any form of anti-aging process that works will add time onto our lives. Well, it’s a proven fact that regular use of an decompression table will help provide vital nutrition to all the vital organs. This has been shown to be our best hope for extending the natural deterioration that occurs as our bodies and organs age. Through regular decompression sessions, you will be able to maintain and possibly improve flexibility while providing more oxygen and vital nutrients to your brain and vital organs.
Inversion Table Benefits Conclusion
I have touched on many of the major benefits to regular decompression table therapy. There are even more decompression table benefits to be gained but for the most part they are all based on the idea that inversion promotes a natural increase towards better flexibility and circulation for your body. For your next step I encourage you to take a look at our Inversion Table Comparison page where you can find a quick overview of all the models we have reviewed as well as links to learn about Inversion Table Terminology so you have a clear understanding of how decompression tables differ from one another.
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