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SSolo, on your left!
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Wasn't sure where to post this.....

Anybody have first-hand experience with inversion tables, gravity boots or similar? I've had great success with back pain relief going to a good chiropractor and with good exercise (MTB!) and diet, but am curious about the Teeter Hang Ups or any other inversion table, gravity boot or similar.

Thinking about making my own with plywood and 2x4s that I have leftover from other projects....at least to try it out, might buy something later.

Input please.
 

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Yeah I've used an inversion table before.. I would say that it works but it wasn't miraculous... for me anyway. I get lower back pain and occasionally spasms but it didn't really seem to make too much of an improvement on the long run. It does provide some temporary relief of the symptoms while they're in flare though.

I had more success using a portable ultrasound on the area in question.
 

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http://www.sunandmoonstudio.com/Articles/headstand.html

The circulatory system is comprised of the heart, lungs and the entire system of vessels that feed oxygen and collect carbon dioxide and other waste products from the cells. Arteries fan out in an intricate tributary system from the heart, which pumps freshly oxygenated blood from the lungs outward. Veins return blood to the heart and, unlike arteries, make up a low-pressure system that depends on muscular movement or gravity to move blood along. One-way valves at regular intervals prevent backwash and keep fluids moving towards the heart in a system know as venous return. Turning yourself upside down encourages venous return.

Inversions also ensure healthier and more effective lung tissue. When standing or sitting upright, gravity pulls our fluids earthward, and blood "perfuses" or saturates the lower lungs more thoroughly. The lower lung tissue is thus more compressed than the upper lungs. As a result, the air we inhale moves naturally into the open alveoli of the upper lungs. Unless we take a good, deep breath, we do not raise the ration of air to blood in the lower lungs. When we invert, blood perfuses the well-ventilated upper lobes of the lungs, thus ensuring more efficient oxygen-to-blood exchange and healthier lung tissue.
There are several endocrine organs or ductless glands in the human system, which bathe in blood, absorb the nutrients from the blood and secrete hormones for the proper functioning of a balanced and well-developed body and brain. If the glands fail to function properly, the hormones are not produced as they should be and the body starts to deteriorate. Many asanas have a direct effect on the glands and help them function properly. Sarvangasana does this for the thyroid and parathyroid glands, which are located in the neck region, since due to the firm chinlock their blood supply is increased. This ample supply of blood increases their efficiency in maintaining the body and the brain in good balance. Further, since the body is inverted the venous blood flows to the heart by force of gravity, without any strain. Healthy blood is allowed to circulate around the neck and chest. As a result, people suffering from breathlessness, palpitation, asthma, bronchitis and throat ailments get relief. As the head remains firm in this inverted position, and the supply of the blood to it is regulated by the firm chinlock, the nerves are soothed and headaches disappear.

Continued practice of this asana eradicates common colds and other nasal disturbances. Due to the soothing effect of the pose on the nerves, those suffering from irritation, shortness of temper, nervous breakdown and insomnia are relieved. The change in gravitational pull on the body also affects the abdominal organs so that the bowels move freely and constipation is relieved. The asana is recommended for urinary disorders and uterine displacement, menstrual trouble, and hernia. It also helps to relieve epilepsy, low vitality and anemia. It activates the abdominal organs and relieves people suffering from stomach and intestinal ulcers and severe pain in the abdomen.

Shoulder stand strengthens the upper body, legs and abdomen, opens the chest, and stretches the neck, shoulders and upper back muscles. Helps to relieve varicose veins and drains used blood from the legs, pelvis and abdominal area. It is very soothing to the nervous system and therefore good to practice when one is tense, upset, nervous, irritated, fatigued, or when suffering from insomnia.
I dunno, take it with a grain of salt...

edit: didn't read the OP well, i don't think shoulder stands will help you too much, could even make it worse...
 

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As a physical therapy student, and with what knowledge I have of low back issues (1 year of school so far, still have two left), here's what I think about at-home remedies and chiropractry:

In general, low back issues are caused by the degeneration or malignment of certain structures in the lower back (ex: vertabrae) that compress nerves or cause the malfunction of certain muscles. Most at-home remedies and some chiropractic maneuvers are aimed at temporarily relieving symptoms of low back pain but don't really get to the source of the problem. I would recommend visiting a physical therapist (you don't need a doctor's referral in most states) for their take on the matter. A physical therapist will be able to provide treatments that aim to relieve the source of the low back pain such as realigning a vertabrae or giving exercises to strengthen certain muscles that can restore proper alignment of the low back structures. So give that a shot if anyone is feeling anything wierd in their low back.

Good luck and feel better!
 

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Save your money.

Might just as well hang from a pullup bar in your garage--cost $5.00. Nice thing about that approach is that you can swing your legs around--feels good.

Either method will stretch all your joints, of course, not just your back.

That scam outfit--forget the name--at least they use a corset and a dividing table that isolate stretching to the lower back. That makes more sense, but they sign you up for multiple sessions at hundreds of dollars. And relief is very temporary.

No magic bullet here. Best wishes.
 

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BadHabit said:
Save your money.

Might just as well hang from a pullup bar in your garage--cost $5.00. Nice thing about that approach is that you can swing your legs around--feels good.
Much of the time, you don't want to be completely upside down. That can sometimes do more harm than good. An inversion table will allow you to hang at any angle. Frequently, just having your body slightly declined is the best. It allows your discs between the vertebrae to relax and refill, which will help align and cushion your spine. It all depends on what type of injury/degeneration you have.
 

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Glynis27 said:
It all depends on what type of injury/degeneration you have.
I have it all. :)

Is there any scientific backup for the idea of discs "refilling"?

I have several herniated--beyond "refilling."

And spinal "realignment"--a scoliotic spine can't be realigned. It's permanent.

Hell--try anything. But my inversion table takes up space.

I recently moved on to the Stuart McGill exercises.

Edit: "When considering treatment for degenerative disc disease it is important to realize that effects from this condition can't be reversed, but with proper exercise and making smart choices for your back you will be able to live a high quality of life for a longer period of time."

http://www.degenerativedisc.info/
 

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BadHabit said:
I have it all. :)

Is there any scientific backup for the idea of discs "refilling"?

I have several herniated--beyond "refilling."

And spinal "realignment"--a scoliotic spine can't be realigned. It's permanent.
The "refilling" of the discs is just relieving the pressure from them so they aren't compressed. When they aren't compressed they are able to expand back to their full size, giving better cushioning between the vertebrae. Measure your height when you wake up and then compare it to your height before you go to bed. You will be taller in the morning because they have expanded while you slept.

When I said "realignment" I did not mean a curved spine or other defect. I was thinking more along the lines of a disc that has mildly slipped or is pinching a nerve. Sometimes this can be corrected with inversion if it is not so bad that traction is needed.

Inversion is certainly not a magic "fix-all" as some of them will lead you to believe.
 

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Glynis27 said:
The "refilling" of the discs is just relieving the pressure from them so they aren't compressed. When they aren't compressed they are able to expand back to their full size, giving better cushioning between the vertebrae. Measure your height when you wake up and then compare it to your height before you go to bed. You will be taller in the morning because they have expanded while you slept.

When I said "realignment" I did not mean a curved spine or other defect. I was thinking more along the lines of a disc that has mildly slipped or is pinching a nerve. Sometimes this can be corrected with inversion if it is not so bad that traction is needed.

Inversion is certainly not a magic "fix-all" as some of them will lead you to believe.
I've lost 2 inches in height. Bah.

Generally agree with the above, but traction can't be used on curved spines. What happens is that the vertebrae become wedge-shaped over time. The only fix is surgical reshaping and attachment to an implant.

At which time I would be 2 inches taller. Last resort, though. Only if unremitting pain that can't be controled, incontinence or trouble breathing.

If I had images showing a single point of nerve impingement I would not waste any time--I would RUN (which I haven't in 30 years) to have microsurgery. I've seen it done on television--amazing. I might still have it done for sciatica--considering it.

Best wishes to all.
 

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cthomas42 said:
As a physical therapy student, and with what knowledge I have of low back issues (1 year of school so far, still have two left), here's what I think about at-home remedies and chiropractry:

In general, low back issues are caused by the degeneration or malignment of certain structures in the lower back (ex: vertabrae) that compress nerves or cause the malfunction of certain muscles. Most at-home remedies and some chiropractic maneuvers are aimed at temporarily relieving symptoms of low back pain but don't really get to the source of the problem. I would recommend visiting a physical therapist (you don't need a doctor's referral in most states) for their take on the matter. A physical therapist will be able to provide treatments that aim to relieve the source of the low back pain such as realigning a vertabrae or giving exercises to strengthen certain muscles that can restore proper alignment of the low back structures. So give that a shot if anyone is feeling anything wierd in their low back.

Good luck and feel better!
I don't know what they are teaching you in that PT school, but chiropractic is not a temporary relief, and it IS aimed at restoring spinal intersegmental range of motion. Most chiropractors also use different physical therapies to offer a more complete treatment which include exercises, electric stim, ultrasound, and cold laser. The idea of "alignment" is an older school of thought. It is more accurate to look at it in a motion standpoint.

I'm sorry for the grumpy post, but your professors are talking down the profession to make PT look better. IT happens in school sometimes, and it really bothers me. It happens in all the medical fields. Medical talks down surgical who talks down physical. They all work when the condition calls for it.

As for inversion, for mild back problems it can provide some relieve, however like you said, it is temporary. In more complicated problems gross traction causes increased muscle tightness which actually causes compression of the discs. Intersegmental traction is much more effective.
 

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SSolo, on your left!
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
cthomas42 said:
As a physical therapy student, and with what knowledge I have of low back issues (1 year of school so far, still have two left), here's what I think about at-home remedies and chiropractry:

In general, low back issues are caused by the degeneration or malignment of certain structures in the lower back (ex: vertabrae) that compress nerves or cause the malfunction of certain muscles. Most at-home remedies and some chiropractic maneuvers are aimed at temporarily relieving symptoms of low back pain but don't really get to the source of the problem. I would recommend visiting a physical therapist (you don't need a doctor's referral in most states) for their take on the matter. A physical therapist will be able to provide treatments that aim to relieve the source of the low back pain such as realigning a vertabrae or giving exercises to strengthen certain muscles that can restore proper alignment of the low back structures. So give that a shot if anyone is feeling anything wierd in their low back.

Good luck and feel better!
Uh....kinda like a GOOD chiropractor/kinesiologist. Massage Therapist and Physical Therapist is good too, they all work together.

All back pain prevention and treatment....not just lower back pain. :thumbsup:

Good input from everybody, thanks. Prolly going to build my own adjustable incline table. :)
 

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Compressorman
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When I was 18, I helped a buddy move a Hammond organ (like a small piano) out of a pickup with a shell on it. I had to stoop over the organ to move it. Big mistake, I didn't walk right for a month after that. Had trouble ever since for the next 25 years, off and on several times a year, sometimes very badly. Been to the chiro, been adjusted, had electrical stim. Always temporary, had to keep going back. Chiro said I have one leg slightly longer than the other, and minor curvature of the spine, but nothing serious. I'm sure my problem was just muscle spasms.

My wife had several bouts with sciatica, nothing seemed to provide releif. In desperation I brought home an inversion table for her. Getting her to try it was like pulling teeth though, and I ended up using it more than her. First, I noticed that it just felt good (with the exception below!), a nice relaxing stretch, especially after riding or a workout. After some time I realized I hadn't had an episode with back pain for quite a while. That was two years ago and my back pain has yet to return. I use it about once a week. Even started doing inverted sit ups (the first time you try it, only do one!). I could care less about the marketing hype, and the supposed "refill", although I suppose that prompted me to buy it in the first place. Increasing the space between vertebrae seemed like a logical solution to releive a possible pinched nerve issue for my wife, even if it was a long shot. It does seem to have helped me for whatever reason, and is certainly worth a try before resorting to any kind of surgery. I'll never get rid of it. I walk straighter and feel taller after using it.

And the wife? She still doesn't use it, unless she feels sciatia coming on. Then I can't get her off it. The last few episodes for her have lasted days instead of weeks, and she has been able to function. I think, based on my own experience, that if she used it regularly it might not recur. At least it's worth a try. It feels good, she has nothing to loose, and everything to gain.

I don't claim it will help everyone, but it certainly won't hurt. And you can use it whenever you like without making an appointment.

A word of caution though - if you are unused to being inverted or you are over about 200#, DO NOT go completely inverted until you get used to it. I weigh 225 and made that mistake early on. After about a five minute session, I could feel an unsusual stretch in my groin. Afterword I found it painful to sit and try to cross my legs. The effects went away after half an hour of walking around. I think my upper body weight was trying to pull my legs out of my hip sockets. Since then I took a more conservative approach and worked up to full inversion gradually, no problems since.
 

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mlepito said:
I don't know what they are teaching you in that PT school, but chiropractic is not a temporary relief, and it IS aimed at restoring spinal intersegmental range of motion. Most chiropractors also use different physical therapies to offer a more complete treatment which include exercises, electric stim, ultrasound, and cold laser. The idea of "alignment" is an older school of thought. It is more accurate to look at it in a motion standpoint.

I'm sorry for the grumpy post, but your professors are talking down the profession to make PT look better. IT happens in school sometimes, and it really bothers me. It happens in all the medical fields. Medical talks down surgical who talks down physical. They all work when the condition calls for it.

As for inversion, for mild back problems it can provide some relieve, however like you said, it is temporary. In more complicated problems gross traction causes increased muscle tightness which actually causes compression of the discs. Intersegmental traction is much more effective.
Chiropractors are temporary relief; it's a fact. I am pretty sure this is why the entire community of people who are ACTUAL doctors discount them as jokes. Physical therapists and doctors fix things, the entire planet knows this.
 

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Compressorman
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ettore said:
Chiropractors are temporary relief; it's a fact. I am pretty sure this is why the entire community of people who are ACTUAL doctors discount them as jokes. Physical therapists and doctors fix things, the entire planet knows this.
Far be it for me to knock the Chiro profession, but from my own experience my results were indeed temporary. That said, I'm quite sure inversion therapy is also temporary. If I stopped using it, I expect my back pain would recur, sooner or later. The beauty of it is, I can take five minutes and do it whenever I want, that's what makes it work in the long run. Just like exercising does for general health.
 

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Wasn't sure where to post this.....

Anybody have first-hand experience with inversion tables, gravity boots or similar? I've had great success with back pain relief going to a good chiropractor and with good exercise (MTB!) and diet, but am curious about the Teeter Hang Ups or any other inversion table, gravity boot or similar.

Thinking about making my own with plywood and 2x4s that I have leftover from other projects....at least to try it out, might buy something later.

Input please.
I have problems with my L3,4 disc and fracture at T5 vertebrae. I have had a inversion table for 15 years now. It is very helpfull at times.
I also have a TENS machine , VERY helpfull.
Chiro's are quacks. My very good friend nearly died from a neck adjustment at Chiro, the chiro partly severed his carotid artery causing a stroke. He had a court case and won. ..
This is not the first time it has happened to people.
My friend now has stage 4 lymphoma brain cancer caused by stroke damage from the chiro accident.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ended up getting free older inversion table from a friend who upgraded. I was not expecting a magic bullet, but it definitely helps, but you gotta do it regularly like exercise, eating right etc. I will probably upgrade to a Teeter Hangups later, as they are very adjustable and the ankle retention things are much more comfortable. :)
 

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l use the hang-ups sometimes
more as a way to loosen up after too much sitting in front of the computer
and / or as an exercise device.
Inverted situps rock. so does swinging back & forth on it.
 

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I am sad to see some of the negative. Inversion is only part of it. Lots of time problems come about from having problems with diet and the way we take care of ourselves. We eat bad, have stress, don't sleep right. Our bodies get in a chemical imbalance state, then bad things happen inside. Good habits and good diet using inversion will heal many problems.
 
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