Inversion Tables Vs. Inversion Chairs

By Kristin Swain

Inversion is a method of relieving back pain. It is believed that by hanging upside down or inverting yourself that the shift in gravity may release some of the pressure on aching joints. The stretching movement in an equal but opposite manner to standing relaxes muscles. Inversion therapy can also be very helpful for people suffering from a spinal problem because it relieves pressure on spinal discs.

Inversion Tables

One of the options for utilizing inversion therapy is to use an inversion table. An inversion table is a cot with boots or soft ankle shackles on one end and a small pillow for neck comfort on the other. The user will cuff her ankles into the inversion table and stand straight up. By leaning backwards the table will turn slowly backward until you are in the exact same position but upside down. Keeping the same position allows your spine to stretch and relieves pressure by putting the same amount of pressure in the opposite direction from when you stand.

Inversion Chairs

Inversion chairs work in the same way as inversion tables, but the opposing tension is used primarily to relieve spinal pain. The inversion chair allows you to sit down during use and keeps your knees locked into a sitting position while you are upside down. By keeping your knees bent instead of straight the majority of the gravitational pull is focused on the user's spine rather than the whole body. Use of an inversion chair allows you to stretch out your vertebrae.

Benefits of Inversion Tables

The main benefit of using an inversion table is that it allows you to reduce the pressure on all of your joints at once. Inversion tables require you to maintain a standing position that equally reverses all of the stress on your muscles and joints. Inversion tables are intended to relieve joint and back pain while stretching your muscles.

Benefits of Inversion Chairs

Inversion chairs are intended to stretch your spine and decompress your spinal discs. The chair version of the inversion table is more effective for backaches related to spinal problems and injury because the position of the user makes the gravitational force concentrate on the spinal column. The reverse gravitational pull relieves pressure on the spinal discs and nerves, allowing the user to feel relief from his back pain.

Health Risks

Inversion chairs and tables are both designed to help the user relieve her back pain symptoms. However, there is some risk that can be involved with reversing the pressure on your back, particularly on your spine. Users with serious spinal problems such as compressed or ruptured spinal discs risk causing more injury by changing the pressure on the discs, even in the opposite direction. If you have a chronic back or spinal problem, consult a physician before using inversion techniques for pain relief.

References

About the Author

Kristin Swain has been a professional writer since 1998. Her experience includes publication in various literary magazines and newspapers, such as the "Butler Herald." Swain has edited work for network television shows "NCIS" and "seaQuest." She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Georgia State University.

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