Posted by Dr. Bryan Siegel on Saturday, August 21, 2010
7 key benefits of inversion for the back pain sufferer
While relieving your back pain is your primary reason for considering inversion therapy, there are a number of additional benefits many people experience with a regular program of inversion. Here are 7 good reasons to use inversion therapy:
- Maintains your height. Regularly inverting will help you avoid the "shrinkage" that naturally occurs as a result of gravity over a lifetime.
- Improves circulation. When you're inverted, your blood circulation is aided by gravity rather than having to work against it. In addition, with inversion, gravity helps the lymphatic system clear faster, easing the aches and pains of stiff muscles.
- Relieves stress. Everyone knows that a full-body stretch is rejuvenating! An inversion table provides the same feeling of relaxation as a yoga class - with a lot less effort. Many people find that they sleep better with regular inversion therapy.
- Heightens mental alertness. Any upside-down activity increases the supply of oxygen to the brain, which many experts believe helps maintain mental sharpness.
- Increases flexibility and range of motion. With inversion, your joints stay healthy and supple, meaning you can remain as active as you were in your younger years.
- Improves posture. The stretching that comes with reversing the force of gravity on your body helps you sit, stand, and move with more ease and grace.
- Realigns the spine after workouts. Running and other aerobic activities inevitably compress your spine - often unevenly. One-sided activities such as golf or tennis often pull the spine out of alignment. During inversion, minor misalignments often correct themselves naturally.
While inversion has been proven to be beneficial, it is best to start slow - that is, at a low angle for short amounts of time. Going straight into full inversion will make you sore. So please resist the temptation to go into full inversion day one. You might be better off having a trained professional guide you through this process after being properly evaluated to determine if inversion is right for you. Safety first!