Skip to main content

Based on current COVID-19 positivity rates, visitation is allowed until further notice.
Call (631) 548-6853 or click here for more information.

Does Inversion Therapy for Back Pain Work?

Feb 5, 2020

Inversion therapy is a technique used to stretch the spine. Orthopedic surgeons in Suffolk County, NY, may recommend inversion therapy for short-term management of a number of ailments related to your back and spine. But does this type of therapy work for back pain? Below is a discussion of the effects of inversion therapy on back pain.

What Is Inversion Therapy? 

Inversion therapy involves suspending you upside down, usually with the help of an inversion table or similar equipment. Inverting your body so your feet are above your head helps reverse the effect of gravity on your body. Gravity can cause your muscles, joints, and bones to compress. Over time, compression to these parts of your body can lead to chronic back pain and other ailments. 

Inversion therapy decompresses your spine similarly to how a gentle massage would. This in turn takes pressure off your spine, opens up your vertebrae, and increases circulation. Orthopedic spine surgeons and chiropractors have found that inversion therapy helps relieve short-term and chronic back pain.

Inversion Therapy Equipment and Methods

The most common piece of equipment used for inversion therapy is the inversion table. These specialized tables swivel, allowing you to hang safely upside down with your back resting comfortably on a bed. You can use one at your local orthopedic center or purchase one online to use at home. 

Inversion chairs are another popular device. You are strapped to the chair, then turned upside down. Being in a sitting position has Peconic Bay Medical Center_Does Inversion Therapy for Back Pain Work_IMAGE1.jpegthe added benefit of relieving pressure on your leg joints. Gravity boots are sturdy ankle boots that let you hang upside down by your feet. The greatest benefit of inversion boots is that you have complete freedom to move and maneuver your body while inverted. 

You might also want to practice yoga. Yoga offers many inverted positions, including headstands, shoulder stands, dolphin pose, and plow pose, that can help take pressure off your spine. Many of these poses are advanced and should always be done with the supervision of a trained instructor.

Benefits of Inversion Therapy 

There are numerous benefits of inversion therapy. One major benefit is improved spinal health. Gravity puts immense pressure on your spine and the surrounding muscles and joints. While this helps keep your body upright, your spine also gets more compressed over time. The physical manipulation of your body from inversion therapy helps release pressure in your spine from the compression. This can help you move more comfortably and improve overall flexibility. 

Inversion therapy offers a gentle, noninvasive way to reduce chronic back pain by reducing pressure in your joints and muscles. Releasing pressure on weight-bearing joints allows them to rest and recuperate. Inversion therapy is especially useful for relieving disc and joint pain and reducing the intensity of back spasms. 

Recent research found that inversion therapy reduced the need for orthopedic spine surgery for people with lumbar discogenic disease, or LDD. LDD is a condition that causes the discs in your back to become thin and weak. If you’re interested in trying inversion therapy, consult your primary doctor, chiropractor, or orthopedic spine surgeon in Suffolk County, NY, first to make sure that is the best treatment for your specific back issues. Contact Peconic Bay Medical Center to set up an appointment to discuss options for treating back pain by calling 631-548-6000.