Good and Bad of Inversion Therapy – How Long And How Often to Use?

Inversion therapy has gained more popularity than ever these past years as most modern people have office jobs that cause them severe back pain and spinal problems as they sit in hunched positions while at their desks. Of course, there are those who do a lot of heavy lifting and who never seem to catch a break from the gruesome back pain that comes with this dreaded activity. However, as with any type of therapy out there, you should not dive into it before doing some research. Are you asking yourself what are the good and bad sides of inversion therapy? Want to know how often and for how long you should use the table you have at home to relieve that uncomfortable back pain instead of accentuating it? Then continue to read this article and you will learn the answers to all of your questions.

How you will benefit from the therapy

During the inversion session, you are suspended with your head down, this position allowing you to stretch your spine and relieve any potential back pain. As your gravity shifts, all pressure is eased off of your back, and a hefty amount of traction is provided to the spinal area.
People who will benefit the most from inversion therapy:

  • People with poor blood circulation;
  • People who have scoliosis;
  • People who suffer from chronic lower back pain;
  • People who have problems with sciatica.

How inversion therapy helps boost your health:

  • Relieving back pain: A study showed that inversion therapy, when done by people who suffer from chronic low back pain, can actually reduce it tremendously in a matter of weeks – 8 weeks in the case of this specific study.
  • Boosting spinal health: There are a lot of day to day activities which put pressure on your spinal discs, some of them including bending, sitting, and running. Thus, you cannot avoid damage from being done to this sensitive body area. What you can do is practice inversion as it improves the space in-between your spinal discs in order to relieve the pressure which has accumulates, thus reducing the risk for dangerous complications like collapsed vertebras.
  • Increasing flexibility: The micro-movements in your spine as you practice this therapy make it easier for you to reach and bend, gradually increasing your overall flexibility. For those who have a desk job and tend to stay in a stiff position most of the day, it is a heaven sent.
  • Reducing the need for a surgical intervention: Early prevention is the best way to ensure you will never be confronted with needing spinal surgery. While for some it might already be too late, if this is not the case for you, turn to the zero-gravity nature of inversion to make surgery an unneeded procedure by reducing spinal compression.

Risks you could be taking

There are certain conditions which enter in full contradictory with the practice of inversion therapy as the position in which you have to sit causes the heart rate to decrease and the blood pressure to increase, putting a significant amount of pressure on your eyeballs as well. What we recommend is for you to check with your doctor to see if any of your conditions do not allow you to practice inversion in order to not take any risks and suffer severe complications.
Conditions that are incompatible with the practice of inversion:

  • Herniated disk;
  • High blood pressure;
  • Conjunctivitis;
  • Cerebral sclerosis;
  • Heart disease;
  • Spinal injuries;
  • Glaucoma;
  • Osteoporosis;
  • Stroke;
  • Ear infections.

Other factors and situations that do not allow the practice of inversion:

How long is it safe to invert?

When doing this therapy at home where there is no professional to supervise and guide you, it is required for you to follow a strict timeline. If you have never done this practice before, start off by using the inversion table for 1-2 minutes per session. If you have not yet reached the 1-minute mark yet you feel discomfort, stop immediately – the frequency of the sessions is more important than their duration, so you do not need to force yourself too much. As time passes and you get more comfortable with the workout, you can raise the bar and do 5-minute sessions. Of course, when you do get the hang of inversion completely, you can even prolong the duration of the session, allowing your muscles to relax and relieve all the tension you feel in your body.

How often should you invert?

As aforementioned, it is not the duration of the sessions that counts the most but rather the frequency at which you take them up. For great results, you should routinely invert a few times per day. You can invert after you wake up, before you go to bed, and when you arrive from work or from an excruciating shopping spree. If you work out, you can incorporate inversion into your exercise routine, using it as a method of muscle recovery after rotational or high-impact activities.

Tips for using the table effectively

If you plan on using a table at, there are some guidelines you must follow in order to prevent any accidents from occurring and to maximize the results of the session as well. Here are the tips for proper inversion therapy at home:

  • Wear athletic shoes and comfortable clothing that does not restrict your movements when inverting.
  • When you first train with the table, have someone sit by your side to help you get off in case any problems appear.
  • Make sure you adjust the table so that it will perfectly fit your height for maximum comfort.
  • Fasten the straps around your feet tightly, yet make sure you are not discomforted by them.
  • Raise your arms above your shoulders to fully decompress your spine and stretch it out properly.
  • During your first few sessions, until you get accustomed to it, set the incline angle at 10 degrees.
  • Make sure that the table has a balanced position, position which can only be achieved if you set it on a flat surface.