Inversion tables

I wanted to take this opportunity to talk a bit about inversion tables. You can skip the reading and just listen to what I have to say here.

Inversion tables are those tables that you strap your feet into and use to flip upside down. The idea behind them is to stretch things out and have gravity work for you the opposite way it normally does. This works well and can provide relief through a phenomenon known as ligamentous creep- basically the longer you stay in a position, the more your ligaments deform to fit into the position you’ve put your body into. However, it can be problematic in a couple of ways:

(1) Most people don’t ask for help up, this leads to issues when they try to come up on their own, if they utilize their abdominals instead of using gravity to bring them up. Most people don’t have enough core strength or proper core strength to bring themselves up on an inversion table. I have already seen in practice at least 2 injuries or exacerbation of injuries caused by inversion tables.

(2) This also stretches the muscles, and if you come back up too quickly, can lead to a rebound tightening of these muscles.

(3) The discs and other areas your discs are protecting are actually more susceptible to injury immediately following- because they are stretched out.

IF you are absolutely adamant on using an inversion table be sure you have a partner to help you up, that they help you up slowly to prevent reflexive tightening of muscles, and that you do not stay inverted for long periods of time (you shouldn’t anyway because of blood flow return to the heart).

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