Inversion Therapy is fast becoming a popular way to relieve back pain, decompress the spine, build core muscular strength and treat non-specific lower back pain.

Usually an inversion table is used to gradually tip the body upside down, while the feet are secured in a clamp. The patient, often in the comfort of their own home, slowly rotates themselves to varying degrees of inversion, often a full 180 degrees. Often inversion tables are used for fitness and muscular strength once inverted, to do sit-ups for example, and work on those abdominal muscles.

Inversion therapy can help people in different ways, and often has different effects on different people. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that inverting can help with years of spinal compression or back pain, but what is the scientific evidence that inversion therapy actually helps?

We’ve complied a list of papers which have studied the benefits and effects of inversion therapy for a wide range of treatments.

Inversion therapy in patients with pure single level lumbar discogenic disease: a pilot randomized trial

http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alexander_Mendelow/publication/221765111_Inversion_therapy_in_patients_with_pure_single_level_lumbar_discogenic_disease_a_pilot_randomized_trial/links/0deec53aa99b86bcd2000000.pdf

Adaptation of Tilt Table for Lumbar Traction

http://www.energycenter.com/grav_f/studies_sheffield.pdf

The Effects of Inverted Spinal Traction

http://www.tsimpos.gr/downloads/inversion_invertedspinaltraction.pdf

Inversion devices: their role in producing lumbar distraction

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3155939

The Effects of Inversion Traction on Spinal Column Configuration, Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, and Perceived Discomfort

http://www.jospt.org/doi/pdf/10.2519/jospt.1986.7.5.254

Effects of Gravity-facilitated Traction on Intravertebral Dimensions of the Lumbar Spine

http://www.jospt.org/doi/pdfplus/10.2519/jospt.1985.6.5.281

If you’re interested in giving inversion therapy a shot, please take a look at our 30 Day Money Back Guarantee range of Teeter Inversion Tables you can use in your own home. Shipped from the US and delivered overnight in the UK, Teeter have long been the leading brand of inversion equipment. View the range here.

 

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Melissa is Senior Contributing Editor at Body Massage Shop.