Inversion Treatment of Low Back Pain

Inversion Treatment of Low Back Pain

 

What is low back pain?

Low back pain, sometimes abbreviated LBP is one of the most common reasons why patients seek the care of their physician. The common cold is the only thing that bothers people more. Low back pain can be caused by heavy lifting, frequent bending, poor posture or any number of other conditions.

If you have ever suffered from low back pain, you probably know you're not alone. People just like you have tried lots of different treatments and lower back pain therapy to help decrease their pain and improve their quality of life.

One of the lower back pain therapy you may have heard in connection with low back pain is an inversion table. This is a table with pads that are connected to a hinged metal frame. To use the table, you strap yourself on and allow the inversion table to slowly turn you over so your body inverts. Inversion tables usually cost anywhere from $100 to $400. A device called "Gravity Boots" was popular in the 1980's. This was similar to an inversion table. Another name for what inversion therapy or inversion tables is gravitational traction.

Claims

Inversion tables work on the theory that when the weight of the body is suspended, the force of gravity may remove pressure from the joints that are below the anchor. The inversion table allows each of the body's joints to be loaded in a way that is opposite and equal to standing in an identical position with the joints aligned. It is thought that this relieves low back pain by creating a traction force in the spine.

Risks of Lower Back Pain Therapy

Inversion table therapy is not for everyone who has low back pain. People who have high blood pressure, eye conditions like glaucoma, people who are pregnant or those who have heart disease are at increased risk for some of the dangers that may be related to lower back pain therapy. They should speak with their physician before using the treatment. Anyone who tries the therapy for the first time should have another person present to help them in case they need assistance with the apparatus or if they encounter other problems or health symptoms.

People who suffer from GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease, should not attempt this lower back pain therapy. In this condition, small amounts of stomach acid are allowed to back up into the esophagus from the stomach. Under normal conditions, gravity keeps stomach acid in the stomach. When the body is inverted, gravity can't work. When acid reflux disease is combined with an inversion table, the result can be a painful and potentially serious condition.

The effectiveness of Inversion Treatment

According to studies, lower back pain therapy causes some force of traction to occur in the lumbar area of the spine. As much as 3 mm of separation between the vertebrae in the low back was found in one study. But does traction really help to relieve low back pain?

It would seem as though, according to high-quality research that is available from 1995, even though traction does not cause any harm, it really does not help with the low back. In another, a more recent study of chronic, acute and sub-acute low back pain, traction as a treatment for pain received a "C" grade, which means no benefit was demonstrated.

The same study which concluded that lower back pain therapy was of no benefit, stated the best treatment for low back pain which is acute and non-specific is to stay as active as you possibly can. The exercise was given an "A" grade for chronic and sub-acute low back pain, meaning that benefit was demonstrated.

Conclusion

While there may be no clear indications that traction is not effective as a lower back pain therapy, further studies may prove to provide more information.

If you currently have pain in your legs or low back pain, the best answer for you is to continue your normal activity and maybe add some exercise. The use of mechanical traction does not seem to provide any benefit.

When the risks associated with the use of an inversion table (changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and eye pressure) are compared with the expected benefits of using inversion for lower back pain therapy, it seems your money and time would be better invested in exercise as a treatment for pain.

To find out what type of exercise you can safely do, ask your physician. Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist. A skilled therapist can help you with exercises that will strengthen the muscles that support your low back, provide you with strategies to help you prevent injuries, and teach you ways to cope with your current low back pain.

You might also want to read:
- Corpectomy,
- Discectomy.

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Questions & Answers
Q:
What is the best way to treat permanent back and neck pain and stiffness?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Use a telephone headset

Never hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear. Use a headset or other hands-free system to talk on the phone and avoid abusing your neck and spine.

Neck Pain Tips: Exercise your neck muscles

One of the best neck pain tips is using the chin tuck. You can do this often throughout the day. In addition to helping strengthen the muscles that hold the head in alignment over the shoulders, it also helps strengthen the scalene and sub-occipital muscles.

Read more tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers
Q:
What is the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder Pain?
A:

One of the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder pain is exercises:

Neck Pain Exercises: Neck Extension

  1. To begin this neck pain exercise, sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the palm of your hand on the back of your neck, at the base of your head
  4. Apply slight forward pressure with your hand, while resisting the forward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

Neck pain exercises: Side bend

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place your left hand, palm down, on the left side of your head (around your ear)
  4. Slightly push your head to the right side with your hand, while resisting the sideways motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times
  7. Repeat the neck pain exercises with the other side.

Neck pain exercises: Neck flexion

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the tips of your fingers on your forehead
  4. Slightly push your head backward with your fingers, while resisting the backward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

More exercises here: Neck Pain Exercises

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers
Q:
How do I reduce the shoulder and neck pain?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Carry weight evenly

Many people make the mistake of carrying a heavy briefcase or their purse on their shoulder or on one side of their body. Doing this causes strain in the muscles and leads to pain.

Remove non-essentials from your briefcase or purse. Consider using a backpack to evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders. If you choose to carry a purse or backpack, keep your shoulders level while carrying it.

Neck Pain Tips: Maintain a proper posture

The most common posture contributing to neck pain is the “head-and-shoulders-forward” posture. In this position, the neck slopes forward, putting the head in front of the shoulders.

In this position, the head pulls the upper back forward also in a slumped position. This places a strain on the entire spinal column.

More tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers