How do inversion tables work? The basic principle is lumbar traction. It may have begun with Hippocrates, but over the years, many different mechanical devices have been devised to place traction on the lumbar spine.
The simplest is just a pelvic harness that fits around the waist and hips, combined with a weight that hangs of the edge of the bed.
"air pressure or a small motor is used"
More sophisticated versions involve strapping different parts of your body to sliding platforms, and then air pressure or a small motor is used, to move the platforms apart.
Modern centers spend thousands of dollars for large machines with computers that control the traction.
They use sophisticated software programs, which cycle the traction, and ramp it up and down, and time it very precisely. Each of these organizations has their own studies and documented evidence that their way of applying traction is the best.
When you understand, "How do inversion tables work?", you understand that they are all just variations on Hippocrates original work.
"inversion therapy can be rather disorienting"
When using a back pain inversion table it is important that you begin slowly. Using a gentle angle of 5-10 degrees for only 5 minutes, may be a good start.
If you tolerate that without problems, one hour later, try 20 degrees for 5 minutes, then 30 degrees for 5 minutes. Even when you understand, "How do inversion tables work?", in the beginning inversion therapy can be rather disorienting, so you should have someone there to assist you.
"You do not have to be completely upside down..."
When you are comfortable at an angle of 20-30 degrees, you can also start manipulating the time. You do not have to be completely upside down for inversion therapy on a back pain inversion table to be effective.
Angles as low as 30 degrees place several pounds of traction on the lumbar spine. Steeper angles will add more force, and you will be able to feel it stretching in your lower back.
"Time is the other variable..."
Time is the other variable that you can adjust when learning how do inversion tables work. Try different lengths of time to find a period that you are comfortable with. Often 20-30 minutes, three times a day, can be very beneficial.
Longer times with less inversion can be just as effective as shorter times with more inversion, and with less inversion you get a gentler treatment.
In the beginning you may feel increased pressure, as the blood moves into your head. This can be normal, and will resolve after the first few sessions, but don’t let it get too severe. Don't try and tough it out, adjust the angle of inversion to a more comfortable level.
"discuss this treatment with your doctor"
Even when you understand, "How do inversion tables work?", people with certain conditions should not use a back pain inversion table. If you have severe arthritis in your spine, you should use this very carefully, as it may make your pain worse.
If you have glaucoma, or other diseases affecting the pressure within the eye, you should avoid inversion. If you are pregnant, or have uncontrolled hypertension, you should discuss this treatment with your doctor before proceeding.
It may be difficult to read or occupy your mind while using a back pain inversion table. Many people enjoy listening to relaxing music, or meditating, or taking a short nap. After your session, you often feel energized and ready to get on with your day.
"very efficient and cost effective"
A back pain inversion table can be a very efficient and cost effective way to apply traction therapy to the lumbar spine. It is easy to do, and it can be done very gently, with little risk of injury. For certain groups of people it can relieve or improve back and lower extremity pain.