Inversion therapy is a method of back pain alleviation that involves hanging upside down or inverting one’s body on a tilting table. Inversion therapy uses gravity to take pressure off the joints in the lower part of the body. Hanging upside down using an inversion table causes the joints in the body to become loaded in an inverse manner than they are when standing upright. In a sense, inversion therapy is a form of traction, using gravity and body weight to elongate the spine. This traction helps relieve pressure on back discs and ligaments.
Those who are fans of inversion therapy have noticed not only a reduction in back pain, but also that inversion therapy can help misshapen discs return to normal. Allowing discs to return to their normal shape means less pressure on the nerve roots that run through these discs, ensuring less back pain and less referred pain to areas of the body like the legs and pelvic region. People who use inversion therapy have also reported that strained ligaments can be healed and that the reduction of pressure experienced on an inversion table also relieves pain.
Inversion therapy can be helpful for Sacroiliac joint injuries. The Sacroiliac joint is in the lower back, two joints formed by strong ligaments joining the sacrum, a triangular bone, to the ilea, lever-type bones located on either side of the pelvis. The joint is responsible for bearing all of the body’s weight when a person is standing upright. When injured, the Sacroiliac joint can cause intense back pain, occasionally leg and groin pain, and can make simple movements difficult.
The Sacroiliac joint can be injured in a number of ways and many of these injuries may be candidates for treatment using inversion therapy. Falls and car accidents can strain the ligaments that connect the Sacroiliac joint. Pregnancy can also cause the ligaments in this joint to stretch. The Sacroiliac joint is a stable joint in which there is little movement, but ligament strain allows movement in the joint, causing the bones to move against each other and permitting movement to affect the spine. Inversion therapy can help strained ligaments heal, and would reduce the amount of pain a person experiences when they suffer a ligament strain in the Sacroiliac joint.
The sacrum can also become damaged. The sacrum is a bone, but it is a bone that consists of fused discs. In accidents, those discs can become fractured. Sometimes, the bones do not fuse together properly, and in some cases, degenerative diseases can affect the discs in the sacrum. The forces of gravity experienced during inversion therapy can relieve pressure on these discs, as well as on the joint as whole, encouraging healing and pain relief. Since proponents of inversion therapy also may experience a change in the shape of their discs during inversion, this could be beneficial to those who have experienced a change in their discs due to disease. By simply relieving the pressure on distressed discs in the Sacroiliac joint, inversion therapy may be able to encourage healing and offer pain relief.