The U.S. Army Way!
When you were young, you may have found great joy hanging from your knees on the monkey bars. I know I did!
According to recent science, it’s time to rediscover the joy of being upside down—especially if you’ve been looking for new ways to treat back pain.
Numerous studies show that inversion therapy—or hanging upside down from your ankles at varying degrees—is more than just fun. It gently stretches the spine to reduce pressure on the spongy discs between your spinal vertebrae. It could completely reverse your back pain, and even reduce the need for drastic surgeries.
It’s not just a theory. In fact, the findings have been so dramatic that the United States Army has used inversion at their U.S. Army Physical Fitness School for years…
Why Does the U.S. Army Provide Inversion Therapy?
After six years of research and use, the United States Army concluded that inversion therapy helps reverse the stress of the physical training recruits must complete.
Today the elite Army Rangers fighting force regularly inverts to relieve and reverse damage done to their bodies during their demanding training. Because of its success in reducing the occurrence of joint-related injuries, back muscle pain and compression injuries, inversion is now being considered for inclusion in every recruit’s physical training regimen.
Independent labs have confirmed the Army’s results. One of the breakthrough studies on inversion therapy was performed at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom and published in Disability & Rehabilitation in early 2012.
The study followed 24 lumbar deterioration patients who were all on the long waiting list for surgery. The control group of 11 patients followed a standard physiotherapy regimen. The other 13 followed that same regimen, combined with inversion therapy for a four-week period.
At the end of the study, 10 of the 13 inversion group participants canceled their surgeries, compared to only two from the control group. Just by adding inversion therapy, the researchers reduced the need for back surgery by 70.5%! Plus, the inversion group experienced a reduction in pain, while the control group remained about the same.
How to Treat Back Pain with Inversion Therapy
Inversion therapy doesn’t necessarily mean snapping boots to your ankles and hanging from a bar while blood rushes to your head. While you can use these “gravity boots,” I generally recommend their gentler cousin: the inversion table.
Getting in the inversion position is difficult with gravity boots, and may just make your back injury worse. Inversion tables are far easier to use. And since you do not have to go anywhere near upside down to benefit, I recommend starting with a good inversion table that allows you to control your degree of inversion. Even if you’re just beginning, a slight 20-degree inversion can provide enormous benefits!
Inversion therapy works by “reverse loading” your body. Normally, your body is under pressure from gravity pulling on your shoulders, neck and spine. When you reverse the pressure by bringing your heart and hips above your head, you gently stretch the spine and relieve the daily stress on the soft tissue between vertebrae.
Inversion also increases the fluidity of your lymph system, which improves your immune system function, flushes lactic acid and carbon dioxide from your muscles, and improves circulation.
There is even evidence that inverting allows your brain to operate 14% more effectively!
Not All Tables Are Created Equal
Back pain specialists have known for years that inversion is helpful for back pain. But as more and more retail chains get ahold of the knowledge, the market gets more and more crowded with less-than-quality inversion tables with questionable safety.
Generally, I recommend you look for a well-constructed, fully featured table. Unless you have specific needs recommended by your doctor or chiropractor, you don’t need a super expensive one with non-standard features—like one that heats up.
Briefly, here’s what you should look for:
- Quality. The best quality tables have a high carbon steel frame—not just steel or “reinforced” steel. High carbon steel is extremely strong, hard and has a high wear resistance. At best, a low quality frame could mean your table wears out quickly… at the worst, you could end up on your head!
- Comfort. When you’re inverted, clamps at your ankles support your weight. The clamps must be comfortable or your inversion session will not be enjoyable. I strongly recommend getting thick, cushy foam for your clamps—and avoid the molded plastic that some tables have. The best inversion table is one where you don’t feel the table at all… only the gentle benefits of your session.
- Control. The best tables will have big side handles for more control over your inversion.
- Ease of Use. Getting into the ankle clamps can sometimes be tricky, especially for newbies or those of us who can’t touch our toes. Look for the terms “extended reach ankle lock.”
- Guarantee. Look for companies that offer an in-home trial period, money back guarantee and at least a one year warranty.
- Your Body Type. Most tables are suited for people between 5 feet and 6 feet, 6 inches tall, and a maximum of 250-350 pounds. (If you are very obese, inversion therapy may not be for you.) Make sure the table you choose will fit your body type.
I understand for many back pain sufferers, a huge factor in selecting an inversion table is also price.
When I started reviewing inversion tables several years ago, I could only find one table that met all the requirements above … and it was a whopping $549!
Regardless of price, the benefits of inversion are so great, I strongly believe everyone should have a personal table available in their home. But I knew not everyone can afford that price for a quality table.
So, I had my team create our own quality inversion table… one that everyone could afford.
It’s called the Healthy Back Institute Premium Inversion Table.
And, to my knowledge, it’s the only inversion table available anywhere with all of these features anywhere near its price:
- High carbon steel frame
- Comfortable padded ankle clamps
- Extended reach ankle lot
- Extra large handles for ease of use
- Inversion angle control (only go upside down if you want to!)
- Folds for storage
- Supports up to 300 lbs
Unlike many tables, we’ve focused on making our table assembly super simple with clear instructions. You’ll be able to assemble Healthy Back Institute Premium Inversion Table and start enjoying the gentle stretching benefits of reversed gravity within 15 minutes of opening the box.
And as you would expect from us, we include a money back guarantee and full warranty. So why not discover the gentle power of inversion in relieving your back pain today?
Prasad KS. Inversion therapy in patients with pure single level lumbar discogenic disease: a pilot randomized trial. Disability & Rehabilitation. 2012;34(17):1473-80.
New Discoveries of Additional Inversion Therapy Benefits Found. PRWeb: Be Well Buzz. 29 Mar. 2012.
Healing Back Pain with Inversion Therapy. The Healthy Back Institute. 2012. (PDF)
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