We’ve all heard avid yogis exclaim the benefits of standing on their head, but some of us may need support to achieve these enticing benefits. One way to do this is by using an inversion table, which facilitates stretching muscles and ligaments in the back, reducing muscle spasm, relaxing muscles, and creating suction to draw protruded discs toward their center (1).
Although there are numerous benefits to using an inversion table, one should proceed cautiously. In fact, we recommend only a slight angle of 15° when beginning this type of therapy. As your body adjusts, you may increase this angle incrementally over time. One should feel a gentle pull on the back and neck, while still allowing the body to adjust easily to the inversion.
Also note that those with heart or circulatory conditions should check with their doctor prior to using an inversion table (2).
Dr Haggquist's Recommendations:
• Do the inversion table for 20 to 40 min daily. Research shows that in order to be effective, this treatment should be done for a minimum of 20 minutes per day.
• The inversion is most effective if done intermittently.
• Recommended use is as follows:
FIRST 2 minutes inverted,
THEN 15 seconds upright for blood to flow back to feet
REPEAT at least 8 or 10 times to achieve the recommended minimum of 20 minutes
• The angle of the inversion table should be at a slight angle of 15 to 20 degrees. This should stimulate a feeling of a gentle pull on the back and neck, so the body can adjust easily to the inversion. Please do not modify the angle at which the inversion table is set. It should always remain at the green color level.
• In order to see effects from inversion table treatment, the patient needs to complete at least 22 of 23 days of treatment.
- Draper, D. O. (2005). Inversion table traction as a therapeutic modality, part 1: Oh my aching back. Athletic Therapy Today, 10 (3): 42-44.
- Lasich, C. (2011). The upsides and downsides of inversion therapy. Retrieved from: http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/c/23153/133392/inversion/