Author Topic: Inversion table?  (Read 148 times)

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Offline daniel1948

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Inversion table?
« on: November 08, 2019, 11:22:57 AM »
An inversion table is a device that allows you to hang upside down by your ankles. Some people do this in the belief that it's good for the circulation or the brain. (Some yoga poses do this also, without the device.) I regard that as pseudoscience. But the other reason for an inversion table is to stretch the lower back. I had an inversion table back in Spokane. I didn't use it on a regular basis, but I used it when I was having back pain. Typically one minute once or twice a day while the pain lasted. I'm wondering if there's any evidence one way or the other, whether this actually does help the back. I kind of think it does, but I really don't know.

I get back pain from time to time, ever since I hurt my back badly while shoveling snow my last winter in North Dakota. Since then, if I lift anything heavy, I'll have back pain for anywhere from a day to a few days. I do back stretches daily, and this seems to keep me mostly pain free, but sometimes, as a result of lifting too much, or maybe sleeping wrong or a wrong movement, I get a sharp twinge of pain, and then for a day or a few days I have to be really careful or any small movement can cause pain. During these times I double or triple my stretches. But I'm wondering if I should get an inversion table again. Is it a useful therapy?

Opinions, evidence, ideas? I welcome all comments, but please specify if you're giving an opinion or actually know something about it.

Thanks.
Daniel
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Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Inversion table?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2019, 02:46:01 PM »
As far as I know, the only evidence in support of inversion therapy is anecdotal.  I tend look for articles on Scienced Based Medicine and quack watch for things like this.  I just did a search on SBM and didn't find anything.  I think you should email the rogues and ask.  It might make a decent segment for the show.  Actually the Reality Check by the Ottawa Skeptics might be more responsive.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Inversion table?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2019, 04:52:42 PM »
Note that I'm only interested in inversion as a stretch for the lower back. "Inversion therapy" usually means a host of quack benefits from inverting the circulatory system.
Daniel
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Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Inversion table?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2019, 05:23:00 PM »
Note that I'm only interested in inversion as a stretch for the lower back. "Inversion therapy" usually means a host of quack benefits from inverting the circulatory system.
I figured as much.  Back issues would be about the only plausible use.  We disagree on a lot but I wouldn't expect you to be into woo. 

Side note, don't bother with quackwatch, I don't think its been updated in 10 years.  Its hard to look at the website is so bad.

Offline jt512

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Re: Inversion table?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2019, 08:17:38 PM »
An inversion table is a device that allows you to hang upside down by your ankles. Some people do this in the belief that it's good for the circulation or the brain. (Some yoga poses do this also, without the device.) I regard that as pseudoscience. But the other reason for an inversion table is to stretch the lower back. I had an inversion table back in Spokane. I didn't use it on a regular basis, but I used it when I was having back pain. Typically one minute once or twice a day while the pain lasted. I'm wondering if there's any evidence one way or the other, whether this actually does help the back. I kind of think it does, but I really don't know.

I get back pain from time to time, ever since I hurt my back badly while shoveling snow my last winter in North Dakota. Since then, if I lift anything heavy, I'll have back pain for anywhere from a day to a few days. I do back stretches daily, and this seems to keep me mostly pain free, but sometimes, as a result of lifting too much, or maybe sleeping wrong or a wrong movement, I get a sharp twinge of pain, and then for a day or a few days I have to be really careful or any small movement can cause pain. During these times I double or triple my stretches. But I'm wondering if I should get an inversion table again. Is it a useful therapy?


It has saved my girlfriend from back surgery.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Inversion table?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2019, 09:45:25 PM »
It has saved my girlfriend from back surgery.

Thank you.
Daniel
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Offline bachfiend

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Re: Inversion table?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2019, 10:44:13 PM »
It has saved my girlfriend from back surgery.

Thank you.

Back surgery is generally not a good idea for back pain:

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet

As a rule of thumb, unless there are neurological symptoms, such as spinal cord or nerve compression, surgery isn’t indicated.
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Inversion table?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2019, 11:23:44 PM »
My mom bought one of those things.  Don’t think she used it more than a couple of times.  Foolishness.
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Offline lonely moa

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Re: Inversion table?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2019, 12:14:09 AM »
I love my inversion table.  Works a treat for this old man.  The only downside (if it is one) is falling asleep for twenty minutes or so as tipped over at about
80o is so remarkably relaxing...  Having a crook back sucks.

I do think lifting heavy things (deadlifts... not pissing around with bicep curls and treadmills) in the gym and regular yoga doesn't hurt either.  Sucks getting old sometimes.
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Offline CarbShark

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Re: Inversion table?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2019, 12:15:28 AM »
It has saved my girlfriend from back surgery.

Thank you.

Back surgery is generally not a good idea for back pain:

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet

As a rule of thumb, unless there are neurological symptoms, such as spinal cord or nerve compression, surgery isn’t indicated.
No one does back surgery for back pain.

If you have back pain and go to a specialist they will do xrays and MRIs and whatever is necessary to diagnose the cause of the pain.

If the cause is an issue that can be corrected with surgery then that’s what they do.

Most cases are best handled with physiotherapy, not surgery.

That’s because most cases are due to muscle and tendon strains rather than bone, cartilage, or neural issues.

Some of those issues, which cause pain, can only be treated with surgery. 


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Offline jt512

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Re: Inversion table?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2019, 01:32:43 AM »
It has saved my girlfriend from back surgery.

Thank you.

Back surgery is generally not a good idea for back pain:

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet

As a rule of thumb, unless there are neurological symptoms, such as spinal cord or nerve compression, surgery isn’t indicated.


"Generally," yeah, I agree, but my girlfriend's first—and only (so far), thanks to her inversion table—back surgery saved her life.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2019, 01:35:48 AM by jt512 »
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Offline lonely moa

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Re: Inversion table?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2019, 03:46:09 AM »
Oops, fell asleep upside down again .
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Offline bachfiend

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Re: Inversion table?
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2019, 06:40:48 AM »
It has saved my girlfriend from back surgery.

Thank you.

Back surgery is generally not a good idea for back pain:

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet

As a rule of thumb, unless there are neurological symptoms, such as spinal cord or nerve compression, surgery isn’t indicated.
No one does back surgery for back pain.

If you have back pain and go to a specialist they will do xrays and MRIs and whatever is necessary to diagnose the cause of the pain.

If the cause is an issue that can be corrected with surgery then that’s what they do.

Most cases are best handled with physiotherapy, not surgery.

That’s because most cases are due to muscle and tendon strains rather than bone, cartilage, or neural issues.

Some of those issues, which cause pain, can only be treated with surgery. 


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That’s what I’m saying.  No one does (or should) do surgery for just back pain.  By the way, investigative tools such as MRI are too accurate.  They will often detect abnormalities of no significance, and which weren’t causing symptoms.  I personally would prefer my doctor to take a history and do a good physical examination rather than doing unnecessary investigations.
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Offline xenu

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Re: Inversion table?
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2019, 10:45:29 AM »
I have one that I bought for my wife. I don't use it anymore. Anyone in the Chicago area want one I will sell it to them .
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Inversion table?
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2019, 11:04:46 AM »
Most cases [of back pain] are best handled with physiotherapy, not surgery.

That’s because most cases are due to muscle and tendon strains rather than bone, cartilage, or neural issues.

100% agree with the above. The therapy that seems to work for me is stretching. In Spain I went to an osteopath for back pain after carrying a microwave oven up three or four flights of stairs. After a back massage to relax the muscles she put me into a position much like yoga's Dead Bug pose and she forced my legs down toward my chest, stretching the muscles of my lower back. One treatment, no return visits, and within a couple of days I was fine. (Until I changed apartments, and had to carry the microwave oven again, and went back to her for the same treatment again.)

I cannot do exactly what she did, but I approximate it by doing Dead Bug pose and pulling down on my feet. I get a good stretch of the lower back, and it seems to help.

I'm just wondering if an inversion table would help with that stretching, as it stretches the back at a different angle. My subjective feeling is that it does. But I'm looking for something better than my subjective feeling. I was never tempted to fall asleep on it. I actually don't like the feeling of all the blood going to my head, but I can tolerate it for 60 seconds at a time if (as it seemed) it helps my back.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck