What is Inversion Therapy? (with picture)

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Pregnant women are not allowed to undergo inversion therapy in order to reduce back pain.
Pregnant women are not allowed to undergo inversion therapy in order to reduce back pain.

Inversion therapy is a kind of therapy in which the person receiving treatment either hangs upside down or lies on a table that swings in such a way that, on the horizontal plane, her head is much lower than her feet. Those who believe in the benefits of inversion therapy assert that it can help to alleviate back pain, promote better circulation, increase flexibility, and even improve posture. Inversion therapy is not safe for all people and can pose health risks to pregnant women as well as people who are suffering from high blood pressure, heart conditions, and diseases that affect the eyes.

Proponents of inversion therapy believe that it can be used to treat back pain because inversion reduces the pressure on all of the joints in the body below the point from which the body is hanging. This means that a person hanging from the ankles should experience a relief in pressure from the ankles all the way to the neck. A person hanging from the knees would experience a relief in press starting at the knees and extending to the neck. Using this theory, many people try to alleviate back pain by using inversion therapy to reduce the pressure between the discs in the spine.

An inversion therapy table is a product that people can use at home in an attempt to gain one or more of the possible benefits of this kind of therapy. There are a number of companies that sell inversion tables. Some of these tables are designed so that the person using the device begins in a reclined position that, when inverted, allows the top of her head to point toward the floor in an angle that is approximately 45 degrees. There are others that allow the user to begin in a seated position and, when inverted, result in nearly the same position.

It should be noted that a number of people in the medical community do not believe that inversion therapy is as effective as some marketing materials may indicate. Furthermore, anyone experiencing back pain should work with a medical professional to treat the pain. Inversion therapy, especially the sort that can be performed at home, should only be practiced with a doctor's approval.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for , Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for , Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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    • Pregnant women are not allowed to undergo inversion therapy in order to reduce back pain.
      Pregnant women are not allowed to undergo inversion therapy in order to reduce back pain.