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Hi friends! Today I want to talk to you about neck pain.
No, not THAT pain in the neck, those are your relatives, but that annoying neck pain that can drive you crazy! I know that I’ve had my share of neck cricks that were caused by nothing more than sleeping wrong or from sleeping with a worn-out pillow, but that type of neck pain is short-lived, right?
You got this far because you want to know whether an inversion table works for neck pain, right?
Inversion tables are commonly used for back pain however they have been proven to assist with neck pain as well. An inversion table works with gravity to stretch your spine, creating tiny spaces and decompressing the vertebrae. This results in relief from back and neck pain.
In this article, I want to talk about that annoying type of neck pain that doesn’t seem to go away. Maybe it keeps you from sleeping, maybe your day starts off fine, but then the neck pain seems to get worse as the day goes on, or maybe you don’t feel it until the end of a long, hard day of slaving over the keyboard.
No matter which type of neck pain you have, I may have the answer for you. Want to know more? Of course, you do! Keep reading and find out my “magic” treatment for neck pain, and it’s as easy as lie down and take a load off!
Now, I’m not a doctor and I cannot give you medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, but I can offer you some interesting insight into how inversion therapy can help you stop neck pain dead in its tracks. Please seek professional medical advice before trying an inversion table.
Table of Contents
How Can an Inversion Table Stop Neck Pain?
First off, if you don’t know what an inversion table is, you can see what one looks like here.
Some people prefer gravity boots, which look like this.
These are very simple devices that look similar to a sleeping cot. You lie down, strap yourself in, and then turn yourself upside down. Gravity does everything else!
Inversion therapy works by allowing gravity to pull gently on the spinal column. This reduces pressure on the nerves and creates a tiny bit of space between each vertebra. It’s a very, very tiny amount of space, but it makes all the difference.
I’ve often heard my neck and back crack as the bones move back into their proper position. If you’ve ever had your back cracked by a chiropractor, then you know the sound I’m referring to. It feels so good!!!
When we think of our spinal column, most people only think of our backs, but the spinal column also includes your neck. This portion of the spine is called the cervical spine, and the cervical vertebrae can develop many of the same painful problems that the lower back can experience.
Using inversion therapy regularly can prevent both back and neck pain from ever showing its ugly face again.
How Do You Stretch Your Neck with an Inversion Table?
Stretching your neck while using an inversion table is as easy as lying down in your bed!
After you’ve strapped yourself down to the table and flipped yourself over, you can just allow gravity to do the job or you can use one arm to gently (GENTLY!) pull on your head from side to side. This will stretch the neck muscles that are often the source of pain.
Sometimes called decompression therapy, you can relieve neck pain and/or back pain oftentimes by doing nothing more than using the inversion table the way it was designed.
If the neck muscles have been damaged or are very sore, you might want to soak in a hot bath before you get on the inversion table. This way, the neck muscles will be loose and warm, which makes stretching the muscles easier.
How Many Times Per Week Should You Use Inversion Therapy?
At the risk of repeating myself and becoming a bore, let me say one more time that if you have any medical conditions, or if you have injured your neck or back, please seek professional medical advice before using an inversion table.
If you have sought the advice of a doctor or chiropractor, and they have told you how often you should use the inversion table, you should follow their recommendations. Learn more about how long should you hand upside down on an inversion table in this detailed article.
Otherwise, most people find that two or three times per week is enough to stave off the need for physical therapy and offer pain relief for neck problems, however, I personally do it daily with great results.
It’s crucial that you start off slow and become accustomed to using inversion tables. While it won’t kill you, it can cause some nasty muscle cramps and sore muscles.
Try only two or three minutes at a lesser angle. You can slowly build yourself up to 10 -15 minutes and going the complete upside route after a few weeks. Remember you want to increase gradually, so your body slowly adjusts. If you are new to inversion never fully invert straight away!
If you’re interested in inversion tables, you might want to check this out.
It’s normal to feel your muscles tense when you first start using an inversion table. Your body wants to remain upright and will fight to do so. What you can do is relax and focus on how good it makes your neck and spine feel. You will become accustomed to it, and there will be days when you can’t wait to do a full inversion the moment you get home!
Related Post: Are Inversion Tables Good for You?
Who Should NOT Use an Inversion Table?
Nearly everyone can safely use inversion tables to relieve back pain and neck pain in the cervical spine, but there are a few people who should avoid inversion therapy work because of the pressure that occurs whenever you remain inverted.
Anyone with the following health conditions should NOT use an inversion table:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular issues
- Heart disease
- Trigeminal neuropathy
- Cluster headaches
- Inner ear problems
- If you have had or have a high risk of stroke
If you have doubts about using an inversion table, your doctor will provide medical advice and fill you in on whether it is safe for you.
Is an Inversion Table Good for Whiplash?
This is definitely a “yes, but” answer.
While an inversion table can offer relief from the pain of compressed cervical vertebrae, you can make things worse if you overdo it.
Most chiropractors recommend that you wait a few weeks before you try decompression treatment. When it comes to whiplash, the soft tissues in the neck (meaning the muscles and ligaments) have been damaged and need time to heal.
The great thing about this type of therapy is that it improves the circulation in your neck so that the muscles can receive much-needed nutrients, while the fresh blood also removes damaged tissue.
Wait to try your inversion table until the chiropractor or physician gives you the go-ahead.
The Final Takeaway – Do Inversion Tables Help Neck Pain?
OK, Kathleen, so what’s the bottom line here?
For the TL:DR crowd, it boils down to this:
Inversion tables can help stop and prevent neck pain if you use them properly and take your time getting used to them.
Majority of adults can use inversion tables without a problem and find them generally safe and beneficial. However, some people with certain medical conditions should avoid these devices.
There are many benefits to using inversion tables, including creating spaces between the vertebrae, relieving pressure, and offering pain relief.
Personally, I love my inversion table and highly recommend it for anyone who suffers from neck or back pain.
Stay healthy and happy! Life is too short for anything else!
Written by Kathleen Langdon – TheHealthPot.com Founder
Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES)
Kathleen, a mother of two, struggled with ongoing weight and health issues. She created this website after she turned her life around. She built Thehealthpot.com to help inspire and motivate others with their fitness goals. Read more about Kathleen here.