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If you’re someone who’s started using an inversion table—or maybe thinking about buying one—it’s but natural to start wondering how long inversion tables take to work. Believe me, the answers you get will be mixed. It will depend on whom you ask, what they’re using the inversion table for, and how often they use it.
For relieving pain and discomfort caused by pressure on the spine, you will feel the effect of an inversion table almost instantaneously, but the benefit will be short-term.
However, that answer does not explain everything, so I invite you to join me in getting to the bottom of the matter. Let’s start with what inversion therapy is.
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Inversion Therapy Explained
Inversion tables are just one of the tools or approaches used in inversion therapy. To understand inversion tables, you need to understand the concept behind it.
Inversion therapy is the practice of inverting the body (turning or bringing the body upside down) for a considerable length of time. This can be done in different ways but with the same purpose—to relieve gravitational pressure off the spine and increase blood circulation.
Back pain and chronic back conditions are often caused by poor posture and the day-to-day stress placed upon the spine, which can compress the vertebrae.
By inverting the body, you accomplish two things:
- Relieve the pressure for a moment, which allows the spine to stretch out and decompress
- Increase blood circulation, which improves the distribution of oxygen and minerals, promotes healing, aids physical performance, and enhances cognitive functions.
What Are Inversion Tables Used For?
Inversion tables are used to relieve back pain, stretch back bones and muscles, improve posture, and treat back-related conditions, such as sciatica. This is known as spinal traction, a practice used in inversion therapy.
Aside from that, inversion tables are also used for general relaxation and stretching. Some people also use them to perform inverted abdominal workouts.
What Are the Benefits of Inversion Tables?
Inversion tables can provide many benefits depending on how you use them and how often. Some people see them as ineffective, but many people claim that inversion tables work for them.
The benefits of using inversion tables include:
- Relieving back pain
- Improving blood circulation
- Promoting healing – specifically for chronic back conditions
- Full body stretching
- Relaxation, relieving anxiety
Inversion tables are also easy to use, affordable, and ideal for home use. You can easily fold, store, and transport them.
How Long Does It Take for Inversion Tables to Work?
How long till you start enjoying the benefits of using an inversion table?
There is no single answer for this. It largely depends on your purpose for using an inversion table and the duration and frequency of your sessions.
If you plan to use an inversion table for stretching and relaxing, relieving pressure off the spine, and reducing pain, you can feel the benefits instantly or after a few minutes.
However, if you’re looking for long-term benefits (e.g. curing serious or chronic back conditions), the effectiveness of inversion tables remains unclear.
How to Use an Inversion Table
You should use an inversion table correctly and safely to ensure that it helps you relieve pain or anxiety.
If you’ve tried using it and found it uncomfortable or painful, you should immediately stop using it.
Using an inversion table should be a generally relaxing, pain-free experience. It should not make you feel dizzy or lightheaded.
When using an inversion table, make sure that your body is correctly positioned on the backrest and headrest. Tilt gradually and use the sidebars for support. You should feel no discomfort at the ankles.
Are Inversion Tables Proven?
There have been numerous studies conducted on the effectiveness of inversion tables and inversion therapy in general, but results were inconclusive about their long-term benefits.
Even so, there’s nothing to say that inversion tables are not beneficial for temporary back pain relief, relaxing the mind and body, decompressing the vertebrae, and improving posture. It also increases blood flow to the brain, which improves cognition, increases focus, and reduces brain fog.
Inversion Therapy Alternatives
If inversion tables are not your thing but you’re still interested in inversion, you may want to consider other inversion therapy alternatives.
Popular forms of exercise like yoga, gymnastics, pole dancing, and many more involve inversion in some degree. These activities share some of the same benefits inversion tables can provide, such as full-body stretching, relaxation, and improved blood circulation.
Of course, whether these are suitable for you will depend on your fitness level and ability, so it’s a MUST that you consult your physician before attempting inversion of any type.
You can also do other things to relieve pressure off the spine. You can hang by gripping an overhead bar or lie down on an inclined floor or platform. You may want to do core-strengthening workouts to provide long-term support to your spine.
So, how long it takes before you start feeling the benefits of an inversion table will depend on what benefits you’re expecting from the device.
For general back pain relief and spinal decompression, you will notice the benefits instantly or in a few minutes. However, you’ll need to do this repeatedly and regularly because the effect will be short-lived.
For improved blood circulation, the desired effects (e.g. mental clarity) will be noticeable immediately. However, you will also notice the not so desirable effects (e.g. dizziness).
Warning: If you have hypertension, a heart ailment, or glaucoma, you should NEVER attempt to do inversion.
For long-term benefits, such as curing chronic back conditions like scoliosis, you should not depend on inversion alone to treat your condition.
Inversion is our way to naturally fight the effects of gravity on our spine, and using an inversion table makes that easy and safe to do.
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.