When’s the last time life had you by the ankles?
Yes, I am referring to inversion tables!
I absolutely love my inversion table and think everyone should consider using one for back pain relief and injury prevention. Imagine all the stress and downward pressure applied to our spines on a daily basis. Inversion gives our spines the opportunity to decompress and relax. Once your ankles are secured in the padded foot bar, you can choose the level to which you want to invert. You can range from a slight decline to parallel, to all the way down into a fully inverted position Once I got accustomed to the fully inverted position I added rotational stretching and some inverted ab work as well.
I spent most of 2015 rehabbing an injury that caused me to have persistent sciatica pain. I noticed how much my pain dissipated after traction treatments at my chiropractor’s office. I shared this realization with a colleague and she insisted that I try out her inversion table. WALLA! Some relief! I researched inversion tables online (she had a Teeter Hang-Up, so naturally, I wanted a Teeter Hang-Up) and found they cost around $380 brand new.
Several of my massage clients have mentioned using these tables over the years – so I decided to look for a deal on craigslist figuring not everyone was using one they had purchased….and I found one! I purchased my Teeter Hang-Up (barely used) for $150. Not bad, right? I suggest to any of my clients or friends who are interested in finding one to just write a post on social media. Something like “Who has an inversion table in their garage they’re willing to part with?” – I’ll bet you find one quickly!
Fast forward to today, my sciatic pain is finally gone and my routine is to invert when I feel little ‘twinges’ in my back or hips. If I have nagging back pain, I will invert daily until it dissipates. When I was recovering from sciatica I inverted twice a day, morning and night, then once a day, then once every other day. I slowly increased the length of time I would hang at full inversion as I built up my tolerance for that position.
I recently listened to a podcast by Tim Ferriss interviewing 62-year-old Olympic Weightlifting champion Jerzy Gregorik. Jerzey stated he believes every athlete who lifts weights should invert after their workouts to prevent injury. So now, after any weight lifting workouts at Crossfit Fort Smith, I invert to allow for decompression of my spine.
Here’s a link to a super informative page about inverting from the Teeter website: Inversion FAQ’s. There are some limitations to using an inversion table, previous ankle or knee surgery, for example. Variations to hanging from your ankles can be found in “inversion chairs”. Click here to see an example of one. Obviously, proceed with caution.