Inversion Table Therapy My Story, What It Is and Is It Right For You

2A1727B500000578-3143521-image-a-5_1435649949639My Story

Wow, my story on inversion table therapy – or should it be more like, my story on back problems?

Anyway, at a very young age, around 10 or so, I developed scoliosis. It was the result of my growth being stunted from many radiation treatments. (I had cancer 4 times.) As time went by and the rest of my body grew, the curve in my spine got a bit worse.

When I was 19 or so, I started massage therapy, chiropractic therapy and physical therapy to help ease the pain and tightness that came along with scoliosis. It worked for a while, but it wasn’t easy on a 19 year old’s bank account.

Even with the pain, tightness, etc., I was still able to work out, do martial arts and live a pretty normal life – but in 2001 things were made worse when I was hit head on by a drunk driver. (It was the guy’s fourth drunk driving accident if you can believe that!)

As you can imagine, a combination of the wreck and the radiation led to more back problems – and this led to more massage therapy, more physical therapy and more chiropractic therapy – and this was not cheap.

Because of the money I was spending, and of course my back problems, I had to look for alternate treatment options – and that is when I discovered inversion table therapy.

What Does Inversion Therapy Do Exactly?

Inversion therapy simply uses gravity. So it’s not like you are taking some medication you will get addicted to or something that may have side effects. However, I will say the benefits of inversion therapy can be addictive.

Inversion therapy works very simply. You get on to the inversion table in the upright position and you lock in your feet. Next, you slowly incline backwards. For new users it is highly recommended that you do not fully invert (go upside down). Also, if you are inverting for the first time, you just want to stay in the inverted position for no longer than 3 minutes.

While inverted, you will notice that your back stretches out. This is the part that is most beneficial for me personally. It makes me feel like I am growing 3 inches taller too.

Being inverted allows your spine to decompress. Which is great for inflammation. This is because decompression of the spine causes fluid that builds up around the spine to be released.

Is Inversion Right for Everyone?

Simply having a back problem does not qualify you for inversion table therapy. In some cases, inverting may actually make a back problem worse. You’ll want to discuss with your doctor if this is a viable treatment option for your specific back issue(s).

Elvis writes for several different blogs on health issues and alternate treatment methods including inversion table therapy. Be sure to check out his other blogs.


Say Goodbye To Back Pain With Chiropractic Care

chiropractic-careChiropractors are medical professionals who conduct spinal adjustments on patients in order to improve the functioning of the nervous system and the joints. This treatment will help you regain the natural balance in your system and it will reduce pain and discomfort in the back.

Who is a Chiropractor?

A Chiropractor specializes in treating all kinds of back pain. These professionals have to complete a four year training program from an accredited institute in order to get qualified. Many of them also go through many years of residency so that they can specialize in certain forms of treatment.

If you are visiting a practitioner for back pain, ensure that you visit one who has a lot of experience in the field and also has a valid license to practice. You should also take a look at the insurance programs that he or she accepts and go to someone who has training in the particular area of your back that needs treatment.

How Does Chiropractic Care Work?

Over 20 million Americas visit chiropractors across the country in order to deal with a back problem. This form of treatment is often very different from traditional medicine and these professionals will aim to provide relief to your back by massaging certain areas of the back and doing spinal adjustments.

The theory that follows this process is that if the spine is re-aligned properly, it relieves the pressure on the nerves and your entire system will function smoothly. Even though different practitioners will have different kinds of treatment plans, the main treatment will include manipulation and it may involve a little bit of ultrasound, electrical stimulation, etc.

Visiting a Chiropractor

During your first visit to the Chiropractor, you will usually be asked a lot of questions about your medical history. This is done so that they can get an idea of the problem that you suffer from as well as the possible causes of the problem.

A physical examination is then often done and at this stage, the chiropractor will physically feel your neck, back and limbs in order to determine the possible problems. Some of them may even ask you to get an X-ray taken before any treatment is started.

After your first visit, you will be called back after the X-rays have been studied and a treatment plan will be given to you. Usually, multiple sessions with the chiropractor will be required in order for them to conduct spinal manipulations and adjustments.

In some cases, you may even have different oils and vitamins massaged into your body in order to achieve a better result. Many patients are also asked to change certain aspects of their lifestyle like their diet, posture of sitting and type of physical activity in order to get good results and prevent any future problems.


What to Do When Your Lower Back ‘Goes Out’

3e3e5d07bbc9e3adc132f3991247d796Your day is off to a great start until you bend over to tie your shoes or pick up your kid’s toy off the floor and BOOM!… You’re stuck!!

Now you’re wondering what to do? How do I get to work? Get the kids to school?

You’re next thought is, “I didn’t do anything to cause this?”

Reality Check: You likely did plenty that led you to this point. Between stress, poor sleep and work postures, old injuries and new ‘minor’ injuries you have done plenty. In most cases it’s simply caught up to you resulting in spinal bones that have lost their proper motion and alignment leading to nerve irritation.

You’re immediate reaction is to get the heating pad, which will make it worse, don’t make that mistake. Disregard what the ER doctor has said in the past, or what you’re co-workers said to do, ICE IS GOOD!!

The next thing you need to start doing is moving around. Your instinct is to lay on the couch or bed and try and relax. This will only make the muscle spasms worse which means you will tighten up even more.

We typically tell patients that present to our chiropractic office with a hot lower back to get up and move around for about 10-15 minutes several times a day then ice when they get done. This may seem like it will make things worse, but it will actually help you feel better. The more you lay around and keep the heat on it, the more it will tighten up.

When you do lie down, make sure it is on a surface that gives you support. Your favorite easy chair or position on the couch is often what led to this problem in the first place. Avoid them if you can. The floor, a firm mattress and a straight back chair are better options.

Now you need to find a chiropractor for that quick crack to get you back on track. You find the first chiropractor that is on your insurance plan or that can get you in today! If you have been to a chiropractor before then you know the power one adjustment can have and get duped into thinking, or at least hoping, that you will be able to get a quick adjustment and be on your way. Don’t fall into this trap.

Unless you had a specific injury, chances are you have had your condition for a while and whatever seemingly minor movement you made when it started to hurt was just the final straw for your spine alignment. Your free pass on not maintaining your spine alignment has just been revoked.

If you have never been to a chiropractor before then understand that it is normal to have some discomfort with your first few adjustments as your body is still trying to calm down from the spasms and inflammation.

Remember that while you came to the office in acute pain caused by just bending over, the source of the problem has likely been brewing for quite some time. As we talk to our patients on that initial visit we often discover they have had off and on back pain for months or years, but it only lasted a couple of days and went away. Those little symptoms were warning signs of things to come and here we sit in my office talking about those little warning signs while you are barely able to sit still.

If it is determined you are suffering with what are called ‘subluxations’ (a condition where spina bones lose proper joint function) and that you are a good candidate for care, you local chiropractor will adjust your spine. The adjustment will help to restore the proper joint function and reduce the nerve pressure that is causing the pain and spasms.

Your number of visits will likely be aggressive in the beginning, with frequency reducing as the subluxations (misaligned spinal bones) improve.

Don’t rush the process. It took time to get your spine in the shape it’s in now, it’s going to take time to get it back to how it was before these little warning signs first emerged.

The seemingly innocent pain signals from your body are the early stages of something bigger to come. Our suggestion is don’t wait for “The Big One” before getting your spine looked at by your local chiropractor.

Start getting your spine aligned now and avoid the pain, off work time, difficulty walking and host of other normal daily functions that are lost when the warning signals are ignored.

5 Ways Bad Posture Leads To Back Pain

Poor-Sitting-PostureHave you ever wondered why after a long work day one may feel pain in the back or when after seating for long or even lying on a couch you may tend to feel some pain? The reason to this is mainly as a result of back pain due to changes in posture. Posture has been linked to back pain in a lot of studies conducted the world over. It is thus important to note some of the most common postures that many people might be engaged in without knowing that these very postures cause back pain.

Here are the 5 most common postures that have been shown to cause back pain.

The first posture is the hunchback. This comes about when one forms a C- shape when they are working on a desk. This twists the spinal column and if one spends days on end doing this, the spine tends to get acclimatized to being curved. This causes back pain as well as pain in the shoulder and neck. Continued use of this posture over months or years causes the chest muscles to curve. Muscles of the upper back loosen as well and there is prominence of pain in the upper back.

To avert this problem, it is suggested that a person should avoid hunching at the desk and rather sit upright where the item they are working on is at eye level. Simple exercises such as twisting the head and shoulders every so often with hands on the head causes the back to relax. It is also suggested that one should at least take a short break every 30 – 40 minutes where they can stand and change posture for a short while before going back to their seating posture. Yoga and regular cardiovascular exercise such as swimming, jogging or even taking a walk are great ways to avert this problem and strengthen the back.

Another bad posture that is common is the rounded shoulder. This is a posture caused by activity such as typing when one is seated. His can also be caused by a poor exercise regime which overworks the chest muscles, causing back, shoulder and neck pain. This can simply be averted by stretching every once in a while twice or thrice during ones work day. These stretches helps realign the vertebral column and prevent pain. Exercises that are aimed at strengthening the trapezius should be included in normal exercise regimes if one spends most of the day working on a computer.

Another common cause of back pain is over pronated feet which is caused by the arch in the feet being forced flat. This is caused by pregnancy, choosing footwear inappropriately as well as obesity. The weakened feet may cause pain in the hip, knee and back. This condition may vary in severity where in some cases its mild while in some, the knees torn inwards to face each other, making mobility a very painful affair. If it goes untreated, it results in conditions such as metatarsalgia which is a pain in the feet joints. Devices to correct foot alignment are recommended. This, however, must be prescribed by a doctor for the best results and advice on when and how to use.

Another problematic posture that causes a lot of back pain is the anterior pelvic tilt. IN this condition, the pelvis tilts forward and thus pushes the torso forward, causing a bend which is awkward. This may cause severe back pain, especially in the back. The main cause of this condition is sitting down for extended periods of time without stretching.

This is mostly seen in people who work in busy offices as well as long distance truck drivers who have to be seated while driving for extended periods of time. When one sits for extended periods, the hip flexors tighten and there is loosening of the gluteal muscles, thus there is pain which results. To avert this, regular cardiovascular exercise is recommended. Exercise should focus on stretching the hip flexors while at the same time tightening the gluteal muscles.

The last posture that causes back pain is the one where the head slants forward, especially for people who do desk jobs and have to deal with a lot of paper work. In most cases, pain in the neck and shoulders is also common. Simple exercises to loosen the neck and shoulders can be used to get the head used to this type of exercise and prevent back pain. IF you find that a pain persists for far too long, especially after 6 weeks, it is advisable to consult a doctor.