Inverted Spine: The Non-Invasive Cure for Back Pain

An inversion table like this is useful for inverted spine therapy.

Lower back pain or sciatica is a common problem that adults suffer often. The pain can hinder the patient’s daily life. That’s where inverted spine or inversion therapy comes in. The inverted spine is a non-invasive, non-surgical technique used to cure lower back pain. The therapy utilizes an inversion table to treat the pain and relieve the patient of discomfort.

Define Inversion

Inversion, in medical terms, is turning something inside out or moving the forepart of the body towards the midline. Moreover, inversion is also defined as turning the body upside down. In the case of inversion therapy, the last definition stands as the most accurate. This method is often adopted to treat sciatica and lower back pain.

What is inversion?

Inverted spine or inversion therapy is the suspension of the body upside down. The natural gravitational force acts on the body shifting the pressure from the back and easing the pain. The therapy leads to stretching and pulling of the spinal cord which eases the pain.

The Need to Use Inverted Spine Therapy

There are several causes of back pain and sometimes the pain can become chronic and unbearable. Here are a few things that can cause lower back pain:

Normal back pain

Inverted spine is used to treat lower back and joint pain.

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Life comes to a standstill even when suffering from normal back pain. Furthermore, the cause of the pain could be as simple as a weak core or can be as complicated as spinal misalignments. In any case, the patient experiences acute pain that puts their life on hold. The pain can also be a result of friction between the vertebrae of your spine. The spongy discs that insulate each vertebra may lose moisture leading to the friction.


Sciatica can be easily treated using the inverted spine and inversion therapy

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The term sciatica comes from the sciatic nerve which is the largest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve extends from the lower back to the region in the buttocks and lower limbs. Moreover, the irritation in the sciatic nerve leads to pain in the lower region of the body. The name of this condition is sciatica. The causes of sciatica include disc herniation, inflammation of the sciatic nerve due to injury, tumor, internal bleeding or infections. Furthermore, the sciatic nerve can also suffer from inflammation during pregnancy leading to sciatica.

Spinal degeneration

Spinal degeneration can be prevented and the pain caused can be cured through inversion exercises on inversion tables

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The vertebrae in the spinal cord are held in position by the cartilage in between them. The spinal degenerative disease leads to wearing out of the cartilage. The condition causes acute pain, instability, stiffness, joint immobility and can even lead to a deformed body. The disease requires immediate attention or can lead to complete immobility in the patient.

Muscle tension

The physiological effects of stress can often lead to muscle tension in many adults. In this condition, the muscles remain in a semi-contracted state over a period of time beyond the normal limit. The extended contraction period leads to the building up of lactic acid which results in acute pain.

Spinal stenosis

Inversion spine is used to treat spinal stenosis.

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The condition known as spinal stenosis occurs when a vertebra in your spinal cord starts to narrow down. This narrowing compresses the spinal cord exerting pressure on the nerve endings in the spine. These nerves travel throughout the body and their inflammation leads to cramping in the legs and acute pain in the lower back and body.

Muscle spasm

A muscle spasm is the body’s protective reaction against injury or an anomalous condition in the body. In this condition, the muscle involuntarily contracts to act against an injury or anomalous conditions such as a herniated disc or degenerative spinal cord disease.

Inversion Tables and Their Uses

The process of the inverted spine or inversion therapy is brought into effect using inversion tables. Inversion tables are flat boards or tables that have a footrest and can move both back and forth. The patient’s ankles are strapped to the footrest while their hands lie on the support provided on both sides of the board. After being strapped in, the patient gradually shifts their weight backward until they are in an inverted position.

The inversion table allows a varying degree of inversion depending on the patient’s experience with the board. With the passage of time, the patient can achieve the state of full inversion as well. The table uses the ancient concept of inversion where the patient used to lie on the ground and then lower their head while escalating their lower body.

Inversion tables help in decompressing and stretching the spine which relieves lower back pain and sciatica. The constricted movement of the joints and gravity acting on the body results in a shift of pressure from the joints. Therefore, this technique relaxes the body’s muscles and joints, healing the pain in various regions of the body.

The person suffering from pain can perform a range of exercises while using the inversion table. Here is a list of the most common ones practiced to strengthen the core and relieve pain:

Inverted squat

Like the normal squat, the inverted squat helps you strengthen the hamstrings, calves, and glutes. The person in an inverted position flexes their hips to pull their torso towards the feet and lower themselves back to the relaxing position completing an inverted squat. Moreover, the process is advised to be repeated ten to fifteen times in a set and three such sets are ideal for best results.


For this exercise, lock the inversion table at a specific angle comfortable for the person in focus. The person strapped onto the board folds the arms across the torso while keeping the chin tucked in. The next step involves flexing the chest muscles and protruding the body outwards towards the waist. This exercise trains the abdominal and flexor muscle tissues.

This exercise helps in relieving stress from the joints and training in the development of a strong core. The strong core develops a certain level of immunity against the lower back pain and other joint pain.

Advantages of Inverted Spine Therapy

The most advantageous outcome of inversion therapy is its ability to cure back pain without opting for invasive measures. In some cases, the patient is advised to go through back surgery to cure their back pain which costs them a hefty sum of money. Putting the body under the knife could further lead to more complications.

Inversion therapy ensures that the patient’s back pain vanishes with simple exercises. Moreover, the therapy trains the body to develop an immunity not only against back pain but any form of joint pain.

Here are a few advantages that give the method an edge over its more orthodox counterparts:

Joint misalignment corrected

The therapy relieves joint pain apart from canceling the low back pain which has made inversion famous. The patient experiences strain in joints after a session of the therapy. The cause of the strain is muscle elongation and stretching which results in relieving pain. Moreover, the joint misalignments caused due to physical activities are corrected due to the elongation of muscles.

Purifies the lymph system

According to the Natural Arthritis Relief website, inversion has proven to help in purifying the lymphatic system of the body. The upside down positioning of the body clears the lymphatic system of all the waste and lactic acid that has developed in the system over a period of time. The waste in the system travels in one particular direction and therefore inverted spine leads to clearing of the waste which could lead to pain and uneasiness.

Promotes circulation in organs

Since the blood flow is unidirectional and against gravity, some of the organs may not experience the same flow as the others due to their positioning. Inversion helps stimulates the flow of the circulatory system as well as the lymphatic system. This, in turn, helps in waste removal and circulation in the whole body.

Helps in maintaining height

The body of an average human being shrinks up to 3/4 of an inch during the day. The body shrinks due to spinal compression under the influence of gravity. Inverted spine reverses the process by enabling the stretching of the spine and thus helps in maintaining height.

Featured Image: CC by 1.0, by Giorgostr, via Wikimedia Commons

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