If you suffer from chronic back pain, you have probably tried many different treatment options. One of those might be inversion therapy. This treatment involves being strapped to a table and hung upside down for minutes at a time. The idea is that hanging upside down like this stretches out your spine and creates more space between your vertebrae, which can help alleviate back pain. But is inversion therapy the right treatment for your back pain? Consider the following pros and cons as you decide.
Pro: Inversion therapy is non-invasive.
Many people avoid surgery for back pain because of the inherent risks associated with having incisions made in the back. Even injections can be scary; if your practitioner does not place the needle properly, there is a risk of nerve damage. Inversion therapy is non-invasive, which makes a lot of people feel more comfortable with it as a back pain treatment. There is no risk of infection, slow healing, or long-term nerve damage.
Con: Inversion therapy is not safe for people with high blood pressure or glaucoma.
When you hang upside down on the inversion table, blood rushes into your eyes, which increases your intraocular pressure. The pressure in your head also increases. For the average person, this is not a big deal; the pressure goes back to normal soon after you stop the inversion. But if you are someone who suffers from glaucoma or high blood pressure, inversion can increase your risk of vision loss, stroke, and other serious issues.
Pro: Inversion therapy can be done in your own home.
Many chiropractors offer inversion services in their own offices. But if you enjoy the effects, you can buy an inversion table for a few hundred dollars and use it in the comfort of your own home. You don't need to drive to an office or make an appointment.
Con: Inversion therapy can put strain on your ankles.
When you hang upside down on the inversion table, you are typically strapped on by your ankles. This does not bother most people, but if you have weak ankles or a previous ankle injury, it could be painful. In the long term, inversion therapy may cause more damage than it heals and may not be the best choice for you if your ankles are weak.
For patients with strong ankles and healthy blood pressure, inversion therapy is a good choice for back pain treatment. Talk to a doctor or chiropractor near you to learn more.