Hanging upside down as a means of therapy for back pain, joint aches and dislocations is not a unique, new idea. Physicians and their patients have extolled the benefits of inversion for centuries as a means of improving blood circulation and increasing flexibility. According to various sources, Hippocrates first used inversion therapy by tying a patient upside down from a ladder. In modern times, inversion tables have come into wide spread use, and are a little more sophisticated than being tied upside down to a ladder.
How These Inversion Tables Work
Although there are a variety of offers, the basic design and structure of an inversion table is universally the same. An inversion table consists of a pivoting flat board allowing back support that lets you hang by varying degrees. Some are equipped with special boots to insert your feet while you are on the table, but most have built-in, padded foot restraints for holding you in place.
While most tables are adjustable to heights, they also have height limits. Not all are able to accommodate a person over six-foot six inches in height. Generally, inversion tables are durable and easy to use. Those who are considering the purchase of an inversion table should check the label. Third party companies, such as Underwriters Laboratories, are willing to test inversion tables for quality in design, strength and durability. If it’s a quality table, it will come with a warranty of at least five years. It will be easy to assemble, carry detailed instructions on its use, and often come with books or videos on using the table correctly.
Home model inversion tables are inexpensive. They come in basic models and are designed for easy storage. Weighing a little less than forty pounds for the average home model inversion table, the price range begins at $99, with up to $400 for the more expensive models.
Specifics of Inversion Table Therapy
Professional inversion tables are made of much heavier materials and are rarely easily portable. They can be found in the offices of medical doctors, chiropractors and therapists as well as in health spas and gyms. Professional models often provide additional options to the home model version, such as motors to move the table or having the patient hang either face up or face down.
There are minimum weight requirements for the use of an inversion table. Because of the table’s rotation, you must be heavy enough to prevent it from turning too far, thus causing muscle strain that can potentially injure your back. The minimum weight restriction is placed at eighty pounds. The table is not recommended for children and adolescents.
The maximum weight for inversion table use is placed at three hundred pounds. Obese people also run the risk of muscle strain when placed on an inversion table, with the additional risk of adding to much weight for the table to support. This can result in weakening the table to the point it becomes unstable.
The average use of inversion therapy is two times daily, although many families use their inversion tables more frequently. To insure durability, inversion tables are built with stainless steel frames and durable synthetic lining. They are put through rigorous testing to ensure they will handle up to three hundred pounds on a frequent basis without breaking down.