Inversion machines and devices have been used for millennia to help with structural problems in the spine as well as for the many other benefits. The Romans used ladders to invert those with back problems and the Chinese hung heart patients upside-down from scaffolding made of bamboo in order to treat heart disease. Inversion devices have returned in the last thirty years, mostly in the fitness world, but also in the therapy world.
These can be helpful but they also need to be used in the correct manner in order to give the benefits they promise.
In order for people to get the best out of using inversion machines and devices
the School of Inversion Therapy offers training for therapists and sports coaches
in how to use inversion machines and devices for therapy.
Inversion Machines and Devices.
There are more and more devices for helping people get upside-down coming onto the market. These are some of the usual ones:
Inversion Table, Backswing.
Forward Bending inversion devices.
We will soon post information about all of them but first here is the safety warning for Tilt Tables.
Since the School of I T does not sell inversion equipment we are able to give unbiased information about the devices on the market.
A Safety Warning!
Opposite you can see the usual method of using an inversion table. For sports people, which is a large part of the market, the tables are remarkably safe. There are however some dangers with these devices for those who are not in the peak of health and I would like to point them out here.
1. They can pull very hard on the ankle joint and I have treated clients who have hurt their ankles with regular use.
2. If you have lower back problems the tables can exacerbate them. The flatness of the table and the pull on the ankle increase the curve in the lower back while encouraging muscles to tighten to protect the body from the ankle itself all the way up to the lower back. Having the arms hanging above the head further curves the lower back. Forward bending inversion machines avoid this problem.
3. These devices are promoted as decompressing the spine but unfortunately, when you are inverted with your arms hanging down either side of the head the shoulders block decompression in the upper back and neck to some extent. Lower and upper back upper back extension can improved with the use of foam wedges and a wrist strap. This method is taught by The School of I T to therapists.
4. It is possible to adjust the length of the table incorrectly so that once you get inverted it can be difficult, if not impossible to get back up again without help. It is important to set the length of the table to your height correctly before you go upside-down.
5. Some systems encourage exercising in the inverter which can topple the device if you overdo it.
6. Toppling the machine is dangerous enough but not nearly so much as climbing onto the machine with your feet on the ankle pads. See the three pictures below!
Please do not leave your inversion table without locking the mechanism in some way so that if someone unfamiliar with the machine, or children playing, stand on the ankle pads and sit back against the table they will fly backwards very fast and be thrown on their heads with risk of serious injury. I have seen this happen with an unguarded machine at a festival and in private homes. That the machines do not have automatic locking in the lowered position surprises me.
Lock the ankles into the padded clamps.
Lie back against the table.
Slowly lift the straightened arms up and over the head.
Slowing when the table starts to swing.
Use small and steady arm movements to adjust the angle of the table to your desired angle.
Full inversion is not for everyone as it pulls on the ankles and brings more blood to the head. For some people it is their favourite position.
!SAFETY WARNING FOR TILT TABLES!
More information about inversion tables and other devices will be posted here soon.