So what do inversion tables have to do with memory foam beds you may be asking? I have decided to make this post on this site because my use of an inversion table to treat my lower back pain was a precursor to my discovery of the benefits of a memory foam bed. Are inversion tables a gimmick or do they really work? In my case yes they certainly did work for my type of back pain – morning back pain caused by a bad mattress.
Lower back pain in middle age can be painful, debilitating and can zap your energy and willpower. There are many frightening medical terms for various types of back ailments. Terms like spinal stenosis, herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, and bulging disc to name just a few. Likewise there are just as many frightening “suggested” treatments. Treatments such as traction, spinal decompression and of course various surgical solutions as well.
I will refer to the type of back pain I suffered from as morning back pain. The kind of back pain that is most acute in the morning when we first wake up and attempt to get out of bed. This is the kind of back pain I suffered from for years. Little by little, day by day, year by year the pain slowly increased until one day I could barely get out of bed. I had to very slowly roll onto my stomach, place my knees on the floor and very carefully stand up.
The more I thought about it, the more it did not make sense. I worked in an office environment and did no heavy lifting or any activity that was harmful to my back. Also, if this back pain I was experiencing was due to the onslaught of age and the effects of gravity over my lifetime, then why was the pain most acute in the morning? All things considering, you would think the pain would be most acute at night just before going to bed – after a full day of being active and on my feet most of the day. But no, it was most painful in the morning after first waking up. In fact, as they day wore on and I became more active the pain diminished. Something just didn’t add up.
Like many people before me I saw ads on TV about spinal decompression and wondered if this is just what I needed. I found out this treatment could easily cost up to a thousand dollars a month and it was not covered by my medical insurance. I could not afford this so I had to find something else. Then I heard that inversion tables can produce a similar effect. I quickly went out and purchased the cheapest one I could find for about $100. After all I wasn’t sure this would work so I did not want to spend a lot of money on an expensive one.
Hanging upside down is not an enjoyable experience. The blood in your body rushes to your head and the backside of your ankles can get very sore from all the weight your feet and ankles are holding. In fact I had to put some extra foam cushioning on the backside of my ankles for extra comfort. At first I could only hang upside down for a few minutes and even then I did not hang completely upside down, just at a slight angle. When you first start out using an inversion table you have to start out gradually, short periods of time and at slight angles. At first I thought I would never be able to hang completely upside down for any appreciable amount of time. Slowly, day by day, the amount of time I spent upside down and the angle at which I was hanging increased until eventually I could hang completely upside down for up to 30 minutes. So your body can grow accustomed to this treatment in time.
Because of this breaking in period you do not benefit from an inversion table quickly. In my case it took a couple of weeks with daily treatments until I finally started to feel an improvement. In fact I would take it for granted and as soon as my back improved I would stop the inversion therapy only to regret it a couple of days later when my back pain increased.
The inversion table certainly did help my back. As promoted, these tables do reverse the effects of gravity to a certain extent. They are indeed a form of traction that relieves the pressures on your discs. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them as a permanent daily solution. It is always best to find the cause of your back pain and eliminate it, and in my case the cause was a bad mattress and the solution was a memory foam bed.