Inversion therapy, or simply inversion, is the process of seeking therapeutic benefits from hanging by the legs, ankles, or feet in an inverted angle or entirely upside down. It is a form of spinal traction. Gravity boots are ankle supports designed for inversion therapy. Some people use gravity boots to add an extra challenge to workouts, doing inverted crunches or squats.
Foldable inversion table, extended and set up for use.
People who have heart disease, high blood pressure, eye diseases (such as glaucoma), or are pregnant are at higher risk for the dangers related to inversion therapy and should consult their doctors about it first. The first time anyone tries inversion therapy with gravity, they should be sure to have someone standing by, in case assistance is required to get out of the apparatus, or if health problems are experienced.
During an episode of acid reflux, small amounts of stomach acid may manage to escape from the stomach and into the oesophagus. Gravity typically minimises this upward leakage, but an inversion table and acid reflux can be a painful, nauseating, and potentially dangerous combination.
- Spinal Traction can be useful for effects of decreasing muscle spasm, stretching muscles/ligaments of the back, increasing the space between vertebral bodies and thus rehydrating the intervertebral discs, decreasing disc bulging and decreasing pressure on nerve roots and the spinal cord. In turn, these effects can help for the reduction of pain and increasing tissue repair. Laskowski, Edward R., M.D. (June 9, 2014). "Does inversion therapy relieve back pain? Is it safe?". Mayo Clinic. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
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- Lasich, Christina, M.D. (March 7, 2011). "The Upsides and Downsides of Inversion Therapy". HealthCentral. Retrieved July 11, 2015.