[Updated on 1 June 2020] If you recently had a “pinched nerve,” you may be looking for solutions to relieve it. The good news is, relief for a pinched nerve is not as difficult to achieve as you might think; however, it takes some effort and, in some cases, life changes.
While pinched nerves might be as a result of a sudden injury such as a car accident, a fall or slip, it mostly happens as a result of the slow decay of time. As we grow older, the discs located in the spinal column meant to help us with mobility become damaged and dislocated. The result is a pinched nerve. It’s possible to get a pinched nerve from something as simple as sleeping on too many pillows since it pushes your spine out of alignment and exerts pressure on the surrounding nerves.
So, is there relief for a pinched nerve? Well, Inversion therapy can be beneficial when it comes to realigning your spine as well as the surrounding areas. This treatment has a little impact on your body and has virtually no side effects to speak of and is highly successful when it comes to relieving back pain or pain due to a pinched nerve. This treatment works by completely inverting the patient’s body, which forces gravity to push the spinal column back into proper alignment. It relocates anything that seems to be pressing on the pinched nerve to where it belongs, relieving the pain and numbness you might be experiencing. In case you are looking to try this kind of technique at home, it will be a great idea to invest in an inversion table.
How Long Does a Pinched Nerve Last?
The recovery period for a pinched nerve condition normally depends on the type of treatment an individual takes as well as the damage. Depending on the amount of damage, the condition may be minor or severe, leading to long-term or short-term issues. Therefore, the earlier you visit your chiropractor, the quicker you will experience relief.
What is Inversion Therapy?
Inversion therapy treatment involves having the patient suspended upside down. The procedure uses a specialized table. The primary purpose of the inversion table is to reverse the effects of gravity on the spin, decompressing its vertebrae.
The nature of gravity forces the back muscles, joints, and bones to compress, which in effect will result in chronic back pain and sciatica. Sciatica is a condition where an injury or other circumstance places pressure on the large sciatic nerve found on the lower back, causing pain and discomfort, in addition to the pinched nerve.
Reversing the effects of gravity through suspension on an inversion table has the capability of temporarily reducing the pressure on the spine, decreasing lower back pain, while at the same time increasing circulation, and opening up the vertebrae in the back as well.
Using an Inversion Table to Relieve Pinched Nerve
It’s only in rare cases that the pinched nerve is a severe medical issue. The pinched nerve will typically occur when there is too much pressure applied to a nerve by surrounding tissue like cartilage, bones, tendons, and muscles. This kind of pressure disrupts the nervous functions causing tingling, numbing, pain, and weakness.
Inversion therapy is a treatment solution that patients can have in the comfort of their homes and on their schedule. At the cost that is equivalent to a couple of visits to your massage therapist or chiropractor, an inversion therapy treatment will naturally help you find relief from the symptoms of a pinched nerve, potentially avoiding the need for pills or office visits.
Inverting about two to three times in a day, at an angle of 60 degrees or higher, will allow the spine to decompress and stretch to the constricted and tight muscles that generally support the spine. Routine stretching during the inversion treatment will help target the muscles that most often contribute to the pinched nerves at the neck, legs, hips, and back. The discs will be able to rehydrate with fluid increasing the space and cushioning between each of the vertebrae, and by default creating more room for the nerves that pass through the openings on the spinal column. During inversion, the spine is encouraged to get aligned over time on its own naturally.
There are a lot of benefits to the inverted table treatment, just like the options of equipment to use. Depending on the device you decide to buy, doing inversion therapy daily will help reduce neck and back pain naturally. Inversion traction works to take the pressure off the spongy discs located in your spine, enabling you to decompress. It helps in reducing the pressure and neck pain.Want to know which exercise you can do with Inversion Table?
What Benefits Does the Inversion Table Offer?
Compared to surgery, mechanical traction, or other forms of invasive treatments, inversion therapy is a gentle and passive technique that works by targeting pain at the source and cares for all weight-bearing joints. This kind of progressive traction allows each of your joints to decompress by the same weight that compresses it while upright. Simply put, inverted decompression creates an ideal stretch that helps improve patient’s spinal health and targets both neck and back pain by helping:
According to clinical studies, when you are in an inverted position, there is an increased separation between the vertebrae. This action allows moisture to be absorbed into the discs and soft tissues. It acts by increasing the nutrient content as well as plumping the discs so that there is better flexibility and shock absorption.
When you are standing, sitting, exercising, or performing any weight-bearing activities, fluid is pressed out of adjacent soft tissue and discs; the same way moisture is squeezed out of a sponge. Due to this, your discs will begin to lose some of their height. To prove this fact, you can start by measuring yourself in the morning and doing the same at night. You will notice that you lose about half an inch to three-fourths of an inch in height at the end of the day.
Reduce Nerve Pressure
Typically, the height of the discs is related to the size of the passageways. This is to ensure that the nerve roots have an opening and can exit from the spinal column. In the case of a hydrated disc or plump, it will create maximum clearance, which helps alleviate pinching or pressure at the nerve root. The spinal cord, which is ideally a bundle of nerves, runs through the spinal column. These nerves work to control the communication between an individual’s brain and the entire body.
Nerve roots exit between the vertebrae found along the length of the spine in a passageway created by the disc. In case there is any sort of damage or problem to the disc or degeneration, it could result in a condition known as nerve root entrapment or a pinched nerve. Ideally, the nerves extend into the body. Therefore, individuals with a pinched nerve condition will experience pain that radiates the extremities. Inversion therapy increases hydration to the disc plump, which helps in separating the distance between the vertebrae reducing the pinching of the nerves as well as the pressure.
Realign the spine
So many of our daily activities cause misalignment and, in some instances, possible permanent postural changes. Sitting at your computer with rounded shoulders, continuously carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder, or even wearing high heels. Most sports are one-sided, including tennis, squash, and golf.
It puts a lot of stress on the spine as well as developing muscles on one side of the body. Misalignment is when an alignment of the bone no longer supports the weight of the body; the soft tissue of the body will resist gravity in effect. It’s important to note that misalignment is not always felt on the inside. However, if left alone, it could cause visual changes to your posture, and those changes can be degenerative.
When your vertebrae are out of alignment; the surrounding muscles and ligaments that support the spine are still able to hold it in; but misaligned due to the amount of compression they generate. These muscles and ligaments still get activated even when you are lying down, creating about 25 percent pressure and compared to 100 percent when standing. Over time, it will be tough for the spine to come back to its natural alignment. During inversion therapy, a 60 percent inversion will force the pressure in your spine to drop to zero. When there’s no pressure in the vertebrae, and there’s a bit of stretching, the vertebrae have an opportunity to get back into alignment.
Relax Tense muscles
Your muscles are designed to stretch when circulation increases; this action helps in reducing tension. According to research, the EMG activity, which is ideally the measure of muscle tension, shows the possibility of up to 35 percent decline with a simple 10-second inversion. It was discovered that the effect started at a shallow angle of 25 degrees. The results suggested that the muscle stretch during inversion allowed the circulation to enter into the sore muscle, bringing with it, oxygen-rich blood. The lymph system was also stimulated by the inversion therapy and helped clear toxin build-up in the muscle. The result was a feeling of decreased pain, while the stiffness experienced in the neck would be alleviated.
Our current lifestyles involve straining in the wrong positions that could lead to poor posture. These include activities such as sitting on your desk, using your phone in a slouched position for long or performing repetitive tasks. These activities often harm your spine leading to misalignment and, finally, poor posture. Using an inversion table will help you not only realign your spine but stretch and improve your posture.
Safety Tips Using an Inversion Table
Using an inversion table has a lot of benefits, but you need to be careful using this equipment to get the best out of it. In case you are using an inversion table at home, follow these safety tips:
- Avoid leaning back all the way. Make sure you tip back to about 30 degrees or as little as 10 degrees for adults.
- Have a company using the equipment. When using the device, have someone watch you. Avoid hanging upside down without a spotter. As anyone in your home to watch you in case, you can’t get back up.
- Buckle up. Don’t use the conversion table without buckling up first. The safety harnesses are essential and will help you avoid slipping.
- Rise slowly. After dipping, come back up slowly into an upright position. Avoid tipping up fast since it might trigger muscle spasm, or you might experience disk pain in your back.
- Don’t overdo the exercise. Do the conversion table therapy in short spans, don’t overwork yourself. When you first begin the training, do it for one to two minutes a day and observe how you feel. If possible, limit your inversion table exercises to five minutes each day.
- Combine the therapy sessions. For best results, combine the conversion table sessions with stretches. You could ask your doctor or physical therapist, for example.
Side effects using the Inversion Table
You probably don’t know this, but inversion tables can slow down your heartbeat, in the process forcing your blood pressure to rise. Users will start to feel the blood pressure in their eyes go up. These effects are especially risky if the patient has a blood pressure history of strokes, heart disease, inner ear problems, hiatal hernia, or for pregnant women.
Patients need to be very careful using the inversion table, especially if they have arthritis on the knee or hip since they may risk a joint injury. A rule of thumb is to check with your physician before using the equipment.
How does inversion therapy work for neck pain?
It’s common to experience nerve pain and discomfort due to verbal decompression. This pressure hits the spinal nerves inflaming the soft muscles and tissues, causing discomfort and difficulty during movement. Using an inversion table is an alternative method of relieving the originating cause of these symptoms by the use of gravity to help reduce and loosen any built-up stressors in the spine.
Your spine consists of vertebrae bones as well as soft gel-like discs in between that help you stay and walk upright. Using the inversion table will help you increase the space and encourage blood flow temporarily, stretch out stiff muscles while also offering relief for your spine from wear and tear of daily activities. This therapy also helps foster healing, especially for individuals who are in a rehabilitative stage of care after an injury.
Tips looking for the right Inversion Table for Pinched Nerve
- When shopping for an inversion table for your pinched nerve; make sure you go for one that offers ample support and padding. Depending on the inversion table you buy, some will provide an added feature for neck massage and vibration.
- Make sure you get an inversion table that is sturdy and can effectively handle your weight. If possible, ask your physical therapist to help you choose the ideal one for your condition.
- Get an inversion table that comes with adequate safety devices to ensure that your sessions are safe.
- Before squaring down for a model, make sure you go through reviews online to see what other users are saying about the product you are about to purchase. In most cases, you will get useful information that will help you make a well-informed decision.
- Before you embark on shopping for your Inversion table; take some time to consult your physician, chiropractor, or physical therapist on your decision. Take your time researching an ideal model for your condition that will help you effectively deal with your pain.
- Also, before you decide to use an inversion table, it’s a good idea to consult your medical or chiropractic physician. While inversion table exercises have proven to be a useful way to deal with a pinched nerve in your neck as well as other symptoms, it is not an ideal method for everyone. Some conditions may make using the inversion table quite risky.
When to use Inversion Table
It is, therefore, wise that your health care professional conduct a medical exam to check for any health concern you may have to approve usage. When using an inversion table, make sure you bring the sessions slowly. On the first attempt, use the inversion table once in a week for a few minutes-build up from there. Over extensive use, you will realize that you will be able to withstand the sessions for more extended periods in an inverted state. Using an inversion table will help relieve your neck pain.
It’s always a good idea to listen to your body when using any type of equipment to relieve physical pain. Feeling some pressure on your skull on the eye is quite reasonable; however, don’t push the therapy sessions when you begin to feel dizzy. Remember, if you suffer from medical conditions such as glaucoma or diabetes, it might not be an excellent idea to indulge in inversion table exercises.
Is the Inversion Table Therapy worth it?
If you have neck pain due to a subluxation, pinched nerve or chronic back pain, and you are already on chiropractic care, medication, or even physical therapy, using an inversion table may be a wise investment. Like we mentioned earlier, using an inversion table has a lot of other benefits too.