When you are young, being tall is amazing. You’re able to stand out in the crowd without really trying and reaching stuff from top shelves is not a challenge – rather, it becomes a point of pride. If you manage to also have a personality as impressive as your inches, even better!
However, as you grow older and more miles get put upon your body, you soon begin to analyze the not so amazing aspects of being tall: the constant bending, the discomfort associated with sitting for long periods of time and injuries that stem from athletics, incoordination, or a lack of balance.
As a slender, 6’4”, 30-something man, I have celebrated my height as much as I’ve cursed it. Seeing over everyone’s heads at a concert is amazing. The low back aches and shoulder stiffness afterwards, not so much.
Throughout the years, I’ve experienced an array of low back issues. Without getting into my full blown medical history, lets just say that I’ve become well acquainted with chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, ice packs, heating pads and painkillers. All have helped and continued to aid me in certain ways, but one tool has helped me more than I could’ve imagined: an inversion table.
On the recommendation of my chiropractor, I pulled together a few hundred bucks and decided to take another step toward giving my out-of-whack-back a breather. This happened in late 2016 and has proven to be very beneficial. I will explain why in a moment.
For those of you unsure about what an inversion table is, it is essentially an apparatus that you strap your ankles into, and then straighten your body upon the board of. From there, you raise your arms above your head and tip backwards at an angle you’re most comfortable with. Be it 30-degrees, 60-degrees, or completely upside down, the decision is yours – good inversion tables easily allow you to control the angle.
According to InversionTableMasters.com, inversion tables are designed to relieve arthritic pain, headaches, back pain, muscle pain and improve posture. Meanwhile, BeWellBuzz.com notes that blood circulation, mood swings, flexibility and immunity can also be improved by using this device.
My inversion table lives on the upper floor of my house, directly in-line with the window, and in the place where an old computer desk used to reside. The rest of the room, well, it’s a tad messy, as it acts like a catchall for everything that hasn’t found a spot in the home to call its own.
Unless something comes up, I hop aboard the inversion table twice a day: as early in the morning as possible, then before I go to bed at night. The model I own is very sturdy yet comfortable, as it consists of a well-padded board and an accompanying, adjustable lumbar cushion – very importantly, it’s height adjustable! When I go backwards, I feel securely fastened and not on the verge of doing a header into the hardwood floor.
As per this inversion table’s instructions, I only use the device for five to 10 minutes at a time. When putting in my time, I feel relief. Little pops in my back indicate that parts of my body are shifting back into place, while my glutes, abductors, shoulders and low back muscles receive a desired stretching.
What’s more, getting inverted takes the pressure off of the discs in my lower back, allowing me to walk and move without the bend of a horror movie character, or an equally haunting groan. On days that are tough on the body, it’s nice to know that this beautiful, functional piece of equipment is waiting for me.
Now, as much as I love the inversion table, it is not a one-stop solution for those with back issues. I still regularly visit a chiropractor and massage therapist, and put heat and ice treatments in motion. I also go to the gym four to five times a week.
But, what the inversion table allows for is continual back maintenance. For a chiropractor and massage therapist can only provide so much treatment within a period time. That – and unless you have health benefits or a glorious savings account – making lots of visits to these practitioners can prove costly.
Having an inversion table at home has afforded me the opportunity to keep my back healthier than it would’ve been had I not made the investment. Knowing that I’m taking initiative in keeping my wellness intact puts my mind at ease. Plus, seeing me almost upside down fascinates my dog more than you’d believe. Thus, the entertainment value is also rather priceless!
Whether you’re tall or small, an inversion table is worth looking into if you have nagging back issues. But first, do the research, talk to your physician and make sure that inversion table activities will not negatively impact your health.
If you’re given the go ahead to buy one, an inversion table might become the best thing you’ll ever hang out with.