Inversion Summary

Inversion puts gravity to work for you by placing your body in line with the downward force of gravity. Not only can inversion therapy help to temporarily relieve back pain, but it also can be used as a method to relieve other negative effects that gravity has on your body. Inversion can also be used as a proactive approach to help maintain overall back health. Hanging upside down can help to stretch and relax muscles, reduce stress, and provide healthy movement for ligaments.

• Inversion temporarily elongates the spine, increasing the space between the vertebrae, which relieves the pressure on discs, ligaments and nerve roots. Less pressure means less back pain.

• Lying down in bed only releases 75% of standing body weight on the spinal discs. The hundreds of ligaments and muscles that encase and stabilize the spine act like a bunch of rubber bands holding the spine in compression equal to 25% of standing body weight. Inverting to 60° helps to reduce the disc pressure to at or near zero.1

• The inner core of your discs is made of jellylike material which provides the “cushioning” in your back. You can lose up to .5” - .75” (1.3-2.0 cm) in height daily during your waking hours from the compressive effects of gravity. This daily height loss reverses overnight, but not 100%, resulting in permanent height loss, loss of flexibility and shock absorption. While inverted, you are able to temporarily reverse the downward pressure on your discs, helping the discs to recover and regain lost moisture and lost height, with improved flexibility.

• Inverting yourself to as little as 20-25° for even a few minutes can help relax tense muscles and speed the flow of lymphatic fluids which flush out the body’s wastes and carry them to the blood stream.

• Unlike the cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system has no pump. Only the alternate contraction and relaxation of muscles moves lymphatic fluid “uphill” through capillaries and one-way valves to the upper chest for cleansing. Inverting the body so that gravity works with, not against, these one-way valves stimulates the flow of the lymph system, helping to clear toxins from the body.

• Your heart must work against gravity to pump blood up to your brain, which is the body’s largest consumer of oxygen. Inversion is a simple way to improve circulation to the upper body.

• When inverting, you are helping your heart to clear the blood from your feet, legs, and lower body. This allows the blood in your limbs to circulate more easily, which may help to drain blood from varicose veins. The constant pull of gravity has a cumulative negative effect on the joints and spinal
discs. Used sensibly, inversion is extremely beneficial, and no more dangerous than many other popular and widely-practiced fitness activities. Sometimes there’s an explanation for why inversion works and sometimes there isn’t. The experience of thousands of people who invert regularly is that it gives them the relief from back pain they’ve been looking for. Just as important, they gain the
rejuvenating effects of inversion on the entire body, providing health benefits far beyond the relief of back pain.

1 Nachemson, A and Elfstrom, G; Intravital Dynamic Pressure Measurements in Lumbar Discs. Scandinavian
Journal of Rehab Medicine, supplement, 1970)
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