back pain inversion

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Inversion Table Therapy - Back Pain


The purpose of this study was to determine blood pressure response to two minutes of inversion traction. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressures increased significantly. This increase with inversion indicates a need for caution when using inversion traction as a treatment technique for low back pain. Hypertensive individuals may need to avoid its use along with people who have heart disease, eye disorders or if you are pregnant.
- Phys Ther. 1986 Sep;66(9):1361-4. Blood pressure response to inversion traction.Haskvitz EM, Hanten WP.

The purpose of this study was to determine whether gravity inversion could correctly be called an exercise, and whether inversion and inverted exercise produced safe blood pressure responses. Inversion elicited significant increases in blood pressure and a significant decrease in heart rate. These responses increase the workload of the heart and may be dangerous to some populations. Gravity inversion should not be compared to or classified as an exercise. Some previously suggested inverted exercises are not recommended. Because of the nature of the responses, medical screening before the use of inversion devices is critical to avoid side adverse effects.
- Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1988 Nov;69(11):950-4. Exercise during gravity inversion: acute and chronic effects.Vehrs PR, Plowman SA, Fernhall B.

This study concluded that inverted positioning for short periods significantly increased spinal length and reduced electromyographic activity of the superficial lumbar area musculature of normal males. These findings complemented the clinical observations of several authors.
- Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1978 Aug;59(8):367-70. Inverted spinal traction.Nosse LJ.

Inversion table therapy resulted in a significant decrease in LV diastolic volume, cardiac output and ejection fraction. Thus inversion produces an increase in left ventricular afterload and myocardial oxygen demand concomitantly with a decrease in left ventricular preload and global systolic function, and may be contraindicated in patients with cardiovascular disease.
- Int J Sports Med. 1992 Jan;13(1):69-73. Changes in cardiovascular function during inversion.Heng MK, Bai JX, Talian NJ, Vincent WJ, Reese SS, Shaw S, Holland GJ.


References and Sources: Medline, Pubmed, National Institutes of Health.


last update: April 2009


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