Inversion tables are not only very beneficial for people suffering from back pain, but are also very easy to use. When suspended upside down you simply let gravity do all the work to reap the benefits. No movement is necessary to decompress the spinal column and the pressure on the discs as well as nerve roots are reduced naturally while using the table.
The type of stretching you can accomplish with an inversion table is just as good as a yoga class for relieving stress, but with much less physical exertion. As you become more experienced with using an inversion table you can switch to steeper inclinations, or remain on the table for longer to experience more beneficial effects.
However, you can also become more proactive while on the inversion table to achieve even better results. If you suffer from back pain it is best to start out with some gentle exercise in order to acclimatize your body to the process and then gradually increase the intensity over time. Here are just a few of the exercises that are possible when using an inversion table.
Full body stretches are great exercises for an inversion table, but there is no standard, so do what feels comfortable for your body. You can start out by simply extending your upper body and arms while the table is inverted in order to stretch the spine. Other methods include twisting your body from side to side, arching your back and touching your knees. For the best results try to hold each of these stretch positions for at least two minutes. Always remember that these stretches should be performed in a manner that is comfortable and does not cause you any pain.
Although the process of performing an inversion sit-up is basically the same as a normal sit-up it is more effective. While locking your ankles in place, fold your arms across your chest with your chin tucked in towards your sternum. Alternatively, hold on firmly to the side rails of the table while inverted. More your head towards your body to perform the sit up. You can also bring your head halfway towards your body if you are not strong enough yet to perform a full sit up.
Work on your core muscles by performing crunches on your inversion table. Because you are using your core muscles for lifting your body during inverted crunches you will be placing a lot less stress on your back. You can also regulate the intensity of this exercise by adjusting the angle of the inversion table. To perform this exercise simply place your hands behind your head and then lift your body about halfway to your knees. Slowly lower your upper body again after about 10 seconds.
To perform back extensions place your hands behind your head and then use your lower back muscles to arch backwards slowly. Do not rely on momentum for this exercise as it can cause hyper-extension if you are not careful. Hold this position and then release before repeating.
While exercising using an inversion table has many health benefits it is no use if you push yourself too hard and cause further injury to your back. Safety should be your top priority, so always wear appropriate clothes and if you are a first time user make sure that somebody is on hand to provide assistance. If you have any medical conditions, such as blood clots, hypothermia or cardiovascular issues, always consult your doctor first before doing any inversion table exercises.