Oh My Aching Back

 

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Everywhere you go you hear people complaining about back pain. It is one of the most common ailments in our society. Poor diets, obesity, lack of exercise, and workplace activities are factors contributing to back pain. Many Americans are experiencing early onset of arthritic changes in the spinal column leading to back pain in early to mid life. It can be physically debilitating and can also contribute to depression in many individuals.

The, “Narcotic Crisis,” in our country has its roots in over prescribing of narcotics for chronic pain. Many individuals who become addicted to pain killers have started down the road to addiction taking narcotics for back pain before they tried other remedies.

People look to surgical intervention right away. Many times surgery is the answer to their prayers. However, many individuals have ongoing pain related issues after back surgery. Every person who has back surgery builds up scar tissue at the surgical site. Some people build up more scar tissue than others. Scar tissue is hard and inflexible. It wraps around your nerve roots and fills up spaces in and around you vertebral column. The presence of scar tissue can become a source of great pain. The only way to remedy the pain of scar tissue is to take medications; including narcotics, have injections, or more surgery. The more surgery you have the more scar tissue builds up. It becomes a vicious cycle.

Disc degeneration is a common cause of back pain. As we age and place wear and tear on our joints, the cushioning between the joints begins to degenerate and break down. This is an all to frequent cause of back pain. The discs that act like shock absorbing pillows in your spinal cord wear out. Its like having a bunch of flat tires in you back. This causes compression of nerve roots. Pressure on the nerve then triggers muscle spasm. This is the tight aching feeling that one feels in there back. Pressures on the nerve roots can also cause pain traveling down extremities.

Inversion is one method to reduce the back pain associated with disc degeneration. Inversion takes the pressure off the disc and allows nutrient rich fluid back into the discs to re-hydrate them. When they are re-hydrated their shock absorbent properties return and the increased height of the disc takes pressure off the nerve roots. Inversion reduces back pain, giving you better flexibility and improves joint health.

The author of this article uses inversion to combat back pain. I have stayed away from surgical intervention for years with the use of an inversion table. However, with inversion there is important principles to understand. When you assume an inverted position you body goes through changes in blood flow and blood pressure in different areas of your vascular tree. Therefore, just as there are benefits of inversion. There are also risks. It is important to know that each of your legs holds approximately 250- 500 cc’s of blood. This is equivalent to the amount of liquid in a liter bottle of soda in each leg. When you invert, blood approximating the amount found in two of these liters comes into your central circulation increasing the pressure load on your heart, lungs and brain. Healthy individuals with an intact vascular system and cardiac system can handle these changes temporarily. The body adjusts blood pressure in these varying areas. The author of this article never remains in an inverted position for more than three to five seconds and comes out of inversion slowly to allow the vascular system to adjust to changing blood pressure levels through out  the body.

Before using inversion as a therapy please do your research. There are many individuals that should avoid inversion such as those with heart and vascular issues. There are many other heath conditions in which inversion should be avoided. A short list of such conditions are as follows but this is not a complete list. It is important that you do your research.

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Osteoporosis
  • Medical device implantation

With all this being said the inversion table that this author uses is from the, “Teeter Company.” The best part about their product is the fact that even if you purchase a less expensive model you can always upgrade. Each new product or attachment that they make fits all of their tables so every time they make an improvement you can upgrade the product you have.  There is no need to buy a new table. However, there are many inversion tables out there and you as a consumer must do your own research and see what works best for you.

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