Opiates are go-to drugs that many doctors will prescribe when a patient feels pain from surgery or chronic back pain. Though they are very effective at temporarily relieving pain, they may actually cause more of it in the long run according to Jianren Mao, a physician and pain researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Our spines are so important for an improved quality of life. Back pain negatively affects the core, connecting muscles, ligaments and nerves throughout our body, which can restrict movement and decrease energy levels amongst many other negative health effects! Your spinal health is a key component in your overall health.
Hours of gardening can take its toll on your back. Though your yard will be weed free and filled with beautiful plants, gardening can strain your lower back and legs causing muscle aches and sore joints. Without relieving the pain, gardening can become too unbearable and force you to quit it altogether!
Back pain can be a debilitating condition that can keep you from enjoying the activities you love or even sit down comfortably. Whether you have been struggling with chronic back pain issues or trying to prevent back pain in the future, changes to your daily routine can make a big difference.
Along with regular inversion, these 3 day-to-day tips can help ease and prevent back pain.
1. Get a good night’s sleep
Sleeping the wrong way can be hard on your back. Pressure on your spine can build over night as you remain at a static position for hours. Over time, consistently sleeping in an awkward position can wreak havoc on the alignment of your spine.
The key to get a night of rest free of back pain is to keep your back in a neutral position – not arched, but not flat. If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your knees and draw your legs up slightly toward your chest. If you sleep on your back, place your pillow underneath your knees to keep your spine in natural alignment.
2. Maintain your core strength
The best way to ease back pain is by preventing it. The muscles in your back and abdomen help anchor your spine and upper body to maintain proper posture. Keep your stomach, sides and back strong by strengthening your core with exercises like sit-ups.
3. Watch your posture
Slouching places unnecessary pressure on your lower back and makes you a prime candidate for lower back pain. Remind yourself to square your shoulders and not to maintain a sitting position at less than a 90 degree angle. Some new studies are even suggesting a more extreme seated angle of 135 degrees for optimal back health.
Relieve Back Pain with Teeter
Along with these 3 routine changes, inversion on a Teeter Inversion Table is a proven way to help relieve back pain. Over 2 million people like you have trusted Teeter to achieve a Better Back, Better Body. Find the right inversion table for you or shop for accessories to enhance your inversion experience!
Hips, Lower Back & Joint Decompression
Grasp the top of the table bed with both hands and pull gently, stretching and elongating your torso. Breath and relax to gain added decompression to your lower back.
Time: 3-5 minutes, 1-2 times daily
Angle: 45 – 60 degrees
When you are suffering from a bout of acute back pain, it may feel like the discomfort will never end. In the moment, we make promises to ourselves that we’ll start exercising, lose weight or whatever it takes to never have to experience the pain again. Many of our customers have found tremendous relief from back pain using a program of inversion with a Teeter Hang Ups, but ask what they should do when they no longer have back pain to help them resist future incidents?
Establish a Routine
At Teeter, we often compare the routine of inversion to brushing your teeth. You don’t just brush your teeth when you feel like they are dirty and need a good scrubbing – you brush them morning and night to prevent cavities and gum disease. You practice good dental hygiene so you don’t have to pay the price later on, and we think of inversion in much the same way.
Inversion for a few minutes a day can help keep your discs healthy and your skeleton in alignment so you decrease your potential for future injuries and discomfort. Ideally, you will invert every day to keep pain at bay… and not just when you feel like you need it. Morning inversion will help you stretch, get your blood circulating and feel energized, while evening inversion will help you decompress and relax. Take 3 minutes on your Teeter morning and night to start your day off with enthusiasm and end it with some quiet relaxation.
Inversion is not only a great tool for decompression, but using a Teeter Hang Ups can help you improve your flexibility. By staying flexible, you ensure your joints remain lubricated and you can prevent stiffness throughout your body. When you feel flexible, you are more active and less prone to injury.
Perform regular stretching exercises on your Teeter to stay flexible and decrease overall soreness after workouts.
Many injuries are a result of weak muscles that are not able to support your body properly, and a root cause of back injuries in particular is weak core strength (back & abdominal). By using a Teeter Hang Ups to perform key strengthening exercises, you are building up a foundation for your body to help protect yourself from future injuries and doing so without placing harmful loads on your back. When these same exercises are performed on a mat or the floor, you put an uncomfortable load on your spine that could possibly lead to injury.
You may initially be drawn to use your Teeter Hang Ups for relief of nagging back pain, but as you recover, the Teeter can be your greatest ally in keeping your joints and spine healthy, keeping your core strong and your body more flexible… helping to avoid future joint and back pain.
The discs in your spine act like shock absorbers for your vertebrae. They are made up of two main parts, the nucleus and the annulus. Think of a disc like a Twinkie – the annulus is the yellow cake and the nucleus is the cream filling. But instead of cream filling, the nucleus is made of jelly-like material that provides the flexibility and “cushioning” in your back.
What is a herniated disc? A herniated disc is also called a slipped, bulged or ruptured disc. When a disc is herniated, the cream filling (nucleus) pops through the yellow cake (annulus). As you see in the diagram, there are also nerves that run through the vertebrae and when a disc is herniated, it can impinge on the nerve and cause irritation. According to the Mayo Clinic, a herniated disc can cause “pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg. On the other hand, many people experience no symptoms from a herniated disc. Most people who have a herniated disc don’t need surgery to correct the problem.”
Inverting on a Teeter inversion table helps to decompress the vertebrae, widening the space between the vertebrae and alleviating the pressure on your discs. Taking that pressure off of the discs allows them to rehydrate and fill with nutrient-rich fluid so they naturally heal. The action of increasing the space margins between the vertebrae can actually create a mild suction in the disc, which may help encourage the bulged nucleus to return to its proper place.
How an Inversion Table Helps With a Herniated Disc
Inversion therapy with Teeter Hang Ups is an optimal way to help maintain back and spinal health by stretching tired, sore and irritated muscles, decompressing and elongating the spine and allowing the spine to naturally realign.
As always, check with your health care professional before starting inversion and make sure your equipment has been evaluated by a third party like Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) for safe construction and operation.
For some, the chilly fall weather doesn’t deter them from getting in their run for the day. While running promotes better health, it can be hard on your back and joints.
Actor Bradley Cooper will be on the Broadway stage playing John Merrick in The Elephant Man. For the role, Cooper will have to twist and contort his body to accurately portray the disfigured John Merrick.
In his interview with the Associated Press, the Silver Linings Playbook actor is already preparing to relieve back pain that he may suffer from all of the contorting he’ll have to do – along with regular visits with a chiropractor, he has bought an inversion table!
To show his dedication to the role, Cooper has elected to do all of the contorting himself instead of relying on prosthetics to receive the look of John Merrick. With eight shows a week, Cooper will be doing a lot of twisting and turning in which he will require many inversion sessions to relieve the back pain that he’ll almost inevitably induce upon himself.
In an interview with the AP, Cooper gives reason for his dedication to play John Merrick this way; “There’s this love story and you also get a sense of Merrick being a real survivor and having a real wisdom about him. It’s sort of heartbreaking in the face of reality and the limits that faced him.”
It may not be readily apparent, but sitting at the desk contorts your spine much the same way that Cooper is doing to play John Merrick. Constantly hunching over to view a computer screen will take its toll and place pressure directly on your lower back causing discomfort.
Along with good posture, inverting everyday can decompress the spine and rehydrate your disks to help relieve pain and refresh tired muscles.
Dr. Wendy, a chiropractor from in Hayden, ID, says that she is committed to, “endorse activities that safely promote spinal health.” Hence in, “The Upsides and Downsides of Inversion” Dr. Wendy objectively analyzes the benefits of inversion therapy.
As Dr. Wendy points out, inversion is one of the most effective ways to improve back health within the comfort of home. Inverted decompression (or gravity-assisted traction) can offer a myriad of benefits like temporary back pain relief, improved spinal health and alignment, and decrease muscle tension and stress.
Though inversion has a long list of benefits, it may not be right for everyone. For example, inversion is contraindicated for people who have uncontrolled high blood pressure and glaucoma because of the changing pressure within the eyes. You can read more about inversion and certain medical conditions here.
In conclusion, Dr. Wendy recommends that you should start slowly when inverting. Initially setting the table at a shallow angle and inverting for a short one to two minute period will both decompress your back and gradually introduce you to inversion without too much discomfort. To make sure that inversion is right for you, it is recommended that you check with your doctor first.