We’ve all heard our joints popping. But is all that cracking and creaking normal or a sign that your joints are yelling for help?
Many people come to us post-surgery, realizing that undergoing more aggressive treatment for their back pain still has not helped the problem. As a result, we have many people asking us if it is safe to invert if they have fused vertebrae.
While we have heard anecdotal stories of customers inverting under the care or advice of their doctor after they are fully healed from this type of procedure, there are are many types of fusion surgeries with a variety of levels of success.
Ultimately you and your healthcare professional must discuss the possibility of inverting and decide if it is advisable for your particular situation. If your healthcare professional is unfamiliar with inversion therapy, you can direct him or her to these relevant medical studies about inversion therapy. Also go over these contraindications for inversion before considering inversion of any kind..
If you are cleared by your doctor to invert, we recommend that you take it slow at first to allow your body to become accustomed to the movement. Invert at a shallow angle that is comfortable for you, such as 20-30 degrees. Once you become comfortable at that angle, you can progressively increase your angle and duration to experience more benefits, gradually working up to 60 degrees to achieve full decompression of the spine.
It is also important that you return upright slowly and stop at horizontal or just above to allow your back to gently re-compress before returning fully upright. This will help your body reorient itself to the upright position. As always, we stress that inversion should be a comfortable experience. If you experience any pain while inverting, you should slowly return upright and discontinue use.
Use Teeter to Relieve Back Pain Naturally Even with a Fused Vertebrae
Inverting daily on a Teeter is one of the very few ways one can seek to reduce back pain naturally. Inverted traction takes the pressure off the spongy discs in your spine so you can decompress – this helps reduce pressure and back pain.
Want to see what other benefits inverting on a Teeter can bring? Check out our Benefits Page to see that chronic back pain relief is just one of the many ways Teeter can help you Feel Better, Move Better, Live Better!
That fourth cup of coffee isn’t the way to go when you start feeling tired. Try some of these natural methods to feel more awake, help you stay alert and feel great throughout the day.
Raise Your Chi
Yeah, you heard us, take a cue from Chinese medicine and bring your body’s energy to the surface. By lightly tapping on your face with the pads of your fingers, you are bringing blood to the surface of your face. You can (lightly) smack your shoulders, your arms, your legs or your torso with your palms to bring your energy to the surface of the body – this acts as a natural stimulant. If you’ve ever experienced Eastern massage or even what seems like an overly enthusiastic pedicure technician who delights in smacking your calves – you have already experienced this in some form. Give it a try!
Stimulate Your Heart
Squats may not look pretty but they are one of the best exercises for engaging most of your major muscle groups at once. If you are feeling low on energy, try a few sets of squats (10-15 reps). You’ll also stimulate blood flow, get your heart rate up a bit and feel more alert in no time.
Make Some Noise
This tip may not be best if you are sitting in your cubicle at work, but if you can head outside to your car or to an empty conference room – this trick can work wonders. Sound has long been known to carry vibrations, and these vibrations send signals to your body. If you can yell, sing, grunt or even chant “Ommmmm” for a few moments, these enthusiastic noises will raise the vibration of your body and let your body and mind know that you need it to be active and alert. By making noises, you are both releasing pent up energy in your body as well as engaging your diaphragm by taking deeper breaths – both of these help you to feel more active and alert.
Change Your Perspective
Inverting increases blood flow to your brain. Blood contains oxygen and oxygen helps you feel more alert. If you can invert for even a few minutes, you will be delivering a nourishing oxygen wash to your brain and helping you wake up first thing in the morning, or when you get home and are trying to find the motivation to finish up chores around the house or start dinner.
Can’t invert? Look for different ways to change your perspective. Our brains can become fatigued with routine tasks and we often go on auto-pilot without realizing it. Try doing a routine task in a new way. Answer e-mails while standing up, take a new route to work, stand on one foot while brushing your teeth. Doing routine activities in a new way will wake up your brain and force you to pay closer attention to your daily tasks.
Testimonial Tuesday: “I attribute my rejuvenated golf game 100% to using the Teeter inversion table “
Steve is like any other Minnesota golfer – as soon as it’s above freezing the clubs are dusted off! See what Steve has to say about his Teeter experience.
“I purchased a Teeter Hang Ups in April of 2012. I live in Minnesota and the golf course opened up in April so even though it was only 40 degrees I went out for my first round of the year. After playing the front 9 I had to quit. I have had back problems for 10 years and the cold and golfing messed it up good. I thought I was going to have to quit playing when it was cold out.
I heard about inversion tables from my chiropractor at one of my visits and thought what could it hurt so I went to my local fitness store and purchased the Teeter Hang Ups. This was one of the best fitness investments I have ever made (and I have made many over my lifetime). I used it every day along with the exercises that came on the DVD and after 8 months I am pain free in my back, and not only can I play golf, but I walk 18 holes and carry my bag. I have not walked and carried my clubs in 5 years. I attribute my rejuvenated golf game 100% to using the Teeter inversion table. I also would like to add it is a very well made piece of equipment and I am 100% confident in it when I am fully inverted. Thank you.”
Watch the below to learn more about how Teeter can rejuvenate your golf game!
Have you resolved to be kind to your body in 2013? Are you committed to finally fixing your nagging back problems this year? Thinking about getting an inversion table? Check out this video by our very own Roger Teeter for a some insight into “Which inversion table should I get?”:
Roger Teeter: A better back and a better body. Since 1981, that has been my passion. I created Teeter Hang Ups so people could live healthier, more active lives. I know what it’s like to have back pain. When I found inversion, it changed my life forever and I believe it can change yours. I am proud to present the newest and best Teeter Hang Ups.
Teeter Hang Ups is easy to use. Simply set it, lock it, recline and relax. Just three to five minutes a day in your own home to help relieve back pain, relieve stress, improve posture, rejuvenate joint health, and build core strength.
Speaker: The Teeter Hang Ups offers relief from back pain, naturally targeting the source of the ache by relaxing tensed muscles and providing decompression that can help to restore the nutrients to the discs, reduce nerve pressure, and realign the spine.
Bob: I can get on it, hang upside down for ten or fifteen minutes, get up, and my back pain is gone. It’s amazing!
Matt: Instantly, I was feeling the effects from it. My lower back was feeling better in the mornings and I just kind of felt rejuvenated getting off it every day.
Roger Teeter: Medical and scientific studies around the world have shown the benefits of inversion and over 2 million people have put their trust in Teeter Hang Ups for a better back and a better body. I’m over 72 and I feel great!
Speaker: Only Teeter meets UL’s tough consumer safety testing standard. No one else even comes close to Teeter quality and performance.
Roger Teeter: I’ve been a believer in inversion for over 30 years, and I’m committed to providing you the highest quality and safest product that brings results. My name is my promise to you. Trust Teeter Hang Ups for a better back, better body.
Almost anyone familiar with inversion can tell you that using a Teeter Hang Ups can help with back pain, but just how does inversion work? When in doubt, remember “The Five R’s” of inversion: Reduce, Rehydrate, Relax, Realign, Recover.
Reduce Back Pain: Inversion helps to elongate the spine by increasing intervertebral separation and opening the passageway for the nerve roots to temporarily relieve pressure in your back.
Rehydrate Intervertebral Discs: Inversion increases disc space and reduces the load on your discs, allowing them to hydrate for expedited repair. Regularly using your Teeter helps increase fluid retention within the discs, which act as shock absorbers as you move your body, and helps increase flexibility.
Relax Muscles: Inverting to as little as 25 degrees for just a few minutes can help you relax and elongate your muscles. In fact, one study showed that muscle tension (measured by EMG activity) declined over 35% within ten seconds of inversion!
Realignment of the Spine and Joints: In order to decompress, the spine needs a traction force of at least 60% of your body weight, roughly equivalent to inverting at an angle of 60 degrees on an inversion table. This type of progressive decompression naturally re-aligns the weight-bearing skeleton, promoting good posture and eliminating the minor misalignment that naturally occur with activity and upright movement.
Recover from Activity: Inversion can stimulate circulation and lymph movement, helping to eliminate waste from your muscles and reduce post-workout soreness. A dose of decompression can help to reverse the damage of high-impact activities and improve flexibility, which is a vital component to a well-rounded workout.
Inversion is a lot like brushing your teeth. If you only brush your teeth a few times a month, you shouldn’t be surprised when your dentist finds cavities. Your spinal health should be viewed in a similar light. Daily maintenance to keep your spine decompressed and healthy is a better alternative than waiting until you are in pain to seek help.
So if you happen to be using your Teeter inversion table as a clothes drying rack, or it’s collecting dust in your basement, pull it out and create a routine! Even a few minutes a day is enough to get you on the right track to great spinal health.
Dr. William L. Tontz, Orthopedic Surgeon
Endorses Teeter inversion for maintenance of spinal health.
While one of the beautiful things about inversion is the idea of allowing gravity to do the work of decompression for you, did you know that incorporating gentle movements into your inversion sessions can provide additional benefits?
We all know that vampires live forever, but is it really blood that keeps them looking young and agile?
While most doctors wouldn’t recommend drinking blood to stay young, you can pick up one of Dracula’s other habits in order to keep your skin looking healthy, your mind agile and your body more flexible.
What if the real secret to living forever (or at least a lot longer) was their habit of perching upside down and hanging like a bat? The Prince of Darkness may be onto something when he dangles from the rafters since hanging upside down has so many health benefits. Even the undead can benefit from more blood feeding the brain and oxygenating the bloodstream. Increased blood flow to the brain when inverting can make you more awake and alert, and may even help to improve overall brain function, according to author Win Winger.
Dracula also must remain agile while hunting down his prey night after night. How could he outmaneuver so many of his victims if he didn’t stay flexible enough to pounce from the shadows? Perhaps his regular inversion sessions are keeping him flexible by lubricating his joints and decompressing his spine to keep him in top shape. When you are hundreds of years old, a compressed spine can be a nightmare. No wonder Dracula chooses to take a cue from the bats and invert regularly.
Whether you sport a pair of fangs or not, almost anyone can benefit from regular inversion sessions to feel more alert, stay flexible and relieve back pain.
Training while inverted improves proprioception, something athletes like rock climbers feel improves their spatial awareness.
We talk a lot about how inversion can relieve back pain, maintain joint health and improve core strength through inverted exercise. But here’s some benefits you may not have heard about:
Relieve Varicose Veins
Spider veins, or varicose veins in the legs, are unsightly and can be painful.We’ve heard from customers that a regular program of inversion stimulates their circulation, helping drain the excess blood from the veins in the legs to relieve pressure.
Regain Lost Height
We’ve all experienced the 9-5 slump. At the beginning of the day, you get in your car and you are sitting nice and tall. By the end of the work day, you get in your car and have to adjust your rear-view mirror slightly to accomodate for your stooped posture. Most people lose an average of 1/2 – 3/4″ every day!
While we regain most of our lost height while we are sleeping each night, we all lose some of our height over time thanks to thinning discs. While regular inversion will not help you grow taller than you already are, it can re-hydrate and rejuvenate your joints, and help to regain or retain some of your lost height.
Improve Spacial Awareness
Gymnasts, skydivers, martial artists, aerial acrobats and all manner of performance artists regularly use inversion tables and gravity boots to train for various scenarios that require them to be flipped upside down or inverted for an extended period of time. Training while inverted improves proprioception (an awareness of where our bodies and limbs are in relation to the space around us), so even regular athletes that rely on hand-eye coordination can benefit from regular sessions of inversion!