As the days get longer and warmer, most people want to spend more time outside enjoying the sunshine and participating in outdoor activities like running, hiking, and biking. These activities are not always kind to your back and joints, especially if they are ill-prepared due to a lack of activity during the long winter months.
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.
One of our favorite things about what we get to do everyday at Teeter is talk to our customers! You all have lots of great questions and we try to address some of the most common ones on our Frequently Asked Questions Page (FAQ). Every Friday, we’ll focus on one FAQ in more detail. We encourage you to contact us or post a comment with additional questions and we’ll send you an answer, you may even see your question pop up on a future blog post!
A lot of Teeter users have told us that they always leave their inversion table up and ready to use, but even the die-hard inverter needs to store their table once in a while. Is your brother’s family coming into town? Having a party? Getting your carpets shampooed? Whatever the reason, no need to fear – Anthony is here! Watch Anthony as he shows us 4 of the easiest ways to store your Teeter Inversion Table.
One of our favorite things about what we get to do everyday at Teeter is talk to our customers! You all have lots of great questions and we try to address some of the most common ones on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. Every Friday, we’ll focus on one FAQ in more detail. We encourage you to email us or post a comment with additional questions and we’ll send you an answer you may even see your question pop up on a future blog post!
How To Exercise On Your Teeter
With over 2 million inversion table users in the past 30 years, Teeter has a lot of fans… but perhaps none more energetic than those who have inverted their way to flat abs, defined legs and cuter buns!
While a nice tush can make a fan out of anybody, perhaps the real reason why they are advocates is because they get results faster with less pain!
So once Teeter has helped you lose the back pain (which was most likely caused by weak and tired core muscles), don’t hide your inversion table under the bed or behind the door. Get back on it and work on strengthening the key groups of muscles that will help you combat back pain for years to come with these 4 exercises.
#1 – Inverted Back Extension
- Place both hands behind your head.
- Use your lower back muscles to slowly arch backward.
- Hold, release and repeat.
- Be careful not to rely on momentum and risk hyper-extension.
Benefit: Erector spinae, Multifidus, Biceps Femoris, Quadriceps, Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus, Hamstrings. This will help promote good posture (the body position that best resists gravity) and support for your spine.
#2 – Inverted Crunches
- Cross both arms on your chest.
- Use your abdominals to crunch forward.
- Hold, release and repeat.
Benefit: Rectus Abdominis (Add obliques by bringing your right shoulder toward your left knee, then your left shoulder to your right knee).
#3 – Inverted Sit-Up
- Bend your knees slightly and contract your abs.
- Reach your arms toward your knees, lifting your entire torso upward.
- For assistance, place your hands behind your knees to finish the motion.
Benefit: Hip Flexor, Abdominis Muscles, Iliopsoas, Tensor Fasciae Latae, Rectus Femoris, Sartorius, Tibialis Anterior (Add obliques by bringing your right shoulder toward your left knee, then your left shoulder to your right knee). This is the only form of full-range sit-up that does not place loads on your back.
#4 – Inverted Squats
- Hold onto the A-frame legs to stabilize your body.
- Bend your knees, bringing you buns towards your heels.
- Hold, release and repeat.
Benefit: Gluteus Maximus, Quadriceps, Adductor Magnus, Soleus, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius, Erector Spinae, Obliques, Rectus Abdominis.
One of our favorite things about what we get to do everyday at Teeter is talk to our customers! You all have lots of great questions and we try to address some of the most common ones on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. Every Friday, we’ll focus on one FAQ in more detail. We encourage you to email us or post a comment with additional questions and we’ll send you an answer – you may even see your question pop up on a future blog post!
Perhaps the 3 most popular questions all start with “How…”
- How long should I invert?
- How often should I invert?
- How do I get started?
Since all of these are pretty straight forward, let’s answer all 3. In all cases, Rule #1 is to listen to your body and do only what feels comfortable. Don’t be afraid to take a break or reduce your angle/duration of inversion if needed.
How long should I invert?
When first inverting, start in 1-2 minute intervals
First time inverters should start inverting 1-2 minutes each session for 1 or 2 weeks. It will take time for your body to adjust and for you to feel comfortable inverting for a longer period of time.
Once you feel you are becoming accustomed to being inverted, gradually increase your time until you can invert for 3-5 minutes each session. Even though there isn’t necessarily a time limit to inversion, remember to listen to your body – it’s important for you to relax and enjoy the experience. If you feel you’ve had enough, then you should slowly return upright.
How often should I invert?
We recommend adding inversion into your daily routine. Many users invert an average of 2 times per day (morning and evening). Some use it more often – after going to the gym, during a break at work or to relax when they get home to help relieve tired and achy muscles and joints. The beauty of inversion is that it addresses the “quiet side of fitness,” which is to say that it doesn’t require a lot of energy to receive a lot of benefit. Teeter inversion tables make it easy to jump on and invert for just a few minutes, whenever you feel the need to stretch and gain a boost of energy.
How do I get started?
Remember Rule #1 – Listen to your body. If you don’t feel relaxed or are at all uncomfortable, then reduce your angle/duration of inversion.
Rule #2 – When using your inversion table for the first time, have a spotter who can help you return upright if needed while you fine-tune your optimal settings to achieve the perfect balance and control.
Rule #3 – Don’t do too much, too soon. You will be more comfortable and gain the most benefits if you gradually increase the angle and duration over time. Full inversion may be uncomfortable and unsatisfying early on until you’ve had a chance to become accustomed to the feeling and allow your body to adjust.
20 degrees is the best angle for beginners
Start at 20 degrees for the first couple of days until you feel comfortable with the balance and control.
If you’re comfortable, increase to 45 degrees through first week 2 or 3. If you have been inverting for 3-5 minutes at 45 degrees, and feel like you need more of a stretch, increase to 60 degrees.
60 degrees is what we call the “magic angle” – where your spine can fully decompress and you can experience the most benefits. Many people find that 60 degrees is where they are most happy… but if you still want more, then disconnect your tether strap and rotate into full inversion.
Inverting at 90 degrees provides freedom of movement for stretching and exercise. This is the position most people think of when they think of inversion. A lot of people think they will never want to fully invert, but over half of Teeter users actually do so on a regular basis!
When returning upright, do so slowly and stop when your body is parallel with the floor for 30-60 seconds to allow your body to adjust. This will also help you keep from feeling lightheaded or dizzy when you exit the inversion table.
Congratulations – you are now a professional Teeter inverter.
New inverters may experience mild disorientation or dizziness, which are typically temporary symptoms caused by the sudden shift in the balance structures in the inner ear. This may be caused by inverting too quickly or simply by inverting at all if your body is sensitive to changes in balance/orientation.
Luckily, our bodies are very adaptable and most people will eventually get used to the motion of inverting with little to no discomfort. In the rare case that symptoms persist or lead to more severe vertigo or extreme nausea, then discontinue use.
Here are 4 tips to introducing your body to inversion and avoiding dizziness:
Don’t try to do too much, too soon
That means no full inversion (90 degrees) your first time! Instead, pre-set your Angle Tether to a gentler angle like 20 or 30 degrees. Once you become comfortable at that angle, gradually progress to greater angles over a period of time. Eventually, you’ll want to work up to about 60 degrees (the angle of the rear legs) to decompress.
Short inversion sessions multiple times a day will give you the best chance to train your inner ear to the feeling of the upside down world.
Return upright slowly
As you rotate upright, be sure to stop at the horizontal position (0 degrees) for 30 to 60 seconds or more. This allows your inner ear, and your back, to readjust to being upright.
Listen to your body
It is important that you give your body a break if you begin to feel disoriented. Rotate upright for a few minutes, and try again when you’re ready.Remember patience is key while starting inversion therapy. It may take a few weeks for you to become acclimated to the rotation and to remain at an inverted position for enough time (typically 3-5 minutes) to experience decompression benefits. Listen to your body and be patient, and you’ll be an inversion pro in no time!
Experience the Benefits of Inversion for Yourself
Though stretching can be time-consuming, it provides many benefits. Gentle stretching can help loosen the soft tissues of your body like ligaments and muscles to increase flexibility and help you relax. That being said, it is easy to make common mistakes that can cause injury. Here are some tips to make sure that you’re avoiding injury and stretching safely.
Newsmax Health recently featured an article on inversion therapy called “Inversion Therapy: Drug-Free Back Pain Relief.” In it, the author Vera Tweed explains how back pain is very common in the American population and inversion can be a natural way to find relief without more invasive treatments like medication or surgery.
Daily activity like hunching at your desk for hours can cause small misalignments in your spine. Inversion therapy can gently decompress the vertebrae in your spine to not only encourage absorption of more fluid into the spinal discs but also relaxes muscles and ligaments holding your spine in misalignment. This helps realign your spine for pain relief.
As the article points out, there have been many studies supporting such claims. One such study was conducted using Teeter products at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. It was spearheaded by the head of neuroscience who suffered from severe back pain. The study compared patients who regularly practiced physiotherapy and those who practiced regular physiotherapy along with inversion therapy. All members of both groups were recommended by their doctors to have surgery done to treat their symptoms. After the conclusion of the study, researchers found that the patients who practiced inversion therapy were 70.5% less likely to require surgery. Along with the Newcastle study, there are many more studies about the benefits of inversion.
In conclusion, the author cites a Chiropractor named Shad Foster who gives some recommendations on how to comfortably invert. His most notable recommendation is on the importance of taking it slow when you’re first starting inversion. Starting to invert at a shallow angle like 20-30 degrees will help your body acclimate to the motion of inversion and decreasing the chance that you can feel discomfort. Then you can slowly progress to steeper angles like 60 degrees to experience the full benefits of inversion.