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Comparison: Back Stretcher vs. Inversion Table

May 01, 2018

There are many reasons why people have back pain. It can be caused by poor posture, injury, strain, infection, or arthritis. Based on a 2009 report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, back strains make up 46.5% of the musculoskeletal disorders. Meanwhile, Spine-Health.com also issued a report stating that majority of the cases with upper back strain are caused by joint problems and muscle irritation.

Most often, individuals who have are always sitting in a hunched position tend to suffer from upper back pain. Another factor that triggers back strain is when you are sleeping in an uncomfortable position or bed.  

One of the easiest and practical ways to alleviate back pain is through stretching and exercising. Stretching helps relieve symptoms of pain and pressure while realigning your back. The most effective methods of stretching are done by using a back stretcher or an inversion table.

Both techniques are proven to deliver the best results. However, each has their own strong points to consider.

What is a Back Stretcher?

Some of the back stretchers are designed with an arched foam that is fitted under the back. When you lie your back on it, you are forced to stretch backward. Thus, reversing your leaning posture helps correct the pressure points that are causing you back pain.

A back stretcher is a cost-effective way to cure back pain. If you’re looking for a simple and inexpensive stretcher to help release the pain, this tool can do the job. However, on the downside, you cannot adjust the arch elevation that other people may be looking for.

How Does a Back Stretcher Work?

This type of device comes in various forms including an arched wooden or plastic stretcher or a back stretching machine. Either way, both types of stretcher highlight the use of passive stretching. A back stretcher is intended to be used for therapeutic purposes.

When your muscles are relaxed, they are more capable of extending your stretch. Therefore, the back stretcher extends the spine which creates a space in between the vertebrae. Naturally, the body’s spine is pulled down by gravity especially as we continue to age.

Back stretchers are used to treat various kinds of back pains including lower back arthritis, sciatica, bulging discs, and spinal degeneration. Stretching and extending the spine helps alleviate the compression points on the sciatic nerve. The space created between the vertebrae also relieves the pain from the bulging discs.

A back stretcher isn’t just used for healing your back pains. It is also utilized to strengthen your back. Compared to painkillers, therapies, surgery, and other medications, using a back stretcher is relatively cheaper.

The upper portion of the back stretcher is designed in a curved position to match the shape of the spine. Lying on top of the device allows your muscles to relax without even doing anything. As your muscles relax, the spine starts to stretch. Therefore, the tension starts to subside.

For best results, experts recommend to use it twice every day for a period of 10 minutes each. Doing this regularly up to nine months will significantly relieve severe back strain, strengthen your back, and improve your posture.

The Benefits of Using a Back Stretcher

  1. Corrects your posture. Hunching over your computer all day can affect your spine’s alignment. A crooked back can eventually lead to various types of back ailments such as sciatica and disc problems. A back stretcher can restore your spine’s natural position. Therefore, improving your back posture. At the same time, your back problems will also be treated.
  2. Improves your flexibility. After some time, your upper and lower back muscles tend to tighten up which causes it to become stiff.  Using a back stretcher will gradually relieve the muscle tension which will result in better flexibility.
  3. Strengthens your back. Using a back stretcher makes your back stronger. It helps toughen up the muscles. When your spine stretches, the level of proteoglycans, oxygen, and nutrients tend to increase which aids in strengthening your back.
  4. Stimulates better circulation. Stretching your back eases your tensed muscles. Hence, allowing your blood to circulate more efficiently by pumping blood back into your system.
  5. Insures your back. In case your family has a history of back pain, you should protect your back from future problems by using a back stretcher. Strengthening your back will make it less prone to potential injuries.

Inversion Table

An inversion table may be more expensive compared to a back stretcher but you can get so much more from this device. This tool uses your body’s weight to build an adjustable traction. To use this device, attach your feet first to the bottom part of the table then lie on your back in reverse.

You can adjust the angle to your preference. If you want a simple stretch, slightly incline the table. However, if you prefer a major stretch, reverse the table until you are upside down. According to experts, anyone can use an inversion table. This type of device can be adjust based on your needs.  

Benefits of Using an Inversion Table

An inversion table is beneficial to your overall health. Every time you invert, there is an increase in your lymphatic fluid and blood flow. This propels your body to function more effectively specifically in the detoxification process. At the same time, it prevents your body from getting sick.

Here are some of the benefits you can get from using an inverted table.

  1. Treats back pain. Inversion table is a non-invasive technique to eliminate back pain. When you’re in an inverted position, the spine decompresses and therefore releases the pressure. Hence, it minimizes the nerve pressure, hydrates the disc, relaxes the muscles, and realigns the spine. Experts recommend using it for a couple of minutes on a daily basis. This will significantly improve the condition of your back and spine.
  2. Minimizes stress. When your body is stressed or tensed, it can induce pain in various parts of the body including the neck, shoulders, and back. A tension in the muscles can also lead to alignment problems in the spine. It also makes it harder for the body to get rid of toxins and chemicals. According to doctors, tensed muscles are often the cause of back pain. It is also wise to know that stress is a known contributor of muscle tension. An inverted condition helps the muscles relax and improve the blood circulation. In effect, it helps ease away the stress.
  3. Strengthens the core. Aside from treating back pain, inversion tables are also utilized for strengthening exercises specifically the core. When you are inverted, you can work out your core by performing crunches and sit-ups. Doing your crunches in this position is more effective than performing it on the ground. You can adjust your position to make it even more challenging.
  4. Improves joint health. During inversion, the joints become lubricated by stimulating the synovial fluid which boosts the body’s shock absorption. A lubricated joint is important especially as we age because it maintains the joint’s mobility. This also ensures that the joint cartilage is supplied with important nutrients.
  5. Eliminates toxins. During inversion therapy, the body’s lymphatic system functions better in removing the toxins and waste materials from the body. Thus, improving your overall health.

Inversion Therapy

Inversion therapy refers to a type of technique that uses gravity to treat and prevent back pain. When you are lying upside down on an inversion table, your body’s nerves and tensions in the vertebrae are released.

Since gravity is the only force holding your body, it pulls it down while decompressing the limbs and joints. An inverted position puts less stress on your body. Hence, a lot of physical therapists and chiropractors highly recommend using inversion therapy because it relieves the compression on their nerves and spine which leads to a quicker herniated disc recovery.

According to medical professionals, patients can significantly benefit from a slow increase in the duration as well as the intensity of the inversion therapy.

Which is Better? 

In essence, both the back stretcher and inverted table can help treat and prevent back pain. When choosing the best product, you should base your decision depending on your specific need.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to address your back problems, a back stretcher such as the ChiSoft Back Stretcher is highly recommended. This back stretcher helps minimize the sore effects of a sciatic nerve. This type of discomfort starts from the lower back and runs to the legs. It also relieves the tightness of the muscles.

This device is designed to treat both upper and lower back problems specifically the tension in the back muscles that can be caused by several factors. The ChiSoft Back Stretcher is made with an adjustable arch. This allows the device to fit your back perfectly while focusing on the specific points that require attention.

The cushioned arch is designed to provide you with ease and comfort. At the same time, it massages your back similar to acupuncture therapy. Make sure you use this regularly so that you can get fast results in no time.



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