Inversion Table for Scoliosis
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Inversion tables are helpful in treating many different spinal conditions. One such condition that they can help is scoliosis.
Scoliosis is a spinal abnormality characterized by an excessive lateral curvature of the spine. There are many types of scoliosis, some of which are congenital, some that develop during adolescent years, and others that result from age related changes. Because it is often genetic, this makes reversing the curve without the use of invasive measures like bracing or surgery much more difficult.
People with scoliosis may be symptom free, but they may also experience symptoms like pain, aesthetic abnormalities, muscle and joint imbalances, and abnormal organ development and function. This is where inversion tables play an important role. Although they are unlikely to reverse the abnormal curvature of the spine, inversion tables can help greatly reduce the symptoms that people with scoliosis typically experience.
There are specific additional features of inversion tables as well that may help provide additional relief to those suffering with symptoms from scoliosis compared. We recommend the following additional features when specifically treating scoliosis:
- Long handles and special handles for improved ability to stretch and achieve specific movements to counteract the scoliotic curve
- Lumbar support (lumbar pad) to help maintain the natural curvature of the lumbar spine
- Heat and massage factors for additional relaxation of surrounding tissues of the spine
- Teeter EP-970 Ltd.
- Lumbar Arch & Long Handles
- Innova ITM4800
- Heat & Massage
- IRONMAN Gravity 4000
- Removable Lumbar Pad
This article will first discuss best inversion tables for scoliosis. Next, we will talk about the anatomy scoliosis, types of scoliosis, common symptoms, and how inversion tables can help treat the condition. Finally, we will briefly discuss other forms of treatment for scoliosis and how they may be used in conjunction with inversion tables to provide maximum benefit.
3 Best Inversion Tables for Scoliosis
1. Teeter EP-970 Ltd.
The aforementioned handles which have been uniquely designed to help you achieve a deeper stretch and move in all directions will help neutralize the abnormal curvature of the spine in those suffering from scoliosis. Also, the lumbar arch on the backrest helps maintain the natural shape of the spine while offering additional support at the same time. Lastly, the heat and massage pad which is sold separately helps better relax the surrounding musculature around the deformed spine and provide better traction.
- Premium quality
- Premium features
- Long handles
- Excellent ankle holder
- Easy assembly
- Great inversion table stability
2. Innova ITM4800
Scoliosis patients should before all look for inversion tables with a good lumbar pad that will promote the natural form of the spine and this is where Innova ITM4800 really delivers. This lumbar pad is not only adjustable to target the deformed area of one’s spine but is also equipped with a heat and vibration function that will relax the affected musculature more efficiently.
- Low-priced considering the features
- Decent heat & massage function
- Heavy-duty construction
- Long handles
- Slender backrest
3. IRONMAN Gravity 4000
Another great pick of an inversion table for scoliosis is the IRONMAN Gravity 4000, mostly due to its wide backrest featuring a removable lumbar pad and the long, u-shaped handles which stretch way down so that you can reach them even when inverted at a full, 90-degree angle.
- Reasonable price
- Inversion table stability
- High load capacity
- High-quality materials
- Comfortable ankle holder with extended locking mechanism
- The high weight of the product makes handling difficult
- Insufficient support for heads of tall users
Can Inversion Tables Help Scoliosis?
As we discussed earlier, the short answer is yes – inversion tables do help people with scoliosis. Now we will discuss why that is the case. The next sections will help you gain a deeper understanding of what scoliosis is, the main types of scoliosis, the common treatments, and exactly why inversion tables are helpful to treat the condition.
What Is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a lateral or sideways curvature of the spine. This curvature usually occurs just before puberty or during large growth spurts in adolescents. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons estimates that between two and three percent of the general population is affected by scoliosis.
There are four main types of scoliosis listed below:
- Congenital Scoliosis
Congenital Scoliosis is a fairly uncommon type of scoliosis that affects about 1 in 10,000 newborns according to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. It may either be caused by malformation of the vertebrae in the womb or from partial formation or absence of one or more bones in the spine.
The diagnosis of congenital scoliosis typically occurs very early considering the symptoms are evident at birth. This diagnosis can be confirmed with imaging like x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans.
- Idiopathic Scoliosis
Idiopathic scoliosis does not have a specific cause for its onset. It may also be labeled as adolescent scoliosis, which is diagnosed during the teenage years, or early onset scoliosis, which is diagnosed before the child turns ten years old.
It is important to distinguish when in life the scoliosis occurs, as early onset scoliosis can significantly affect the child’s development. Lack of treatment at this time can lead to heart and lung problems.
Adolescent scoliosis is by far the most common type of scoliosis, which is estimated to affect approximately four percent of children between ages 10 and 18. Although there is usually not a singular cause of this type of scoliosis, there is a fairly high correlation with genetics.
- Neuromuscular Scoliosis
Neuromuscular scoliosis develops secondary to disorders of the nervous or muscular systems such as cerebral palsy, myelodysplasia, muscular dystrophy, or spinal muscular atrophy.
In neuromuscular scoliosis, the spinal curvature occurs when the nervous and/or muscular system are unable to maintain proper alignment of the spine. This may be mild but can become increasingly prominent as the afflicted person ages or as their underlying medical condition progresses.
- Degenerative (De Novo) Scoliosis
Degenerative scoliosis, also known as adult onset scoliosis, is characterized by a curvature that develops as a result of age related deterioration of joints, and discs in the spine. This occurs gradually over time, and it is estimated that over 65% of people over 60 years of age are afflicted with some degree of this condition. (1)
Scoliosis may also be acquired later in life due to poor posture, heavy manual labor, or trauma. This is considered another type of adult onset scoliosis.
Common Symptoms of Scoliosis
Oftentimes, symptoms of scoliosis are simply aesthetic in nature. A person with scoliosis may present with a C-shaped curve either to the right or the left in the thoracic or lumbar spine. If the curve worsens, the spine may also rotate as well.
As a result of the spinal curvature, other visual imbalances in the body may occur as well. These include uneven shoulders, one more prominent shoulder blade, more prominent rib cage on one side, an uneven waist, and one hip that is higher than the other.
Many cases of scoliosis are mild, and the aesthetic symptoms may go unnoticed by people who aren’t close with the individual. Symptoms of mild scoliosis usually do not result in pain or dysfunction.
However, as the scoliotic curvature worsens, the symptoms can become more significant. In children it may negatively affect the development of vital organs such as the heart and lungs, and affect the person’s breathing due to a shift how the diaphragm lies. It also is likely to cause significant muscle imbalances in the torso, hips, and shoulders. These imbalances may lead to limited mobility, decreased strength, poor movement patterns, decreased balance, and pain.
In the case of degenerative scoliosis, the person may feel stiffness, a dull ache in the lower back, radiating pain into the legs, numbness or tingling, or sharp pains in the back and leg when walking.
Treatment Options for Scoliosis
In the milder cases of scoliosis, treatment may not be necessary. However, it has been suggested that guided muscular retraining for children with curvature of less that 25 degrees can significantly reduce the risk of the curvature progressing.
In the more moderate to severe cases, there are different strategies that may be utilized. Here are three of the most common methods used:
For congenital and idiopathic scoliosis, early identification of the condition typically yields the best prognosis. The first attempt to treat the condition is usually a form of bracing. Braces will not cure scoliosis or reverse the curve, but can prevent further progression.
Braces are designed to conform to a child’s body and fit under the clothes, and children who wear them can usually participate in most activities with few restrictions. The amount of time spent in the brace generally increases its effectiveness, and wearing a brace is usually discontinued when the child has stopped growing.
Severe cases of scoliosis typically progress over time, so surgery may be warranted to reverse the curvature or prevent it from worsening. Typically, this is accomplished through spinal fusion.
In cases of rapid progression, the installation of an adjustable metal rod may be necessary. The rod is attached from the top to the bottom of the curve and can be lengthened periodically as the child grows.
As stated earlier, performing muscular retraining exercises when scoliotic curvature is present at a young age may reduce the progression of the condition.
Exercises become particularly helpful in those with pain due to joint and muscle imbalances developed from the scoliosis, and in those with degenerative scoliosis. Exercises may help improve the extensibility of tight muscles, improve joint mobility, and strengthen weaker areas affected by the condition.
It is important to note, however, that there is significant individual variability in presentation of muscle and joint imbalances. If you are looking to address these, it is recommended that you seek the help of a professional who can identify the appropriate exercise regimen for your specific needs.
Inversion tables can be an alternative form of treatment for scoliosis. These devices use traction forces to induce spinal decompression and are a safer and more convenient treatment than bracing and surgery. Let’s discuss how inversion tables can help with scoliosis treatment.
Spinal Decompression with an Inversion Table for Scoliosis
Spinal decompression is a type of traction that help relieve back pain of a variety of causes. Decompression works by gently stretching the spine and reducing the forces applied on many different spinal structures like discs, joints, nerves and muscles. Reducing the pressure on these structures can reduce pain and improve movement, which works as a feed-forward cycle to further reduce pain and improve movement.
The abnormal spinal curvature found in those with scoliosis can lead to pain due to abnormal spinal alignment and imbalances in the muscles and joints. Decompression therapy can help reduce the pressure on the affected structures and reduce symptoms that are experienced from scoliosis.
One way decompression may be accomplished is the use of an inversion table for scoliosis. Inversion tables use gravity to gently to provide spinal decompression through traction forces. They are convenient because they may be used in the home and cost effective since they may be used an unlimited amount of times.
Many scientific support the use of traction forces to improve alignment of certain spinal structures. For example, studies by Chow et al and Giankopoulos et al have shown that intervertebral disc height can be increased from the use of traction.
Additionally, numerous studies have examined the effects of traction on back pain. Several studies have shown that subject’s pain levels have decreased and overall function improve with the consistent use of traction.
Decreasing pain, improving movement, and possibly improving disc and joint height has a direct effect on people with scoliosis. With improved movement and function likely comes better muscle balances which will in turn lead to improvement in overall spinal alignment. This creates a feed-forward cycle that allows for further improved movement and further improvement in spinal alignment.
Using an inversion table, particularly in conjunction with other treatments, is an effective way to achieve relief from the symptoms of scoliosis.
Inversion tables provide spinal decompression which can reduce pain and improve other symptoms acquired from scoliosis.
Inversion tables provide spinal decompression which reduce pain and improve other symptoms acquired from scoliosis. Using inversion tables can help you minimize the negative impact that scoliosis has on your life.
Scoliosis is a common spinal condition that is characterized by excessive lateral curvature. It may be congenital or develop later in life through age related changes or through unknown causes.
There are many treatment options that those with scoliosis may choose. One such option involves the use of an inversion table for scoliosis to create traction and spinal decompression. These traction forces can help reduce the symptoms of scoliosis, and improve spinal alignment through better movement and optimal muscle and joint function.
If you have scoliosis and are suffering from the negative effects of this condition, consider using an inversion table to help you live a better life!