If you are feeling some aching in your back when you return upright from inverting, there could be several causes for this. As we discuss a couple of the possible causes of this, it may be a good idea to re-familiarize yourself with the Use Instructions (or Instructional DVD with some models) to assure you are following all of the suggestions to effective and safe inversion.
You did too much too soon: If you are new to inversion, your body is not used to being inverted (chances are you haven’t hung upside down since the monkey bars in 2nd grade!) By inverting too much too soon, you are probably going to be a little sore. You can liken inversion to beginning any new exercise program. If you over-do it on the first day, you will probably pay for it later. Do what you can and stick with it! Not everyone will experience immediate relief, but most due through consistent inversion. At first, only invert to about 20 degrees or a little more than being parallel to the floor, and only for a couple of minutes. Progress as you feel your body is adapting to inverting.
You returned upright too fast: When inverted, your vertebrae have a chance to separate and the discs can decompress. This action reduces pressure on the nerves that run through your spinal column. When you ascend (return upright) on the inversion table, your spine “re-compresses”, meaning that the vertebrae return to their normal position and the pressure on the discs increases again. If you come up from inversion too fast, you might place sudden pressure on the nerves that run through the spine, which can cause some pain. Instead, you should invert to a mild angle (30-40 degrees) for a just few minutes. Come back up so your head is only slightly above your feet, just past the horizontal position (lying flat). Remain here for a couple of minutes to allow your spine to slowly re-compress, then slowly come up the rest of the way.
Always listen to your body. If you experience extreme pain, or if you always experience pain while inverting, you should discontinue inversion until you have had a chance to talk with your doctor.
If you are in a lot of pain before you invert, your pain may not go away instantly if you invert for a few minutes. While some people experience dramatic popping or feelings of their back loosening, for many, the feeling of decompression is more subtle. You may invert at night and still have a sore back, but wake up the next morning and feel great.
If you want to help yourself get the most out of inversion, you can also try to make sure your muscles are relaxed before you begin inverting. If you take a warm shower or use our Vibration Cushion, you can loosen your muscles before you invert. This can help your body decompress like it needs to and it can reduce the possibility of reoccurring back pain later on. Also, inverted stretches will help your muscles relax and allow your spine to naturally realign itself. When you are kind to yourself, it is likely that inversion will be kind to you
If you are a fan of Teeter, you know that we are proponents of treating the root cause of a problem instead of covering it up. Our state of health comes down to how we take care of our bodies – a healthy lifestyle requires a holistic perspective that includes addressing state of mind, lifestyle, exercise and proper nutrition. If you are suffering from joint pain, inversion is a wonderful way to temporarily relieve pain and help improve your overall health – but don’t forget their are other tools in your arsenal that can help with joint health, namely food choices.
Foods High in Omega-3
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (and their Omega-6 cousins) have been darlings of the health and fitness world for the past five years or so, and with good reason. Clinical studies have shown that patients who incorporate omega-3 fatty acids in their diet had less joint pain and more than half were able to reduce or discontinue their use of anti-inflammatory medication. Foods rich with omega-3′s are wild salmon and grass-fed bison and beef. Walnuts, flax seeds and small fatty fish like sardines are also great ways to get your daily dose.
Go crazy with the clementines and don’t be afraid to add half a grapefruit to your breakfast because citrus fruits have also been linked to reducing inflammation and therefore reducing joint pain. Their high Vitamin-C content not only helps relieve joint pain but can help keep your immune system strong. Berries, peppers and spinach also have high concentrations of Vitamin-C and can help promote collagen formation.
Next time you are cooking dinner, consider adding ginger or turmeric to your meal to help reduce joint pain. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties from the compound gingerols, and turmeric is said to relieve stiffness in joints and relieve symptoms of arthritis.
Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps clean up the dead cells within our body, according to Jennifer Grossman, Vice President of the Dole Nutrition Institute. Pineapple is the only natural source of this enzyme and could potentially help you recover more quickly from injuries or soreness. It also is a good source of manganese which can promote bone density – an important factor as you age.
Food or Supplements?
While it may seem easiest to simply take an array of pills that contain all of these vitamins, enzymes and acids, nutritionists often encourage getting these nutrients in their most natural forms, food. The way our bodies interact with these vital components is still not well understood in the scientific field, and consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables and nuts is still one of the best ways to ensure a well-rounded diet and a healthy body rather than simply relying on supplements to replace these nutrients.Sources: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=84 http://www.livestrong.com/article/255540-foods-for-joint-pain/ http://www.livestrong.com/article/286395-food-for-sore-joints/ http://www.creationsmagazine.com/articles/C107/Grossman.html Photos: Walnut image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ericabreetoe/6638086483/ Grapefruit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dullhunk/5456511612/
Don thought surgery was his only solution to back pain, until he found Teeter Hang Ups.
“Hi, I thought I’d share my experience with the Teeter Hang Ups system. I’m a 55 year old male who’s very physically active but have had neck pain for several years. I found out I had two herniated disks in my neck and started my quest for relief a couple of years ago. I ended up having 5 (that’s right 5) surgeons (3 orthopedic and 2 neuro) tell me my best solution was a 2 level fusion. I refused to believe that and purchased your product. I began inverting for just a few minutes a day and eventually just 3-4 times per week. I also stretch my neck as much as possible. My neck pain is now almost completely pain free and I’m as active as ever. Sometimes when I now jog past one of the surgeons offices who told me I had to have surgery, I send two thumbs up and a big smile his way. I’m a big believer in inversion and have told many of my friends about it. Keep up the good work! Thanks.”
How To: Arm Dips with the DEX or DEX II
Triceps, Chest & Shoulders
Grasp the “hook” shaped handles with each hand. With your legs straight out in front of you and your feet a pivot point on the ground, lower your torso in a slow and controlled motion until your elbow creates a 90 degree angle, then push your torso back up until your arms are straight.
Reps: 10 to 15
Sets: 3 to 5