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!

Will Inverting Make You Taller?

Don’t we all wish! Even though inversion does not make you taller,  inversion does help in keeping the soft tissue in your joints hydrated and healthy. Inversion will help you recover from daily height loss (caused by gravity’s force on your body) and combat progressive height loss (caused by gravity’s force over time and age).

Gravity’s Daily Impact
A study by Foremean[1] proved that height loss does happen on a daily basis by following nurses during their daily activity. What they found was that during an 8 hour work day the nurses experience greater height loss than they did in 12 hour periods on their days off. An average daily height loss of the 12 nurses was 1.1% of their height the study reported  for most of us that translated to 0.5 to 0.75  inches each day. Most of this height loss is restored during our sleep when our discs and joints are hydrated.

Gravity’s Impact Over Time
Height loss also happens as a result of gravity’s impact on the soft tissue of the joints during one’s life, especially the discs. In a study conducted by Tanner [2], it’s reported that most people will lose 0.5 to 2 inches in height during their lifetime. When you are a baby, your intervertebral discs are 90% fluid, but will decrease to only being 70% fluid by the time you’re 70 years old. These thinner discs decrease your flexibility and provide less shock-absorption in your spine.

What Inversion Can Do
The science behind inversion is that it reduces pressure on the intervertebral discs [3]. This encourages fluid to be absorbed back into the spongy disc tissue, restoring the “plumpness” of your discs and improving flexibility.

So even though inversion does not make you taller than your predetermined stature, a routine regimen of inversion therapy will keep your discs hydrated, help you maintain your flexibility and maintain your original body shape [3].  And as an added bonus, inversion helps your posture which is the body position which best resists gravity [4].

 

[1] Foreman, TK, et al: Diurnal variations in spinal loading and the effects on stature: a preliminary study of nursing activities. Clinical Biomechanics, 2: 48-54, 1987.
[2] Tanner, J. Beating Back Pain. London: Dorling Kindersley, 1987.
[3] Nachemson, A and Elfstrom, G: Intravital Dynamic Pressure Measurements in Lumbar Discs. Scandinavian Journal of Rehab Medicine, supplement, 1970.
[4] American Chiropractic Association. http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=1452
Photo made available by Fort Rucker but does not represent an endorsement of Teeter.