“ Sports Equipment „
As I mentioned in previous reviews for a long time I suffered with a painful neck and shoulders which caused me to suffer migraines due to a few bones in my neck\spine being out of alignment. I have spent thousands of pounds on osteopathy, cranial osteopathy, chiropracty and physiotherapy all of which offered some relief but only in the short term. The hospital physiotherapist discharged me a couple of years ago saying that he had done all he could and that I would just have to continue his exercises and accept the pain.
Shortly afterwards my sister in law told me about a physiotherapist offering a new treatment called tamars which had produced amazing results in her friend who had tried everything. I started attending his clinic and after a few weeks I no longer had migraines and after a few months my shoulders were straight and the jutting out bone in the back of my neck was flat. The drawback was that this was costing me £60 per week then after four months £60 per month.
Prior to attending this treatment I had been tempted to buy an inversion table to see if it would help as the claim was that it helped to align your spine and took all the stress out of it aiding decompression and allowing your body to relax and revitalize. As usual I had an excuse for spending the £99.00 as I figured it was less than two sessions with the physio and would hopefully save me money by not having to attend sessions anymore. I bought it about a year ago and have not been back to the physiotherapist since. I cannot claim that this piece of kit cured my alignment I know that the physio did that but I do believe that using this to decompress my spine most evenings has prevented my pain from coming back.
The table came in a large cardboard box and required putting together. My husband did the needful in about 30 minutes. Once it was put together I realized that it had taken over the bedroom as it stands over six feet tall and the legs are about two feet apart. You also need around three feet of space in front and behind the table as you turn through ninety degrees to invert.
The table is made of a robust tubular steel main frame with handlebars and it folds for storage. I just keep it out but I think it would be too heavy for me to fold and set up against a wall.
- - How to Use it - -
You stand on the foot rests and place your back up against the table before locking your feet into the foot rests. This locking mechanism is extremely sturdy and I have always felt safe even when completely inverted.
The balance of the table allows simple arm movements to control the rotation. You simply move your arms towards your head slowly and the table begins to tilt. To come back to upright you bring your arms back down.
If you have the strap in place this allows you to set the amount of rotation which can be achieved to any angle. I did start small but had worked my way upto full inversion within about a week.
The table can lock at full inversion and while in this position the board is up against the front legs and you are literally hanging upside down by your ankles with no support, and can do inverted sit-ups. I stay this way for around 3 to 4 minutes but it is recommended for upto 10 minutes.
- - How does it feel - -
The table is so strong and well balanced that you feel in complete control at all times, it only takes a little arm movement to go up or down at a rate with which you are comfortable. As a beginner positioning the strap to only allow a certain degree of inversion is a nice safeguard.
I felt incredibly relaxed even with a small amount of inversion but when you reach full inversion there is a real feeling of freedom. As I am hanging freely my spine and neck feel very relaxed and I use those few minutes to turn my neck to each side a number of times to stretch the muscles. You can also do inverted sit ups but I have never managed to lift myself more than a couple of inches.
I loved the feeling of hanging free but when my sister in law tried it after only a few degrees she was screaming "let me off" her son on his first go, jumped on, locked his feet in and went straight for full inversion, just to show off he then did perfect inverted to sit ups. I would add that he is a strapping six foot rower so we expected him to be a little fitter than us.
- - Does it work - -
At the beginning I was on every morning and evening for a few minutes I really felt that my body was stretching and felt less tense and my neck and back muscles didn't have the usual aches. After this I only went on a couple of nights a week but still felt it was doing my posture good.
Although the physiotherapist had really helped me and it was he who left me physically able to use this piece of kit I believe without it I would have had to go back for more sessions.
- - The claims - -
The force of gravity counteracts compressions in the joints, mainly concentrating on the back, neck and hips which leads to improved posture, complexion, blood flow and more mobility in your shoulders hips etc. The increase in blood flow is believed to lead to increased mental alertness.
- - Stats - -
(L)127, (W)68, (H)54cm.
Maximum user body weight 110kg (17st).
Inversion Therapy is not suitable for those with, Heart or Circulatory problems, Pregnancy, High or Low Blood Pressure, Fractures or Bone Weakness.
- - Pros - -
Might help you cut down on painkillers
Claims that with regular use you can avoid the shrinkage usually seen in old age (I watched a man in his 80s exercising on this on the shopping channel and he belives his good physique and strength is down to inverting daily for 30 years).
- - Cons - -
Ankles get sore from the restraints
Some people do not like the sensation of inverting
Takes up a lot of room
I would recommend inversion therapy to anyone even those not presently suffering with joint pain as I believe it could act as a preventative measure. However I would encourage you to try before you buy as the sensation is very pleasant for some but not for all. Check if your local health club or supplier has one that you can try if you are interested. Its a great way of stretching if you are huddled over a computer for several hours a day.
I paid £99.00 for this from Argos. (ps my brother is still convinced its some kind of weird sex toy)
It helps to decompress intervertebral discs using gravity thereby helping to relieve back pain and spasm associated with compression.