Upside Down

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Yes folks, I do mean upside down in the literal sense.  Inversion to be more specific.  I often do book reviews but not usually product reviews so this is a first.  For years I’ve been plagued with lower back pain.  I’ve never been to an orthopaedic doctor and haven’t officially been diagnosed with anything specific, but I’ve fallen down a few flights of stairs in my life and I’m positive I’ve knocked a few discs out of whack.  When I lived in an apartment, I fell down the outside stairs while carrying a load of laundry. I bounced down the stairs, underwear and socks flying, while my neighbors ran out of their apartments.

“Are you okay?” they asked.

I jumped up like a ninja, feeling like my spine was hanging out and my ass was against my neck. “Yeah, I’m good.”

I wasn’t good, at least not ninja good. I landed against the sharp part of the step with my lower back and it hurt like a bitch for about three weeks.  I was young, and finally the pain went away,  but now that I’m older, the injury comes back to haunt me. Remember that time you flung your dirty underwear all over the apartment stairs like a pervert?  No?  Here let me remind you!  

Nowadays, my job requires that I sit.  I am notorious about not getting up to stretch for long periods of time because I am a diligent worker, of course, and my total awesomeness is beyond compare. (If you are reading this, bossman, raise please.)   Eventually when I do stand, I have to slowly straighten, while groaning like a hound dog with gas.

So I  came across an inversion table article.  According to the article, these things are supposed to work wonders.  Now don’t go ripping me a new one for giving misinformation.  I’m no expert.  I’ve read that it takes gravitational pressure off the nerve roots and disks in your spine and increases the space between vertebrae. Now that sounded great!  Other articles have mentioned increased blood flow to the brain which enhances creativity.  I’m up for that as I’m an author and I don’t want to smoke pot for creativity because I’ll end up falling asleep with a bag of Cheetos and wake up looking like … well, somebody.

The one thing that really excited me was I’ve read that inversion is great for wrinkles and makes a person look younger.  Well, I don’t know about that …  I’ve also read it can make boobs perkier!  Hell yeah, sign me up!

So I now own an Inversion Table!  Perky boobs here I come!

Risks:  Of course, if you have the conditions listed here, you should speak with your doctor before you use it.  As with everything concerning your health, be safe.

One month later …

I’ve been inverting for about a month now and have noticed my lower back is much better. When I stand from sitting for long periods at work, I feel a marked improvement. Prior to using the table, the ache would radiate from my back through my entire torso.  The pain, however, isn’t completely gone.  I have slight muscle ache in my lower back but nothing compared to what it was before.  I would say I’ve had an 85% decrease in my pain level.

I haven’t noticed that I’ve become more creative but it is really relaxing and it gives me quiet time to just think.  Boobs aren’t perkier yet and I don’t think I look much younger.  It might take a little while to reverse (not very many) years of gravity.   One great perk is the inverted sit ups I can do.  They utilize your ab muscles more and don’t strain the back.  If I don’t get any younger, at least I’ll be ripped in a few months.

The biggest downside to doing a full 180 inversion is opening my eyes and finding my cat’s butt in my face.  Not one article mentioned that!

Pros:  Decreased pain in my lower back.   Inverting is relaxing.  I actually look forward to it.  I get much needed “me” time.

Cons:  It hurts my feet and ankles a bit.  When I first started using it, my knee hurt a little too but that finally went away.  If I have a stuffy nose, it blocks my sinuses up and I can’t breathe, but when I return upright, it goes away.  In addition, I think if you overdo it at first you can stretch a few muscles and end up with some extra pain, so please be careful and be safe.  Take it slow.

Personal notes:  I get the occasional migraine but I haven’t noticed an increase in their occurrences.  I also have high blood pressure but I haven’t noticed it raising my blood pressure either.  Never get on the table if you have a headache or uncontrolled high blood pressure.

If you are wondering which one I bought, it was the Teeter NXT-S Inversion Table.  This isn’t an advertisement at all.  In fact, look around.  You can find it at a much better price.  I decided to go with this one because from the research I’ve done, Teeter is supposed to be top quality and might hold its resale value if I decide to unload it.  I’m really liking it at the moment though.  This one in particular is one of their less expensive models, and I looked around and found a sporting goods store with free shipping.

Helpful hint:  If you buy a Teeter, be sure to watch the video on how to put it together first.  It’ll save you a lot of, “What’s this shit?” moments.

If you have any questions, please leave a note in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer to the best of my knowledge.  Nothing rude please.  I am a comment Nazi and I reserve the right to post only comments that I like.  🙂  Just kidding.

Happy inverting!

-K. R. Rowe KRRowe.com

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4 thoughts on “Upside Down

  1. angel

    great article. my inversion table is still in the box, purchased a couple of years ago when my back had a flare-up. when it came i realized that i would have to reorganize my whole house to accomodate it, and since my back was better i just left it in the store room. however, i will be moving to a new larger house in the next year or so, so i will take your advice when i do finally open the box. thanks. angel
    my website is still under construction so is not up yet

    • I’m loving mine so far. 🙂 If yours is a Teeter, the video also shows a cool way to fold it up. The other brands might also fold up nicely too. I’ve also read it’s good for depression, might ward off dementia and all sorts of things. It’s definitely worth using. Congratulations on the new house. 🙂 I hope you find an awesome spot for it and if you have a cat, beware! Haha. I swear my cat appears from mid air when I get on mine. Let me know what you think when you use it. 🙂

  2. KR! I’m sorry I missed this post when it first went up. I had one of those for the same reason (bad back from rock climbing injury). I had to give it up because it was damaging my ankles and knees. BUT!! Yoga wife clued me in on a little trick she learned from her yoga master…When you go to bed at night, bend your leg (the one on the side with the most pain), put your foot on the side of your other knee, then let gravity slowly, slowly, SLOWLY, lower it to the mattress. There may be some associated popping and cracking, but unless there’s pain it’s nothing to worry about. What it does is removes all muscle tension at the base of your spine and lets blood flow that was constricted by the injury/tension inflammation.

    After a week my pain was gone and I have not had any since (a rare and unusual condition for me). I am still going to bed like that each night even five years later and my back feels great each day. My neck is another story….

    • No worries. I should update the post a bit but I haven’t been on the table for a while. You are right. It’s very hard on the ankles and it is rough on the tops of my feet too but I like the inverted sit ups I can do. I can do without the cat butt though. Haha Thanks for the tip and I will definitely try it. I do a bit of yoga too if my back starts to hurting too much and it works wonders. Getting old is totally sucking.

      I hope you guys are doing well and things are looking brighter. Keep writing and thanks again for the tip! 🙂

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