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Phoenix Chiropractor : Inversion Therapy

There are many causes of back pain, including poor posture, weak back and stomach muscles, and misalignments, subluxations to name a few.

Many of these causes can actually be attributed to one force we must all battle: gravity.Inversion therapy puts gravity to work for you by placing your body in line with the downward force of gravity. Using your own body weight as a natural form of traction, inversion elongates the spine by increasing the space between the vertebrae, relieving the pressure on discs, ligaments and nerve roots.

Less pressure means less back pain.

Every nerve root leaves the spine through an opening between the vertebrae – the size of this opening is largely controlled by the height of the disc. Discs that are plump and contained in their ligament “wrappers” are necessary to keep the nerve roots free of pressure and your body free from pain.

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Stress and tension can cause muscle spasms in the back, neck and shoulders, as well as headaches and other problems. Tense muscles produce spasms and pain by reducing the supply of oxygen and by reducing blood and lymph flow, allowing the accumulation of waste chemicals in the muscles. Inverting yourself to as little as 25° for even a few minutes can help relax tense muscles and speed the flow of lymphatic fluids which flush out the body’s wastes and carry them to the blood stream. The faster this waste is cleared, and fresh supplies of oxygen are introduced, the faster stiffness and pain in the muscles can disappear.

Inversion can also help to encourage good posture. When inverted, your body is in line with gravity. Your spine wants to naturally go to it proper form (a gentle “s” curve). A regular program of inversion can help you to maintain proper posture and keep your body in balance. Poor posture is not only unhealthy, it’s unattractive.

Inversion Helps the Discs

Your discs have three jobs: to separate the vertebrae, provide flexibility to the spine and to act as shock absorbers. Disc separation is especially important since all communication between the brain and the body is via nerves that pass between each vertebra. Insufficient distance between the vertebrae can result in nerve root pressure and pain.

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The inner core of your discs is made of jelly-like material that provides the flexibility and “cushioning” in your back. When you are sitting, standing, or exercising (weight-bearing activities), fluid is squeezed out of your discs and into adjacent soft tissue (just as you would squeeze moisture out of a sponge). As a result, your discs lose some of their moisture and height. To prove this fact, measure yourself in the morning and then again at night. You will lose 1/2? to 3/4? in height by the end of the day.

When you are sleeping, “a non-weight bearing activity”, your discs (or “intravertebral sponges”) expand as they soak up fluid and nutrients and increase the length of your spine by as much as 3/4?. But you don’t gain the full height back, accumulating to a total of 1/2? to 2? in height throughout your lifetime.

When your discs are compressed and thinned, your vertebrae potentially place more pressure on these nerve roots. More pressure equals more pain. As you relax, your spine begins to stretch. The space between each vertebra will increase, thus decreasing the pressure on the discs between each vertebra. This encourages fluid movement back into the disc, helping to keep your discs plump and happy and decreasing the pain in your back.

Inversion Reduces Pain in Overworked Muscles

Athletes prone to stiffness or muscle spasms after a workout can benefit from the lymphatic wash provided by inversion. Intense muscle activities cause muscles to become sore. This is due to the build up of large amounts of lactic acid and cellular debris in the muscles.

Unlike the cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system has no pump. Only the alternate contraction and relaxation of muscles move lymphatic fluid “uphill” through capillaries and one-way valves to the upper chest for cleansing. Inverting the body so that gravity works with, not against, these one-way valves helps to push the lactic fluid up to the chest. The faster the lymphatic system is cleared, the faster the ache and pain of stiff muscles disappears.

Inversion Helps to Strengthen Ligaments

Ligaments are the fibrous strips that hold your bones together. Ligaments are flexible but not very elastic, and can tear when they are stretched too much. The gentle reverse loading and movement that occurs while you invert strengthens ligaments and connective tissue, and helps to protect the athlete from serious injury. Ligaments that are not moved regularly in the right way become stiff, inelastic and more easily injured.

Inversion Helps to Relieve Stress

Your body will let you know when you are stressed out – back and neck pain, headaches and muscle tension is your body’s way of protesting against stress and forcing you to slow down.

If nothing else, Inversion is a great way to take a break and relax. The full body stretch can be rejuvenating and can also help to reduce muscle tension.

In fact, for centuries yoga practitioners have recognized the concept of turning the body upside down to find relaxation. The head stand position is a form of “postural exchange” (reversing the direction of gravity). Not everyone wants to do headstands, so inversion creates an easier alternative with the added benefit of joint decompression.

Call us to make an appointment and see what sets us apart from other Phoenix chiropractors!

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Casalino Chiropractic Center | (602) 993-9933

Providing wellness care to the residents of Phoenix, Goodyear, Chandler and Scottsdale.