Herniated Disc Inversion Therapy

Back Surgery Information

Herniated Disc Inversion Therapy

A herniated disc, also erroneously referred to as a slipped disc, is the name given when the nucleus pulposus, the gel-like substance found at the center of one of the spinal discs protrudes out. This problem may be caused by thinning of the disc due to injury, or by degeneration as an individual gets older. A herniated disc is also called a ruptured disc.

There are several treatments for a herniated disc, the majority of which are non-invasive. This may include pain medication, physical therapy, herniated disc inversion therapy, rest and rehabilitation and a number of other treatments. In very severe cases, surgery may be the only option.

Herniated disc inversion therapy is one of the types of non-surgical spinal decompression treatments for disc herniation. It simply involves inverting the body to hang upside down. The idea behind hanging upside down is to provide some traction to the spine. The traction makes the spine elongated enough that the herniated disc will hopefully have room to heal.

Herniated disc inversion therapy is thought to work because the elongation of the spine creates more space between the spinal vertebrae. The extra space created eases the stress on the compressed vertebrae, which in turn eases the pain experienced from the compressed discs.

There are several types of herniated disc inversion therapy such as using special gravity boots that hold a person in place while they are suspended from a horizontal bar or using an inversion table, which is the most popular method.

During inversion therapy using the inversion table, a patient not only hangs upside down but the table is oscillated back and forth. This motion is said to be beneficial for the circulation of spinal disc fluid. Spinal discs are not vascularised, that is they do not have their own blood supply like other body organs, and therefore have to rely on breathing and body movement for the circulation of fluids.

Lack of circulation is one of the reasons for disc degeneration. Good circulation of the fluids around the disc causes waste to be flushed out while ensuring the discs get a good supply of fresh fluid.

Herniated disc inversion therapy is also effective because it makes muscles relax. Relaxed muscles receive more blood flow which eases tension in the muscles. Tension in muscles causes spasms which are one of the causes of back pain. It also helps achieve flexibility in the spine.

Herniated disc inversion therapy is said not only to be beneficial for the spine, but also for the cardiovascular system. The heart, which is the organ responsible for pumping blood throughout the body, has to pump blood against gravity. Inversion therapy makes use of the pull of gravity to increase blood circulation. The biggest beneficiary of the increased blood circulation is the brain.

Even though herniated disc inversion therapy is safe, it is good to consult your physician first. This therapy should not be attempted in people with hypertension, heart disease or eye disease such as glaucoma. Pregnant women should also not attempt it without doctor’s clearance.