Severe Lower Back Pain Relief (How an Inversion Table Can Help)

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If you are looking for severe lower back pain relief, welcome.  I have been dealing with lower back pain for about 20 years, and I know how it can negatively affect life. From playing with the kids to getting dressed, and commuting to work, lower back pain can take a toll.

Me with severe lower back pain

Today I want to share my journey with you and discuss one of the treatment options that has worked well for me.  If you suffer from low back pain, I encourage you to keep reading.

Back pain sucks

There is no getting around it.  Until you experience it first hand or are close to someone who lives with back pain, most people do not fully appreciate how physically and emotionally demanding lower back pain can be.

There is a whole mental side of the equation, wondering if you are ever going to recover or be able to do the activities you love.  If you suffer from chronic back pain, you probably know what I am talking about.  Most people are willing to try just about anything for severe lower back pain relief.

Simple activities that people do without even thinking about can be significant obstacles to overcome.  Activities like sleeping, getting dressed, driving a car, can become hard with lower back pain.  I have been there and done that, unfortunately.

My back pain journey

My problems all started in 1999.  I was a healthy and very active guy in my mid 20’s, never had any kind of injury to speak of.  Then slowly, I started noticing tingling and numbness down my right leg, into my outer calf.

After months of pain, and too many visits to the doctor, physical therapy, cortisone shots, and painkillers, finally I was left with surgery as my final hope.  I went under the knife in late 1999, something I regret to this day.

Surgery was not a long-term solution for me, although I did have several good years after my procedure. The biggest challenge for me going forward would be that I didn’t change my lifestyle at all.  I continued doing all the activities I loved, which included things that were not good for a guy who had back surgery.

I am talking about lifting heavy and awkward objects by myself and not asking for help.  I let my ego get the best of me.

After a few minor setbacks over the years, in 2009, I was introduced to an inversion table for the first time.  I wasn’t really given much in the way of instructions on how to use an inversion table from my doctor, but none the less, I found a used table and got started.

It took a few months, but the shooting pain down my right leg subsided, and I considered myself “fixed.”  After I felt better, I sold the inversion table and went on with my life.

Not again!

Again, I had a few more setbacks over the next few years, and then in late 2015, I suffered a pretty severe back injury.  This time I went to see a highly recommended chiropractor.  I was dealing with a blown disc again, and this time, I had spinal stenosis.  What that meant was that I was bent over at the waist about 30-40 degrees, and I could not stand up straight.  I dealt with lumbar stenosis for a few months as we worked on adjustments to get me back fully upright.

One of the things that helped to speed up my recovery was my old friend the inversion table.  When I first injured myself in 2015, I couldn’t even sleep in my own bed at night. I had to be propped up on the couch to maintain my forward-leaning posture; in other words, the 30-40 degree bend in my waist.  I couldn’t lay down flat on my back, and that was a problem.

After months of adjustments, I was finally upright enough that I could ultimately lie down and use an inversion table.  Remember that I could not lay down flat on my back at first; this kept me from using an inversion table at all.  But when I finally progressed far enough, I could use the inversion table, and that really helped to speed things along.

Severe lower back pain relief, how an inversion table can help

For me, severe lower back pain has been defined by sciatica in my right leg.  Sciatica is the term used to describe the pain that travels along the sciatic nerve.  The sciatic nerve travels from your lower back all the way down your legs and into your feet.  The purpose of this large nerve is to supply feeling and strength to your legs and feet [1].

When the sciatic nerve becomes compressed or irritated, this sends pain along the path of the nerve; a herniated or bulging disc is often the culprit.  Tight muscles can also can sciatic nerve pain.Teeter FitSpine LX9 Inversion Table

The shooting pain down my right leg has oftentimes been debilitating for me, and sometimes it is just plain annoying.  I have dealt with sciatic nerve pain for many years and am finally learning the right way to use an inversion table to help.

An inversion table can help to relieve the pressure on the sciatic nerve by elongating your spine.  By using gravity in your favor, inversion therapy can give your discs a chance to recover and rehydrate, and this can help them to repair naturally.

I use my inversion table regularly, and I think of it as a recovery and maintenance program.  The recovery part happened after my injury, and I use the table regularly as maintenance to achieve the long-term benefits of using an inversion table.

Don’t be too aggressive

I learned this lesson the hard way.  In 2011, I was working on a home improvement project, and my daughter (5 years old at the time), wanted me to pick her up.  Easy enough, right?  Well, as soon as I picked her up, I heard and felt a “pop” in my lower back.

Well, I thought I had everything under control since I still had my trusty inversion table.  The problem was, instead of gradually starting out, with a shallow angle, I went straight for a 45-degree angle.  Today I invert at a 60-degree angle, but it took me a long time to get to that point.  So back in 2011, when I hurt myself, I tried using an inversion angle that was way too aggressive for my current condition.

I should have started at maybe 15 degrees and then slowly over time, worked up to a steeper angle.  I ended up putting myself further behind in my recovery. So, you have to be careful, especially when you are dealing with severe lower back pain. This brings me to my next point.

With my injury in late 2015, and once I was finally able to get back on my inversion table, I started with at a 15-degree angle.  As I was able, and my body would let me, I slowly increased the inversion angle over time. Again, this was a big step in my recovery.

Talk to your doctor

If you are experiencing severe lower back pain, you should always see your doctor before you entertain starting any treatment program. You can come up with a plan of action before you end up like me and do more harm than good in the beginning.

Your doctor may have you on an ice or heat regimen, to begin with, and then move on to other treatment like an inversion table when you are ready.  So learn from my mistake and see your doctor first.

Yes, I started with my first inversion table in 2009 and then sold it when I was “fixed.”  Then I ended up buying a beautiful Teeter inversion table in 2016 when I was recovering from my latest injury.  I didn’t fully understand until 2016 how beneficial an inversion table would be for me.

I went out and bought a brand spanking new table, and I plan on keeping it for a very long time. Teeter makes high-quality inversion tables, and you can read more about them here if you are interested.

I invert regularly, and for me, that means if not every day, at least five days per week. I invert at a 60-degree angle, and I do this for about five minutes, sometimes less.

Conclusion: Severe lower back pain relief

I know a lot of people out there suffer from lower back pain, and I can sympathize. One thing that helps me is using an inversion table.  You should absolutely check with your doctor and develop a plan of action when you have severe lower back pain and inquire if an inversion table is right for you.

I am a firm believer in inversion therapy. This study shows that 76.9% of patients avoided surgery by using an inversion table.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.  You can always contact me directly, as well.

Have you used an inversion table?

What treatment options have you used for severe lower back pain relief?

Thanks again for stopping by.





6 thoughts on “Severe Lower Back Pain Relief (How an Inversion Table Can Help)”

  1. I know exactly how you feel, dealing with lower back pain for many years. Way before the inversion table was invented I made some inversion boots and hung from a bar hung above doorways in my hallway. Great content about your journey with back pain and your suggestions.

    • Hi Jim, thanks for your comment. That is very innovative, using gravity boots, sounds like you may have been ahead of your time. I know gravity boots have been around for years, and have helped a lot of people out. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

  2. I bought one this year too as knee meniscus surgery aggravated my back. I haven’t fully implemented a structured program on it yet, as my knee still needs some recovery time, but I intend next week to start using daily (I tried to use it too early in my knee recovery). How long of sessions do you use it for?

    • Hi Kendra, I use my inversion table for about 5 minutes, but some people use them for just a few minutes each day. I highly recommend starting out slow and working your way up from there. Especially with your knee recovery, you want to work very closely with your doctor to make sure you are able to use the inversion table at this time. Your doctor can advise on whether or not you are in a place to use an inversion table. When I was recovering from lumbar stenosis, I could only invert at about 15 degrees for about 20 seconds at a time, until my body was ready for more. I hope this helped to answer your question. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I just had to leave a comment when I saw your post. I do not have chronic back pain, but once in a while my lower back gives me problems. So I don’t think I need one right now, but I did want to say that my brother has been having problems for years with his back. I found out not to long ago, he uses an inversion table and he says it works great for him! That is so encouraging! And then with your testimony, this sounds like an awesome thing. I know I don’t want to ever have surgery, so if I do start to have chronic back pain I will definitely look at this. About how much would one cost? Did I miss the price in your post?
    Thanks so much for sharing your story!

    • Thanks for stopping by Lynn. I am glad your brother is having success using an inversion table, that is encouraging. As for price, Teeter inversion tables range from about $350 on up, depending on the model and features you want. Teeter has a variety of tables to choose from. Please let me know if you have any more questions.


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