My Recommendations for Inversion Therapy

By | February 18, 2015

My personal inversion routine is a little different than what I recommend to the patients at Schlesinger Pain Centers.  I feel like I get a better stretch at 60 degrees than at 30 or 45, but I have worked up to this angle slowly over a couple of years.  Since I use the machine at the Burbank office I invert 5 days a week instead of 7.  My hang time is also a little longer at 15 minutes instead of the 10 I recommend to patients because I often find it difficult to get back to the machine in the afternoon.

My personal inversion routine is a little different than what I recommend to the patients at Schlesinger Pain Centers. I feel like I get a better stretch at 60 degrees than at 30 or 45, but I have worked up to this angle slowly over a couple of years. Since I use the machine at the Burbank office I invert 5 days a week instead of 7. My hang time is also a little longer at 15 minutes instead of the 10 I recommend to patients because I often find it difficult to get back to the machine in the afternoon.

At Schlesinger Pain Centers inversion therapy is usually the first step in the back rehabilitation plan. It is prescribed once the patient is nearly pain free. I have found that inversion is perceived as unpleasant by patients with more than a little remaining back pain. In addition it can induce reflex spasm. The starting “dose” of inversion is usually 30° for 5 minutes once a day, progressing as tolerated to 30° to 45° for 5 to 10 minutes once or twice a day, every day, for a total of 1 to 2 hours a week. Patients often complain of soreness in their lower and mid back as well as shoulders after the first few sessions. If soreness is severe of persist they are told to cut back on the degree and length of inversion or to invert every other day until they get used to the therapy.

My personal regimen is a bit different. I use the table at Schlesinger Pain Center weekdays only and invert for 15 minutes in the morning before I start my day, because I am often unable to return for an afternoon session. I average about an hour and a half per week, but this is not a rigid value. Depending on the amount of strength work I do I may need to increase the amount of inversion usually in conjunction with an increase in the amount of time devoted to yoga. Short interruptions of this inversion regimen are usually well tolerated, but when I return from more than a week’s vacation the first couple of inversion sessions are usually accompanied by mild soreness especially in the latissimus dorsi muscles.


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