Traction tables and inversion tables are two types of equipment used to alleviate back pain and promote spinal health. Both of these tables work by decompressing the spine, but they do so in different ways. In this blog post, we will explore the difference between traction tables and inversion tables, their benefits, and their drawbacks.
What is a Traction Table?
A traction table, also known as a decompression table, is a piece of equipment used by chiropractors and physical therapists to alleviate back pain. The table uses mechanical traction to pull the spine apart, creating a space between the vertebrae. This space can help relieve pressure on the discs and nerves, which can reduce pain and promote healing.
Traction tables can be either motorized or manual. Motorized traction tables use a motor to apply force to the spine, while manual traction tables require the therapist to use their hands to apply force. The therapist will typically adjust the table’s angle and the amount of force applied to ensure that the patient receives the appropriate amount of traction.
What is an Inversion Table?
An inversion table is a piece of equipment that allows the user to hang upside down or at an angle. The idea behind an inversion table is that hanging upside down can decompress the spine, which can alleviate back pain and promote spinal health.
Inversion tables are typically adjustable, allowing the user to control the angle at which they hang. Most inversion tables have ankle supports that hold the user in place while they are inverted. Users can typically control the amount of time they spend inverted, starting with short periods and gradually increasing as they become more comfortable.
Traction Table vs. Inversion Table: What’s the Difference?
While both traction tables and inversion tables can be used to alleviate back pain, they work in different ways. Traction tables use mechanical traction to pull the spine apart, while inversion tables use gravity to decompress the spine.
One of the key differences between the two is the position of the patient. With a traction table, the patient remains in a horizontal position, while with an inversion table, the patient is inverted. This means that patients who are uncomfortable with the idea of hanging upside down may prefer a traction table.
Another difference between the two tables is the amount of force applied to the spine. With a traction table, the therapist can adjust the amount of force applied to the spine. With an inversion table, the force applied is dependent on the angle at which the user is inverted. This means that patients with severe back pain may require more force than an inversion table can provide.
Benefits of Traction Tables
Traction tables can provide several benefits for patients with back pain. Here are some of the most significant benefits:
- Alleviates Back Pain: Traction tables can alleviate back pain by decompressing the spine and reducing pressure on the nerves and discs.
- Improves Spinal Health: By reducing pressure on the spine, traction tables can promote spinal health and prevent further injury.
- Non-Invasive: Traction tables are non-invasive, which means that patients do not have to undergo surgery or take medication to receive treatment.
- Customizable: Traction tables are customizable, which means that therapists can adjust the amount of force applied to the spine to suit the patient’s needs.
- Effective: Traction tables are an effective treatment for back pain, and many patients report significant improvement after just a few sessions.
Benefits of Inversion Tables
Inversion tables can also provide several benefits for patients with back pain. Here are some of the most significant benefits:
- Alleviates Back Pain: Inversion tables can alleviate back pain by decompressing the spine and reducing pressure on the nerves and discs.
- Improves Spinal Health: By reducing pressure on the spine, inversion tables can promote spinal health and prevent further injury.
- Increased Blood Flow: Inversion tables can increase blood flow to the spine and brain, which can improve overall health and cognitive function.
- Non-Invasive: Like traction tables, inversion tables are non-invasive and do not require surgery or medication.
- Easy to Use: Inversion tables are easy to use and can be used in the comfort of the user’s home.
Drawbacks of Traction Tables
While traction tables can provide several benefits, they also have some drawbacks:
- Cost: Traction tables can be expensive, which may make them inaccessible to some patients.
- Requires a Therapist: Traction tables require a therapist to administer the treatment, which may not be convenient for some patients.
- Potential Side Effects: Traction tables can cause side effects such as muscle spasms, headaches, and dizziness.
Drawbacks of Inversion Tables
Inversion tables also have some drawbacks that patients should be aware of:
- Safety Concerns: Inversion tables can be dangerous if not used properly. Patients should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult with a doctor before using an inversion table.
- Not Suitable for Everyone: Inversion tables may not be suitable for patients with certain medical conditions, such as glaucoma, heart disease, or high blood pressure.
- Limited Benefits: While inversion tables can provide some relief from back pain, they may not be as effective as traction tables for patients with severe back pain.
In conclusion, both traction tables and inversion tables can be useful tools for patients with back pain. Traction tables use mechanical traction to pull the spine apart, while inversion tables use gravity to decompress the spine. Each type of table has its benefits and drawbacks, and patients should consult with their doctor or therapist to determine which type of treatment is right for them. With proper use, both traction tables and inversion tables can help alleviate back pain and promote spinal health.