Inversion therapy is not new, and Hippocrates is credited for first discovering the concept. Being upside down has benefits according to some chiropractors and athletes. It might relax tight muscles, eliminate toxins through the lymphatic system, improve mood and lessen spinal disc pressure. You can use gravity boots, a table or a Yoga sling for inverting. Each type has pros and cons, and there are some problems with using boots to hang upside down.
There are general contraindications for inversion therapy like high blood pressure, heart disease, glaucoma, pregnancy, back surgery, a history of stroke and more. If you have any of these conditions, inversion needs to be avoided. When using gravity boots, unlike an inversion table, you are fully upside down, which increases blood pressure more than gradual inversion. Also, your spine can twist and torque, so people with severe back problems (skeletal implants, disk fusions, extreme obesity) should avoid gravity boots according to Dr. Rob Gottesman, a Colorado chiropractor.
With gravity boots, your spine is not stable or supported as it would be with an inversion table. So it can rotate and twist. These rotations might lead to other back problems according to Dr. Gottesman. In his opinion, inverting more than 30 degrees is unnecessary as it increases risk without increasing benefits. Only very fit athletes should be completely upside down and for only for a few minutes at a time.
If you are a beginner to inversion or not extremely fit, your core muscles are likely weak. Once upside down with gravity boots, you might find it difficult or impossible to reach back up to the bar. So, you would need assistance to get out of the gravity boots or if alone, you might get stuck until someone could help you. Additionally, you may not like the feeling of being upside down. Some people avoid amusement park rides that turn them upside down like specific roller coasters. With inversion boots, it is all or nothing because you cannot gradually invert. You may not like the feeling of being out of control or get headaches or eye pressure when inverted.
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