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About Your Back - Pinched Nerve - Scoliosis - Sciatica      Inversion Table Click Here

News flash! Inversion can help reverse compressed discs, pinched nerves, scoliosis & sciatica!!!

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Anatomy of the Spine
Briefly explained, your spine is made up of the following components:
1) Vertebrae - the bones that make up your spine
2) Nerves - your entire nerve system runs through your spine
3) Discs - spongy material that separates your vertebrae, allowing the nerves to run between each bone segment. Discs act like shock absorbers and allow the spine to flex.
To understand the sources of your particular back problem and/or how to prevent back pain, it helps to understand the anatomy of your spine.


Each vertebrae is held in its proper place by three different kinds of soft tissue-discs, ligaments, and muscles. Almost all back problems are related to the dysfunction of one of these three.


The natural curves of the spine are vitally important for giving your back strength and resilience. There are 24 vertebrae in your spinal column. The lumbar vertebrae are approximately two inches in diameter reflecting their weight-bearing role. The cervical vertebrae are smaller, since they must support only the head. Facet joints are located in pairs on the back of the spine, where one vertebra slightly overlaps the next. The facet joints guide and restrict movement of the spine. To the rear of each vertebra is a hole and when the vertebrae are stacked up, these holes form a continuous channel which holds the spinal cord.
The spinal cord provides a vital link between the brain and all body functions below the neck. Spinal nerves emerge from the spinal cord through gaps between the main body of the vertebrae and the facet joints. One frequent cause of back pain is a worn facet joint, which can result in a pinched nerve. Therefore, it is very important to keep your vertebrae in good shape.
Today back pain is one of the most common of all physical complaints in the world. About 70 to 90% of men and women in the U.S. have had or will have a least one bout of incapacitating low back pain. Back pain contributes to lost work time and may cost as much as $100 billion annually (if lost productivity is included). Back pain is the #2 reason for doctor visits after coughs and other respiratory infections.

Low back pain can be acute or chronic, manifesting in the lumbosacral region and associated musculoskeletal structures. Low back pain is extremely prevalent. Low back pain can become a life long struggle. When performing even the simplest tasks of everyday life, we may turn, twist, lift, and either push or pull something the wrong way and be crippled with low back pain that is constant and debilitating in nature.
Low back pain injuries may often be overlooked and under diagnosed. Consequently, the injuries may progress and delayed initiation of appropriate therapy may prolong the treatment course. Low back pain injuries may be as simple as muscle aches or as severe as spinal cord paralysis from lumbar compression secondary to osteoporotic fractures.
This drawing shows a normal disc. The main function of your discs is to act as shock absorbers and provide separation between each vertebrae. The outer layers of your discs are formed from tough cartilage. The inner core of your disc is a jelly-like nucleus.
In total, your discs account for one-quarter the length of your vertebral column- 4.50" to 6" (12 to 15 cm) for most people. The disc acquires its nourishment through fluid-attracting and fluid-absorbing qualities of its jelly-like nucleus. This is one reason using an inversion table can be so beneficial in disc healing and regeneration. The rocking motion is extraordinary in creating an intermittent traction and compression that can assist in the regenerative process. One reason discs degenerate and and regenerate slowly is due to the passive nature of the circulation to the ruptured or compressed discs.
With no blood supply of its own, the disc is dependent on sponge action for attracting and absorbing nutrients from adjacent tissues. During non-weight bearing activities (sleeping) the discs expand as they soak up fluid, increasing the length of the spine by as much as one inch overnight. During weight bearing activities (sitting, standing, exercising), this fluid is squeezed back into the adjacent soft tissue.
Low back pain can range from acute to chronic. Ranging from a dull, intermittent, nagging ache to an unbearable, tear eliciting pain.

Your vertebra are supported and moved by many different muscles. Muscles are used for three basic functions; support, movement, and posture control. If muscles are tight or weak, they create or worsen back pain. Joints are controlled by at least two sets of muscles, flexors which bend the joint, and extensors which straighten it. In addition, most joints have rotator muscles that twist and rotate your bones. Good posture is only possible if the flexors, extensors, and rotators are in proper balance.



Your paraspinal muscles (which run parallel to your spine) rotate your spine, bend it backwards, and sideways, and influence posture by creating and maintaining the curves of your spine. Your erector spine muscles are involved in movement and run the length of your spine. These muscles help you to bend over by resisting the force of gravity, and to straighten up by contracting and exerting great compressive force on your spine.
Your abdominal muscles play an important role in helping to support the spine by maintaining pressure inside the abdomen. This pressure is an essential measure of counter support to the spine.
Understanding the physiology responsible for the symptoms will guide us in understanding the treatment. Most back pain is caused by musculoligamentous strain, degenerative disk disease, sciatica, or arthritis and responds to symptomatic treatment. Occasionally, back pain may result from problems originating outside the spinal axis. Serious underlying problems such as tumor, infection, or vertebral compression must be kept in mind. (1)
Your psoas muscles (hip flexors) are a large group of muscles in the abdomen. These muscles help to flex your hips when walking or climbing stairs. They play an important role in maintaining posture for sitting and standing.
The perception of pain is experienced on an individual basis, but the physiologic basis of pain receptors are the same. Nociceptors are pain receptors of the body. They are located all over the body and maldistributed. The skin being largest organ and also extremely sensitive, has the most nociceptors. Impulses are generated by nociceptors, which travel along the spinal cord and relay pain that is either diffuse or localized. Fast pain travels through the A Fibers along the neospinothalamic tract. A Fibers produce pain that is sharp and well localized. On the other hand, slow pain travels through C Fibers along the paleospinothalanic tract producing pain that is dull and aching in nature. (2)
Intravertebral joints are supported by ligaments, tough and inelastic fibers which support the spine and hold it together by allowing only a limited range of movement in any one direction. Ligaments require regular movement and loading, otherwise they will eventually become stiff and weak. Using the inversion table can give an excellent controlled workout to the muscles and ligaments necessary for a healthy spine.
The etiology of the pain depends on the injury sustained. Nerves, spinal cord, disks and vertebrae make up the complex structure of the lower back. Muscles and ligaments provide strength and power and at the same time support and stability. Small joints of the lower back allow functional movement and further stability. The spinal cord and nerves are the “electric cables” which travel through a central canal in the lumbar vertebrae, connecting your brain to the muscles of your legs. The five lumbar vertebrae connect the upper spine to the pelvis and sacrum. The disks, like shock absorbers, act by both supporting and cushioning the lumbar vertebrae. (3)
We need strong back, abdominal, and hip muscles to resist gravity and to hold us up. Besides holding us up they act to keep the spine and pelvis in alignment. As societies around the world become more mechanized and computerized, they have also become less exercised. We lock ourselves behind desks and in front of computers. When we sit, our back muscles hold us erect, but our stomach and hip muscles are inactive. When they are not exercised, stomach and hip muscles become weaker, putting a painful strain on the back muscles. Sitting places higher loads inside the lumbar disc than standing (between 150% to 250% depending on posture).
Compressed Disc, Slipped Disc, Herniated Disc, Ruptured Disc
Leading to a Pinched Nerve & Sciatica
A ruptured disc in the back occurs when all or part of the soft, gelatinous central part of the vertebral disc is forced through the bones of the spinal column. What is going on in the body? Sandwiched between the vertebra of the spinal column are discs that act like shock absorbers. A disc is made up of two parts. The outer ring or annulus is a tough, fibrous material. The inner part or nucleus is a soft, jelly-like material. A ruptured disc occurs when the outer ring tears or break, allowing the jelly-like material to poke through the crack. This can result in pressure on nerves, often causing pain. Sometimes leading to sciatica & leg pain. The terms ruptured disc, slipped disc & herniated are often used in the same context. There is an enormous body of evidence that a compressed disc, whether or not it is actually ruptured can be aided by inversion therapy. Inversion increases the intervertebral space and allows the disc to return to is shock absorber and spacer function.


There is an enormous body of evidence that shows a compressed disc, ruptured or not can often be aided by inversion therapy.

Sciatica Sciatica
Inversion Helps Improve Circulation and Accelerates the Cleansing of Blood and Lymph Fluids
The cardiovascular system is your body's transportation system, carrying food and oxygen to your body's cells. Oxygen-rich blood from the lungs travels out through the arteries and waste-filled blood comes back through the veins to be cleansed and recharged with oxygen. Because your body must work against gravity to retrieve blood from your legs and lower torso, inversion can help to ease the circulation process by placing your body in a position that utilizes gravity's force in your favor.
Unlike the cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system has no pump. Only the alternate contraction and relaxation of muscles moves lymphatic fluid through capillaries and one-way valves to the upper chest for cleansing. Inverting the body so that gravity works with, not against, these one-way valves helps to push the fluid up to the chest.
In her book Beyond Cellulite, Nicloe Ronsard discusses the role of the lymph system in creating cellulite, and ways in which people can help stimulate lymph flow to reduce cellulite. She explains that when the flow of lymph is slowed down, a stagnation of fluid occurs in the tissues. In areas where circulation tends to be poor and as in the hips and thigh area, this stagnation encourages the formation of cellulite. By reversing gravity's force on the flow of blood and lymph fluids in the body, you can increase the nourishment of cells and accelerate the removal of wastes. The rocking motion that is easy to do on the F5000 inversion table is excellent for stimulating lymph and blood circulation.
To see more testimonials as to the benefits of inversion therapy please click here:
I'm just writing to say how completely happy I am that I bought your F5000 Inversion Table. I was having severe problems with my back. A trip to the Dr. and ultimately an MRI revealed I had severe calcium deposits (from arthritis) built up around my sciatic nerve. This resulted in my having to walk bent over just to slightly reduce the severe pain I was experiencing starting at the buttocks and going all the way down to my ankles. I was really depressed when my orthopedic Dr. was recommending I see a spinal surgeon. After having surgery for both 2 hips and 2 knee replacements I was not exactly enthused about the prospect of back surgery. I told the Dr. I wasn't ready for that option just yet cause my wife had seen an article on Inversion Tables and how they can help people with herniated discs and sciatic problems. I was skeptical but when I saw your free trial offer, I figured what have I got to lose, so I bought the F5000 Inversion Table. At first I didn't think it helped, however after just 2 weeks use I could walk upright again and have very little to no pain any longer. Don't know how long this table will help me, but each day I can put off back surgery I'm thankful for.
Feel free to use this testimonial.
I'm thankful I listened to my wife and decided to try this table.
John A. Tisevich - 8/3/2003
To see more testimonials as to the benefits of inversion therapy please click here:
The sciatic nerves are the largest nerves in the body - about as big around as your finger. They start in the lower spine, pass behind the hip joint, and go down the buttock and back of the leg to the foot. Pain from this nerve, called sciatica, may be felt from the hip to the big toe.
Along with aging, most causes of low back pain are from sprains and strains. These injuries are usually from repetitive motions and lifting. Other causes of low back are osteoathritis, muscle spasms and sciatica (herniated disc). Metabolic bone disease, such as osteoporosis can cause debilitating back pain. Spine fracture from trauma, cauda equina syndrome (spinal stenosis) spondylisis, ankylosing spondylitis, benign and malignant metastatic tumors can also cause low back pain. Infection, connective tissue disorders, abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), hyperparathyroidism, and nephrolithias are also considered possible causes of low back pain. (4)
What causes sciatica?
Sometimes the nerve is pinched between vertebrae, or its passageways are narrowed by arthritis or swelling of a sprained ligament in the area, and it becomes irritated and tender. A disk (the cushion between the vertebrae) may bulge out of place and press on the nerve. Rarely, an abscess, blood clot, or growth may push on the nerve. At times, no exact cause is found, but a movement that is normally harmless (such as bending over) suddenly brings on violent pain.
Is sciatica different from other types of back pain?
Yes, although low back pain often comes with it. Usually, sciatica affects only one side. Pain often radiates down the buttock or leg. It can range from a tingling, burning, pins-and-needles feeling to excruciating, shooting pain that makes standing up nearly impossible. Coughing, sneezing, and sitting make the pain worse. Your leg or foot may be numb or weak and have odd sensations in it. You may be unable to move your foot or bend your knee.

In most cases sciatica as well as cervical disc compression is a mechanical problem. Probably the best mechanical solution in the world is an inversion table (hanging at mild to moderate angles and including some oscillation) along with an exercise program (see below). This two prong approach works to decompress the the discs which may be desiccated (dried out) due to chronic compression. And to balance out the muscle strength in the front , back, left and right sides of the pelvis to reduce pelvic tilt.
Our company has been working with back pain sufferers for about 25 years and the feedback we have received from the more than 7,500 people we have sold tables to are testimony to how well inversion therapy works.
Traction was the therapy of choice by the medical profession for hundreds if not thousands of years. It is amazing how often they overlook this simple therapy in this age of drugs and surgery.
Another component of healing and regeneration is nutrition. Our company has also been involved in the field of nutritional supplements for many, many years. There is a very compelling argument made by researchers & nutritionists that many if not most people are mineral deficient. The bases for this claim is that plants are grown with synthetic fertilizers on mineral depleted soils. The best mineral supplement we have ever found that has resulted in improved health for thousands and thousands of people is New Vision's Essential Minerals. They are derived from organic plants and have about 70 major and trace minerals that are easy to absorb in a delicious lemon-lime drink. For any health plan to be most effective it is good to know that your basic nutritional needs are covered. We would also recommend New Vision's Essential Calcium.
To learn more about sciatica, diagnosis and treatment of piriformis syndrome take a look at
Grapes and Raisins
Discs are soft, rubbery pads between the hard bones (vertebrae) of the spinal column. When they are young and healthy, discs are plump with water, which keeps them hydrated and they have the perfect consistency to work as shock absorbers for the vertebrae. They also act to maintain the space between the vertebrae so the nerves are not impinged upon. Over time the daily stress of gravity, sitting, twisting and the process of aging may dry them out like grapes turned into raisins. This is called desiccation.
As discs deteriorate, their tough outer shell weakens. One swing on the tennis court or lifting in the wrong way can burst the interior gel
through the caseing,
to regain their form and function. After the pressure is taken off the nerve there can be a rocking motion added to the inversion therapy.
The rocking motion creates an accordion like pumping action that helps to hydrate and increase the fluid circulation to the discs. It creates a compression and expansion. One of the reasons discs degenerate and don't regenerate well is due to the passive nature of the fluid flow to the discs. They are not vasuclarized like a kidney. The fluid flow to and from the disc is based on body movement such as walking and breathing. The rocking motion on the table facilitates this fluid flow as good or better than perhaps any other activity.

like jelly squishing out of a doughnut. The result is the infamous herniated disc (also referred to as ruptured or slipped disc).
When a disc bulges against one of the two sciatic nerves, which run from the spinal cord down the legs, the pain can be excruciating.
Inversion therapy adresses the duel function of the discs, their ability to act as shock
absorber and spacer. With mild inversion the vertebrae are separated allowing the discs

Some Things To Keep In Mind - EXERCISES
Remember many of our back & other problems are due to gravity's chronic downward pull on our bodies. Often causing COMPRESSED OR PINCHED NERVES leading to SCIATICA. The Hang Ups F5000 inversion table can assist in reversing this compression. Also keep in mind that before surgery became so popular for back problems TRACTION was the therapy of choice. Gravity traction gives the user total control and the results we have seen are impressive. Along with INVERSION THERAPY we encourage people to be sure they have bilateral symmetry in the muscle strength that holds the pelvis & back in alignment. PELVIC TILT is often a concomitant condition along with compressed discs and pinched nerves. For example after some trauma such as an auto accident the body goes into a protective mode and certain muscles may tense up. The pelvis may tilt left to right or front to back or both. This tilt affects the entire alignment of the spine. This alignment affects how the vertebra may impinge on the nerves. Inversion can usually increase the intervertebral space and relieve the direct pressure on the nerve. But in order to get a more complete correction the muscles that align the pelvis must be equally balanced and strong on both sides. There are many exercises that can assist in this effort. Four that we have found very beneficial are:
1. All Fours Leg Thrust - Get on all fours like you are going to crawl. Thrust out the right leg up and back & then the left. You may want to do 10 reps with each leg. It is good to vary the position of the foot so it is sometimes perpendicular to the ground and sometimes parallel to the ground. Start out with a mild workout and if well tolerated work these muscles everyday until they are quite strong.
2. Standing Leg Thrust - This is a variation on All Fours Leg Thrust. You can do this standing. Hold on to a sturdy dresser or table about waste or abdomen high. Lean forward and kick your leg back and up as if you are trying to kick someone directly behind you. It is good to vary the position of the foot so it is sometimes perpendicular to the ground and sometimes parallel to the ground. Do an equal number of reps with each leg. Try if you can to work up to the point that when you kick your leg out it is parallel to the ground.
3. Stair Climbing - Start gradually and work up to a 5-10 story building 2-4 times a week.
These exercises work directly on the gluteus maximus, psoas and other muscles to help strengthen & balance the muscles that if imbalanced can tilt the pelvis & exacerbate compressed disc & irritated nerve problems.
4. Bike Riding - Especially up hills. Regular bike riding works mostly the calves & thighs. Although an excellent exercise that may be quite beneficial for the body in general and specifically good for movement in the sacroilliac joint and circulation that may benefit the discs - regular bike riding does not adequately work the muscles that are needed in order to align the pelvis. When you are working hard riding a bike up hill or are in a high gear where you may need to come off the seat you are then working the proper muscles for bilateral symmetry & alignment.
These & other exercises may not be possible until after using the inversion table a while. Using the table properly should increased the intervertebral space & relieve the pressure on the nerve. Once the disc has had the pressure relieved it can usually start to regain is spongy shock abosorber properties and exercises such as these can be eased into.
*** Don't Forget Low Back Support ***
Whether you are sitting in a chair, driving your car or on an airplane be sure to give your low back strong support with a proper lumbar supporting chair or a pillow. In an ideal sitting position the lumbar arch should be maintained. Allowing the shoulders to come forward and the low back to sag puts extra pressure on the lumbar region which may exacerbate low back problems. According to the Nachemson Study sitting in a chair creates about 50% more intradiscal pressure than standing upright.
For more in-depth study on back pain, sciatica,
scoliosis etc. see the research work of Nachemson:
National Center for Biotechnology Information
U.S. National Library of Medicine
Click Here
Spinal Stenosis
Spinal Stenosis
Spinal Scoliosis
Spinal Stenosis
Everyone's spine has natural curves. These curves round our shoulders and make our lower back curve slightly inward. But some people have spines that also curve from side to side. Unlike poor posture, these curves can't be corrected simply by learning to stand up straight.
This condition of side-to-side spinal curves is called scoliosis. On an x-ray, the spine of a person with scoliosis looks more like an "S" or a "C" than a straight line. Some of the bones in a scoliotic spine also may have rotated slightly, making the person's waist or shoulders appear uneven.
We have found in working with doctors & their patients for more than 20 years that inversion therapy can be a great adjunct in the treatment of scoliosis. In children as well as teens and adults the symptoms associated with scoliosis in many many cases are reduced when a person receives the benefits of gravity traction. In conjunction with stretching, exercises and inversion therapy we have also taken note of the benefits of daily deep muscle massage. This is easy to achieve with an electronic massager or very effectively with BONGERS Massage Tools. Also if muscles are particularly affected and a doctor is advised, in many cases a moist heat hydrocollator can be of great benefit.
We have had reports from people who have used gravity inversion therapy for scoliosis and reduced pain symptoms in their lower backs they had previously accepted as chronic and intractable. They did not correlate these symptoms with the scoliosis but when they achieved benefits from the gravity inversion therapy they started for scoliosis a side or direct benefit was a relief from chronic low back pain that had become so common that they did not even realize how uncomfortable it was until it disappeared.
Can inversion help children with scoliosis? Does age matter?
Our medical advisor prefers to get patients involved with inversion as early as possible. Using inversion to help slow or reverse the effects of scoliosis is helpful at any age, but especially before the bones fully harden at ages 12-14. The size of the equipment may be an issue, so younger children will need an attendant. Children love inversion and many many scoliosis patients report excellent results after starting inversion therapy. It is a great way for parents to get involved in assisting their child. Also don't forget to be sure your child has excellent nutritional support. Three fantastic supplements that are great for anyone are New Vision's Essential Minerals, Essential Calcium & Essential Vitamins.
There are many causes of scoliosis. Some causes may be problematic for inversion (bone infection, cancer, compression fracture). Most scoliosis in children is related to bone anomalies or calcification disorders, both of which do well with inversion. Of course, if you have any doubt, you should always consult with a licensed physician.

We have found the stretch & straightening of inversion therapy to be beneficial in working with people with scoliosis.
Many physicians who use inversion therapy recommend getting patients involved while they are still young and bones have not fully matured.
Here are some useful links if you would like to learn more about scoliosis:
Scoliosis Research Society
Amazon Scoliosis Reading List

Excellent nutrition is of course important in trying to prevent or correct a musculoskelital problem. The best calcium supplement we have found is Essential Calcium. Nutritious, delicious and easy to take as a sparkling beverage. And to be sure the body has the proper mineral balance we recommend the best selling liquid mineral supplement in North America - Essential Minerals.

Inversion Therapy And Scoliosis
One example of the many testimonials about scoliosis we have received.

The pediatrician who had sent our daughter to the Scottish Rite hospital becasue she had a bit of a curvature in her spine, saw her for his referral last week. He was amazed at how straight her back was and asked her how she did it. She said that when she started using the inversion table, that in just a few months her shoulders were level and she had no more trouble will ill-fitting clothes due to one shoulder lower than the other - great, huh!?
Martha Ylitalo - 4-15-04

Before starting any exercise or therapeutic program it is recommended you check with your doctor and begin any new activity very gradually. In rare instances back pain is a symptom of a serious medical condition such as a kidney tumor or cancer. Even medical doctors sometimes make this mistake. We have seen cases of people being medicated for back pain when the actual problem was more serious. PLEASE BE AWARE


There are 26 vertebrae in your back which encase your spinal cord.
In childhood there are 33 vertebrae they fuse into 26
. 7 cervical, 12 thoracis, 5 lumbar, 1 sacral (5 fused into one bone, the sacrum) and 1 coccygeal
(4 fused into one bone the coccyx).
24 vertebrae encase and protect the spinal cord.

Your 23 discs act as spacers and shock absorbers.
If they are compressed the nerves can be pinched. Traction had been the treatment of choice before pain relieving drugs and surgery came into common use. The benefits of decompressive traction are accomplished easier with an inversion table than perhaps any other known method.
Spinal nerves run through each vertebral joint in your spinal column.
With no blood supply of their own, discs depend on sponge-like action to soak up nutrients and eliminate waste products.
Many doctors believe rhythmic intermittent traction which is easy to do with an inversion table by creating a simple rocking motion may facilitate disc healing and regeneration. The pumping action of traction and compression may speed up the healing process.
 Muscles and ligaments require regular movement in order to maintain flexibility. 

An imbalance or weakness in the strength of the muscles can affect the alignment of the spine & pelvis. A bilateral imbalance in this muscle strength (often the gluteus maximus) can lead to a tilting of the pelvis & nerve pain.

The combination of proper exercise, nutrition and inversion therapy can greatly improve the quality of our general health and especially reduce or reverse previously intractable back problems.
Inversion Table
Helpful Links for Back Pain Relief
In-depth information to help patients understand, prevent
and seek appropriate treatment for back and neck pain.
Discover how to alleviate your sciatic nerve
pain without drugs, surgery, or even sweat.
The most up to date scientific research on back pain.

1. Goroll, A H & Mulley, Jr A G. (2000). Primary Care Medicine: Office Evaluation and Management of the Adult Patient. (4th ed). Philidelphia, Pa. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
2. McCane, K L & Huether, S E. (1998). Pathophysiology:The Biologic Basis of Disease in Adults and Children. (3rd ed.). St. Louis, Missouri. Mosby
3. Low Back Pain. Your Orthopaedic Connection. American Academy of Orhtopaedic Surgeons. 2000. (Online)

4. Bratton, R L. Assesment and Management of Acute Low Back Pain. American Family Physician 1999; 60:2299-308. (Online)

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