In The News: Top Surgeon Speaks Up About Misconceptions and Hidden Risks Of Inversion Tables

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Leading minimally invasive spine surgeon Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD, FAAOS is warning that inversion tables may actually be damaging rather than supporting spine health. He also offers 4 key tips for people who nevertheless choose to use inversion tables.

Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD is a trusted expert in the field of minimally invasive spine surgery.

Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD is a trusted expert in the field of minimally invasive spine surgery.

The widespread misuse and overuse of inversion tables is causing a raft of spinal injuries ranging from minor to severe, and causing a great deal of unnecessary pain and suffering.

In his latest article, leading minimally invasive spine surgeon Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD, FAAOS is warning people that a commonly-used therapeutic device – namely, inversion tables – may actually be damaging rather than supporting spine health.

“The widespread misuse and overuse of inversion tables is causing a raft of spinal injuries ranging from minor to severe, and causing a great deal of unnecessary pain and suffering,” commented Dr. Gleiber, who focuses his practice exclusively on treating injuries and diseases of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. “Instead of getting better and stronger, people are heading in the other direction.”

To avoid damaging their spinal health and potentially causing lasting or permanent injury, in his article Dr. Gleiber offers four key recommendations for people who choose to use inversion tables:

1. Recognize that even if inversion therapy delivers some pain relief, the effects are temporary and only last while the person is upside down. As soon as the person returns to an upright position, their spine will revert to its previous, painful state.

2. It is essential to avoid “overdoing it” with inversion tables – either by staying inverted too long, or inverting the table too far. Furthermore, people should immediately stop using an inversion table if their symptoms get worse.

3. Inversion tables can lead to an increase in blood pressure, which puts an immense amount of stress on the circulatory system. As such, people who have high blood pressure, hypertension, or are taking blood thinners should not use inversion tables under any circumstances.

4. Inversion tables can trigger other adverse health conditions due to the intense pressure placed on the eyes and inner ear. As such, people with inner ear problems, glaucoma, retinal detachment, heart condition, fracture, osteoporosis or hernia should avoid using inversion tables. The same ban also applies to people who are overweight or pregnant.

Added Dr. Gleiber: “Frankly, in my practice I never recommend inversion therapy to my patients, since no reputable studies have indicated that it has any long-term effectiveness. However, I respect that some people may choose to use these devices. My bottom-line advice to them is to start slow, carefully monitor their symptoms and pain levels, stop at the first sign of discomfort, and always consult with their doctor before they use an inversion table to make sure that it is not going to put their health at risk.”

The full text of Dr. Gleiber’s latest article entitled “What Dangers Lie with Inversion Tables” is available on his website at http://michaelgleibermd.com/news/dangers-lie-inversion-tables.

Additional articles by Dr. Gleiber on spine health, pain relief, effective exercising and more are available at http://michaelgleibermd.com/news.

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