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Can an inversion table help relieve sciatica?

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Sciatica is any pain radiating from your lower back into your buttocks or hips and lower extremities. A bone spur forming along the spine, a herniated disk or compression of a nerve can result in sciatica.

Individuals employed in occupations requiring them to remain seated for a long time (such as truckers or delivery drivers) must carry heavy loads and twist and turn a lot are also vulnerable to developing sciatica

Many people have been turning to inversion tables to alleviate the discomfort caused by their sciatica in recent years. The question is, how effective might inversion tables be at alleviating sciatica? 

How do inversion tables help with sciatica?

Therapists have been using inversion therapy to treat various back and neck problems patients experience, including sciatica. 

Gravity generally leads to a reduction in the space between vertebrae over time. Hanging upside down on an inversion table allows patients to reverse the toll gravity has had on their bodies, creating space between their vertebrae once again. Many patients’ back concerns dissipate because of this. 

As for whether inversion tables help with sciatica? Well, the jury is still out on that. Most studies conducted on the matter suggest that inversion tables may provide sciatica patients with some short-term relief of their symptoms. A research study conducted by the Mayo Clinic in 2017 revealed more promising results. They discovered that patients who used inversion tables were 77% less likely to require surgery than those who didn’t use them. 

It appears that those who may benefit most from using inversion tables, though, continue taking part in other therapist-approved exercises for their condition. Gradually extending one’s time on the table and increasing their angle may impact the benefits a patient derives, as well.

Addressing the sciatica pain brought about by your job

Sciatica is much like any other musculoskeletal condition in that patients often experience a gradual worsening of their condition over time. It may take a while before your bothersome, occasional back pain becomes persistent enough that it affects your job most of the time. You may be unable to work if you allow your sciatica to persist to that level. 

Fortunately, Georgia law allows you to claim medical care and lost wages when you suffer from a medical condition that has an onset in the workplace. Therefore, you shouldn’t delay receiving immediate treatment when the earliest signs of sciatica pain set in.