View Full Version : anyone have one of these and do they work? back pain help needed
07-26-2000, 10:46 AM
Does anyone here have, or have used, one of those contraptions that you lock your ankles into and hang upside down by them? (Like the thing Duece Bigalow Male Gigolo is swinging on when he breaks the fish tank}
My back just is killing me when I get off of work from doing a lot of hunching over to stock shelves. Would this be good for back pain? What is a good method to releive back stress/pain? Its all between my shoulder blades, oh the agony! I fell like I need a "rack" ala Spanish Inquisition to stretch it away. Btw, I don't have anyone who can administer a massage either. :(
07-26-2000, 11:10 AM
My mother-in-law has one. It's like an A-frame with a central axle, from which a six foot "bed" is attached. You hook your ankles into the clamps on one end, hang on, and the device inverts itself.
I have only tried it once and it scared the shit out of me. The transition from normal orientation to inversion happened far too quick - I felt like I was going to fall out.
You might be better off by doing some gentle stretching exercises. IMHO, you'd also be safer.
07-26-2000, 08:45 PM
Dunno about the gravity thing, but I happen to have experimented extensively with back pain. :(
Even if you don't have anyone around to con into giving you a massage, I've had good luck turning my body over to massage schools for the students to practice on. Most still charge a fee for this - it's a way for the students to earn a little money while they're in school. They're usually pretty good anyway, having been required to be at a certain level of expertise before they can stop torturing one another and start in on strangers. Additionally, it's usually a really nominal fee.
If you're around Boston, I HIGHLY recommend the Shiatsu school in Porter Square. I'm soOOoooo sad I moved from the area; I was a regular there. :) Otherwise, just look in the phone book under Schools.
07-26-2000, 10:13 PM
MSK, you might want to call around your area to gyms, and work out places that possibly carry that machine, and find out from those that not only use it, but people who have to help those customers stand upright again!
I have back problems too, and I bought one of those black, wrap around velcro magnet thingies that supposedly gives your back extra support. I don't know what the magnets do, honestly, probably nothing, but the thing DOES help my back not to hurt. It only cost about twenty dollars at Wal Mart. And it hasn't made me dizzy yet either! ;)
07-26-2000, 10:32 PM
I'm a big dabbler in back pain too. Sulindac is my best friend. It's prescription, and if you take it without food or regularly for too long, it'll rip up your stomach something aweful. But it sure makes the back feel better. It's a strong NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drug), so it doesn't impact your thinking or get addictive like narcotics.
I don't know anything about those upside down machines. If you try it and it works, please post so.
07-27-2000, 12:14 AM
MSK - I also recommend those black back supports (you don't need the magnets). It's required wearing in the warehouse at my company. My farrier (horse shoer) also uses one to help with the stooping and picking up he does.
07-27-2000, 09:45 AM
I'd be careful about mentioning the Inquisition this week.
Something a PT gave me which is pretty cool is a "roller"-- this 3 and a half foot long foam cylinder that you lay on so you are suspended along your spine (knees bent a bit, with feet resting about hip's-width apart) and all the muscles to the sides are free to stretch/ exercise back and forth (put a small pillow or somthing under your head to start, so as not to flatten out much farther than you are used to). After maybe 5 minutes you can roll off of it onto the floor and feel like you're lying in a hole. Try it with a rolled up towel or something for starters. Works for us.
07-27-2000, 09:53 AM
1) Since you're experiencing UPPER back pain, don't bother with most over-the-counter back medications like Doan's Pills, etc. I'd have a chiropractor check you to make sure, but it sounds like the pains is muscular or with the surrounding tissue, not the spine. In this case a chiropractor can do wonders. Also stretch your upper back muscles at every opportunity (not just at work) by pulling your shoulder blades BACK as far as you can. Incorporate a rotating motion for maximum effect.
2) Invest $40.00 in one of the 12 volt back/hip massagers like you can get at Sears. Then when you leave work you'll be getting your back massaged on the way home. I've had one for two years and when it wears out I'll replace it no matter the cost.
07-27-2000, 10:07 AM
I would say lay down on a hardwood floor or a rug. It usually straightens things out alright.
07-27-2000, 10:33 AM
I hear ya, my friend. I've been to massage therapists, chiropractors, physical therapists, and have had muscle relaxants and anti-inflamitories. It all comes from being a tall person working at a desk job which was designed for a small person. What I have learned:
Stength your abs. This will help your lower back. A good workout is to lie on the floor, perpendicular to a wall.Put your feet against the wall at a 90 degree angle, with your butt as close to the wall as possible. Bring one leg down to a 45 degree angle, and repeat for 10 reps. Do the same for the other leg. Repeat 3 times. This is a good excersize if your abs aren't strong enough to do crunches.
Stand in a door jam. Place one hand on each side of the door jam. Lean forward, stretching your shoulder-blade muscles, and do a couple push-ups this way.
Head rolls help.
Open a door (I use my bedroom closet door). Stand so that the door itself is to your immediate left. Reach up with your left arm and grab the top of the door, and hang off the door, stretching the shoulder muscle. Turn around and repeat with right side.
I'd get a back support, too. Good luck!
07-27-2000, 10:52 AM
I've just remembered a back support device I saw being used in a shearing shed. The shearer spends most of his working day bent over from the waist while wrestling sheep around and weilding the cutting comb. Not surprisingly, many shearers end their working life prematurely with ruined spines.
A few are now using a sling style device that hangs from the rafters of the shed above the stand. The sling slips under the arms and lays across the chest, and the wieght of the torso is supported by large high-tensile springs which tether the sling to the rafters.
I must admit that I have never seen this device, or anything like it, outside of the shearing shed.
07-27-2000, 06:52 PM
Youre supposed to lift with your legs, not your back.
07-27-2000, 08:29 PM
A friend showed me a simple exercise that really helped when my whiplash injury would act up. I think it would probably help with shoulders/upper back as well.
I simply bent over at the waist, knees straight but not locked, and hung there. She helped by doing a sort of chopping motion with the sides of her hands up and down my spine. (This would, I think, be something co-workers could do for each other without unease, as it is quite vigorous and not at all "massage-like.") I also do it alone, as gravity is quite effective.
After a minute or two, I can feel the vertebre separating. I stand up and feel, not only looser, but taller. It is amazingly helpful and very easy.
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