T Nation

Spinal Decompression

I would like to hear about inexpensive ways of decompressing the spine. I definitely want to do something to decompress my spine. Unfortunately my present health insurance does not cover such things as VAX-D or DRX9000 (about which I have heard wonderful things).

Can anybody give advice or point me to a thread where this has possibly already been discussed. Thanks.

I bought a Teeter Hangups F7000 inversion table last year for about $350. The design and construction are excellent. If you want a home inversion table, I recommend it.

After a few weeks I realized that I don’t enjoy hanging upside down by my ankles, so I stopped using the inversion table.

Instead I just hang from a chinning bar frequently throughout the day. I also periodically lift myself partially from my chair by pressing down with my hands on the arms (as if doing dips in a chair). I find that I can get a good stretch in the lumbar spine by lifting only part of my body weight. My feet stay on the ground, my butt rises a few inches, and there’s a downward force on the lower part of my spine.

Of course I can hold these stretches for only a minute or two at a time, whereas a person could stay in a decompression device for much longer periods. But I make up for this by doing these stretches very frequently throughout the day. This has a powerful effect.

http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=07-023-feature

This may be of help. Also, do a search for Mister Spine, an article by Stuart Mcgill.

Reverse hypers then remain in relaxed (bottom) position. Even better if you can hang weight from your feet while relaxing the hips/low back.

It acts as traction for the spine.

I was shown a very simple but great exercise I do the first thing before my workouts and between sets on any exercise that heavily loads my spine. It may not have the impact of the devices you mention, but it has been a big help.

You need to hang completely free from a chin-up bar, legs straight down and your body relaxed. Then slowly build up the muscle tension and tighten completely up - not to an extreme level mind you - hold for just 2 or 3 seconds and just let it all go - breath out. Don’t drop of the bar off course.

Do this two or three times per “set” and you should see some results. It always does a nice job of getting the length back in my spine.

[quote]jiobaobubai wrote:
You need to hang completely free from a chin-up bar, legs straight down and your body relaxed. Then slowly build up the muscle tension and tighten completely up [/quote]

What do you mean by “tighten completely up”? Do you mean that you should hold your breath and tighten your core as you do when, say, doing squats?

Gravity boots at new york barbell. great for this, also awesome for ab work

Phill

[quote]entheogens wrote:
jiobaobubai wrote:
You need to hang completely free from a chin-up bar, legs straight down and your body relaxed. Then slowly build up the muscle tension and tighten completely up

What do you mean by “tighten completely up”? Do you mean that you should hold your breath and tighten your core as you do when, say, doing squats?

[/quote]

I tighten from my hips up to my hands - the only part that does not tighten are the legs (the butt does tighten). Again, take a few seconds to build up the tension - it’s a matter of trying it some and getting good tension without turning red and busting out your veins - it’s not that intense. I do not hold my breath, but I am only holding final tension no more than 3 seconds. Breath is shallow and the core is rock solid. The release is where is all happens - build to tension - then relax.

Once you release (relax)you should feel your hips drop slightly from your upper body. Let the air rush out of your lungs at the release - no need to push it, just “let” it out as fast as possible. The hardest part of it is really in the release stage - learning how to actually and completely relax the back without letting go of the bar!

[quote]Phill wrote:
Gravity boots at new york barbell. great for this, also awesome for ab work

Phill[/quote]

Agreed, I’ve recently fallen in love with inverted crunches.