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The two most common back pain machines used by back pain sufferers are inversion tables and spinal decompression tables, though other machines are available to help prevent or relieve back pain. Exercise machines designed to strengthen and tone the core muscles of the body are other back pain machines useful in alleviating or preventing back pain by strengthening the muscles that support the spine. Massage chairs can help ease pain caused by muscle tension, though these are usually not sufficient to alleviate severe or chronic pain; they are instead used as a temporary relief or relaxation method.
Inversion tables are designed to allow a user to safely hang upside down by the feet and ankles. This allows the spine to decompress; as gravity pulls on the spine throughout the day, the spine can essentially shorten, causing pressure on the spinal discs, which are flexible sacs filled with a gel-like substance. These spinal discs can lead to pressure on the nerves that run in and around the spine, thereby leading to back pain. Back pain machines are often designed to prevent this or alleviate the pressure on the spinal discs. Inversion tables do this by using gravity to pull the spine in the opposite direction. The user can easily invert or flip back to the upright position by using the pivoting table mounted to a frame. These back pain machines are not exceptionally expensive and can be used at home.
Doctors and chiropractors may use spinal decompression tables that take up significantly more space and cost far more money than other types of back pain machines. These large tables allow a person to lie flat with the knees supported and the lower legs affixed to a device that will gently pull the body in one direction. This machine can do this pulling incrementally, and it can be programmed to pull to the doctor's specifications. Spinal decompression machines must be operated by a doctor or other professional.
Some of the most common and easy to use back pain machines are exercise machines designed to strengthen the muscles that support the spine. A multi-functioning machine or home gym may offer the user options to strengthen stomach muscles, back muscles, groin muscles, and so on, since these muscles have a direct effect on the support offered to the spine. Weak core muscles will not support the spine adequately, potentially leading to back pain, while strengthening the core muscles reduces the likelihood of chronic pain and injury.
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