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Frequently Asked Questions

Invertabelt > Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Invertabelt System?

The Invertabelt System is an exercise protocol designed to treat low back pain using the individual’s directional preference. The Invertabelt isolates the spinal segment that is irritated specific exercises associated with the individual’s directional preference. Directional preference exercises correct the asymmetrical loading patterns developed through an individual’s daily habitual patterns. Once corrected, it monitors posture to maintain the proper loading pattern. The Invertabelt provides core strengthening and muscle stretching techniques to overcome muscle imbalance and continue to decrease the chance of back pain reoccurrence.

What is Directional Preference?

During normal activates the spine moves in two primary movement patterns: Bending forward (flexion) and bending backward (extension). 80% of patients with low back pain will experience directional preference. Directional preference is the position the spine is in (flexion or extension) that provides symptom relief or a positive symptom response.

What is a positive symptom response?

A positive symptom response is assessed through pain location. In general, regardless of the intensity of the symptoms, if the symptoms move closer to the spine that is considered a positive response.

Example 1: pain starts in the foot. After performing back bend (extension) exercises the pain moves up from the foot to the buttocks.

Example 2: Pain is across the entire back and the symptoms are the size of a watermelon. After performing backbend (extension) exercises the pain moves to the center of the spine to the size of a baseball.

In both these examples the pain moved closer to the spine. This is considered a centralization phenomenon and is considered a positive symptom response.

If a spine movement (backbend or flexion) consistently creates a positive symptom response that movement pattern is considered your direction preference. This motion should be performed more often to provide symptom relief.

What is a negative symptom response?

A negative symptom response is assessed through pain location. In general, regardless of the intensity of the symptoms, if the symptoms move further away from the spine that is considered a negative response.

Example 1: pain starts in the butt. After performing forward bending (flexion) exercises/or activity the pain moves down from the buttocks to the foot.

Example 2: Pain is isolated to the spine around the size of a baseball. After performing forward bending (flexion) exercises/or activity the pain moves to the across the entire back to the size of a watermelon.

In both these examples the pain moved further from the spine. This is considered a peripheralization phenomenon and is considered a negative symptom response. This motion should be avoided more to decrease symptom provocation.

What normal daily activities are associated with bending forward or flexion of the spine?

Bending, sitting, transitioning from sitting to standing. If symptoms decrease with these activities then the directional preference is flexion. If a negative symptom response is experienced with these activities then your directional preference (spine position that improves symptoms) is extension.

If I have pain with Flexion activities what exercises should I perform?

Any exercises that promote back bending. Posture should be monitored as many times when one is slouched or the spine stays in a flexed position. Monitoring posture can maintain a neutral spine position or extended positioning allowing less provocation to the spine.

Which back bending exercises should I start with?

Exercises lying on one’s stomach unloads the spine and are less aggressive. Start with smaller movements exercises (stomach lying) and move towards exercises that have more back bending motion (one elbows or press up). Vary the degree o pressure using the foot strap. Standing exercises are added next to tolerance. Remember if exercises are progress and a negative response begins, move to a lower pressure.

What normal daily activities are associated with back bending or extension of the spine?

Standing up right (not bend over even slightly), walking up right. If symptoms decrease in these activities then the directional preference is extension. If a negative symptom response is experienced with these activities then your directional preference (spine position that improves symptoms) is flexion.

If I have pain with back bending or extension activities what exercises should I perform?

Any exercises that promote forward flexion or bending forward exercises

Which bending forward exercises should I start with?

Exercises lying on one back unloads the spine and are less aggressive. Start with single knee to chest and then double knee to chest. Seated exercises such as single knee to chest in seated or forward trunk bending while holding on to both legs. Lastly standing forward back is the last exercise progression. Remember if exercises are progress and a negative response begins, move to a lower pression.

What directional preference is more common?

Extension exercises is most common treatment pattern for low back pain. Individuals between ages of 20-65 that sit long periods of the day or have significant repetitive bending fall into this category. Flexion exercises is far less common and are typically associated with age population of 70 years old and above. Be carful to assess what symptoms truly relieve and aggravate your symptoms. Many times, even individuals above the age of 70 years old still respond to back bending exercises.

What are the benefits of using The Invertabelt System?

Common treatment for symptoms associated with low back involves moving the spine into a back bent or extended position. When the back is in spasm the Invertabelt Isolates and extends the exact segment needed to reduce symptoms similar to many manual therapy techniques performed in the therapy clinic. The Invertabelt provides a systematic evidence based exercise protocol designed to reduce back pain and keep it away for good. Techniques that were once only available in the therapy clinic can now be self-applied multiple times a day.

Why do we treat most spine pain with extension or back bending?

Most spinal conditions occur because of the high ratio of bending forward versus bending backwards during the day. The average person will bend forward more then 3500 times versus bending backwards 100 times per day. Our postural habits and positioning throughout the day tends to draw the spine into a forward bent position which causes spinal loading asymmetries and tissue irritation.

What does excessive bending do to the spine?

Excessive bending occasionally causes asymmetrical loading patterns of the spinal disc. The disc is a pliable structure and when loading excessively in one direction the disc material can begin to shift backwards. This backward shifting of the disc causes increase strain and pain on the spinal structures.

What will I receive with the Invertabelt System?

The Invertabelt is to be used in conjunction with a physical therapist or medical professional. The exercises administered by the physical therapist should be followed precisely. In addition to the instructions given by your therapist, exercise instructions, video and diagrams are provided and can be accessed through the company website. Instructions on website are adjunct in nature and are not designed to diagnose and are not be used or implemented in place of medical advice.