2021 Volume 33 Issue 11 Pages 801-808
[Purpose] We have previously shown inversion therapy to be effective in a small prospective randomised controlled trial of patients with lumbar disc protrusions. Our purpose now was to measure symptoms and to compare the surgery rate following inversion for 85 participants with the surgery rate in 3 control groups. [Participants and Methods] Each of the 85 inverted participants acted as their own control for the “symptomatic” part of the study. In the “Need for surgery” part of the study, one control group was made up of similar patients with leg pain and sciatica who were referred to the same clinic in the same year. Two additional control groups were examined: the original control group from the pilot trial and the lumbar disc surgery waiting list patients. [Results] Inversion therapy relieved symptoms: there were improvements in the Visual Analogue Score, Roland Morris and Oswestry Disease indices and Health Utility Score compared with their pre-treatment status. Also, the 2 year surgery rate in the inversion participants in the registry (21%) was significantly lower than in the matched control group (39% at two years and 43% at four years). It was also lower than the surgery rate in the other 2 control groups. [Conclusion] Inversion therapy relieved symptoms and avoided surgery.