The Effects of Gravity Inversion Procedures on Systemic Blood Pressure: Intra-ocular Pressure, and Central Retinal Arterial Pressure.
Gravity Inversion Boots (a device which clasps around the ankle joint and hooks onto a stationary horizontal bar allowing one to hang stationary in an inverted, head down position) is a popular method for traction and exercise now being used by an estimated one million people. Recent reports in the medical literature suggests that this device may be contraindicated in patients with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and ocular problems. In an effort to document physiologic changes which occur in the inverted position, twenty healthy medical students were subjected to a 3-minute inactive period of inversion. Systemic blood pressure, pulse rates, central retinal arterial pressure, and intraocular pressures were measured and found to be significantly elevated in all subjects. We speculate that this device may be contraindicated in certain patient populations, specifically hypertensives. Caution is advised in relation to people with spinal instability, suspected abnormalities in hemostasis, or with intraocular hypertension.