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The effects of inversion chair therapy on intraocular pressure and systemic blood pressure

8 May 1986


Intraocular pressure (lOP) was recorded before, during, and after the use of an inversion chair by 11 young, healthy, male subjects. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures (BP) were also measured. Subjects were seated on the chair while baseline lOP and BP measurements were taken. The subjects were then rotated 1800 to e head-down (inverted) position. The hips and knees remained flexed and the subjects were supported at the hips by the chair. lOP and BP were measured after the subjects had been inverted for 2 1/2 minutes and again after 5 minutes. Subjects were returned to e sitting position and lOP and BP were recorded after 2 1/2, 5, 7 1/2, and 10 minutes. Subjects remained at rest during the test. Mean upright right eye lOP increased from 12.5 mmHg to 25.1 mmHg end mean upright BP increased from 117.3178.9 to 140.2/106.7 mmHg after 2 1/2 minutes of inversion. Both lOP and BP remained elevated during inversion and returned to near normal values after the subjects were once again placed in the sitting position. Since lOP rose significantly during inversion, use of this chair or other types of inversion devices may be contraindicated for patients with high blood pressure, glaucoma, and ocular hypertension.

One subject developed a subconjunctival hemorrhage es a result of the inversion. This indicates that inversion therapy should not be undertaken by persons with vascular changes, such as those which occur in diabetes.


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