- With Mayo Clinic physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist
Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.read biographyclose window
Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
Dr. Edward Laskowski is certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, including subspecialty certification in sports medicine, and is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He is co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center and a professor at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.
He has been on the staff of Mayo Clinic since 1990 and specializes in sports medicine, fitness, strength training and stability training. He works with a multidisciplinary team of physical medicine, rehabilitation and orthopedic specialists, physical therapists, and sports psychologists.
Dr. Laskowski is an elite-level skier and an avid hiker, cyclist and climber. He approaches sports medicine from the perspective of a physician and an athlete.
In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Laskowski to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and he has received a Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Health and Human Services for his contribution to the Council.
Dr. Laskowski was a member of the medical staff of the Olympic Polyclinic at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and has provided medical coverage for the Chicago Marathon. He serves as a consulting physician to the National Hockey League Players' Association and is a featured lecturer at the American College of Sports Medicine's Team Physician Course.
Dr. Laskowski, a Cary, Ill., native, has contributed to Mayo Clinic's CD-ROM on sports, health and fitness, a website guide to self-care, and hundreds of Mayo Clinic articles and booklets in print and online. He is a contributing editor to the "Mayo Clinic Fitness for EveryBody" book, and he has presented lectures throughout the world on health, fitness and sports medicine topics. His teaching expertise has been recognized by his election to the Teacher of the Year Hall of Fame at Mayo Clinic.
"There are many myths and misconceptions about exercise and fitness in general, and also many traditions that don't stand up to scientific scrutiny," he says. "My goal is to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on sports medicine and fitness topics in a way that you can practically incorporate into your life."
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- Inversion therapy: Can it relieve back pain?
- Prolotherapy: Solution to low back pain?
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Inversion therapy: Can it relieve back pain?
Does inversion therapy relieve back pain? Is it safe?
from Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
Inversion therapy doesn't provide lasting relief from back pain, and it's not safe for everyone. Inversion therapy involves hanging upside down, and the head-down position could be risky for anyone with high blood pressure, heart disease or glaucoma.
In theory, inversion therapy takes gravitational pressure off the nerve roots and disks in your spine and increases the space between vertebrae. Inversion therapy is one example of the many ways in which stretching the spine (spinal traction) has been used in an attempt to relieve back pain.
Well-designed studies evaluating spinal traction have found the technique ineffective for long-term relief. However, some people find traction temporarily helpful as part of a more comprehensive treatment program for lower back pain caused by spinal disk compression.
Your heartbeat slows and your blood pressure increases when you remain inverted for more than a couple of minutes — and the pressure within your eyeballs jumps dramatically. For these reasons, you should not try inversion therapy if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or glaucoma.Next question
Prolotherapy: Solution to low back pain?
- Chou R. Nonpharmacologic therapies for acute and chronic low back pain: A review of the evidence for an American Pain Society/American College of Physicians Clinical Practice Guideline. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2007;147:492.
- Clarke J, et al. Traction for low back pain with or without sciatica. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2010;CD003010. http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews. Accessed April 28, 2011.
- Haskvitz EM, et al. Blood pressure response to inversion traction. Physical Therapy. 1986;66:1364.
- Lamarr JD, et al. Intraocular pressure response to inversion. American Journal of Optometry & Physiological Optics. 1984;61:679.