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April 8, 1983

Inversion Paresthesia

Author Affiliations

University of New Mexico School of Medicine Albuquerque

JAMA. 1983;249(14):1827-1828. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330380025015

To the Editor.—  The spread of participant athletics has spawned gadgets touted to improve athletic performance. The new "athletic aids" include special boots and mechanical contraptions to allow suspension of the body from the feet. This reputedly benefits backache and is said to cure hemorrhoids, stretch abdominal muscles, replace collapsed abdominal viscera, and improve muscle tone, blood flow to the head, mental function, and mood. The gadgets are also said to increase body height and improve posture. Almost all work by encasing the ankles in padded collars that are then suspended from a beam or crossbar. Recommendations vary from five to more minutes of inverted posture two or three times per day. We report pressure palsies of cutaneous branches of the superficial branch of the peroneal nerves associated with use of a mechanical device that allowed body inversion.

Report of a Case.—  A 54-year-old ultra-long-distance runner acquired a body inversion