About Tilt-Table Test
Tilt table testing is a simple procedure that tests your balance, coordination, and strength. You may have heard about torsion tables before. They are used to help patients with spinal cord injuries regain some movement in their bodies after they have been paralyzed from the neck down.
A patient lies on a flat surface (a table) with one leg extended out straight above the other. Two large springs are attached to the floor near the top of the table and then another spring is connected to a small pulley system at the bottom of the table. When you place your foot into contact with one of these two springs, it will cause your body weight to push against them causing them both to move up or down slightly. If you were to keep pushing against the springs without any force being applied to either one, they would remain stationary. However if you apply enough pressure, one of the springs will eventually fall off the table and land on your head. This causes your body weight to suddenly drop and then quickly return back up again until it reaches its original position. Your brain immediately recognizes this as a sign that your spine has healed itself and no longer needs support from a rigid frame such as a chair or bed. It releases the natural endorphins that cause you to feel happy.
Patients who have experienced this phenomenon include people with multiple sclerosis and other forms of paralysis as well as those with back injuries caused by serious accidents or diseases such as muscular dystrophy. Unfortunately, this is not a benefit that can be enjoyed by everyone. This process is also known as ” Dry needling ” in other types of medical circles.
Physicians think that this procedure helps a person’s body regain the ability to heal itself and promote new nerve growth in damaged areas of the spinal cord. The room must be kept completely dark during the procedure because even small flashes of light can be enough to cause nerve damage known as photosensitive epilepsy. This is a condition where an otherwise normal person suddenly has a seizure while looking at an image in a mirror. If you are unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, then it would be terrifying to experience.
How Does a Tilt-Table Test Treat Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
A tilt-table test is used to see if your body can naturally heal itself from the effects of fibromyalgia or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).
These two conditions affect millions of people every year. Some people live their whole lives with pain, exhaustion and other serious side effects. In the past these conditions were thought to be psychosomatic or all in a person’s head.
Physicians now believe that an overactive nervous system can cause many of the same symptoms as these conditions. This means that in some cases the brain can be causing a person’s muscles to tense or become weak without any reason.
A tilt-table test can help reveal whether or not a patient’s condition might be psychosomatic in nature. This will help determine whether a treatment is needed to alleviate the symptoms caused by an overactive nervous system. A tilt-table is a flat board that is mounted on a vertical stand.
It can be set at a slight angle or it can be completely horizontal. The patient is strapped onto the board so they cannot fall off during the procedure. They are also hooked up to several different monitors and IV lines during the procedure. When the table is at a slight angle, this is called a ” Low-Friction Tilt Table”. It allows for a more precise way of controlling the patient’s position.
The patients are injected with a drug that has no effect on them at first. After several hours have passed, their body is tilted head-down at an angle of around 60 degrees.
They are kept in this position for at least an hour, sometimes longer. If the patient begins to vomit, pass out or have a seizure during the test then it is stopped immediately and the results are considered invalid.
If the patient makes it through the whole test without any major issues then the drug will begin taking effect. The patient will start to feel nauseous and will most likely start vomiting. They can also begin to feel light headed, have blurred vision and begin to sweat uncontrollably.
In some cases, the patient may even have a seizure.
The point of this procedure is to see if the patient can be cured by their body’s natural healing process. Many patients report that the days following this test are the most relief they have ever experienced from their symptoms.
Sources & references used in this article:
Tilt table testing for assessing syncope by DG Benditt, DW Ferguson, BP Grubb… – Journal of the American …, 1996 – Elsevier
Tilt table testing: concepts and limitations by BP Grubb, D Kosinski – Pacing and clinical electrophysiology, 1997 – Wiley Online Library
Utility of upright tilt-table testing in the evaluation and management of syncope of unknown origin by BP Grubb, P Temesy-Armos, H Hahn, L Elliott – The American journal of …, 1991 – Elsevier