Exercise balls are constructed of soft plastic or elastic that is filled with air. They are used widely in athletic training to strengthen and tone muscles, but can also be includedas an integral part of physical therapy treatment.
The diameter of the ball, and the air pressure, can be tailored to each person’s height and weight in order to achieve the best results. The benefit of exercising with a ball, as opposed to a hard surface, is that the instability of the ball forces the body to constantly correct itself. In order to keep balance, the body naturally engagesa variety of deeper muscles.
Exercise ball therapy is particularly effectivein treating lower back pain. The body responds subtlety to the shifting center of gravity, and over time the core muscles that support the back become stronger.
Ball exercises and stretching techniques have been used to alleviate pain from many types of lower back pain, including:
Degenerative Disc Disease
The small range of movement and constant adjustment required can also reduce pain by stimulating a gradual increase in the natural pain inhibitors the body producesduring a physical therapy routine.
Exercise ball therapy can:
Improvecore muscle strength
Develop greater range of motion
Strengthen core muscles that control spinal alignment Increase blood flow and "nourishment" to the spinal discs Reduce stress on the lower back
Find out more about how a customized physical therapy routine can help you get relief from pain.