Back and Neck Pain
As demonstrated in the youtube video, the Gymnic Ball is a useful tool to combat many of the causes of back pain. This colorful, low tech, lightweight, and inexpensive device can also serve as a seating option in the home and office, making it a must-have. In this blog post, I describe how to choose the right size gymnic ball and how to use it for exercise safely. For best results, do these exercises first in the office with Dr. Oskardmay and then use the attached video in-between visits as a reminder.
The gymnic ball is also known as a therapy ball, physioball, stability ball, or balance ball. Many people first encounter these useful devices at their gym or therapy office, although, as described above, homes and offices host them as sitting alternatives as well. Athletic stores and other major retailers carry these for purchase. When choosing the best size for you for sitting or exercising, consider the following chart:
It is essential to get the right size so that your feet rest comfortably on the ground when using it. Additionally, when you inflate the ball using the included pump, you may choose to keep it slightly underinflated to add stability. The Gymnic ball is great to help develop strength and stability; choosing the right size and inflation level can add safety while using a vital component. If you are not accustomed to using a gymnic ball, practice sitting on it first, perhaps against a wall or even in the room corner for added stability.
In preparation for ball use, prepare your space. Move items with sharp edges and choose a flat area with several feet to move. As we go over in the clinic and, as demonstrated in the video, start the exercise by sitting comfortably on the gymnic ball, feet comfortably in front, arms outstretched. While pushing back into the ball, walk forward, allowing the ball to move with you as you roll your back over the ball. At the midpoint of the exercise, relax with arms outstretched overhead, with your head resting on the ball. This opportunity to stretch the front of the body should be enjoyable. After a few moments, reverse the movement to return to sitting on the gymnic ball.
The exercise is not easy to do, so do not get frustrated. If you have problems with dizziness on head extension, balance issues, or muscle weakness, talk with Dr. Oskardmay about modifications to this exercise. It may take several attempts before you can easily do the technique, but once you have mastered it, this helpful maneuver will aid in back pain prevention for years to come because it tackles several key problem areas. These areas include abdominal core muscle weakness, balance problems, leg weakness, and tightness in the front of the body.
For more information and to schedule an appointment, contact Acupractic for a consultation with our back and neck pain specialist, Dr. Lisa Oskardmay, DC, LAc.