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Exercise ball for lower back

Peter BPPeter B Posts: 511
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Lower Back Pain
I was having a chat today with an elderly man who strongly recommended using an exercise ball for spine maintenance.
This is where you lie on your back over the ball and walk your legs along so that the spine is massaged.
Sounded very good at the time but having read a bit about it on this site, I'm wondering if it is a wise thing to do without proper guidance.
I'm prone to pelvic freeze, so the muscles there are weak and probably unstable.
Has anyone used one of these balls and would share their experiences with it?
His view was the all neck and back pain is caused by joints out of alignment.
I mentioned my muscle problems, but he didn't waver.
I don't agree, as it is a bit of both. One affects the other.


  • i love the exercise ball. :X it is a great way to work the core muscles which are a mainstay of our back muscles.. :D i am glad you found the info available here on the site.. there is enough guidance to get you started on your own. of course the problems with your back do dictate what you can do.. if you feel you need to, check with you doctor. :-C good luck! =D> jenny :)

  • but my surgeon told me that exercise using a fit ball is a great way to strengthen your core muscles. I got a beginners sheet of exercises from my chiro, who told me to be careful as I have an unstable spine.
    A word of warning; dont overdo it!
  • exercise ball, but I don't think that my PT would ever recommend that I use it with my back to it, massaging my muscles. I use it for CORE strengthening and stability training, but not in the way you mentioned. Perhaps go to a licensed physical therapist and learn the proper way to use the ball.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • The PT I was seeing and the NS were both very pro-exercise ball. One caveat though ... must have proper instruction from a qualified PT or PTA. There are many simple exercises that can be done that are great for working your core muscles, your balance and strengthening. Also just using one to sit on while on the computer, watching TV or at a desk job, is a great way to take a lot of stress off your spine.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    But before you even start to use one make sure that your doctor approves the use of it and also fully understand the type of exercises you can do.
    When I purchased one of those balls, the packet had scores of different exercises. However when my therapist documented what I could do, it was only about a half of dozen different exercises.
    As with almost all exercises for spinal patients, it needs to be customized to the individual.

    As "C" mentioned, there are other uses for those exercise balls. I have found it to be the BEST chair while working at the computer. As soon as you get the feel of using one,you will see that you have the correct posture for any spinal problem.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I've always wanted to try the exercise ball as a chair when I'm at my computer, but I'm afraid I'll have so much fun bouncing that I won't be able to type.
  • I liked the Paul Chek instruction, but my condition just doesn't allow most of the movements.

    Proper sizing of the inflatable to your body is important.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Thanks all for your helpful comments.
    I won't be rushing into this sort of thing, as I have doubts about my spines' stability.
    I'm probably past the time when it would have been useful.
    Will ask my medical people what they think.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    Its never too late.
    My last spinal surgery was in 2000..
    I still use the ball for exercise and as a chair from time to time
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • OMG my physical therapist had me doing wall squats with one of these. Feel the burn in the upper thighs.
  • My PT said for me to absolutly stay away from an exercise ball at this point. She said that where my back is now I would only hurt myself doing just about anything on one. I am doing a lot of isometric core strenghting and stretching and walking as my pain allows.

    This has been great advise for me, i have found that whenever I do too much with my back I end up down and out for days to weeks and in the long run I'm worse off for doing this. I'm not doing any long term harm to my back, but by putting me out and unable to even walk or stretch, this will hurt my progress in the long run.
  • I think I'm very much like you, and won't risk a setback.
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