How Exercise Balls Help Lower Back Pain

Before attending professional physical therapy for lower back and post-surgical neck pain and range of motion problems, I wondered how people used exercise balls. They seemed like nothing more than a fitness fad or over-sized toys to me. However, after going through professional physical therapy every other day for the past several weeks, I’ve learned how exercise balls help lower back pain. They’ve certainly helped me. On a pain scale from zero to 10, I’ve gone from an eight to having almost no lower back pain. The results of exercises and stretching were almost immediate, and I couldn’t have done it without seeking professional physical therapy.

Depending upon your medical condition and physical therapy needs, exercise balls could become part of your at-home PT program. After all, physical therapy won’t help for long if you don’t follow through after your professional program has ended. I was told to do my exercises twice a day, and I did. If I didn’t and lied to my therapist, he wouldn’t have been hurt. He wasn’t in physical therapy. I was. The continuation of an at-home therapy program is vital for long-term success, and contrary to popular belief, it’s possible to buy many if not all of the tools that are used in professional facilities.

Before Starting a Pain-Relieving Exercise or an At-Home Physical Therapy Program

The following exercises were provided by my physical therapist as part of my personal treatment program. How exercise balls help lower back pain will naturally vary according to a person’s physical condition and their individual needs. Consult your healthcare provider before doing these or any other exercises or movements. The information herein is not meant to replace professional healthcare or physical or physiotherapy. It’s an account of my experiences and how exercise balls help lower back pain in regards to my specific condition. Your needs could be entirely different. Proceed with caution, and consider seeking a physical therapist for an evaluation if you haven’t yet. Many offer a free injury assessment.

Back and Forth Hip Rolls with a Straight Torso

Poor posture can cause or contribute to lower back pain if the problem isn’t acknowledged and corrected. Strengthening the core while improving posture can make a tremendous difference in how the back feels. Sit on an exercise ball of the appropriate size. Your feet should be flat on the floor, and your thighs should be level. While keeping your torso and neck straight and your shoulders back, gently roll your pelvis forward and back. You will likely feel your thighs tighten as you go, but as long as your posture is good and your pelvis is creating the movement instead of your legs, you’re doing the exercise correctly.

Rotating Clockwise and Counterclockwise with Your Torso Straight

When wondering how exercise balls help lower back pain, try another simple exercise. You might feel immediate results. While sitting squarely on a ball of the appropriate size, rotate your hips counterclockwise without moving your torso for one full minute. Set a timer or watch a clock, and rotate your hips in the other direction for another minute, or as long as you’re comfortable. Balancing will take a little getting used to if you haven’t used an exercise ball before, but you’ll catch on quickly. If I can do it, anyone can. Believe me!

Gentle Bouncing with Good Posture

Another exercise that I’ve been doing in physical therapy seems a bit silly, but it’s designed to help the hips. Lower back pain can be caused by hip problems. Gently bounce while sitting on the ball, and be sure to maintain good posture. Gently bounce while seated for one minute straight. Back pain is often caused by years of bad posture, but how exercise balls help lower back pain depends largely on the problem. Besides years of bad posture, I also have a very low herniated disc. I’ll save that topic for another article on stretches that can help.

How Exercise Balls Help Lower Back Pain

I know how exercise balls help lower back pain because they’ve definitely worked for me. All of the aforementioned exercises along with hamstring stretches have significantly reduced my pain level. Those who dismiss physical therapy and think that it won’t help are only hurting themselves. They’re either under-informed, or they’ve been misinformed. I used to wonder how physical therapy would really fix anything, but it has made a tremendous difference for me.

How Exercise Balls Help Lower Back Pain

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I inquired on exercise ball sizes at the physical therapy facility, and my therapist recommended Black Mountain Products Anti Burst Exercise Balls. The style pictured to the left comes in three colors including purple, blue and the black. After learning how exercise balls help lower back pain, I had to have them and not just one. I want four starting with the smallest on up. I know a number of other exercises to strengthen my neck muscles, arms and back. 

The black ball that you see on the left ranges from 45 cm up to 85 cm, and the blue and purple balls range from 55 cm to 85 cm. They’re very highly rated best-sellers, and for very good reason. Each one can withstand at least 2,000 pounds of pressure. They’re not going to burst, and they’ll last a lifetime when properly inflated and stored. I’d rather pay a little extra for quality exercise, fitness and physical therapy equipment than have to replace them with items that I could have purchased in the first place. How exercise balls help lower back pain will depend upon the quality, and these are ideal for continuing at-home physical therapy.

Storage Options for Exercise Balls

Ways to Store Exercise Balls

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Many people avoid buying exercise balls to help lower back pain because they don’t know how or where to store them. They take up lots of space. However, Storage Racks for Exercise Balls are readily available, and the one pictured to the right is ideal since it can be mounted along with others in any formation desired. At least they won’t take up valuable floor space. It’s the storage solution that I prefer since my bedroom is small.

My exercise balls will become part of my decorating scheme. I plan on placing peel and stick petals on the wall around each one to make the exercise balls look like the centers of flowers. I don’t want to store them in the basement or the garage. Items that are out of sight are out of mind, and I plan on regularly using mine since I know how exercise balls help lower back pain.

Consider Seeking Professional Physical Therapy if You Haven’t Already

I want to teach others how exercises balls help lower back pain and encourage them to seek professional physical therapy if they haven’t already taken that step. You have to take charge of your care and do all that you can to help yourself. If you don’t, no one else will. I want to do all that I can to improve the quality of my life. It’s the only body that I will ever have. I can attest to the fact that pain and loss of mobility significantly reduces physical and emotional well-being. I want to live pain-free, but prescription meds and even surgery can’t fix everything. However, physical therapy exercises really can make a tremendous difference. How exercise balls help lower back pain depends not only on how they are used, but it also depends on whether or not they are used after professional PT is over.

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