Posture Balls - how they can help back and neck pain
Have you considered using a posture ball (also known as a pilates ball or stability ball) as part of your back pain management?
The Posture ball is a very helpful tool in the management of back pain and neck pain - and I recommend it frequently to my clients. The ball can be used as a seat, or as a tool for exercising your lower back.
Posture balls are more commonly described as Pilates balls, Stability Balls or gym balls. People primarily use them as exercise balls to perform stretches and strengthening exercises. They are also used as an alternative to a desk or office chair.
Posture balls are excellent seats if used correctly. If you have the correct ball for your height your posture will be enhanced by it, once you use it correctly.
The beauty of sitting on a posture ball is that you obtain an active sitting posture as if you don’t sit correctly you will fall off the ball! So, once sized correctly your posture ball will encourage you to hold yourself in an active posture, strengthening providing you with automatic back strengthening exercises.
Get the correct size of ball.
Using the correct size ball for your height and weight is very important. If you use a ball that is too big or too small for you, you may do more harm than good in your back or neck pain management.
In my own physiotherapy practice, I frequently see people who have bought a posture ball that is too big for them. Not only does it take up more room than necessary, they are limited in effectiveness as an incorrectly sized posture ball will force bad postural habits or exercise or even worse cause painful problems. So, please be sure that you have the correct size ball for your height and weight, and are doing the correct exercises.
Posture balls typically come in three adult sizes:
- 55cm suitable for people who are up to 155cms.
- 65cm suitable for people who are up to 165 cms.
- 75cm suitable for people who are up to 175cms.
Furthermore, the correct posture exercises and techniques are equally important in order to avoid doing more damage to your neck or back.
What is the correct amount of time to use a stability ball each day?
The correct time to use your posture ball will vary depending on your health and weight. However, generally I advise people to use their ball regularly and daily for up to 2 hours at any one time. Unless you are in great health I would not use it for more than 4 hours a day. Seek professional advice if you are unsure.
While the content and materials contained in the articles on this website have been written & researched by Sally Ann Quirke, a professional, practising & fully qualified Chartered Physiotherapist (Physical Therapist) based in Ireland, they are provided for general information and educational purposes only. They do not constitute medical advice on any particular individual situation. Please see your Chartered Physiotherapist or other medical practitioner for full and individual consultation.
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