My Rheumy Told Me To Get "The Ball"

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Mikie, Apr 15, 2003.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    You know, the big plastic ball you stretch on and try to balance on, etc. He thought this would be an ideal exercise for people with FMS. I stopped and bought a small one (they are sold by the height of the user).

    Is anyone else here using this? It came with a video, so I need to inflate it and watch the video. Just wondering whether anyone here has used it and whether it helped, hurt, whatever. Thanks!

    Love, Mikie
  2. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    I used a large one in Physical Therapy for my DDD and it really helped to stretch my tight back muscles. I wish I had room for one like that at home (it was REALLY big).
    I hope it helps you,
    Klutzo
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    As the rheumy thought the big ones are better, but the box stated which size is best depending on one's height, so I thought I would start out with what the manufacturer recommended. I may have to get a bigger one later. I do think they are probably good for balance. They had my Mom using one for her balance.

    I've seen people standing on them for the ultimate balance challenge and the idea tempts me, but I know I would fall on my rather generous arse if I treid.

    Love, Mikie
  4. JP

    JP New Member

    Hello Mikie,

    I have used one for some time now for stretching and strengthing. I also had a small one that I was using to strengthen my adductors. My dog helped herself to the small one...need to go shopping for a new one. Anyway, I love mine. I use it at the computer sometimes and in my family room while watching a little TV. If you sit on it for too long it can really make you sore. When you sit, you are using all of your muscles to balance yourself on the ball. I can really tweek my back if I'm not careful. The video is worth watching.

    Enjoy,
    Jan
  5. KayL

    KayL New Member

    I have 3 of them, small, medium and large. I started using the ball in physical therapy a few years ago. I use them at home now, usually the medium or large one (I'm 5'8" tall). They are great for stretching, and very low impact for other exercises.

    Karen
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I really feel that I will most likely get the large ball later on. At least, it's something new and different and that alone makes it worthwhile. I've always loved balls. I have a small fountain with a ball that spins on the water. I have one of those crystal balls with air bubbles, and I recently bought a hematite ball about the size of a racquet ball. Hematite is the element for balance. Legend has it that hematite was formed from Christ's blood as it fell on the ground. It's also called bloodstone, although it is a gunmetal gray metallic color.

    I have a set of those Chinese healing balls and have used them over the years. The first time I used them, I had a healing crusis (Herx).

    Once again, I digress, but something about working out with balls appeals to me. I noticed that there is a Pilates workout kit with small handheld balls too. Tai Chi uses an imaginary ball as the focus of some of the moves.

    Love, Mikie
  7. babyblues68

    babyblues68 New Member

    Good luck with the ball. A girl who used to go to my church used the ball in physical therapy, she has FM too. She says it helps her a lot. She liked using the large ball. She is about 5'4".

    My problem is having the motivation to do it regularly. Something I'm not good at is when it comes to excersice. I've always hated it.

    Tammy

  8. tandy

    tandy New Member

    I bought mine at walmart a couple months ago.Mine only came with a chart of all the different exersizes you can do with it....and tells what each exersize strenthens.
    Out of probably 12 different exersizes I find myself doing about 4 of them~Some of the others are pretty hard on me.But the ones that I do,I believe are helping~They are mostly mild exersizes and acually my boyfriend was watching me use it one day and broke my chops about.."Thats not gonna do anything"....Well I had him do a few the same as me,10 reps of just 3 exersizes.The next day he was surprized to have felt it in his shoulders and upper back!!(thats what he gets!!LOL)I must admit,it does seem easy because it usually only takes me about 14 minutes.But I wanted to go slow so I don't pay for it later. I like it!! I'm glad I bought it.I'd like a easy Video to go with it too.I think they're called swiss exersize ball.In case anyone wants to look online for one~(they are the same thing that they use in PT) I only do mine every other day.I hope to do it each day soon.My kids love to roll around on the thing too!!
    You will feel a little soreness,but not bad! Move it or lose it!!Good luck Mikie!
    ((hugs)),
    Tracey
  9. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    I was introduced to the ball in PT and have been using it for 3 1/2 years and have mentioned them in numerous posts on the board. They are wonderful. I believe you bought the proper size, when you sit your legs-thighs- should be horizontal to the floor,if your butt is a little low, put more air in it. The ball should be firm. If the ball is too big, you will not get a nice "stretch". The video that came with mine was good. BUT also there is a nice "exercise" we can benefit from. It's basically a do nothing exercise. Drape your body over the ball, make sure you are evenly balanced, and then---totally relax and stay in that position for however long it takes until you feel a "release" in your muscles. When you do, turn over do the same thing, then lay on your right side, then your left. The hardest part of this exercise is the waiting, it might be quite a while. But when you are done, you will feel SOOOOOOO much better.

    Have fun!!! Enjoy!!!! My ball is one of my BEST friends!!!! Fondly, June
    [This Message was Edited on 04/15/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 04/15/2003]
  10. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I was just goofing around doing a couple of the exercises and the thing took off by itself. I fell off and got a whiplash. Ball and video, $29.95; watching me make a fool of myself, priceless :)

    I do think I need the larger ball. I also need to get out my air compressor. The most exercise I got today was pumping this thing up. The little hand pump included just isn't up to the job. The fully inflated ball is supposed to be 22" in diameter and mine maxes out at 18" with the handpump.

    Thanks for all the responses. I'll try to get as much exercise on it as I can because I don't know what limitations I'll have after the surgery. I do know I can't lean forward for at least five days. Had to cancel my teeth cleaning.

    Love, Mikie
  11. KayL

    KayL New Member

    I know just what you mean about those little hand pumps that come with the balls! It's a workout just pumping them up for sure.

    I fell off the ball quite a few times in physical therapy, before I got used to it and got strong enough to stay on it.

    One good thing about using the ball for exercises, particularly crunches and exercises for your butt and thighs, is it really uses your core muscles, and those are crucial - strong core muscles to help support your back and body.

    You *can* overdo things on the ball though, just like anything else. Keep trying, but be careful!

    By the way, Mikie, what surgery are you having??

    Karen
    [This Message was Edited on 04/15/2003]
  12. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    Before you spend more money----I have the opportunity to use different sized balls at the gym, and having been doing this for three+ years, the most beneficial exercise for muscle stiffness/tightness comes by using the small ball. (Unless you are very tall. (I have tried the larger ball and could not achieve a release). It takes courage to blow that thing up to its full size, I was afraid it was going to explode in my face. Initially, just sitting on the ball is quite an exercise as you are using LOTS of muscles to balance. Go slowly. Once you body learns the new balancing techniques, the exercises will come much more easily.

    For those who asked about videos, Target sells great exercise videos for very reasonable prices, there are a lot of ball videos out there now but keep in mind, the manufacturers of those videos are trying to sell to the largest market they can to up their profits. One of the best things FMers can accomplish with use of the ball, is muscle/fascial releases. There is no video I have found for that.

    Mikie, sounds like you are having fun, enjoy!!! Fondly, June
  13. joannie1

    joannie1 New Member

    i am using it in PT and it is really something actually. I have troubles really bad with the lordic curve I think it is in my low back and with the help of my therapist she has had me bounce on it in a sitting position to find the correct curve that my pelvic is supposted to be in. I have used it for breathing techiques and she is going to show me more with it too. I have to take things very slow though she said due to my body being so off on everything right now. I think it is great though and she said it is something of the sort like water arobics because the ball takes the weight off our joints. i have to buy a 55cm to do the exercises she has in store for me. I hope you like it and I hope that it helps me to get back into walking more normal again. That alone would be a blessing..
    Love,
    Joannie
  14. kar1953

    kar1953 New Member

    I have been using the ball in therapy for the past couple of weeks. I HATE that darned ball!! :) They have me lay on my back with my heels on the ball. Then I lift my body up off the mat, keeping my back straight. That's the easy part. Then I have to roll the ball towards myself bringing my knees towards my chest & back out again. It is very hard for me to balance! I have been working on this for 2 weeks & can still do a max of 15. Then later that day I am soooo sore - my back & calves. The next day isn't too great either. Then it's time to go back & do it again. I had thought about buying one but if I'm going to feel worse after using it I'm not so sure.

    Molegirl, I don't mean to scare you away from the Ball, as you know everyone is different. There is another guy at therapy who does it with such ease.

    Good health to all............Kathi
  15. bluebirder

    bluebirder New Member

    that I bought him a few years ago for Christmas off my own website. Now though he has moved out and of course it went with him! I used to use it for stretching by sitting on it and moving just a tad from right to left and front to back. Sort of like tightening and releasing! I also would put my belly or chest on it and roll forward until I felt tension stretch and release.I think if I had not done those things before I was diagnosed with Fibro I may have been in worse shape now.I am doing everything I can to keep mobility as long as I can. I am going to put the ball on my "gift want list"..

    In PT following an accident the therapist had me put the ball on the wall at shoulder heights, with my arm straight out and both shoulders parralell to the wall make little circles both ways while leaning in just enough to keep ball on the wall. Just that gave me problems with my ankles so we adapted it with a stool for resting the worst foot on. It wasn't easy but I pushed through. My left side was worse than my right as far as wrist, elbow and shouler strain (not even mentioning the feet)

    She noticed I automatically do stretch and hold movements with feet, legs neck etc. She attributed the "suprised you have the range of motion you do" to my stretching. To me though shifting positions and stretching is what helps me keep going.

    I think the balls are good for us but we really need to be sure our use is appropriate. I'd take the ball to the Dr with me and ask for a demo of what to do and not to do with it. Like every other exercise one has to 'temper' the exercise by other limitations.....like the stool for my foot while doing the ball circles on the wall.
  16. marta

    marta New Member

    When I had physical therapy two years ago for my lower back, I worked with a ball (sized to fit my height). I bought one and use it now at home. I find that using it to gently exercise my abs (sit on ball, lift one foot off ground at a time, alternate) is helping. I can't do crunches or sit-ups so this is a good substitute. I use mine every morning after stretches and also one other time during the day, sitting on it while I watch TV.

    Some of the exercises are brutal though. Like everything else we have to be sensible. Darn it.

    Marta
  17. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I appreciate your info and the laughs.

    I bought my ball at Target. I know they are cheaper on sale, so I think I'll wait til they go on sale to get a bigger one. In the meantime, I'm going to blow this one up to size with my compressor. I need to check the tire pressure on my car anyway.

    Karen, I'm just having a little nip 'n tuck surgery next Mon. I'm getting a neck lift, an eyelid lift, and the doc is lasering the crinkled skin and crow's feel all around the eye. I'll probably be miserable for a while, but I'm trying to get myself ready to go back to work and I just look tired. It's part of my working on being a well person again. These illnesses have left me looking tired. I hope to look fresher even if I feel tired. I just got my health insurance increase, $200 more a month, so I definitely need to get back to work. I don't think SSD is every going to schedule my hearing. Hell will freeze over and I'll go bankrupt.

    Take care, y'all, and Happy Balling (oh, I'm soooo bad)!

    Love, Mikie
  18. KayL

    KayL New Member

    Mikie, I hope everything goes well on Monday. I'm almost envious! LOL

    Back to the Ball - if you get one at Target, check before you leave the store, that the proper size ball is in the box - I bought a *large* one there, and when I got home, a *small* one was actually in the box. GRRRRRRRR!

    PS - When you are recovered from your *nip and tuck*, will you let us see the *new you*???

    :)

    Karen
  19. jka

    jka New Member

    i've been using mine for a couple of months.i can't do a lot of the exercises.but for sit ups and leg exercises it's great. i wouldn't beable to do them since i can't lay on flat,hard surfaces.so mine has helped a lot.just don't over inflate.

    kathy c
  20. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    It's when I am rolling the ball up my back or arched backward over the ball. If I get even slightly off center, the thing takes off sideways and dumps me. I have rug burns, but I continue to try. This thing's harder than it looks. I do believe a larger ball will help.

    Karen, thanks for your good wishes. I'll post pictures as I go.

    Love, Mikie