Can using an exercise ball help with degenerative spine conditions?

If you have neck or back pain as a result of a degenerative spine condition, such as a herniated disc, spinal stenosis or spondylolisthesis, performing certain low-impact exercises with an exercise ball can be effective in managing your pain from home, or even in preventing pain in the first place.

Spinal deterioration

The onset of a degenerative spine condition can be accelerated by an injury or a variety of lifestyle factors, but quite often, it is a result of nothing more than regular wear and tear over the course of a lifetime. In order to limit the effects of this wear and tear, one of the best things you can do is stay in shape with strong core, neck and back muscles. By strengthening the muscle groups that support the neck and back, you take pressure off the spinal column, help prevent injury and make recovering from an injury a much quicker process.

How to use an exercise ball to relieve neck and back pain

The benefit of an exercise ball is that it takes up very little room, is relatively cheap and is extremely beneficial in engaging a variety of muscles. Consider using an exercise ball for:

  • Weight training. Using free weights in conjunction with an exercise ball works more muscles and adds a level of balance compared to traditional benches.
  • Sit-ups and pushups. These exercises build stomach and abdominal muscles, as well as muscles in the shoulders and back.
  • Stretching. Flexibility training is particularly effective with an exercise ball.
  • Posture improvement. Many people sit on an exercise ball at work rather than a chair because it forces the user to maintain good posture and balance.

It is important that you consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program.

When conservative treatment is not enough

While conservative treatment options, such as working with an exercise ball, have helped many patients find relief from pain caused by a degenerative spine condition, there are cases in which nonsurgical treatment is not enough. If you continue to experience chronic neck or back pain, despite weeks or months of conservative treatments, surgery may be an option. Contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how our minimally invasive spine surgeries may be able to provide you with the lasting pain relief you require. To find out whether you may be a candidate for our procedures, ask about receiving a free MRI review.*