Thursday, February 5, 2009
Swiss Ball to The Rescue!!!
Yeah, I know I haven't been posting much these past few days, but I have a fairly good reason... my back has been driving me crazy, and that makes sitting at the computer for log stretches somewhat difficult. However, I decided that enough was enough, and I had to bring an old friend back into my life and have it help me get back to my regular self as soon as is feasible.
Who is that old friend, you may ask? It's name is "Swiss Ball", or at least that's what I've been referring to them as as long as I've been using them, which is the better part of fifteen years off and on. Swiss balls are large, heavy-duty inflatable balls. they have a diameter anywhere from 45cm to 75 cm ( or 18 to 30 inches). It's been used for lots of different things over the years, including exercise, Pilate's, sports training, stability training, yoga, and even birthing, but for me the greatest value of a Swiss Ball, especially in my current reality, is that it becomes the replacement for my main chair.
Whenever a person has a trunk injury (in this case, my back) there tends to be a slow process of rehabilitation and healing that takes place. In addition to trying to get mobility back to the spine, lower back and hips, there is also the challenge of trying to make sure that adequate stimulation (in an appropriate manner and over an appropriate amount of time) gets placed on the affected area. This is where the Swiss Ball is worth its weight in gold. By replacing the chair with the ball, the person sitting on it has to constantly adjust their center of gravity and move along with the ball. this makes sitting an active event rather than a passive one, and it allows the back to stretch and roll during an extended period. Over the past few days, I have found putting this little device into use has done a great deal to increase my overall comfort for when I have to sit for extended periods (and let's face it, as a computer type dude in my work life, I have to sit a *lot*).
there's one other benefit to having this ball as a chair as well. Whenever I feel like the back is getting too compressed or the affected muscles start to spasm or ache, it's an easy thing to just rock back and use the ball to stretch out the affected area, and then to lean forward and get a great stretch to both the lower back and my hamstrings as well.
So here I am back in the saddle, or I guess in this case, riding the hippety hop (to borrow a mental image from a friend of mine when I told him i was using a Swiss Ball for a Chair... he commented that he was going to replace his office chair with a Hippety Hop, and that the handle was actually quite useful... the funny thing is, not only can I see him doing this, I think he may be on to something (LOL!).