Although common, arthritis of the spine can cause pain, stiffness and other symptoms that can seriously disrupt your life. For people who work at a desk, sitting in a chair all day can make these symptoms worse since office furniture is not always designed with the best ergonomics.
A recommendation that many doctors and physical therapists make is to spend at least part of the day sitting on an exercise ball, also called a yoga ball. If you’re wondering whether taking this step can possibly help your symptoms and make your work day easier, we’ve provided an overview of the benefits to give you more information.
Benefits of sitting on an exercise ball for spinal arthritis
An exercise ball is a large inflatable rubber ball that is used in exercise disciplines like yoga or Pilates to improve flexibility and core strength. The reason it has become a substitute for office chairs is because most chairs do not promote good posture and engagement of core muscles. People who sit at a chair all day, especially if they do not take activity breaks, can find themselves with a stiff back or neck at the end of a long shift. These problems can be compounded for people diagnosed with arthritis of the spine and it can potentially accelerate the development of the condition.
Using an exercise ball instead of a chair, even for part of the day, can promote the following benefits:
- A stronger core
- Better posture and spinal alignment
- A more flexible spine
- Less pressure on spinal nerves
Speak with a qualified instructor, such as a doctor or physical therapist, on the best way to use an exercise ball at work and to make sure you are cleared physically to use one. It is also critical to take frequent movement breaks and to try standing for part of the day, if possible. Sitting too long in any one position is not recommended, especially for patients with a spine condition like arthritis.
Other treatments for arthritis of the spine
Lifestyle changes like using an exercise ball and improving posture help many people find relief from arthritis of the spine, especially when combined with a comprehensive treatment plan that includes options such as physical therapy, medication, facet joint injections and therapeutic massage. Spine surgery can also be a viable treatment in certain cases, particularly if pain is severe and not responding to conservative treatments.
To learn more about arthritis of the spine treatment, including our minimally invasive spine surgery, contact the team at USA Spine Care today. Our outpatient procedures are a safer and effective alternative^ to traditional open neck or back surgery, offering many advantages to our patients.
If you’d like to find out if you’re a potential candidate for one of our procedures, we will gladly provide a free MRI review.*