Wobble cushions are small round inflatable support pillows made of a flexible material that can be used to stand and sit on. The cushion creates instability, hence wobble, to engage the lower back, hips, and core muscles. They promote core stability, strengthen muscle tone, and improve balance and body posture. A flexible body helps in injury prevention. At Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic, we utilize innovative techniques and therapies to reduce stress, assist in healing musculoskeletal damage from injuries, disease, or conditions, and keep the spine and whole body healthy.
A common reason for back aches and pains is sitting for long periods. Individuals unintentionally slouch or hunch over as they go through their day, causing strain to the back muscles, gluteal muscles, core muscles, hips, and spine. This causes the lower half of the body to weaken and causes the top muscles to take up the slack to support the torso and lower body.
Muscle spasms can be the acute type that is forceful and involuntary, and chronic sustained stiffness, tightness, cramping, and pain. Lower back discomfort and/or sciatica symptoms vary depending on the cause, location, and severity of the strain or injury. Signs could be dull, burning, or sharp at a single point or over a broad region that could spread into one or both legs. Types of low back discomfort:
- Acute symptoms last less than three months. Most individuals with acute episodes will have at least one recurrence.
- Recurrent means the acute symptoms return.
- Chronic symptoms last longer than three months.
Encouraging active sitting improves posture allowing individuals to sit and stay focused for longer as their body awareness improves, reducing hunching, slumping, slouching, and fidgeting. Other wobble cushion benefits include:
- Decreased muscle stress and strain on the joints and ligaments, which improves proprioceptive sense or body awareness.
- Increases blood circulation and oxygenation throughout the body.
- Helps rehydrate the discs and circulate spinal fluid. Spinal discs do not have a direct blood supply; therefore, movement is required to pump and circulate healthy fluids.
- Allows more flexibility in the spine, hips, and core muscles.
- Improves overall posture.
The purpose of wobble cushions is not to provide comfort. They are supposed to be uncomfortable and unstable to make the individual sit up straight. The cushion can be placed on a chair or the floor to effectively practice balancing without putting pressure on the back, knees, or feet. They can also be used for practicing standing balance. Various factors to consider when looking for a cushion include:
- All play a role in determining the best option.
Discussing options with a doctor or chiropractor is recommended to ensure that the cushion meets your needs and preferences.
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Haksever, Bunyamin et al. “The Dynamic Innovative Balance System Improves Balance Ability: A Single-Blind, Randomized Controlled Study.” International journal of sports physical therapy vol. 16,4 1025-1032. 1 Aug. 2021, doi:10.26603/001c.25756
Honert, Eric C, and Karl E Zelik. “Foot and shoe responsible for the majority of soft tissue work in the early stance of walking.” Human movement science vol. 64 (2019): 191-202. doi:10.1016/j.humov.2019.01.008
Ostelo, Raymond Wjg. “Physiotherapy management of sciatica.” Journal of physiotherapy vol. 66,2 (2020): 83-88. doi:10.1016/j.jphys.2020.03.005
Shahvarpour, A et al. “Active-passive biodynamics of the human trunk when seated on a wobble chair.” Journal of biomechanics vol. 49,6 (2016): 939-945. doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2016.01.042
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