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Back pain can be life-altering, and it's a problem plenty of people face. More than 31 million Americans have lower back pain at any given time, and an estimated 80 percent of folks will have back pain at some point in their lives.
If you struggle with back pain, you know you'll do nearly anything to make it go away. But experts say you don't necessarily need to shell out for fancy treatments: Something as simple as an exercise ball may provide relief — and even keep your pain from coming back. Heads up: Right now, you can snag the mega-popular UrbnFit exercise ball for just $13 (was $27) when you combine the on-page coupon and our exclusive code 41YAHOO22. That's over half off!
Why an exercise ball, though? "Using an exercise ball is a great tool to help with back pain," Dr. Dale O’Leary, a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist at Spectrum Health Outpatient Rehabilitation, tells Yahoo Life. "It can help with strengthening and stability."
An exercise ball can build up your core muscles, which are crucial to help manage back issues, Dr. Medhat Mikhael, a pain management specialist and medical director of the non-operative program at the Spine Health Center at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif., tells Yahoo Life. "Your spine is a column that is supported by ligaments, but it also has a lot of muscles supporting it, including your core muscles," he explains. "When your core muscles are weak, there's a lot of tension and load on the spinal column — and that can lead to pain."
But when you have a strong core, it helps support your spinal column and lowers your risk of back pain and tightness, Dr. Mikhael says. "An exercise ball can be a great way to strengthen core muscles," Dr. Mara Vucich, a physiatrist at the Maryland Spine Center at Mercy, tells Yahoo Life.
Experts say there are a few ways y you can use an exercise ball to reap the back-pain-fighting benefits:
Do bridges. O'Leary recommends this move: Lay down on the ground, belly up, with your feet on the ball. Lift your butt off the ground into a bridge while keeping your belly button drawn in. Squeeze your butt muscles in the process.
Planks. Holding yourself in a plank position with your bent elbows resting on the ball and your toes on the ground, can be a good way to build up your core, Mikhael says.
Do seated kicks. Sit up tall on the ball with your knees at 90 degrees. Pull your belly button in, and kick out one leg at a time. This works on your posture and stability, O'Leary says.
Sit on the ball. Work at a desk? Vucich says you can sit on your ball while you type. "You have to stabilize your core muscles to balance on the ball," she points out.
Ready to ease your back pain with an exercise ball? The UrbnFit exercise ball is a sizable 65 centimeters in diameter — perfect for your pain relief needs — and offers gym quality at home. It's made from professional-grade, anti-burst PVC to help it last. This ball is tough: It's designed to hold up to 2,000 pounds! The ball also has an easy-to-grip texture to keep you from slipping off.
Set-up is a breeze, too. Just use the included dual action inflation pump to quickly and easily blow up your ball. You'll be ready to roll in minutes.
Over 26,000 Amazon shoppers love this exercise ball. "I was very pleased with the quality of this ball," one five-star fan wrote. "I was just diagnosed with fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease and herniated discs. I needed a ball to do safe exercises at home between my physical therapy appointments. ... It is well made and easy to inflate, and definitely the right price."
A fellow happy customer also shared this: "I bought this for sciatic pain while pregnant. It causes so much tingling and numbness in my legs that I cannot sleep. I’ve had this for a few days now, and sitting on it for a few minutes before bed has helped so much!"
"I absolutely love this ball!" a satisfied user said. "I get one of the best stretches I have ever been able to do in my lower back using this ball."
Ready to try out an exercise ball for your back pain? The UrbnFit exercise ball is here to help.
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
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