Exercises on a Swiss Ball Help Back Pain Patients!

swiss ball exercise

Back pain is an enormous problem in the USA.  As many as 31 million Americans live with it and 50% of American workers complain of back pain, often compelling them to lose days at work.

Many cases of back pain are not due to serious underlying issues.  Rather, they arise because of a weakened core area.  The core consists of the musculature of your mid-section, down to the stabilizing work of the gluteus muscles.  It’s about more than six-pack abs.  In fact, the muscles underneath the six-pack are more important for core stability (even though a six-pack is nice to have).

Exercises on a Swiss Ball help back pain patients by strengthening these muscles, improving the alignment of the spine and your posture.  When your core is strong, you’re much less likely to have a painful back, so let’s see how these exercises can help you relieve back pain by making you stronger.

Warm Up!

Before you even think about starting with these exercises, ensure you’ve taken a few minutes to warm yourself up.  That means stretching out your back, shoulders, glutes and lateral abdominal muscles (along your sides).  Being ready means getting the most from what you’re about to do.

Back Extensions

This exercise strengthens the paraspinal group of muscles at the base of your spine and serves to stretch out the abdominals.

Lay across your Swiss Ball, with your legs extended behind you and your toes anchored on the floor.  Drape the top half of your body over the ball.  Now place your fingertips just behind your ears.

Next, slowly lift the upper part of your body up.  As you do so, concentrate on engaging the muscles of your lower back and squeezing your shoulder blades together.  Hold for 5, then slowly release into the ball.  Repeat 10 times.


Bridging performed with this tool creates greater instability, challenging you to maintain form.  Your entire core is worked with this exercise.

Lying on your back on the floor, place your calves on the Swiss Ball, with your legs extended and your arms on the floor beside you, palms facing down.

Now, position your feet flat on the ball.  Next, pull your hips up off the floor, creating a straight line between shoulders and knees.  Hold for 10.  Repeat 5 times.  Work your way up to 10.

Lower Back Stretch

Back pain patients love this one because it feels amazing.  The effect mimics gentle traction, allowing your back to stretch.  This is especially good before and after other exercises being performed.

Sit on your Swiss Ball, maneuvering yourself into a position whereby your perching on it.  With your feet planted on the floor, gently lean back and open your arms until your body is completely relaxed.

Maintain this position for a count of 30 seconds and repeat 10 times.  This can be interspersed with the other exercises described in this post.

Back & Body Medical

People with back pain have a multi-disciplinarian team of pain relief specialists at Back & Body Medical.  Contact us.

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