News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Study Investigates Usefulness Of Swiss Ball

Media Release

22 June 2004

Study investigates usefulness of swiss ball in relieving low back pain

A University of Auckland PhD student is investigating the use of the swiss ball as an intervention tool for the treatment of one of the most common ailments in western society - low back pain.

Almost 80 percent of all people in western societies experience low back pain at some time in their life. In New Zealand, the cost to the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) of treatment for low back pain is more than $400 million a year.

Paul Marshall, a PhD student from the Faculty of Science's Department of Sport and Exercise Science, says the swiss ball is widely used in the recreational training environment, but there is little scientific evidence regarding the value of its use.

The Manurewa resident's research will provide information explaining why a patient improves with exercise, and whether the type of treatment given prior to commencing an exercise programme makes any difference to the final outcome.

"It is well established in the research literature that exercise decreases pain intensity and improves the ability of patients with non-specific low back pain to perform daily activities, but it isn't clear why this occurs."

Paul is working on a research project involving multiple treating clinicians throughout the Auckland region. The study is designed to evaluate how patients who have had chronic low back pain for at least 12-weeks, respond to a four-week treatment programme, and then how they respond if they are required to perform a 12-week exercise training regime. The exercise training regime culminated from a through investigation of several exercises using the swiss ball to determine how hard the muscles of the trunk region work.

Anyone interested in participating in the research can contact Paul directly on phone (09) 373 7599 ext. 82139.

The results of a pilot study carried out earlier this year found significant improvements in regard to the level of low back pain in patients.

As part of the pilot programme, patients with low back pain were divided into two groups with one group performing stability exercises using the techniques commonly taught for stability, and the second group performing similar exercises using the swiss ball.

"What I found was that patients who exercised using the swiss ball did slightly better than those who didn't, but there was significant improvement in both groups," says Paul.

After the four-week period both groups used the swiss ball for their training and patients continued to improve.

"What the study has shown so far is that the swiss ball is a good tool for people with low back pain and it works extremely well as part of a specifically designed exercise programme," says Paul.

Paul's study is expected to provide practical information for the administration of post-treatment exercise. He will present the results of his research later this year at the World Congress on Low Back Pain in Australia.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Salt River Songs by Sam Hunt

Colin Hogg, a longtime comrade of Sam, writes in his Introduction that, ‘There is a lot of death in this collection of new poems by my friend Sam Hunt. It’s easier to count the poems here that don’t deal with the great destroyer than it is to point to the ones that do.’ More>>

Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news