Submitted by Rich Maas PT, DPT, OCS, COMT from Springfield, Missouri

The concept of frequent gentle motion promotes healing was initially described by Hippocrates over 2400 years ago, and a plethora of scientific evidence continues to strongly support this phenomena. Utilizing an inexpensive deflated beach ball to promote gentle, friendly, pain-free motion to accelerate healing in the cervical spine was first introduced to me several years ago by Doug Kelsey PT, PhD, OCS from Austin, Texas.

Ninety to 95% of my cervical patients have responded very well with this in the early stages of treatment. I have also observed a better response if the shoulders/arms are supported, for example with pillows or towel rolls, especially if it involves the cervical nerve roots or thoracic outlet syndrome.

It’s not only a take home exercise, but an inexpensive potential marketing tool with your clinic’s logo information. This 6 inch diameter beach ball can be easily attained through your promotional product vendor (cost is 1.59 each with imprint or .85 each blank ball plus shipping, with a minimum of 100 balls).

References:

  1. Hippocrates. Regimen I (translation by WHS Jones). In: Vol. IV, Heracleitus, On the universe, William Heinemann Ltd, London: GP Putnam and Sons, 1931;289
  2. Andiacchi T, et al. Ligament: Injury and repair. in Woo SL-Y and Buckwalter JA, Editors: Injury and Repair of the Musculoskeletal Soft Tissues: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 1988; 103-128
  3. Buckwalter JA, Cruess R.Healing of musculoskeletal tissues. In Rockwood CA, Green D, Editors: Fractures: Lippincott, 1991
  4. Jarvinen MJ, Lehto MU. The effects of early mobilization and immobilization on the healing process following muscle injuries. Sports Med. 1993;15(2):78-89
  5. Klein L, et al. Prevention of ligament and meniscus atrophy by active joint motion in a non-weight bearing model. J Orth Res. 1986;7:80-85
  6. Long M, et al. The effects of motion on normal and healing ligaments. Trans Ortho Res Soc. 1982;7:43

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