OsteoBall ?

Has anyone Tried the -OsteoBall with any success?
I have nothing to do with this site, but It sounds interesting, and possibly something that is a good exercise for Osteoporosis, and maybe Osteo-Arthritis that I also have.

Here is the website: http://www.bonefitness.com/


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Hi April: I don't know anything about this either so I hope one of the PT's jump in on this question. All I know is that it was designed and tested by a Dr at UCLA in CA, and of course he claims it works--not sure how. If you read the web site from UCLA, he did a clinical trial on it that says it improves bmd, but who knows??

Good luck in your search...

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Hi Windblown,
Thanks for your reply,

I'm thinking of calling that Dr. at UCLA, to see what he really has to say about it! I live in Ca.
Actually my Husbands best friend is Dean of Students at Ucla, maybe I should call him to ask if this is a Dr. from there.!

I did call once about an endorsment on a Nordic trac machine. The Women told me she bought one, but NEVER wrote that letter!

Take care,

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I bought an OsteoBall recently and plan on adding it to my exercise routine. It's pleasant and easy to use.

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I looked at the website. I think, from reading about it, the ball appears to be a mild version of stuff you get out of machines at a health club. It would be good for people who are not strong enough to make best use of health club machines or don't have an affordable health club in their area. But one must remember the no pain no gain principle in physical exercise. If it is not difficult, it isn't doing much good.

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Hey April: If you find out anymore about it can you let us know?

You live in a beautiful part of the state!! Is it cold there now? We're in the Mojave Desert. I grew up near UCLA.

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I bought the more expensive one because I think it's
made better and more comfortable to use. The OsteoBall is very easy to use. I'm all mixed up about physical therapy and always ending up with pains that lasts for several days, then it's back to therapy again. I'm trying pilates with a teacher that seems
safe and knowledgable in lieu of my severe osteoporosis, but I end up with pains after that too.
Now I can't tell if my body aches because my condition is getting worse or because of physical therapy and pilates.

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April995, I hesitate to give advice on exercising because I have no other problems besides the Osteoporosis and I have been exercising for the last 35 years. So this is general - any exercise you undertake, you should start out at a level where you will not do any injury to yourself (different from muscle soreness for a few days afterwards) and work your way up to build strength. In general, considerable effort should go into what ever you do and it should not be easy. Do not exercise while muscle soreness is strong. Once it fades, get back to it. The more problems you have the more skilled a personal trainer you need. A good one is worth the money. How do you find one? Beats me. I just found one whose program made sense. I have talked to too many who want your money, will train you like a high school jock .

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Hello Jacqueline, you shouldn't feel pain working with a physical therapist. You may feel some soreness from muscles that haven't been worked before, but definitely not pain. I would also be concerned about the Pilates instructor. I would ask the pilates instructor if they have checked www.therapilates.com. If not, I wouldn't continue with Pilates unless the instructor has taken classes with Sherri Betz or is very familiar with osteoporosis and Pilates. Have you consider working with the exercises in the NOF Boning Up With Osteoporosis and/or Sara Meek's book. In fact, I would also ask the PT if they followed the guidelines set by NOF and Sara Meeks. If not, you are not working with a PT that has the knowledge of osteoporosis and exercise. Also, a PT should do an evaluation of range of motion. If we were both working with the same PT, we probably would not be doing all of the same exercises. That is the benefit of working with a PT; that each person with bone loss is given safe, effective exercise for his/her specific osteoporosis. Sandi

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Thanks, Sandi and DBM. The pilates person I am
working with is well-trained in pilates but told me
today she is not a physical therapist. She knew
about Sherri Betz and said she heard her lecture.
She is very careful and engenders feelings of trust in me, and she is very successful and has a good
reputation in the area. However, I'm going to look
around a bit. This one cannot accept my insurance.
Maybe I can find someone good who can. I
spoke with Sherri Betz on the phone the other day,
and neither she or Sara Meeks can recommend anyone near me.

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Hi Jacqueline: I agree with Sandi, but I'd also like to add that some eager beaver PT's/Drs will ask you to do some range of motion tests that are contraindicated. If they ask you to try and touch your toes, for example, I wouldn't do it.

I asked Sarah and Lucy about this, and they say there are other ways to check your flexibility without bending forward from the waist (paraphrasing their comments). I did that many times, because I was actually demanded to do so, and it caused all sorts of pain problems, and possible additional injury. With that said, I have many other spinal problems and many spinal surgeries where bending from the waist is a bad idea for me. I guess it depends on how much damage you have in your spine, but I won't do this anymore, and the last PT I saw specifically said she "wouldn't" ask me to do the traditional bending forward range of motion since it could cause major problems for me.

Good luck, and any major pain is a signal that you are doing something contraindicated. Slightly sore muscle after exercise is one thing, but moderate to severe pain, after exercise is NOT.

Just remember we are all different and "have" to listen to our bodies to know what's good and bad to do.

I hope your feeling better...

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Windblown, thanks for adding. I can't imagine that a physical therapist that has knowledge of bone would ask a patient to touch their toes during a range of motion evaluation. It would be wise to interview the PT prior to be sure the PT has the knowledge of bone loss.

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Jacqueline, I would be very surprised if you found a specialized Pilates instructor that accepts insurance. Pilates is not an inexpensive form of exercise ... and throw in a specialty such as osteoporosis, the fee is often raised. But some physical therapy departments may have Pilates reformers and a PT on staff that work with patients on rehab Pilates Reformer. When you check around with physical therapy departments, you may think to inquire about a Pilates Reformer; which in my opinion is much better than mat Pilates when working with patients having osteoporosis. Please let us know if you find any help in your area.

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Thanks, all. I'll call around tomorrow re insurance, and if I find a pilates physical therapist that accepts it, I'll
let you know.

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I have found the name of the Dr. from UCLA that endorses the OsteoBall. His name is;
Dr. Robert Swezey M.D. Osteoporosis-Arthritis..
I'm going to ask someone to check him out and see what he thinks about the OsteoBall.

Also someone from the OsteoBall Co. is going to call me to tell me more about it. If I do not hear from her, I will call her.

Does anyone have any question that they would like me to ask about the OsteoBall?


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OsteoBall...I called my Friend that is dean of students at ucla.
He checked out Dr. Swezey , who is said to invented the OsteoBall. Which is true.

I did call Dr. Robert Swezey office in Santa Monica,Ca.
It is true that he invented the OsteoBall and a few other products to help people with Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis.

I'm waiting for Karen Hunt from OsteoBall to call me back. I do have question about the Ball. I'm also interested in DVD on the OsteoBall.

If anyone lives near the Santa Monica ,Ca. area, there are classes on the OsteoBall every tuesday at 1:30pm.
If anyone is interested, I'll look up the phone number again.

I asked Dr, Swezey office about Strontium, she said she has heard of good results !!

Take Care,

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In response to Jacqueline, I did recommend to her over the phone 2-3 PT's who could help her that live in Pennsylvania and NYC. Each of those contacts has a network that they might be able to recommend a PT in her area.

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For the Osteoball: 1. The "research" quoted on Dr. Sweezey's website, comes from "The Sweezey Instutiute and are ony "articles", not randomized clinical trials. None of the "articles" stated that he measured bone mineral density before and after the exercise program. They only measured muscle strength. You can read the articles yourself here: http://www.bonefitness.com/consumer/education/research/clinical_studies/lin ks.html If anyone has the real studies, please post them.

The question is: What muscles or bones is the ball actually targeting? The real research from Sinaki and Briggs and others has shown the best bone density increases and fracture risk decreases is with prone (lying face down) spine extention exercises to target the bones of the spine (vertebral bodies) and with standing exercises like squats to target the neck of the femur (hip bone). These bones are most vulnerable in those with osteoporosis.
3. So my recommendation is to do prone trunk strengthening exercises for your spine with emphasis on thoracic (mid back extension) and leg raises for hip extension for hip mobility and glute strengthening. For the femur: single leg standing balance exercises to prevent falls and build bone in the legs, wall squats and/or lunges if the knees can tolerate it are my favorites.

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In regard to Pilates, I do agree that you should be careful who you choose for your Pilates teacher so that you are not given exercises that are beyond your level and contraindicated for osteoporosis. Also, I don’t think that you should expect insurance to cover your Pilates lessons. Please feel free to share the article that you can download for free from www.therapilates.com/osteonews page called “Modifying Pilates for Osteoporosis” Pilates can be very gentle and should make you feel good after sessions. You should definitely not experience pain after any exercise sessions no matter what the type. This is most likely not due to osteoporosis but to either joint problems or myofascial issues.
Sherri Betz, PT

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After further exploration, I did find the 2000 research study by Sweeney. They did see changes in pre vs. post muscle strength after the ball exercises. They also checked bone turnover markers, not specific BMD studies of the hip and spine. So we don’t really know what the effects were in the neck of the femur and the spinal vertebrae. You can do similar exercises with a theraband or sports tube and one of those Physio balls that is only blown up about 75% (or to be technically true to his study about 67%). Doesn’t everyone have one of those physioballs 55cm-75cm laying around?
Sherri Betz, PT

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Hi Sherri,

Thank you for your info.

At Dr. Swezey's office they do Bone Density Tests there.
I also called my friend who is dean of students at Ucla. He checked the Drs. back round for me, and said , Dr. Swezey did work there at one time, but is retired. Also he said, he is very well known.

He is getting older, and only see's some specialty Clients in Santa Monica.

I'm seeing everything is about money, can be writing books, inventing health equitment etc..
From the info I received, he is trying to help people.

I'll let you all know how the OsteoBall is, or I got ripped off!! lol..

Thanks again Sherri.

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