Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
The Olympics are under way, and the world’s best athletes are competing to bring home gold for their country. These finely tuned athletes work hard each and every day to ensure they are ready when their time comes, but just like you and me, they can be felled by back pain at a moment’s notice.
Treating Olympic Athletes
One person who noticed that back injuries don’t discriminate is Mark Alexander, a physiotherapist for the Australian National Team. He works alongside some of the best athletes in the world, and he’s all too familiar with back pain. Realizing that spine pain costs people more than $50 million a year in treatments, he sought to develop a cost-effective self treatment option for back pain sufferers.
After months or research, Alexander developed BakBalls, which he claims is a portable self-treatment device designed to relieve back pain, stiffness and improve posture. The device is essentially a pair of connected rubber balls that provide back pain relief through pressurized sensations that can be administered by lying on the device or by sitting down and pressing against it.
“There was nothing on the market that was a professional product,” said Alexander. “Nothing was replicating the same sensation.
Combination Therapy Device
You can see videos of the device in use by clicking here, and while BakBalls can be a helpful tool, Alexander stressed that they need to be used in combination with other therapeutic activities, like regular exercise, avoiding staying seated for long periods and a proper diet. He said staying active can be a problem, even in Olympic athletes.
“The main issue is that our lifestyle is so sedentary,” said Alexander. “Even the life of an elite athlete is still very sedentary.”
Obviously athletes spend a lot of time training, but when they’re not in the gym, they’re often like us, plopped down in front of the television or curling up with a good book. Excessive sitting takes a toll on everyone’s back, so activity, even if it’s just getting up and walking around the house for a couple of minutes every hour, can help depressurize our spine.
So if you’re planning on catching a bunch of Olympic events over the next couple weeks, be like the athletes on TV and make sure you make time for exercise and movement.