What they say!
Powerball for Rehabilitation & Therapeutic purposes - 3 Professional reviews
Powerball has received many reviews from medical professionals who specialise in different areas.
We have selected a few which we feel are representative of the very real benefits which Powerball users can enjoy from its use with specific reference to Powerball's application for the medical and/or rehabilitative marketplaces.
"A Physiotherapist’s Opinion"
There is a bit of excitement around in the Physiotherapy world at the moment and its called "The Eccentric Training programme".
Now if that doesn’t sound exciting to you, then let me tell you that for many years, Physiotherapists have been struggling to reliably find a way to treat Tendonitis - that painful condition which can affect virtually any part of your body and goes by common names such as Tennis Elbow, Golfer’s Elbow, Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), Jumpers Knee and Achilles Tendonitis to name a few.
Then up pops a group of medical people from Canada, and they bring with them news of the holy grail – a new, and more importantly, reliable treatment for these conditions. It was called the eccentric training programme and has revolutionised the way we tackled these conditions.
Eccentric training is basically controlling the lowering of a weight.
The idea is quite simple; lifting weights strengthens muscles but putting them down again strengthens tendons, and if you have a sore tendon, you’ve just got to strengthen it.
Now with legs this is quite easy, you can do calf raises or little squats and as you lower yourself down you get the eccentric bit done.
But with arms its much harder. Its hard to use a muscle and tendon in your arm when its sore. Lots of other muscles take over, and you don’t train the right ones.
One morning in November 2006, the postman drops a little parcel through the letterbox for me and a nice shiny little sphere called an NSD Powerball enters my life. It was ordered on a whim, as I was fed up of being out-driven and ridiculed on the golf course by my brother-in-law. I'd heard these little plastic spheres could improve my golf and I thought it couldn't do any harm.
So I picked it up, started it and.... it stopped.
Because my technique was rubbish.
So I started it again and this time it lasted a little longer. Half an hour later I had the little fellow singing!
When I put him down again I realised how much my arms ached. I had used muscles in a way they had not been used before.
You see, the Powerball is quite unique. It requires a special type of muscle action to get it moving. And the faster you get it moving, the more counter force/resistance it generates and the harder it is to hold on to.
This is unique because, quite simply, you can only move it as fast as you have the strength to. And it works every muscle in your forearm in every direction, including eccentric.
So here then is a device that you can’t cheat with.
And it will fail to work if you don’t use the correct muscles.
It is, quite simply, the very thing I was
looking for, for my multitude of wrist and arm injuries.
With so many people using computers every day, more and more people are developing repetitive strain injuries of the arms hands and fingers. This Powerball could be a simple thing that people can use at home for treating these problems and therefore won’t need to visit their doctors as often.
And it is not just for when you are in pain - it should actually help to prevent these problems from developing in the first place.
The more I thought about it the more I started to think. It requires a flexible wrist, so any stiffness in the wrist would almost certainly be worked free by using a Powerball. And there's no impact…just a smooth rolling action that works your muscles and causes increased blood flow to your muscles and joints.
Broken wrists and fingers have to be immobilised and so they are often stiff, weak and painful when they are allowed to be moved again. How could someone restore movement and strength at home?
With a Powerball.
Cartilage allows a joint to move easily without pain. If the cartilage starts to disappear, then stiffness and pain follows. This is basically the onset of arthritis. Cartilage stays healthy by feeding off the lubricating fluid in a joint. If a joint is moved, more fluid is produced and the cartilage can feed. But with too much impact the joint can become damaged. So how could you move your wrists without any impact?
With a Powerball.
Carpal Tunnel syndrome is a condition where a nerve becomes compressed inside a tunnel at the wrist. The compression is caused by a variety of conditions. Treatment can include wrist splits, Physiotherapy and in some cases surgery. Physiotherapy treatment is usually based towards restoring strength and flexibility and improving blood flow. So how could someone restore strength, flexibility and blood flow at home?
You guessed it!
This addictive little ball of plastic is a lot more than an executive toy (or golf training device!) - it’s like a pocket physiotherapist.
So, do I think everyone with a wrist injury should use a Powerball?
But I do think that everyone who needs their hands to last them a lifetime should certainly consider one.
Finally, let me also give you a bit of background on myself, in case you wish to add credibility to my review;
- I qualified as a Physiotherapist in 1997 having trained at the University of Bath, England. I have previously worked for professional sportsmen, having been a full time Physio at Reading Football Club for 2 years.
- I currently work as a Clinical specialist Physio (i.e. one of the highest posts held by Physiotherapists not wanting to go down the managerial route) in an NHS hospital near Manchester.
I hope you have found my comments helpful.
With kind regards
Chris Holloway, Physiotherapist
(Disclaimer: If you are unsure of the reason for your pain, please seek the advice of a Professional first before using any exercise/rehabilitation device, including Powerball)
"A Chiropractor’s Opinion"
Powerball has been a powerful tool for upper limb rehabilitation since we started using it in the clinic earlier this year.
I first came across a similar gyroscope 8 years ago as it was being demonstrated by a US chiropractor, Kevin Hearon DC CCEP of Extremity Seminars as an excellent tool for strengthening the wrist, but could never get hold of any in this country. I eventually found a Powerball in the Science Museum about 2 years ago and found the added integral computer to be an excellent means of monitoring one’s progress. The balanced rotor in this version also meant that there was no vibration - the results were totally non impact and therefore more suited to our patients requirement than the previous model we had seen.
It has already been particularly helpful in cases of carpal tunnel syndrome(CTS), tennis and golfers elbow, repetitive strain injury(RSI) / work related upper limb disorder(WRULD) and has even been pivotal in stabilizing an unstable sterno-clavicular joint problem.
Its unique action causes a sustained contraction of the whole upper limb musculature in a clever way. Its centrifugal force results in a circular motion which allows contraction concentrically (shortening) and eccentrically (lengthening) in a sinusoidal fashion as the wrist flexors and extensors respond to its movement. This effect alone allows improvements in muscle activity around the fingers, hand, wrist and elbow, whilst upper arm and shoulder girdle muscles support the elbow in one position.
By then changing the position of the elbow from 90 degrees flexion towards extension, one can then vary the position of the shoulder in varying degrees of flexion, extension, abduction etc. to effect the shoulder girdle and rotator cuff muscles’ activity in a similar fashion. In this way, different muscle groups can be exercised depending on the position of the arm in relation to the rest of the body.
With regular use, this helps to break down myofascial adhesions, improving muscle function and thus reducing strain on tendons and their attachments. By normalising muscular activity this aids to equilibrate opposing movements at each joint, thus reducing tensile stresses on the holding ligaments of these joints, allowing them to heal properly. All these actions result in a lessening of reactive inflammation ie swelling and hence a reduction in pain.
It also provides a fun game for clinic reception. We have a HIGH SCORE sheet on display showing left and right handed scores and a demonstration Powerball on the desktop for anyone to have a try!
BSc(Chiro) DC MCC, Chiropractor
"A Manual Therapist’s Opinion"
PowerBall has great therapeutical value and has given a new dimension to the treatment of complaints of the upper extremities, enabling sportsmen/sportswomen and musicians to perform even better in the process.
Complaints in the hand, wrist, arm, shoulder and neck are caused by an insufficiently balanced blood circulation, muscular strength and muscle function. The natural balance is lost. This natural balance can be restored with the help of the centrifugal forces that are generated during a training session with the PowerBall.
What is the PowerBall, and how does it work?
The PowerBall gyroscope consists of spherical inner and outer housings, connected by one central axis. The axis connects the two in such a way that the inner housing can spin around this axis. When the inner housing is brought into a steady centrifugal circular movement compared to the outer housing, each point on the outer housing will obtain an inward acceleration towards the center. At high speeds, each part of the outer housing travels at a certain speed per second. This generates a force that, according to Newton, can give a mass (the inner housing of the PowerBall) a certain acceleration.
The weight of the inner housing of the PowerBall times the speed of rotation will generate a force of up to 17 kilograms per second. As the PowerBall is held in the clenched fist, a counter force is generated in the hand (action = reaction), the so-called centripetal force, which is aimed from the hand to the wrist.
Muscular activity is needed to resist this force.
The agonistic (collaborating) flexors of the hand will incite antagonistic (contrary) reactions in other muscles in order to maintain the balance of the arm. If such an opposite, braking force didn’t exist, the arm would be thrown off-balance. Moreover, synergistic (cooperating) muscles are activated to keep the gyroscope moving. All these different activities will cause muscle tiredness, which in turn causes the body to provide for a better blood circulation (metabolism) and a strengthening of the muscles of hand, wrist and arm, the so-called “training”. Repeated exercise with the PowerBall will therefore enhance co-ordination (better collaboration) between muscles.
Many conditions can be treated very effectively with the PowerBall.
Some examples are a disturbed blood flow in muscles, skin, nerves and ligaments, commonly found in repetitive strain injuries, injuries of soft tissue and after the healing of fractures. An increased co-ordination can lead to a significantly better performance for musicians (pianists, guitarists, flutists and others) and sportsmen/sportswomen (darters, tennis players, golfers and others).
(Consult a physiotherapist/remedial therapist to make sure you don’t injure yourself through overly keen exercise).
A well-balanced training program is highly recommended. I have had extremely satisfying experiences with PowerBall. The value of this training aid should not be underestimated.
Frank van der Stad