The Therapeutic benefits of NSD Powerballs
NSD Powerball For Rehabilitation
NSD Powerball has been recommended by many chiropractors and physiotehrapists for gentle rehabilitation of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), Arthritis, Tendonitis, Golfers & Tennis Elbow and also general musculo-skeletal injuries in the upper limb area. Its unique non-impact nature makes it the perfect strengthening, conditioning, relaxation and recovery tool, perfect for the person who is looking for a unique strengthening and toning device or simply to alleviate daily pains which present themselves as a result of the above conditions.
Leading Chripractor Rowen Simpson BSc(Chiro) DC MCC said:
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!
Rowen Simpson BSc(Chiro) DC MCC, Chiropractor
Leading Physiotherapy expert Steven McLean BSc (hons) MSc MCSP said:
Powerball was first introduced to me as a unique piece of exercise equipment to increase strength and power of the forearm and wrist. It is a fun and easy exercise tool which means adherence to continual use is more likely and therefore the chances of benefits being gained are maximised. As a chartered physiotherapist with a degree in sports and exercise science and a keen exercise enthusiast I was obviously interested to know and understand more about its capabilities and limitations.
I was very impressed immediately as it was very effective at exercising forearm, wrist and hand. When spinning clockwise powerball effectively targets the wrist extensors namely extensor carpi radialis longus and brevis, extensor carpi ulnaris and supinator. Conversely, when spinning anticlockwise it targets the wrist flexors equally effectively namely flexor carpi radialis, flexor carpi ulnaris, pronator teres and quadrator. Due to the shape and design of powerball it is very easy to hold as the shape of the ball facilitates a good gripping position. When spinning at higher speeds relative for the individual, it is also useful for increasing grip strength. These attributes make it very useful tool which the open minded therapists and personal trainers/coaches should not ignore.
When exercising any muscle group it is important to overload the muscle in order to progress strength and power. Powerball is progressive in nature as you will spin the ball faster as your technique and strength improves with practice and training. As you spin the ball faster powerball will exert an increasing resistance on your specifically targeted muscle group. This concurs with the principles of rehabilitation and training.
It should be noted however, if using powerball as a rehabilitation tool you should be guided by a qualified physiotherapist as to when is the most appropriate time to begin using powerball and whether it is beneficial for you’re specific injury. It is most likely to be of use in the advanced stage of rehabilitation where no pain is experienced during daily activities and full range of motion and flexibility having been achieved.
The benefits of powerball are multiple as it is a very dynamic tool and can target a variety of muscle groups simply by changing the direction of spin or by the position of the upper limb. Emphasis will always be on the muscles of the forearm however, this should not discourage the user from using powerball to help strengthen other areas. When using powerball it is impossible not to recruit a co-contraction of the elbow flexors/extensors as you attempt to spin faster and faster. Furthermore, the rotator cuff muscle will be activated isometrically which aids shoulder stability and can be useful for injury prevention and rehabilitation of this muscle group. This again opens up powerballs' rehabilitation potential to activate rotator cuff muscles. I have always prescribed to the theory of prevention being better than cure. Engaging in powerball as an exercise for a short period three times a week could help improve your performance at a number of activities such as golf, tennis, squash, rowing, badminton, rock climbing and table tennis to name only a few. It may also help you progress your weight lifting potential in the gym and progress your bodybuilding programme if you have reached a plateau in performance. An increase in forearm and grip strength can help kick on your whole upper body programme. Forearms are one of the most neglected and under valued body parts of anyone of lifts weights seriously. Most individuals don’t train their forearms as they believe they get a work out from their pulling exercise. As with any exercise that requires a strong grip the forearm musculature is worked isometrically, however the chances are that the key assisting muscles are not being overloaded and therefore will not improve. By using powerball in addition to a specific forearm routine your forearms will improve allowing your grip to help you progress your bicep curls, latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, traps and all pulling exercises. Powerball will create an isometric contraction as it also requires a strong grip therefore; it will be specific to any type of exercise that requires a strong functional grip. Furthermore, it will continue to overload your extensors and flexors of the wrist and hand ensuring progression in grip strength and consequently your training. Powerball will also provide variety to your training to help stimulate the muscles to grow and become stronger as they will be tested in a way they have never experienced before.
Progressing exercise with powerball is also very easy and it is easy to record and monitor your progress. The optional RPM counter enables you to see how fast you can spin it thereby determining your max speed. This figure will increase as you progress and improve. Additionally, you have the option to spin at lower speeds for longer duration increasing endurance while as previously mentioned increasing speed increases resistance perfect for progression. The 30 second average test on the ball demonstrates your average speed which will also improve as tour endurance increases. This enables you to monitor your progress in all aspects of forearm fitness.
Above all I have found powerballs a fun exercise tool which is flexible to use for a variety of reasons. Following the first few attempts at powerball users may experience delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and tightness in the targeted muscle groups. This is not uncommon and should be looked upon favourably rather than negatively. This feeling is evidence that the muscles have been overloaded fulfilling another key aspect of the principles of training. This highlights powerball is working effectively and that strength and power gains will be made with continued use. In order to prevent or relieve this feeling stretching the fingers and wrist slowly and gently is highly recommended following use. Holding each stretch for a 30 second period will be of most benefit.
Powerballs’ are also non-impact in nature which reduces the risk of injury during use. By causing tension in muscles powerball will also be effective in strengthening tendons which may also be beneficial for rehabilitation of specific injuries e.g. repetitive strain injuries, tendonitis, golfers and tennis elbow. Again consultation should be made with a professional therapist if prior to using powerball as a rehabilitation exercise.
If powerball fails to improve your performance at your particular activity it may be useful to prevent injury thereby enabling you to enjoy your activity to the maximum.
Wishing you the best of health to enjoy using Powerball.
Steven McLean BSc (hons) MSc MCSP
Here’s what some of our happy customers had to say about Powerball for rehabilitation: (email your testimonial)
“I have been suffering from wrist repetitive stress injury for about one year due to competitive clay shooting and perhaps too much typing in the office. I had tried several exercise regimes but none worked. I bought one of your Powerballs a few days ago and I am already feeling the benefit. I have improved the motion range of my left wrist (that was close to locking) and the pain is gradually subsiding. I am a medic and I am usually skeptical about anything else that ibuprofen, but this time I am truly amazed. I hope it will last.”
Pietro Mastroeni , Cambridge
“Have used the Powerball just about every day for the last six months. The main thing I've noticed is increased definition in my arm muscles. The best thing I've noticed is that I no longer get any wrist pain from typing on a keyboard all day, or from playing badminton. I fly powerkites, and have had a few falls, hurting my arms and shoulders, but 10 or 15 minutes on the Powerball and my pains almost completely go away.”