PennWell Dental Group

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I'm interested in getting feedback from dental professionals who have used or arecurrently using an exercise ball/stool such as the Evolution Ball Chair or the like. Has it been a successful solution for your back pain? What are your thoughts and comments regarding the article by ErgoWeb found at http://www.ergoweb.com/news/detail.cfm?id=1091

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We have done extensive testing on the ball chairs. Our conclusion is that they are great for some ergonomic principles and not so great for some issues we face in the dental operatory. First, the good stuff.....they allow you to sit with the knees lower than the pelvis, thus tilting the pelvis forward. This takes stress off of the lumbar region, in particular the inter-vertebral discs in that region. (This position is known as the "active position.") Sitting on a ball, with its non-stable positioning, also increases the activity of the core muscles, thus strengthening them over time. All of this is good for the body. Now the bad stuff.....there is no way to move from an "active position" to a "passive position," i.e., leaning back in a resting position which happens in an operatory when the user reaches behind themselves to grab something or when they want to rest and talk to another person. The balls are also unwieldy in an operatory environment, as well as being too big for tight dental operatory spaces. And one last thing, they can over-activate the core muscles and place additional stress on other muscles and connection points in the pelvis, spine and legs. So, our conclusion is that it is a trade off of good versus bad, which each user will have to decide upon for themselves. Personally, I think there are better ways to get the good things in a sitting device without the bad stuff that comes along with the ball chairs, especially for dental applications.
Totally agree with this. We do not have the option to sit behind an inanimate desk. I do try to stay at a 12:00 most of the time and have the patient come to me..I am there all day, they are only there a short time; but with the elderly I will shift my position or even stand if that makes it more comfortable for them. It allows me to practice my very own "stork"..got to be good for something.

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