The exercise ball is the most common and most easily dismissed piece of equipment, but doing so could land your patient on the ground.
With a little bit of caution you can avoid serious injury and get a better workout by choosing a good quality exercise ball. Here are some tips
The Material - Cheap balls are made with a thin layer of solid vinyl. Balls like these often look shiny and when you touch them they feel thin. These balls do not maintain their shape which means that the ball flattens out where it touches the ground as well as where the user is sitting. Having a stable ball entirely defeats the purpose of exercising on an unstable surface
Good exercise balls are made with foam blown vinyl (Yes! this is the kind we carry). This means that they will maintain their shape. They are graded for usage under weight as well as moving weight.
Cheap balls will rip abruptly with even the tiniest puncture. If a good exercise ball is punctured it will deflate slowly meaning that the risk of injury is significantly decreased. Yes we have tested this in house and the difference is huge!
The Purpose of the Ball - Do you often have patients on their back doing exercises? Do you use weights while on the ball? Is your patient already suffering from an injury? Don't risk injury but choosing the best possible ball.
Even foam blown vinyl balls have different levels of quality. The thicker the material generally indicates the sturdiness. Always ask about the static and dynamic weight limits for the ball. The weight under movement will show the true quality.