By Bernard Preston

Pettibon wobble chair

by SJ

Hi Dr. Preston,

Thank you for all your advice and insights.

In case you haven't found it yet, here is a link about the Pettibon wobble chair

Also I saw a paper about it (there may be more):
Shahvarpour, A, Shirazi-Adl, A, Lariviere, C. 2016. Active-passive biodynamics of the human trunk when seated on a wobble chair. JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICS Special Issue: SI 49(6): 939-945.

On the Pettibon website, I did not see many specifics about the actual exercises performed on a wobble chair, but the basic idea is that the seat of the chair tilts in all directions, allowing patients, by tilting their pelvis, to flex their spines side-to-side and front-to-back (flexion-extension) while in a seated position.

Because wobble chairs are not widely available (and are expensive), my chiro recommends a balance trainer (easily found through an internet search, and cheap), which, when properly inflated and placed on a firm seat, allows a patient to perform at home the same exercises as on the wobble chair.
My balance trainer
is not made anymore, but there are similar ones available.

I think these exercises are similar to the lower back exercises you recommend on, but these are performed seated while yours are done supine. I am interested to hear your opinion about them.

Hello SJ,
Thank you for the information on the Pettibon wobble chair and balance trainer. I think definitely both are a step forward.

I initiated the 'before getting out of bed' exercises from a frustration that patients so often missed their exercises, and starting them first thing in the morning made sure they did them every day.
The downside is that we are obviously in many other positions all day, so sitting and standing exercises are great too.

Many folk hurt their backs first thing in the morning; I read somewhere that the nervous input to muscles is greatly decreased at night making us vulnerable when we arise.

But best of all is more exercise in all situations; just walking and swimming are great too. I suspect that any exercise, just what we enjoy is what's really important. And if we don't enjoy exercise then helpers like the Pettibon wobble chair and the balance trainer are obviously important.

It's all part of being more physically active; many thanks for your contribution.

Dr B

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