Swiss Ball Success?

Swiss Ball Success?

I hope this is not just me and that it also works for you. When my RLS is really twanging away I have discovered that if I sit on my Swiss ball it eases the pain and the jerks, naturally I have no idea why.

If you have ever sat on a Swiss ball you will know that you need to make constant micro adjustments in your balance, these movements seem to neutralise my pain. I can also exaggerate the movements by rolling my hips wider and wider to get relief faster and hey presto!!

Now I would love to say it works every time but it works far more than it fails. The effect lasts…….well its so variable but I keep my Swiss ball in the lounge and just move onto it as I need to.

Try it, Swiss balls are not very expensive and most gyms have them if you want to try before you buy, it will release your lower back no matter what.

I have discovered that the Swiss ball needs to be pumped up to the maximum, really taught, if you sink into it too much the effect is less.

31 Replies

  • Now its strange you should say that Bob, when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter, I had a birthing ball just like that and that was my seat! My RLS never came about when I was on it, only at bedtime, as we know! But thinking about it, I used to end up downstairs after trying to waddle it off ( I was past walking at this stage of pregnancy!) Whether it was the distraction of the computer games or the ball I can't say, but what I will say is it is worth a try! I might have to buy one again - although I had better warn my partner don't want to send him white with shock overnight thinking the stork is visiting again!!! Thank you for sharing your strategies!

  • Well you made me laugh at 0625! Try it and as Kaarina said maybe its the concentration? Dont mind what it is, it seems to work.

  • LOL :)

  • Hi Bob

    I can understand why that could help. The ball is used for exercising and balancing on the ball properly takes a lot of concentration. :). Concentration is the key word here - when trying to exercise on the ball and not fall off you cannot think about anything else and the symptoms disappear! The only time I used one was at physio and I borrowed one for home, after a Total Knee Replacement.


  • Just a thought, what do you do for a living or hobbies that made you think this might be the reason?

  • Good point!!! Never thought of it like that.

  • LOL My thoughts on this do not really have anything to do with my hobbies or what I used to do work-wise. I was a secretary and in the past have enjoyed yoga, now I enjoy cycling, gardening, trying to keep fairly agile, generally keeping active, nothing exciting. ;)

    I remember clearly having to do balancing exercises, post TKR op whilst sitting on the ball and it was very difficult to do them and not fall off. I had to concentrate really hard. I think that is why I instantly thought of the word "concentration" .

    When my legs start to go crazy, usually when sitting, relaxing or in bed, if I get up, walk about, do the washing up, cruise the net, type an email, etc, the symptoms abate. I have always presumed this is because my concentration is elsewhere and not focused on the restless legs. When the symptoms start, I begin to think about them. hoping they will stop, like we all do! As they get worse, my mind becomes all consumed with it. Getting up and doing something else, taking my mind away from the frustration of the horrid RL symptoms, helps me and after a time the sensations stop.

  • I didn't claim the Swiss Ball was about concentration by the way, that's a suggestion from another user of the forum. It may be the movement?

  • I find something similar. If I am absorbed by something my legs are still. Then when I "come to" my legs etc start thrashing away and all sense of thought is impossible. I cannot read, do a crossword or anything because the RLS is all-consuming. This can last for many hours and I just walk up and down the room, punching my legs to alleviate that feeling just for a moment and waiting for my pramipxole to intervene.

  • Having something to concentrate the mind on definitely eases the symptoms of RLS for me. It can be anything from doing a jigsaw puzzle, working on a model boat or even a stimulating conversation between friends. I also use stamp collecting and even working on a Meccano model – I never did grow up;). These do not always work but always worth a try. Trying to concentrate on a book does not work for me though. The Swiss ball is an interesting idea as well – they keep on to me at the gym to try that for core balance – perhaps I ought to invest in one.

  • I didn't claim the Swiss Ball was about concentration by the way, that's a suggestion from another user of the forum. It may be the movement?

  • wow, i wish concentrating worked for my, if i tried a jigsaw i would end up throwing it in the air, the only thing that helps me is to walk, and when that fails, its a hot bath, often dozed of in there !!


  • Its certain types of concentration or distraction, at least that's what I find, TV, reading for example are a no no for me, a visitor most often yes.

    try the never know

  • Yes, me too, Jean. I have the attention span of a fraction of a second during an attack and such impatience! but a hot bath often breaks me out of it.

  • Concentration or distraction works for alot of people... I used to use music at night, listening to a favourite CD with headphones. The louder the music worked best for me, concentrating on every word and music note, ballads worked best.

    I got this tip plus many others from a lovely lady called Jill Gunzel. She has a website with her experiences of living with RLS, She doesnt use medication, but you can still get alot of info which can help. She also has a book with all that is on her website.....WWW.THE RLS REBEL. it may help some of you. Jill has a great sense of humour through out her website...

    Irene.... :)

  • I didn't claim the Swiss Ball was about concentration by the way, that's a suggestion from another user of the forum. It may be the movement?

  • I certainly have to concentrate if I try to balance on the ball - any alleviation of the symptoms of RLS will probably be the result of both the concentration and movement but I am only guessing ?

  • I have no ideas, all I know is that it works 99% of the time for me, first time I have shared so no feedback yet as to actual use by others and any success stories.

    I am quietly confident, as I doubt I am special.....although I could be strange!! lol :)

  • hi Bobm, wish i could, but my balance is very bad, so i dont think its a good idea for me, i would probably end up injuring myself, and im bad enough as it is !! :)


  • Well 2 possibilities:

    You can get a frame for a Swiss ball to sit in as people use them as office chairs to get a core tightening effect.

    If you sit on the ball with the back against the sofa and your feet tight to the base, you still get a slight wobble effect that may do the job? The ball doesn't have to be free-standing is what I am trying to say!! :)

    It wont let me add images here!!! ANNOYING, but search www for Swiss ball frames, Swiss ball chairs, Swiss ball supports and you will find at least 3 variants that make using the ball safer.



  • Yes, probably doing both the concentration and the movement is what is helping with the RLS. Thanks for the internet info, i will look and then get a better idea on how the swiss ball frames etc. look when you use the swiss ball.

    Irene.. :)

  • All the best, hope you 'win' :)

  • hi Bobm, i should have explained a bit better i think. i have Menieres Disease quiet badly, and get very bad attacks of extreme vertigo and nausea, so anything, that sets me of balance is a no no for me.


  • Gosh, a definite no no. You wouldn't like the Swiss ball a bit!!

  • Thanks for sharing Bob, knowing me I'd probably fall off the thing! But it's worth a try! Laine :)

  • Oh give it a try and the fall will be a few inches.........if at all :)

  • My guess is it's the need to keep the muscles moving to stay in balance.

    Moving the legs is usually what we all feel we have to do.

    Staying still is impossible. Sort of the definition of RLS

    Have you tried compression stockings?

    For me, the tightness seems to satisfy the desire to move

  • Hi

    Socks didn't help me and I have RLS across my body. The ball assists greatly and 2-3mins can rid an attack anywhere on my body. It doesn't work for the really bad attacks


    Bob M

  • Bob, you would be a most interesting roommate. haha.

    We all do crazy things at night. Riding on a ball and moving

    about balancing on it seems like a great idea especially

    at 3am. Most of the world is peacefully asleep at that hour

    but there should be a club to meet up with other suffering

    people to work it out and be all crazy together. =)

    I do live in the my knowledge, none exist. I have tried

    working the night shift at the insurance company that I used

    to work for. I have tried all shifts to see if it was a body clock

    issue as suggested by others. It didn't work well. I danced at

    my desk rocking flat feet to tip toes..and doing knee bends.

    I too have RLS in my other limps and back. Crazy thing...I get

    so angry at myself for waiting 20 years to seek medication help.

    I have to blow up my blue ball and try your method. I am not suffering

    now, this minute with RLS so I may as well go at it to see if I can even

    balance my romp on it. haha. =)



  • Wouldn't that be great? Somewhere to go and walk, jump. balance on a ball and I bet have a million laughs. How could our RLS survive if we all did that?

  • Karen, I hope I would be a great room-mate!?!?!? LOL

    I cant recall how I found out the ball helped but so pleased I did, coz for me it does!! I dont go mad on it....just simply balancing / steadying actions but it can work very fast or take 10 min or so. Really hope you try it Karen.

    I wish time shifting worked Karen, it seems we cant 'con' the disease :(

    Chat later Karen



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