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Medicine Technology

CES: Can a Gyroscope Ball Really Cure Wrist Pain? (Video) 144

Posted by Roblimo
from the do-not-taunt-happy-fun-ball dept.
Timothy ran into these NSD people at CES. If we were giving out a "best huckster" award, NSD booth dude Doug Lo would surely be a finalist for it. He's one heck of a talker. The exercise balls he's pushing? A number of companies have been making and selling similar products for many years. They seem to have some medical benefit as physical therapy aids for people with wrist or carpal tunnel problems, and may also be useful exercise devices for people who want to strengthen their hands and fingers. Have you used a gyroscope exercise ball? If so, did it help cure a wrist problem or help strengthen your hands and fingers? And which of these brands (if any) did you try?

----------------------

Timothy Lord: You know that CES is a good place to come to find out about things like new computers, new monitors, home theater equipment, but what you might not have known is it is also a great place to find out about all the latest advances in hand-held gyroscope balls. I can’t vouch for any of the medical claims made by this next company, but I can tell you holding one in your hand is a really weird sensation.



Doug Lo:
Hi. My name is Doug Lo. I am here at the Consumer Electronics Show. What we are introducing today is called the NSD Spinner. Basically, what it does is help you get rid of your carpal tunnel, and also tennis elbow. If you give it a minute, it will give you a very strong arm. What it does basically is, like I told you earlier, it is for the carpal tunnel, the tennis elbow. And if you give it a minute, it helps circulate your blood and also it helps your wrist. It has been around in Asia for the last 10 years. We have shipped over 10 million pieces worldwide. You can buy it at Amazon.com, Sears.com and KMart.com.

Timothy Lord: Doug, could you tell us how does this work? Could you show us from the start how do you start it?

Doug Lo: You just start it, and there is no battery. It has got a gyroscope in it. And it is not by battery. You just start it, and just keeping going. And we have a lifetime warranty on parts.

Timothy Lord: How do you get it started though? How do you get the internal part going?

Doug Lo: You start it by – you wind it up, and then you just let it go, just keep going, here you go.

Timothy Lord: So do you now have incredible wrists and tendons?

Doug Lo: It actually works. It has been – we have people that just keep coming and just telling all the family members, it is a great product, and we have a great review on it and it is great for the wrist. It is all about good health and a good you.

Timothy Lord: Could you show me one more thing, the color changing, how does that work?

Doug Lo: Basically we have different models. We have some with different lighting, we have some with – we do it with stainless steel. We start retail from $25 all the way up to $100 retail.

Timothy Lord: But the LED lights in this, they change color, what is that based on?

Doug Lo: It’s just on different styles it has different lighting. Okay?

Timothy Lord: Okay.

Doug Lo: We make it fun.

Timothy Lord: Good. All right. Thanks, Doug. Thanks, appreciate it. Thanks a lot.

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CES: Can a Gyroscope Ball Really Cure Wrist Pain? (Video)

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @03:26PM (#42595969) Journal

    CES: Can a Gyroscope Ball Really Cure Wrist Pain?

    First off, let me say that I have no formal training or any sort of degree in anything even remotely related to this. I'm not medically qualified to give you professional advice on this sort of stuff. But from using using these things, I would wager that very few kinds pain will actually be cured from this. I don't know how carpal tunnel syndrome responds to this but I thought that was a condition of the nerves and I fail to see how this could help that (I'm totally sold on muscles though and, through that, maybe extremity blood flow). I would be wary of someone selling this to me heralding it as a panacea for all things past your elbow.

    Have you used a gyroscope exercise ball?

    Yes.

    If so, did it help cure a wrist problem or help strengthen your hands and fingers? And which of these brands (if any) did you try?

    I had no wrist problems to begin with but a roommate at the time called them "climber balls" and said climbers use them. So, being a software developer with terrible posture by trade and enjoying video games, bass guitar playing, piano playing, more programming, book writing, etc on the side, I felt it was in my interest to try as best as possible to preserve my wrists. So I asked for one for Christmas and received the orange PowerBall pictured here with digital back [powerballs.com]. I used it for a while and tried to do 10 minutes a day with it, alternating hands as the digital readout would let me see how fast I could get it (I think I got it up regularly to 9,000 RPM and 13,000 RPM once while incredibly intoxicated). Basically I'd burn up right off the bat with each arm and then try to get into a sustaining groove. Definitely more exerting than it looks. I would also alternate between grips. The two most comfortable ones seemed to be palming it from the back and wrapping my thumb and index finger around the grip while supporting with the other fingers. And I noticed a serious burn (a good, like exercise burn) at first in my hand and forearm but then only in my forearm. From my experience, I suspect that once your hand's grip hits a certain point it's good to go whereas the muscles pumping energy into the gyroscope are actually located in the wrist/forearm. So I believe it was working. I was, however, also doing exercises like wrist curls, inverse wrist curls, wrist extensions with a 45 lb. bar at the gym from time to time. And I was also doing other exercises that probably inadvertently helped strengthen these same areas.

    So anyway, one day my friend stayed over and brought his dog. He slept on the couch, his dog whimpered in his kennel so he took him out and fell asleep with him. Dog got a hold of the PowerBall and that was that. Recently these NSDs went on sale for $25 for Black Friday [newegg.com] (as shown here [camelegg.com]) and so I purchased two with the intent of having one at my desk in cubeland and one at home. While I'm happily using one, I left the other packaged and might gift it up because no matter how nice these balls are, they do make a good deal of noise (and the ones with revolution powered LEDs look dance-rave in the dark). The digital options on the NSDs aren't as nice or intuitive as the PowerBall LCD functions but I haven't given that a lot of time so that could just be RTFA ignorance on my part. I just use them as a straight up exercise device now with no intent of breaking records on youtube [youtube.com] so I've stopped fussing with the electronics part of them. These NSDs are so far seemingly higher construction than the PowerBalls and are much easier to start but also seem more expensive. I suppose I would have to use this for a year before I start reporting on wear and tear. Watch for a sale on an NSD, when you

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      I was, however, also doing exercises like wrist curls, inverse wrist curls, wrist extensions with a 45 lb. bar at the gym from time to time. And I was also doing other exercises that probably inadvertently helped strengthen these same areas.

      In other words ... your anecdote is completely worthless.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        In other words ... your anecdote is completely worthless.

        Where did you get the notion that anecdotal reports are "worthless"?

        You rely on "anecdotal" evidence for most of your life. Anecdotal information is the most basic way that human beings learn.

        This is one of those logical shortcuts, like "correlation is not causality" that people like to repeat to make themselves sound smart.

        I don't know one way or the other about these gyro ball thingies. But people who ignore anecdotal information tend to get lost

        • by shaitand (626655)

          "You rely on "anecdotal" evidence for most of your life. Anecdotal information is the most basic way that human beings learn."

          I'd agree with this. At the end of the day we don't have any information EXCEPT for anecdotal evidence and correlation. You throw a ball up, there is a strong correlation to the ball falling back down. All experiments are looking for correlation. Correlations don't prove a thing, they only suggest it, the more correlations you have the more strongly it is suggested until at some poin

          • by PopeRatzo (965947)

            I'd agree with this. At the end of the day we don't have any information EXCEPT for anecdotal evidence

            Anecdotal evidence is especially important when it comes to dealing with pain management.

            When it comes down to it, almost all pain research is based on anecdote. "Rate your pain from 1 to 10. Now do "X", and rate your pain from 1 to 10."

            The same people who scoff at using anecdote about a gyro-ball for pain management, look for Gizmodo reviews of new tech to determine whether to buy it.

            Eldavojohn is not a

            • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

              When it comes down to it, almost all pain research is based on anecdote. "Rate your pain from 1 to 10. Now do "X", and rate your pain from 1 to 10."

              That's not an anecdote. Asking someone for their level of pain on a scale of 1 to 10 is, but taking the delta between before and after treatment isn't. The delta indicates if treatment for reducing pain is working, it's working. Doesn't matter if it is a purely psychological effect or if there is some physiological basis, because pain is a combination of both.

            • by Occams (2422082)
              Today, because of abuse by advertising companies, anecdotal evidence equates to fake testimonials. These are aimed at the very stupid people who enjoy the kind of programs we see on commercial television. They are the target audience because they are likely to believe those transparently false testimonials. The programs that go with those ads have to be very bad in order to attract those unthinking, uncritical suckers. The rest of us just have to assume that every time that they see something praised in
        • by Lynal (976271)
          It's not the anecdotes being criticized, it's the confounding factors. It's like if you want to lose weight, so you take a weight loss pill, start exercising, and eating healthy. It's hard to say that the weight loss pill was highly successful.
        • by geekoid (135745)

          an anecdote is evidence that cannot be investigated using the scientific method.
          As such, worthless for any scientific reasoning at all.
          As a clue for something to look into? sometimes. Still worthless to draw a scientific conclusion from.

          The plural of anecdotes is not, and never will be, data.

          "Anecdotal information is the most basic way that human beings learn."
          yes, and using it to learn is why most people draw wrong conclusion, do shit that doesn't work, and waste lots of many, and more time then you think,

    • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @04:07PM (#42596393)

      Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is down to inflammation of the tendons ; the carpal tunnel is the sleeve bearing that the finger tendons pass through in your wrist. The other things that passes through there is the median nerve.

      If you get tendonitis of these tendons, the inflammation can compress the median nerve, which is what causes carpal tunnel syndrome. It makes some sort of sense that strengthening this overall group of muscles can improve matters - if you predominantly use one or two fingers for your grip, spreading the load will lead to less strain on these tendons and less inflammation.

      The muscles involved in grip strength are predominantly in your forearm, and connect to these tendons. Muscles in the fingers and hand are mostly limited to fine posture - like the ability to flex the finger at the most proximal joint while the other joints remain extended (like an L shape), and the ability to splay your fingers.

      Through bad posture or excessive exercise (like a two week rowing course) I sometimes inflame the tendons on my little fingers and get a kind of bi-state "clunk" when the swollen part passes through the sheathe, and that finger will only hold postures either side of the lump - straight, or claw. And I sometimes get a generalized soreness of my fingers if I drive a lot (I tend to lean on the wheel badly). I have a Powerball of the type you describe, but not the discipline to use it regularly.

      My main problem is that if you drop one, the metal axis of the 'scope nicks the inner plastic bearing it runs on, making the thing useless (it goes *tick tick tick* and you can't speed it up as much). I thought about buying the all-metal version but as I said, I don't use it enough to justify it.

      • Oh, and I can't start it with my finger and I keep losing the &!"%£&* bits of string.

      • by sribe (304414) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @04:31PM (#42596685)

        Your description of carpal tunnel is correct, but slightly incomplete. Tendonitis is not necessary, certain kinds of overuse (like typing and mouse use) combined with never using full range of motion and no stretching can cause shortening of the muscles and tendons such that the "fatter" part of the tendon gets "pulled" into the carpal tunnel and compresses the nerves. Fortunately, that flavor of CTS, with which I am intimately familiar, is very easy to relieve ;-)

        • Fortunately, that flavor of CTS, with which I am intimately familiar, is very easy to relieve

          How do relieve it? Programmers everywhere want to know.

          • by sribe (304414)

            How do relieve it? Programmers everywhere want to know.

            Stretching. I started to look for a link to post about the particular ones that help me, but heck, the obvious google search brings up all sorts of instructions, videos & images--and what is best for me won't be best for everybody. So google it and try some out. (For me, it's stretches that involve flexing the palm and fingers back...)

            Don't avoid the doctor if you need it--the simple stretches that work for me when I work my muscles/tendons into that short/thick state will not relieve your pain if you h

          • Easy...

            Get a full range of motion in your wrist as often as possible. About every 20 minutes I move my wrists to their full extent in all directions, move all finger joints to theirs (crack your knuckles both ways...) and touch each finger to each other one.

            This only takes a few seconds to do with some practice.

            Nearly zero problems after 20 years, it seems to work for everyone I have suggested it to.

            I type very quickly, and both my leisure and day job require much typing. The pain goes away if you lubrica

          • My tip: massage the muscles near your elbows. A slight table soccer addiction, constant stylus use and typing caused me to have sometimes numb, sometimes 'painful' hands, but once I discovered this trick any discomfort was (and is) easily resolved.

            A lot of people mistake simple cramped muscles for RSI (I've 'cured' at least six people with the trick). They focus on the wrist and hand (because that is where the discomfort is felt), even though everybody should know that a lot of the motion there is controlle

      • by TheLink (130905)

        If you get tendonitis of these tendons, the inflammation can compress the median nerve, which is what causes carpal tunnel syndrome. It makes some sort of sense that strengthening this overall group of muscles can improve matters

        The other approach is to strengthen/heal the affected nerves - e.g. with methylcobalamin and a bit of some other B vitamins (but not too much B6 as it can cause nerve problems too!).

        As far as I know bodybuilders and athletes do grow larger wrists and tendons over time, as such some of these problems might just be an imbalance in growth - tendons growing faster than the other parts can adapt. And that's why I'm not too keen on stuff like surgery to cure this sort of problems - it can help but it can cause ot

    • by xxdelxx (551872)
      Not only popular with climbers but with handgun target shooters as well. I seriously doubt that it would 'cure' RSI but I could believe that regular use would help prevent it. Of course - correct posture/technique and frequent rests will do that as well.

      Anecdotally - I have a powerball and use it reasonably frequently - it does a great job of strengthening grip and forearms.
    • by beelsebob (529313)

      The key to this is very simple. Carpal tunnel problems do not have to do with being too weak, instead, too strong They're caused by the tendons slowly getting bigger through use, and then rubbing. The rubbing then causes the tunnel of sinews they travel through to inflame, further constricting them and compounding the problem.

      Strengthening the tendons further will not help, it will hinder the problem.

      • by xelah (176252)
        AIUI, carpal tunnel problems can be caused by anything that reduces the space available in the carpal tunnel, including anything that causes any swelling there, or anything that takes up space there. So that includes diabetes, tumours, pregnancy and obesity. Here's a link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001469/ [nih.gov] (and notice that it says that there is no good evidence that repetitive motion causes it). 'Should I use a PowerBall to try avoid/cure RSI' and 'would a PowerBall worsen/improve carpal
    • by Pope (17780)

      You must be a hairyfeet alternate.

    • NSD is the manufacturer, Powerball is the product. This is the "Power Fusion", which is just the improved version. If it starts easier, great. I've never understood how anyone can start the original powerballs without a rip cord.

      I like my Powerball, but I always advise caution to new users: gripping the ball is difficult, and its too easy to abuse your thumb by trying to grip with the base as well as the tip. This means you're introducing a lot of tension: there's only two muscles controlling the bend o

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @03:34PM (#42596065) Journal

    I've got a magnetic copper bracelet that aligns the molecules in my bloodstream so I've never had any wrist problems at all. I got it from some guy selling tiger protection rocks and submillimeter wave scanners.

    • by Sez Zero (586611)

      I got it from some guy selling tiger protection rocks...

      Does he also sell tiger blood? I've heard that stuff is the business...

  • My dad got one of those when he broke his elbow. Was never able to get the hang of it - but we kids did (and drove him crazy with the noise).

    That was 40 years ago.

  • Over 20 years I have been "mousing" for 8 hours a day and I firmly believe the only thing that saved me is using a big honking trackball from Kensington
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You're right about trackballs - I use a Logitech TrackMan Marble Wheel (I have several for parts), and given the time I spend at a computer it's been good on my mousing hand. I used to use a mouse, but it caused problems.

      As for the gyros, I used one for several years when I was fencing competitively, and it was great. It improved my wrist strength and gave serious and noticeable benefit to my parrying accuracy and control. Try tracing a four inch circle inside a five inch template with the tip of a three

      • by geekoid (135745)

        "It improved my wrist strength and gave serious and noticeable benefit to my parrying accuracy and control."
        how do you know that? you would need to go back in time and then do all the same things minus the gyros.
        You thinking is sloppy. I was an excellent fencer and never used one, clearly they don't work
        You see how sloppy that is?

        mmmmm lamb gyro.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I was an excellent fencer like you
        .
        .
        until I took an arrow to the knee...

  • Nope, didn't help (Score:5, Informative)

    by sandytaru (1158959) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @03:42PM (#42596163) Journal
    I had to switch to an ergo mouse. Nothing else fixed my wrist pain - not exercise balls, not a wrist brace, not an ergo keyboard. I've been using the Vertical Mouse 4 [evoluent.com] but I think any ergo mouse can offer improvement. Just find one that's comfortable and works.
    • Re:Nope, didn't help (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SpzToid (869795) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @04:11PM (#42596451)

      I had carpal bad for awhile and tried all kinds of stuff. What finally worked was my noticing part of the chiropractor's treatment, which I was able to replicate myself whenever I felt the need. I told him what I was doing and he gave my 'treatment' his endorsement.

      The chiropractor had me stand straight up, with my arms down at my side. Then he'd pull down hard on my thumb until it 'popped', (as best as I can describe it). So I tried this myself by gripping my right thumb with my left hand and pulling horizontally across my chest to do the same thing.

      It seems that computer mouse-work builds up a kind of stress and this releases it, and whenever I feel the need I do this, and I've been good ever since. YMMV.

      • My chiropractor did the same thing and it helped, but rather than assume it was an unavoidable consequence of mouse-work, I looked on it as a symptom and tried to identify the root cause.

        I came to the conclusion that the problem was an "inversion" (for wont of a better word) at the base of the thumb, that is to say that while the second joint was turning inward, the other joint was turning outward, giving it a sort of S-shape. The reason this was happening was that I was using my palm and the base of my th

    • That's a really good point: you have to find what works for you. Your body is likely different from mine and the next person's, so switching mice might change your life.

      In my case, I broke my forearm pretty severely as a kid, and it didn't set correctly, so my left arm is actually rotated outwards a few degrees (I don't know the technical term, but it's like one hand can rotate from 0-180 degrees while the other is from 5-185). Anyway, typing on a regular keyboard causes pain almost immediately, so I s
      • Yep, everyone is different. I've found the split keyboards to be difficult, but I use a "comfort curve" that has the letters swooped down in an arc slightly, and found that works for me.
      • by geekoid (135745)

        "you have to find what works for you. "
        nope.

        "you have to find what works"
        yes.
        Learn the difference, or spend a life time deluding yourself, and wasting money.

    • I have a verticle mouse 4 and it is the BEST mouse I have ever had. I am using it with a MS ergo keyboard and my wrist and finger issues are gone!
    • I tried several methods to mitigate wrist problems, including the vertical mouse; however I found the greatest result came from switching hands.
      I now operate my mouse on the left at work and the right at home.

      I'm a graphic/multimedia designer and require fine control for many tasks. It took a couple of months to reach an acceptable level (blundering around with the web and email from the outset wasn't too bad).

      My left hand performance for a FPS is still lacklustre... fortunately it's an uncommon work pastim

  • I used to use these gyro balls quite a bit. I've owned three DynaFlex (slightly more expensive) and a couple of the knock-offs, I believe PowerBalls. The latter are indeed cheaper: they squeak more, rattle more, don't rev up as far, and don't feel as good on my hand. But a well-built gyro can be a good exercise tool (and frustration venting tool) for years. Some of the newer ones light up with LEDs from the spinning power, which is quite an impressive show in a dark room.

    Some of them come with a string to s

  • Some habanero will cure most of my arthritis and carpal tunnel

    It has some chemical that prescription pain relievers have without the crazy side effects

  • Always go with NSD.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    .. for one reason - if your PowerBall breaks or you treat it like crap and it starts knocking when you use it, you can send it back to the factory for a free replacement. No questions, just send your old ball and you get a new one. That's pretty good to me.

    http://www.powerballs.com/guarantee.php

  • Yes it helped me. :/

    • by djsmiley (752149)

      Oh and its a NSD ball. The simple one with the lcd (I liked seeing how fast I could get it).

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @04:08PM (#42596403)
    They definitely strengthen your arms and wrists. At first I couldn't do one for more than a minute. Then eventually I could do one for 8 hours straight on a road trip from Pittsburgh to Virginia Beach to meet my girlfriend back in the day.
    • by lewiscr (3314) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @07:52PM (#42598613) Homepage
      Forearm strength is a side effect of being 8 hours away from your girlfriend.
    • by yurtinus (1590157)
      Didn't you need that arm for driving?
    • by miknix (1047580)

      They definitely strengthen your arms and wrists. At first I couldn't do one for more than a minute. Then eventually I could do one for 8 hours straight on a road trip from Pittsburgh to Virginia Beach to meet my girlfriend back in the day.

      The NSD powerball is really effective, I own one and now my hand vibrates faster than my girlfriend's dildo. :P

      Joke aside, I do notice a small strengthening of the smaller muscles in my arm. The ball is well worth its price.

  • Not sure how related they are to a 'gyroscope ball', but I used Chinese Medicine Balls to cure carpal tunnel some years back. The doctor suggested them. Rotating two balls in the palm of my hand -- first in one direction, then the other -- stretched and toned the muscles to the point where my hands were strong enough to type as much as I needed them to.

    I'm not sure how useful they are as immediate pain relief, but I'm sure there are many exercises that help you build long-term strength and stability in yo

    • by PPH (736903)

      Yep. They work. I have the 1kG size balls and I use them during 'down time' sitting in front of TV. (No jokes about watching porn, playing with my balls, please!)

      ProTip: If you have hardwood floors, sit or stand over a well padded rug when you start out with them.

  • I've had wrist problems - not carpal tunnel as such but nevertheless pain.

    I spent ages going from pillar to post - I eventually discovered that apparently office ergonomics are more of an art than a science. Nobody can tell you what will fix your problems, all they can do is suggest a few things you can try. It's down to you to try them and find a solution that works for you.

    Four things I tried which helped:

    - Replace the mouse with a trackball. There's a tendency with a mouse to move your wrist - yo

    • Replace the mouse with a trackball. There's a tendency with a mouse to move your wrist - you're not meant to do this, you're meant to use your whole arm. But I don't know anyone who does. It'll take you a few days to get used to, after which you'll never use a mouse again.

      This. I have a MS trackball explorer at home, that I will use until it dies. I am not a fan of MS products, but that trackball is the best I have ever used. Too bad they stopped making them.
      At work I use a Logitech cordless optical track

    • I replaced the mouse with a digitizer and the keyboard with standard split keyboard (microsoft natural), that made my RSI mostly disappear. Also playing guitar helped somewhat.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    About 15 years ago I spent a couple of weeks working in a remote site for my company where the ergonomic setup left a lot to be desired. I was getting tendonitis/RSI on my writs and elbows by the end of it, and happened to spot one of these devices in Sharper Image (I think).
    I gave it a try, and I am convinced that it contributed to making the injury much worse - the pain I felt when exercising was rather similar to the pain that then developed full time, and caused be to have to get treated for RSI, and be

  • Yes (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jmc23 (2353706) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @04:13PM (#42596475) Journal
    The movement required to keep the motion going is rhythmic and needs to be controlled. You are constantly using tons of tiny stabilizing movements.

    Now the problem is when you have wrist problems it's not always easy to get a fluid motion going, or you're too used to extreme flexions which is what constricts nerve passages in the wrist in the first place. You can however use your shoulder to hold the rotation, or even your elbow if your isolations are good. Once the thing is spinning you can then experiment with wrist movement that doesn't hinder the spinning. Visualization is a good technique to use with this as well. Liken it to a game of Operation, except that you are trying to keep an open channel in your wrist. Pretty much anytime your skin get's wrinkled that's touching the side, and the gyro will pull or push you hard.

    What's frightening is the amount of misinformation of how to use your wrists is out there. I was talking to some woman off on physio for rsi and she proceeded to show me how she knew the 'correct' way to type as she showed me a broken wrist. This is what OT are teaching?? Wrist rests? Yes, let's just discourage proper posture and restrict with pressure.

    My JRA had gotten so bad that I had to stop working, couldn't type or use my right hand for weeks. Gyro balls were one of the tools I used to learn proper motion. Just did a 30s handstand no problem over the weekend.

  • Had pain in my hands in the morning when waking, with stiff wrists and knuckles. I got a PowerBall LCD and if anything it made the pain worse, quite simply putting more stress on an already stressed area should make it worse right? What solved my problem was to simply always take my hands off the mice when not in use (I dual wield) What I was doing was keeping my hand on my mouse at all times, and resting my wrist on my desk, when reading an article or coding I would have my hand there the whole time, ev

  • I used to live in Taiwan back in the 90s and discovered these balls at the local night market. They were marketed as kids toys back then. But I discovered they rapidly increased the strength in my wrists and fingers and decreased my carpal tunnel symptoms substantially. I bought half a dozen and keep a couple around my house and still keep the others packed up in case one breaks/dies. I had no idea these balls were still around, let alone being used for curing symptoms which I had independently discovered a

  • by interval1066 (668936) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @04:28PM (#42596653) Homepage Journal
    Had one of these at my desk during several jobs in the 90's. I think the main benefit was in having coworkers ask me what the hell they were and them demonstrating them, but I've always had one, enjoyed using them, and never had significant wrist problems. Ringing endorsement? No, but worth $20, sure.
  • was to start using the mouse with my left hand, and I got a stylus pen for my right. It was very slow at first, but the pain has been gone for over 10 years & now I'm fluent in mice. I don't use the stylus much anymore. Pat
  • by PPH (736903)

    I've never suffered from RSI. I also have a pair of the large size Chinese therapy balls (chrome plated iron balls, 1 kG each).

    One side effect: I can almost tighten a spark plug by hand (no socket).

  • by Shoten (260439) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @04:45PM (#42596861)

    Background:
    One of the things that OTs (Occupational Therapists...like a physical therapist, but focused exclusively on hands and sometimes feet) will advise to defend against (not cure) carpal tunnel is to strengthen your grip, essentially. What they are really looking for is strengthening of the muscles and tendons that relate to hand motions using more natural (read: non-impactful, unlike typing) activities. I've been using a keyboard for over 30 years (young when I learned how to code), and have started developing carpal tunnel syndrome on several occasions. I'm currently not suffering from CT, nor have I for several years now.

    Short Answer:
    I've used one of these, and it works for strengthening your muscles...REALLY works. It's actually really wild, and you'd never believe how much of a workout it is until you try it.

    Caveat:
    But here's the catch: when you already have CT symptoms, more exercise is not what you need. You first need to recover a bit. It's like having a hurt ankle because you twisted it, due to weak stabilizing muscles...the exercise that will strengthen your muscles will also aggravate the injury. So you have to heal first, and then prevent it from happening again. If your tendons are already pissed off at you, subjecting them to extra exercise (usually on top of everything that has caused this problem to begin with) is not the solution.

  • by Deadstick (535032)

    This thing is at least forty years old...I had one in the Seventies, under the name Dynabee. You started it spinning by sweeping the exposed side of the ball across a tabletop, and then kept it moving in a conical motion. When you had the motion right, you could feel your hand coupling angular momentum into it, and hear a rising whine as it gathered speed.

    Nice classroom demonstration of the dynamics of precession, but it made my wrist hurt like hell.

    • by sfm (195458)

      I also used a Dynabee in the Early 80's. Worked out a routine for 15 min/wrist, 3 times a week. I believe it significantly Improved my wrist strength. Also got very good at getting it spinning. First time through it is a bear to get started.

  • The plural of "anecdote" is _still_ not "data".

    • by V!NCENT (1105021)

      Data isn't everything.

      It's realy simple: using these balls propperly, meaning realy getting them up to speed, requires a lot of force to keep them leveled. Force is being applied by muscles. Just like lifting weights; the more you do, the stronger you get.

      After a couple of weeks, my wrist realy grew in diameter. After I stopped, it shrank a little.

      The difference in wrist diameter was the difference between my watch fitting loose and tightly around my wrists.

      Many females who do work by hand, who develop stro

      • by V!NCENT (1105021)

        Gyroscopes are keeping themselves leveled, oops. What I meant was keeping it up to speed while leveled.

  • I know, because I did. If you try to make it go really fast, it will place a LOT of strain on your wrist. We had the one that lit up, pretty cool toy.

  • Used it after getting hit by a car and having my wrist pinned together. Helped me regain a lot of mobility, flexibility, and was essentially my own therapy for my wrist after the cast came off and pins came out.

    Warning, you can injure yourself with these things. They produce a damn good bit of torque when in motion, enough to strain every tendon in your wrist if you aren't careful/expecting the force. Made the mistake of handing off one of these to my friends at about 12KRPM, and he strained the hell out of

  • I have (or had) one, and liked it, but I can't find it. I got tired of being stared at on the Washington DC subway with a large round thing in my hands making a loud whirring grinding noise. It's in a closet somewhere.

    Did it actually help? I don't honestly know. It felt good.

  • by geekoid (135745)

    No, they won't fix carpal tunnel problems.
    And asking it is helps 'wrist pain' is pretty meaningless since there are so many way to get wrist pain.

    Also, acupuncture cures nothing, and homeopathy still doesn't work.

  • Q: How do you get it to change color? A: it's only 20 dollars!
  • I bought a Dyna-Flex PowerBall years ago, maybe '05? I have been working with computers for about 30 years, but don't have any sort of problem with my wrists, so I can't comment about using them for rehabilitation. I will say that they are good for building forearm and wrist strength, you just have to be consistent about using them and you have to be able to fight through the pain. It's kind of like tapping your foot while keeping your heel on the ground. It's easy at first, but after a short period of time

  • Relieves carpal tunnel? I think it would give me carpal tunnel. Oh ya, and sex sells. Sheesh!
  • I had a really bad case of chronic tendonitis (not carpal tunnel syndrome) for about 3 years without any relief. I had inflamed tendon pain throughout both my wrists and arms all the time and I was getting ready to quit my job because of it (I am a programmer).

    This device does a really good job of building arm strength but did not help my tendonitis all that much. I think something like this may have been helpful at preventing my tendonitis, but by the time I started using it my arms were so bad that no amo

  • Due to a rather strange side-effect -- the low-frequency rumbling from the powerball made my gf feel ill when she heard it......

    You can keep your jokes and snarky comments to yourself, thank you.

  • I have a NSD powerball (250Hz) and a Prohands [prohands.net] Pro medium finger exerciser (tension of 7lb per finger). I use the powerball when I feel my wrists are getting sore (after all day behind the computer or playing the guitar) and the finger exerciser when I'm thinking at work (I'm a programmer so I do a lot of that :) ).
  • I get regular pains from typing at work and sometimes the situation flares up for me when I'm typing more regularly. My symptoms are weak grip, dull wrist pain and when it gets worse, tingly fingers. Sometimes the problem was enough to cause worry. Using a Powerball (the plastic versions) has really helped. So much, I'd say that it definitely cures it for me. I only have to use it a few consecutive days for about 5 minutes, doing about 5-9,000 on the little counter (just enough to warm the wrist muscles up
  • I broke my wrist in a motorcycle accident. After the cast was taken off I started working out with a titanium Powerball. I made 100% recovery in six months, and while it's impossible to say how much the exercise helped, I'm sure it did.

  • 10 years ago I started getting stiffness and numbness from my right wrist up to the shoulder. I switched to an ergo keyboard which helped a bit, but the DynaFlex Powerball helped a lot. Since then I've gone through 3 powerballs. A couple of years ago my knuckles started stiffening and freezing up on me. To help with that I've been taking Fish Oil, which I didn't think was working until I stopped it for a week, and have been using this great ergo mouse. [amazon.com]
  • I have one of these from DynaFlex that I got ages ago. I'd like to use it at work, but the damn thing is so loud when it's running. Anyone have any recommendations on ones that are quiet when running?

Forty two.

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