Most of you have probably noticed or at least heard about our newest piece of equipment, the Oov. All of us were rather skeptical going into the course. We thought, “do we really need to learn how to use another piece of equipment?” I thought I had already allocated enough money and sacrificed weekends towards continuing education for 2016 but with some encouragement from Amy, I, as well as my colleagues decided to embark on the Oov journey. I’m sure glad I did! The following highlights just some of the benefits and features the Oov provides.
A cradle for your spine
This is the analogy I have been using for describing the Oov. The shape of the Oov is engineered to match the natural spinal curves of your body. Unlike a foam roller, the Oov is made from compliant foam so it is comfortable. Once a client is positioned on the Oov, they are essentially in what we refer to as a “neutral spine.” This is wonderful for us as manual therapists and movement instructors because we no longer need to “clog” the neurologic system with cues about where your spine and pelvis are in space.
Balancing your stability
The Oov is shaped to be an unstable surface. So while it “cradles your spine,” it also challenges your rotational stability, which is functional for many of our daily activities. Since the shape and material of the Oov keeps the spine in an elongated, neutral position, we can easily train clients out of dysfunctional, habitual movement patterns. More importantly, clients gain new awareness of these patterns which is a challenging aspect of our treatment paradigms.
Free your shoulders
Unfortunately, our modern world promotes unhealthy posture. Freedom and coordination of the muscles around the neck and shoulders are important for a healthy, functioning spine. The Oov was designed to allow the shoulder blades to move freely while laying on it. We can train a client’s head, neck and shoulder alignment while challenging the neuromuscular system to recognize a new, healthy position of the spine.
Teaching clients how to perform exercises at home can be tricky. One quandary I experience as a physical therapist is when patients report not doing their home exercise program because they were not sure if they were doing it correctly. This is where the Oov comes in handy. Many of the “core strengthening” exercises we prescribe can be performed on the Oov without proprioceptive confusion. Purchasing an Oov for home is an affordable option for physical therapy and fitness clients alike.
The preceding points only scratch the surface of what the Oov offers. Since we have been utilizing the Oov for less than a month, we are constantly finding and creating new ways to use it. We would recommend trying it for yourself or emailing us with any questions you may have.
Sandy has been a physical therapist for 2 years and completed her Polestar Pilates training 3 years ago. She is a native of Riverside, IL but currently resides in Salt Lake City, working alongside Amy Broekemeier at Pinnacle Performance. She loves creating positive physical and mental changes in her patients by tailoring her evaluation and treatment techniques to meet every clients’ unique needs. Sandy has found the Oov to benefit clients presenting with impairments ranging from neurologic deficits to athletic injuries. For upcoming Oov courses, click here.