Colourful, stretchy and essential for helping your clients solve a multitude of issues, resistance bands are now as common in physical therapy practices as coffee mugs.
Simple on the surface, resistance bands have become a huge part of muscle strengthening, yoga, joint rehabilitation and so much more. But are all resistance bands the same? Are you using the best of the best or the cheapest of the cheap?
It’s time to find out why quality matters with resistance bands.
Common problems with low-quality resistance bands
While cheap resistance bands are easy to fit into your budget, demonstrate exercises with and hand out to clients, they come with a variety of issues.
Commonly made from latex, cheap, low-quality resistance bands don’t have much in the way of longevity. Latex is derived from plants and dries out quickly, causing it to become crumbly and brittle.
UV accelerates the degradation of latex too, in a surprisingly short time. You may soon discover that if you leave resistance bands in view of sunshine, they become tacky, weak and break apart. Degradation is commonly first discovered when the resistance band starts sticking to itself, a sure sign it’s on its way out.
The result? You have a buy more.
They’re an allergen
Latex allergy affects an estimated 5% of the UK population which is a significant problem if you’re giving or recommending latex resistance bands to your clients. Many people may not even be aware of their latex allergy until they start using resistance bands, meaning they might experience a reaction out of the blue.
To avoid the risk of an allergic reaction in your physio clients, it’s best to avoid these latex resistance bands, no matter how seductively cheap they are.
They’re no friend to bare skin
Latex bands have a habit of sticking to skin. If your client is using a latex resistance band around their legs, the band can roll up and trap leg hairs. Not much fun for anyone with hairy legs!
This rolling up effect often occurs on clothed skin as well, which can focus the pressure and cause discomfort.
They’re often a single strip
For simple exercises, a single strip resistance band often works just fine. But for many exercises, they can slip. Better quality resistance bands often have loops, enabling better control and adjustment without pinging across skin or through hands.
The benefits of latex resistance bands
Of course, it’s not all bad. Latex resistance bands have some solid benefits for physiotherapists. For a start, they’re ultra-cheap and you can buy them wholesale by the roll. This enables you to cut a length quickly, easily demonstrate exercises and give them to clients to use.
They’re also extremely flexible and elastic with impressive stretch. But while these cheap resistance bands serve a legitimate purpose, for long term use there’s a better way.
Fabric resistance bands
For anything more than a week’s use, fabric resistance bands are a far better investment for your clients. Easy to use, as a piece of equipment that may be needed for years at a time, a high-quality fabric resistance band pays dividends.
Fabric resistance bands, like our SpoBand, can be washed and don’t develop that strange latex smell. Made from cotton with stretchy rubber inserts, the SpoBand can be put in the washing machine without its stretch being affected.
This is crucial for prolonged use in the gym or at home. Nobody wants a dirty, smelly resistance band that quickly turns into a breeding ground for bacteria.
Strong and durable
As latex bands age, the risk of snapping suddenly becomes greater. A sudden snap can jar the user and cause more discomfort that it was supposed to solve in the first place. Fabric resistance bands are considerably stronger and will never snap.
Comfortable to use
Thanks to the strong fabric loops, SpoBands are incredibly comfortable to hold and use compared to latex and rubber resistance bands. They won’t roll up on or dig into the palms. As every therapist knows, it’s easier to get clients to follow an exercise schedule if it’s as comfortable as possible. Using uncomfortable equipment can make clients less willing to do their resistance band exercises.
Simple things like increasing the comfort of resistance bands can make a big difference to rehabilitation and recovery.
Range of resistance in each band
The loops on each size of SpoBand allows a single band to have a wide range of resistance. This is perfect for different exercises and means that clients will only need one band to follow any exercise prescribed.
Instead of having to own multiple latex bands in different resistances, the SpoBand is a one-stop-shop. This makes it easy to use with zero faff required.
Do you want to up your resistance band game?
There will always be room for cheap latex resistance bands in physio and sports therapy practices but when you and your clients need a band that’s dependable, high-quality fabric bands offer far more benefits.
For many muscular issues, resistance band exercises need to be continued through the long term, making latex bands more hassle than they’re worth. A strong and flexible fabric band has multiple resistance levels, is comfortable to use and can be washed whenever necessary.
If you’d like to find out more about our range of SpoBands, get in touch with us today. We’re dedicated to providing the highest quality physical therapy products because health is too important to leave to low-quality materials.