Relinque Health Centre Massage Ivanhoe Osteopath Ivanhoe Pilates Ivanhoe

Which Pillow Type Is Best For You?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

When you consider that one third of your life will be spent asleep, having a good quality pillow that supports your spine is very important.

Choosing a pillow is a personal thing, and with so much choice available it can be a challenge to decide which pillow is right for you.  Some pillows are designed for side sleepers, others for those that sleep on their back, some pillows even claim to stop snoring,

Three of the leading types of pillows currently available today are 1) Memory Foam 2) Latex and 3) Gel.  They all have their advantages and disadvantages, so take the time to learn a little more about each of them before you decide to spend money on your next pillow.

1) Memory Foam


Hypoallergenic, antimicrobial and resistant to dust mites (due to chemical treatment)

The temperature-sensitive and viscoelastic properties mean this pillow responds to your body’s warmth, and will soften and mould to the shape of your head and neck.

Very comfortable and offers outstanding support.

Reported to be more comfortable than natural latex.


Made from a synthetic polyurethane foam, which are mostly uncovered.

Tends to break down quicker than natural latex.

Have the tendency to off-gas if not covered with a protective material, and may be associated with breathing difficulties.

Synthetic materials tend to absorb and trap moisture and heat more than natural materials.

Can take 30-60 seconds to go back to original shape and size, which may become an issue if you are a restless sleeper.

2) Pure Latex


Made from the sap of rubber trees.

Eco Friendly – a renewable and sustainable resource.

Produced from pure natural latex with no chemicals used to stabilize the rubber.

Hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and resists dust mites.

Lasts longer than uncovered synthetic memory foam.

Suitable for those who prefer a firm, supportive pillow.

Returns back to its normal shape quicker than memory foam, and will bounce back immediately if you move in your sleep.

Not reported to cause any breathing issues.


Can give the initial sensation of being “bouncy and springy”, and may take a couple of weeks to get use to.

3) Technogel


The gel is made from a non-toxic and stable polyurethane substance.

The gel is joined with a memory foam pillow that is encased with a very thin layer of polyurethane.

The “soft solid” gel material joins together the 3D deformation of a fluid and the memory shape of a solid.

Moulds itself around your head and neck, deforming in all three directions giving superior comfort and support.

Even weight distribution over entire contact area leading to decreased pressure points and improved blood flow.

100% hypo-allergenic, non toxic and totally free from dangerous plasticizers and volatile agents.

Antimicrobial and resists dust mites.

Technogel’s good thermal conductivity favors heat dispersion, helping to lower skin temperature.

Does not rely on heat for efficient use.


More expensive than standard pillows.

If you have any questions regarding which type of pillow may be best for you, please contact one of the Osteopaths in our Ivanhoe clinic for more details.

Correct Work Posture For Neck And Shoulder Pain

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Sedentary work at the computer is one of the more common causes for neck and upper back pain that we see at our clinic.  Symptoms can range from mild occasional aches, to severe and constant pain that may cause headaches, referred pain into the arm, and pins and needles in the wrist and hand. 

 Early symptoms usually begin as an occasional ache across the shoulders and neck that can initially be relieved by short breaks at work. If ignored, the discomfort can progress and become quite debilitating.  Sometimes leading to arm and elbow pain with numbness and tingling in the wrist and hand, that is no longer relieved by time away form the desk.


The main cause for neck and shoulder pain associated with sitting at your computer is the prolonged static muscular effort that is required to support your upper limbs during keyboard and mouse use. 

Key factors that increase the risk of muscle and joint pain are:

- Poor sitting posture

- Poor typing technique

- Sitting too long without breaks

- Using the keyboard or mouse with arms or elbows extended.

- Feeling stressed.

What You Need To Do

1. Adjust your chair.

- Each day before you start work, adjust your chair to support your upright posture, making sure your back shoulders and neck are relaxed.

2. Maintain correct sitting posture.

- Adjust the chair height to fit into the small of your lower back - it should support the forward tilt of your pelvis.  Sit well back into the chair, and use it for support, not the desk.

- The chair should take the strain. Recline your chair to ensure maximum support for you back, whilst maintaining an upright posture.

- Keep your shoulders relaxed and elbows tucked close by your side.   

- Keep your head balanced squarely on your shoulders. Do not lean forward with your head as this puts considerable strain on your neck and upper back muscles.

3. Maintain correct typing posture.

- Raise the height of your chair so your elbows are above desk level, and inline with the middle of your keypad.

- Your heels must be flat on the floor. If they are not, you will need a footrest.

- Sit with shoulders relaxed, and your arms hanging vertically down from your shoulders.  Keep your elbows tucked in at your sides.  If the arms on your chair prevent this, it is best to remove them.

- Lift your wrists to type, and keep your hands in alignment.

- Avoid dropping your head forward when typing.  Instead, drop your eyes to view the keyboard.

- Avoid using the mouse if you can use keyboard shortcuts.  If you must use the mouse, hold it lightly with a relaxed hand

- The top of the computer screen should be no higher than your eyebrows.

- The computer screen should be a distance of roughly 50-60cm, but will depend on whether glasses are worn.

- When resting, let your arms relax by your side and do some simple stretches.

4. Work smart.

- Take regular short breaks.  Regular short breaks are more beneficial than one long break.

- Do not spend more than 45 min at the computer without changing your posture, or standing up to do some exercise.

- Reduce mouse use by learning shortcuts on your keyboard.

- Learning to touch type will decrease the time spent looking down at your hands, putting less strain on your neck and upper back muscles.

If you have any further questions regarding work posture or neck and shoulder pain, please contact one of the Osteopaths at Relinque Sports & Spinal Group.

What is a Torn Hamstring and can Osteopaths Effectively Treat Them?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

We see many athletes in our clinic with hamstring injuries, most have occurred as a result of some sort of running activity.  Hamstring strains are common injuries among sprinters, hurdlers, football players and hockey players.

During sprinting the hamstring muscles work extremely hard to decelerate the tibia (shin bone) as it swings out.  During this phase, as the foot prepares to strikes the ground the hamstring becomes most vulnerable as it approaches it’s maximum length.

Patients with a hamstring injury usually feel a sudden, sharp pain or pulling sensation in the back of their thigh.  They tend to occur more commonly in older athletes and particularly following an inadequate warm up.

What Does a Hamstring Tear Feel Like

Minor hamstring tears may not cause too much pain, but moderates to severe tears can be agonizing.

Other symptoms of a hamstring tear may include:

- Sudden and severe pain during the exercise, which may be accompanied by a popping sound.

- Localized, sharp pain in the back of the leg.

- Bruising may occur, and be quite extensive in severe cases.

Osteopathic Treatment of Hamstring Tears

- After an injury it is important to rest the injured muscle.  Sometimes it may take up to two to three weeks before you can begin any sort of training.

- Ice is always important in the early stage of rehabilitation in this injury.

- Gentle stretching can be started as soon as the pain and swelling begins to subside.

- Massage can be used to assist the removal of built up toxins and help decrease recovery time.

- A strengthening program should be used to strengthen the muscle and facilitate early return to activity with lessened risk of recurrence.

- A thigh compression wrap can be applied to provide support as the muscle heals.

Our Osteopaths have had great results in managing this type of injury and believe that the best recoveries are achieved by early intervention.  If you have experienced a hamstring injury and need more information on how to best manage this, don’t hesitate to contact our clinic to speak to one of our experienced Osteopaths to work out a treatment plan and exercises for you.

How To Choose The Best Pillow For Neck Pain

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Correct Pillows For Neck Pain.

 Find out how choosing the right pillow can give relief for your neck pain.

 A lot of patients we see here at our clinic suffer from neck pain.  Neck pain can be uncomfortable at times and this is why having the correct pillow the keeps your spine in a neutral position can make a huge difference.  Incorrect spinal posture is a major cause of neck and back problems.

 How Do Pillows Cause Neck Pain?

 A third of your life is spent sleeping, so correct sleeping posture is a must.  It is important to choose the right pillow and to become familiar with which neck pillows will provide you with the best pain relief and support.  It is important that pillows used to relieve neck pain have a contour to accommodate the neutral curves of the neck to maintain the proper neck posture while sleeping.  This helps to prevent strain of muscles and uneven pressure on joints, which can cause inflammation, a common cause of neck pain when waking in the morning.  If the head is too high or too low in relation to the rest of the body, the neck will be placed under stress causing neck problems.

 What To Look For In A Pillow

 A pillow should be designed to support your head and neck in a neutral position aligned with the rest of your spine.  The necessary height of your pillow will vary depending on the position you sleep in, which depending on your spinal health, should either be your side or your back..  There should be no space between the neck and the pillow.

 If you are waking up with neck pain, or if it’s been so long since you bought pillows that you don’t even know how old yours are, don’t hesitate to contact us at the practice, and one of our experienced Osteopaths will perform an assessment and will help you choose the correct pillow for your sleeping position.  Since you spend a good chunk of your life sleeping, one of the best ways to ensure sweet dreams is to get the most comfortable pillows you can find.

Pilates And Weight Loss. Will Pilates Help You Lose Weight?

Friday, November 16, 2012

One question we are frequently asked at our pilates studio in Ivanhoe is: Will pilates help me lose weight? The short answer is yes, pilates will help you lose weight. The amount of weight you lose will depend upon the types of exercises you do, the intensity of the exercises, and your body type. 

Studies have shown that a one hour pilates class can burn between 241 and 421 kcal per hour. Below is a comparison for a few of the most common forms of exercise.

- Walking 6km/h 230kcal per hour
- Weight training with moderate weights 186kcal per hour
- Swimming freestyle moderate 435kcal per hour

Regular pilates classes will provide you with many benefits including increased muscle tone, improved posture and improved body shape.

Increase muscle tone

Increase muscle mass means increased calories burned. Pilates is a very specialized form of resistance training that utilizes spring-loaded apparatus to strengthen and tone your body. As you become stronger the intensity of the exercises increases, encouraging your body to adapt and grow stronger. 

Improved posture to look thinner

By increasing the strength and tone in your abdominals and back muscles, your body will automatically take on a new shape. Pilates will teach you how to use your abdominal muscles correctly, and contract your abdominal wall rather than letting it distend. It will strengthen the muscles in your back and allow you to stand taller with you shoulders neutral, rather than slumping forward.

Improved body shape

One of the big advantages that pilates has over other forms of exercise is that every exercise you do aims to strengthen and tone your deep abdominal and back muscles. With such a focus on strengthening and toning your mid section, pilates will not only re-shape your body but prevent lower back injuries.

How to increase the benefits of your pilates classes

- Participate in at least 2 classes per week
- Minimize rest times between exercises
- Apply yourself fully to each exercise
- Continually challenge yourself during classes by altering exercises and resistance.

If you have any questions regarding Pilates, please contact one of our Pilates instructors at Relinque Sports & Spinal Group

What are Probiotics? How can they Help You?

Sunday, September 02, 2012

What are Probiotics? How can they Help You?

Thanks to advertising, most of us know something about the good bacteria (probiotics) in our digestive system. Some of us even consume them in various forms such as yoghurt, drinks and capsules. But what is that they do?And how do they help us?

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms such as bacteria or yeast that are thought to improve your health. Probiotics are the friendly microorganisms that support the normal function of your gut for digestion, absorption, elimination, and protection. When you look at it, almost everything we consume is processed and distributed through your digestive system. If you are not properly digesting the foods you eat, then you won’t obtain the nutrients you need for growth and repair so that you can thrive.

Probiotics can be consumed through foods and drinks that have added active live cultures in them such as yogurt, soy, drinks or capsules. Two of the most important groups commonly delivered in dietary supplements are Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria.

Your Digestive System

The digestive system of a normal newborn is sterile. During birth, and shortly after, bacteria from the mother and the surrounding environment such as the air, bed linen, and hospital staff colonize and grow within the infant’s gut. Shortly after birth, bacteria are readily transferred through, kissing, caressing, and breast-feeding. Bacteria make up most of the flora in your digestive system, with most estimates showing around 300 – 1000 different species. The average adult human digestive system carries around 500 different species of bacteria with a total weight of 3-4 kg.

The types of bacteria and other flora in the digestive vary greatly from one person to the next, but they stay fairly constant within an individual over time. Factors that alter the types of flora within your body are diet, lifestyle, stress, drugs, antibiotics and age. 

We normally coexist in a healthy state with our gut flora, but when the balanced is altered, the relationship can become harmful to us, and disease may occur.

Why do we need Probiotics?

People can survive without gut flora, however these microorganisms perform many useful functions, such as:

- Assist with food digestion.
- Improve nutrient availability
- Preventing growth of harmful bacteria.
- Producing vitamins for your body such as vit K and biotin.
- Support your immune function

What are the Health Benefits of Probiotics Supplements?

Current research is showing the many benefits of maintaining a healthy gut flora. Taking probiotic supplements may be helpful for:

- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. ulcerated colitis)
- Recurrent vaginal infections
- Regulating immune response
- Eczema
- Acute childhood diarrhoea

If you are thinking about taking a probiotic supplement, it is best to use one that contains a number of different bacterial strains.

How to Choose the Right Mattress

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How To Choose The Right Mattress?

When it comes to deciding on a new mattress, the choices can be overwhelming. Choosing the right mattress will not only help prevent neck and back pain, but will ensure you have a peaceful nights sleep. So before you visit your local mattress retailer consider the following important points.

What Are the Different Types of Mattresses?

Coil sprung

This was the traditional way for a mattress to be sprung. Coil sprung mattresses consist of rows of hourglass shaped coil springs that are joined together above and below by a wire. The firmness of these mattresses is determined by the thickness of the coil springs. Generally the heavier you are, the thicker gauge wire you will prefer. They tend to be cheaper than other more modern styles of mattresses available today. 

These mattresses provide excellent support and offer great value for money. A good tip for a great value mattress is to buy a good quality coil spring mattress that has a high-grade cushion top on it.

Box sprung

These mattresses are made of rows of springs that are individually wrapped in their own pockets. These boxes are made to work independently of each other, allowing the springs to contour to your body and provide maximum support. The number of springs is usually advertised in the description. The greater the number of springs in the mattress, the greater the comfort. Because the springs work independently of each other there is less partner disturbance with movement.

These mattresses tend to distribute weight far better than traditional coil sprung mattresses. 

Box sprung with cushion top

These mattresses have a luxurious covering on top of the very supportive pocket sprung mattress. They provide very effective weight distribution, support and comfort. Regardless of your body weight or size your spine will be held in the correct anatomical position for optimal sleeping position.

Latex foam

Latex mattresses consist of several layers of either natural or synthetic latex. The bottom layer is the firmest, with each subsequent layer being progressively softer. These mattresses offer a firm supportive base, with a comfortable top layer. Some latex mattresses may sleep hot if there is insufficient air circulation through the pinhole sized core holes within the mattress.

Latex mattresses are very long lasting – some up to twenty years. This compares to the average life of 8-12 years in top quality box sprung mattresses. The benefit of latex mattresses is that they can be made from 100% natural latex. They are naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites, making them great for allergy sufferers. Although considered by many more comfortable and supportive than memory foam mattress, they do show more partner roll than memory foam. Due to the open cell structure of latex they move better with your body. They are generally more expensive than memory foam.

Memory foam

Memory foam was originally developed by NASA engineers to help combat gravity pressure during departure and re-entry. Memory foam mattresses have viscoelastic properties, so as your body heats up, the foam softens. As your body cools, the foam hardens. The quality of the memory foam mattress is directly related to the density of the foam. As you would expect, the denser foam mattresses are also the most expensive.

Memory foam mattresses offer fantastic pressure relieving properties – perhaps better than any other. This type of mattress molds to your body’s shape. They are very comfortable and give you great support. The downside to memory foam mattresses is that they tend to sleep hot. So for those people who get hot at night, they might not be the right choice.

How to choose the firmness of your mattress

When deciding on the firmness of your mattress, the most important point to keep in mind is support. A soft mattress may feel great, but it offers poor support. This can lead to muscle stiffness that often causes back and neck pain. A mattress that is too firm will also lead to problems. It will put too much pressure on your hips and shoulders, and not allow your body to keep correct anatomical position. The ideal mattress is one that is supportive. 

It is important to remember that a mattress that is perfectly supportive for one person may be too hard for someone else. It all depends on your body type and weight. Unfortunately there is no scale for mattress firmness that manufacturers adhere to, so you need to make the decision for yourself. 

How to choose the size of your mattress

As a rule, bigger is better. The more space you have, the less likely you are to be woken by your partner rolling and moving round. It is generally recommended to buy as big a mattress that you can comfortably fit in your bedroom.

So which mattress is best for you?

Here are a few simple tips to help decide which mattress is best for you:

1) When comparing mattresses in the store, start with the high-end mattresses. This will give you an idea of how comfortable and supportive they are. You can then work your way down until you get the right balance between comfort and your budget. 

2) Always take your partner with you when deciding on a new mattress. The mattress needs to be the right choice for both of you.

3) Lie on the mattress for at least 5 minutes in your usual sleeping position. Ensure your shoulders and hips are comfortable, and your lower back and neck are supported. The mattress should support your spine in the same position it is when you are standing.

Slat vs. Ensemble base?

Once you have chosen your perfect mattress, you need to decide on the type of base. Slat bases have better air circulation and provide great support for your mattress. Slat bed bases also tend to look better, and have more space for storage. An ensemble base may last longer, and provide better support for your mattress. When it comes to the overall comfort of your bed, the most important part is the mattress.

If you have any questions regarding choosing your next mattress, please contact one of the osteopaths at Relinque Sports & Spinal Group

Pilates vs. Yoga. What is Best for You?

Monday, August 13, 2012

What is the difference between Pilates and Yoga? And which one is best for you?

It seems most people have had some experience with pilates or yoga these days. But what is the difference? And what is best for you?  The Pilates Instructors from our Studio in Ivanhoe compare the two.

What is Pilates?

Joseph Pilates established the Pilates method in the 1920’s. It was designed to strengthen weak muscles, increase flexibility, and correct poor movement patterns. Pilates focuses on strengthening your core muscles - particularly the transverses abdominus and pelvic floor muscles. This creates greater stability for your spine, pelvis and supporting muscles. It is this focus on strengthening your core and pelvic floor that defines pilates apart from yoga.

Pilates classes are generally split into two different styles. 1) Mat work classes that are performed on the floor and use small props, and 2) reformer or studio classes that are performed on the pilates machines and utilize the full array of pilates equipment. 

Pilates trains your body to function with more efficient body mechanics. When performed properly, correct movement patterns will free your body to release all tensions, giving you increased energy and a greater sense of well being.

What are the benefits of Pilates?

-Increased core strength and muscle tone.
-Increased mobility of spine and rib cage.
-Improved flexibility.
-Improved posture.
-Improved postural awareness.
-Improved breathing patterns.
-Strengthening of pelvic floor.

Pilates is one of the safest forms of exercise available. Pilates can be beneficial for just about everyone, regardless of age and fitness level.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a term used to describe a physical, mental and spiritual discipline that incorporates meditation to attain spiritual insight. Yoga originated in India over 5,000 years ago, and has evolved over the years into many different types of yoga including Bikram, Hatha, Iyengar and Ashtanga to name just a few. 

Yoga aims to unite body, mind and spirit through stretching and strengthening moves, breathing and meditation. It is this union of mind body and spirit that clearly defines yoga apart from Pilates. Someone who practices yoga with a high level of commitment is called a yogi.

What are the benefits of Yoga?

-Increased flexibility
-Increased strength
-Increased mobility of internal organs
-Improved posture

Difference 1. The Class

Each class you participate in will be different so a few generalizations need to be made for this comparison.

Studio pilates is the original way pilates was meant to be taught, as it utilizes the full array of pilates equipment. Before starting studio pilates classes, each student should undergo a full postural assessment to determine your strengths, weaknesses, and all muscular imbalances within your body.

Studio classes are generally 60 min in duration, and have a maximum of 3-4 students in each class. Each student will be taken through your own personalized routine depending on the findings of your assessment. Studio pilates classes should be structured to meet each students needs.

Yoga classes are very flexible in their structure and generally run for 60–90min. The various postures and sequences can be combined into thousands of different routines in each class. The make up of the class will be determined by the style of yoga you practice and the teacher on the day. Certain styles of yoga such as Bikram, and Ashtanga have more set sequences of postures.

Difference 2. The Breath

In Pilates you are encouraged to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. Great emphasis is placed on expanding the lower rib cage laterally, as you inhale deeply - lower rib expansion forms the basis for all pilates exercises.

Yoga incorporates breathing on a very deep level during classes. Postures and movements are matched with different breathing techniques that can bring about profound changes in mind, body and spirit. Often in yoga classes, sections will be entirely devoted to breath work, called pranayama. In yoga you generally breathe in and out through the nose.

Difference 3. The Results

Both yoga and pilates aim to improve strength, flexibility and general fitness. They also both aim to promote deep and correct breathing patterns.

Pilates is more specific with matching the types of exercises to each individuals needs. There should always be exercise to increase core strength, whilst maintaining and strong, flexible and healthy spine. The focus of pilates is to strengthen the weak areas, and loosen the tight areas within your body. 

Yoga aims to work every muscle in your body equally. Each posture has a counter posture to create flexibility and balance within your body. Core strength is an important element of yoga, but it does not have the same focus as pilates. 

Yoga also aims to promote relaxation and mental clarity, as well as improve the function of internal organs.

What is best for you?

If you have a specific injury that needs rehabilitation, weak core, or pelvic floor that needs strengthening, then pilates may be best for you. If you are looking to improve your overall flexibility, and help with stress and relaxation, then yoga may be the better option. Either way, both will help improve your health, and give you a greater sense of well being.

If you have any questions regarding Pilates or Yoga, please contact one of the Pilates instructors at Relinque Sports & Spinal Group.

Can Pilates Improve Your Core Strength?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Core strengthening exercises form a vital role in the rehabilitation of many lower back and pelvic injuries. A weak core can lead to increased stress on the lumbar spine, causing premature wear, and greater instability. Pilates is considered the safest and most effective way to improve core strength.

Relinque Helath centre Pilates is Ivanhoe’s leading and most experienced provider of pilates, osteopathy, and massage. We have been providing effective and lasting relief for sufferers of back pain with pilates for Ivanhoe, Fairfield, Alphington, Heidelberg and surrounding suburbs since 1998. 

What Are The Core Muscles?

The core muscles form a box that has the diaphragm ( breathing muscle ) as the lid, the stomach and spinal muscles as the sides and the pelvic floor as the bottom. They all work together to form your core. The Pilates method primarily focuses on strengthening the core muscles while the spine is an optimal or neutral position. 

What Is The Function Of The Core Muscles?

The core muscles play an important role in supporting and stabilising your spine. It is therefore very important to strengthen and maintain these muscles in order to:
1. Decrease pain
2. Prevent injury 

If these muscles are weak it may lead to imbalances through the low back and trunk muscles, causing increased pressure on the discs and ligaments which leads to injury and pain. 

Current research has shown that training the abdominal area without proper pelvic stabilisation will increase intradiscal pressure and compressive forces of the lumbar spine ( low back ). It is therefore essential when exercising your core muscles that you be careful and are aware of the positioning of your trunk and spine. 

Will Increased Core Strength Decrease Back Pain?

Yes, strengthening your core muscles will indeed help low back pain and the pilates method is one of the best and safest ways of being able to do so. 

If you have any questions regarding core strength or pilates, please contact one of the pilates instructors at Relinque Sports & Spinal Group in Ivanhoe.

Can Pilates Help Neck Pain?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Neck pain is the most common pain people experience in today’s society, with around one in ten people suffering neck pain at any given time. The causes are varied and range from mild muscle strains to severe chronic arthritic conditions. Problems in the neck commonly lead to shoulder pain, headaches, jaw pain, pins and needles down the arm, and upper back pain.

Relinque Sports & Spinal Group Pilates in Ivanhoe has been providing effective and lasting relief with pilates for sufferers of neck pain for Ivanhoe, Fairfield, Alphington, Heidelberg, and surrounding suburbs since 1998. 

What Causes Neck Pain?

The most common cause of neck pain stems from benign musculoskeletal strains and sprains that occur as a result of poor posture, overuse or trauma. Poor posture is by far the most common cause of musculoskeletal neck strains we see at our pilates studio in Ivanhoe, and it is becoming an increasing problem in our society. This should come as no suprise considering the amount of time we spend sitting at desks, driving the car and on the computer.

The reason your neck is so susceptible to the effects of poor posture is because it is constantly trying to support and balance your head which weighs around 5 kg. Your neck is also the last chance your body has to make the fine tune adjustments needed to keep your eyes and ears level, allowing you to stay balanced. If there is any forward, or side to side movement from below, then your neck must adapt and compensate to keep you balanced. Slight changes in head position cause big changes in the amount of muscle tension required to support its weight. In fact, the tension in your neck doubles for every 2-3 cm that you head is forward

Other less common causes of neck pain are arthritis, disc degeneration, nerve irritation, canal stenosis, and whiplash.

How Does Pilates Relieve Neck Pain?

Poor Posture is becoming increasingly common on today's society. People are spending more time sitting at desks than they ever have before, and less time moving and exercising.  This causes imbalances in the muscles throughout your body and leads to poor posture.  The main focus of Pilates is to:

1) Increase your core strength

2) Increase flexibility in your spine and rib cage.

3) Improve posture

By increasing the strength in your core, and the flexibility in your spine and rib cage with pilates exercises, your body is able to return to a more balanced resting state. The aim of pilates is to strengthen the weak muscles, and loosen the tight ones. As your posture improves, pressure is taken away from your stressed and overworked neck and upper back muscles, and placed onto your strong postural muscles. This is the way your body was designed to work, this is the way to return your body back to balance. 

If you have any questions about neck pain, or pilates, please talk to one of the instructors at Relinque Sports & Spinal Group in Ivanhoe.