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Can Pilates Help Neck Pain?

Info Relinque - 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.

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