Neck Pain Pilates Exercises
More and more people are experiencing neck pain at earlier ages. The use of smartphones, tablets and computers has our generation hunched over, especially young people. Look around on the street, in restaurants, on the buses or trains. From children to adults the percentage of people leaned over their phones with their head forwards is astonishing. “Walk down a busy city street and try to find someone that makes eye contact; you are more likely to literally run into somebody walking toward you so engrossed in their smart phone world that their walking is slow, automatic, and inattentive. This applies to people of all ages” (Cuéllar, Jason M. et al, 2017).
Spine surgeons are noticing an increase in patients with neck and upper back pain, likely related to poor posture during prolonged smartphone use, according to a recent report. (Medscape, 2017).
The new “Text Neck” is an increasingly common presentation for physios, osteopathic, chiropractic clinics. More young patients who should not be having neck issues are increasingly reporting disc hernias and upper back poor alignment problems.
The studies report that people hold their neck and head at approximately 45 degrees. The average weight of the human head is around 5kg. This weight greatly increases as a person hunch over. At a 15-degree flexion, it adds 27 pounds. The stress on the spine increases by degree added. A sixty degree incline bend adds an extra 22kgs of strain on the neck. Imagine what that does to the chain going down the spine. Continuous stresses lead to early wear and tear, degeneration and eventually surgery.
Lifestyle changes are widely recommended to relieve stresses caused from a “text neck” posture.
According to Medscape,“A more practical recommendation would be frequent rest breaks or some physical exercise that can strengthen the neck and shoulder muscles,”
How can Pilates help?
Neck pain Pilates exercises aim to correct poor posture by restoring the natural curvatures of the spine and correction of shoulder alignment. This is done by correcting muscle imbalances in the neck, upper back and scapulae and mobilising restricted joints. Neck pain Pilates exercises are aimed at strengthening weak and long muscles and lengthening short and tight muscles of the neck, and upper back and shoulders.
By correcting poor shoulder movement patterns one can optimise upper back alignment and therefore, help reduce wear and tear on the neck joints, which can cause pain. Located at 64 Porchester Road, W2 6ET in London, our studio is just walking distance from Bayswater, Paddington, Notting Hill.
Which Neck Pain Pilates Exercises Best?
With a text neck posture, the head goes forward, the upper back hyper flexed and rounded shoulders, so the muscle imbalances tend to be as follows: Upper back muscles and under chin neck muscles are weak and long while back of the neck musculature is short and tight.
We therefore recommend upper back extensions and mobilisations. At the same time, exercises that strengthen the upper back muscles, scapular stabilisers, retractors, and external rotators of the humerus. At the same time, exercises that strengthen the neck flexors, as these will tend to be weak and long.
Breast stroke preparations
External rotations of the humerus
Pilates exercises provide a solution to poor posture, neck and back pain.
Blog written by Carlo Yanez
Registered Osteopath B.A.(Hons.), B.Ost.(Hons)
Fully certified STOTT PILATES® Instructor
Leaning Forward During Smartphone Use May Cause ‘Text Neck’ – Medscape – Apr 14, 2017.
“Text neck”: an epidemic of the modern era of cell phones? Cuéllar, Jason M. et al. The Spine Journal, Volume 0 , Issue 0.