Pilates for neck pain
Pilates for neck pain
Pilates can get you on your way to a better posture, stronger and more mobile body and core musculature, with no pain and lots to gain. As we age, our spines undergo degenerative changes. This also happens in the neck (cervical) area. Although degeneration in the cervical spine is most commonly due to age-related changes, this condition also is affected by lifestyle, genetics, smoking, physical activity and nutrition.
How does neck pain happen?
Neck pain can be attributed to a number of reasons. Neck pain can be acute or chronic. Many factors contribute to the development and maintenance of chronic neck pain, such as activity, lifestyle, age, trauma, health etc.
One of the many reasons chronic neck pain develops is age related and attributed to wear and tear.
For example, cervical disc degeneration in the neck begins in the second decade of life in which the less hydrated and more fibrous disc fails to withstand compressive loading resulting in uneven distribution of the forces on the disc and the facet joints. Over time, these changes may produce symptoms of pain, numbness or weakness in the neck and shoulders, upper back, and sometimes chest and hands.
Pilates for neck pain – How can Pilates help with neck pain?
Pilates exercises can help restore posture of the neck, upper and mid spine and shoulder complex. Pilates exercises focus on cervical and thoracic spine flexibility, postural retraining, and strengthening. All of this can prevent further repetitive microtrauma to the neck from poor movement patterning, and this in turn can help reduce stresses to the neck, often the cause of chronic pain.
By correcting the placement of the neck and head and improving posture through awareness and exercise, Pilates can help develop optimal neuromuscular performance in the neck upper back and shoulders. The aim of this is preventing further tissue irritation, further degeneration and therefore reduce pain.
According to McKenzie (2006), patient goals should include maintenance of neutral spine and demonstrating correct posture during daily activities. These proprioceptive skills, implemented during strengthening exercises, facilitate stable, safe, and pain-free cervical posture during strenuous activity. He furthermore argues, “cervicothoracic stabilisation requires strengthening and coordination of neck, shoulder, and scapular muscles”. Pilates exercises offer a variety of options for retraining these muscles and correct faulty posture patterns. This is why Pilates for neck pain can be helpful.
At Core Kensington, our exercise programming is rooted in the STOTT PILATES® Five Basic Principles. This contemporary Pilates method incorporates modern exercise principles, and applies proven and accepted practices in biomechanics, rehabilitation and athletic performance enhancement. Contemporary Pilates and rehabilitation programmes recognise that patient education and treatment individualisation play key roles in pain management outcomes.
We place equal emphasis on shoulder stabilisation and mobility as contracting the abdominal musculature.
Find out how you can improve your posture and reduce neck discomfort with Pilates corrective exercise.
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or contact us on 02078541934 for an assessment.
May S et al. Classification by McKenzie mechanical syndromes: a survey of McKenzie-trained faculty. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Volume 29, Issue 8, October 2006, Pages 637-642