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Neck pain is one of the most common complaints presented by patients here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic. We treat this complaint on a daily basis and have identified that those with primarily computer or desk based work are particularly at risk of experiencing neck pain. Prolonged sitting or poor sitting posture can often result in neck stiffness and pain. Of late, there has been an increased awareness in workplace ergonomics, improving work station set-ups and this has helped to a certain extent. Poor screen, mouse and keyboard positioning can cause over use of neck and shoulder muscles. Moreover, many of us hold emotional stress and tension in the muscles around the neck and shoulders. The gentle movement and posture correction involved in Pilates may help relieve these upper body aches and pains.
Pilates is a form of exercise that was developed by Joseph Pilates. He formulated a set of exercises in the hope that if practiced regularly and correctly, these exercises would balance the body and mind. His exercises aim to improve core strength and stability. Poor core strength, means less support and stability for the neck joints, and in turn overuse and increased tightness of other muscle groups to provide this support. Weak core abdominals, scapular and deep neck flexors means there is a lack of stability in the trunk, and increased pressure and work for the neck and shoulder muscles trying to provide this support.
All Pilates exercises are focused on performing movements in a neutral spinal position, focusing on control and quality of movement. There is also an emphasis on relaxation and lateral thoracic breathing as you exercise, which aids in relaxing tight, tense muscles and facilitates activation of our core muscles. The stronger your deeper abdominal and back muscles are, the more your shoulder and neck muscles can relax. Pilates increases joint support through increased core strength. This also helps improve normal movement patterns and correct poor muscle recruitment. Pain and tension often causes loss of the correct muscle recruitment patterns to be lost.
Contact our clinic today to begin your journey of managing your neck pain. There are a range of Pilates classes here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic, run by our chartered physiotherapists. If you have been experiencing neck pain or interested in trying out Pilates, contact us here for a free Pilates assessment and we will then get you into a suitable Pilates class.