Most people have heard that doing Pilates will help with back pain but did you know neck pain suffers get amazing benefits from physio led Pilates.
Nearly 3/4 of adults will experience neck pain at some time in their lives, with as many as 50% of the population experience an episode at least once per year. We know that exercise is one of the best things people with neck pain can do, but knowing exactly which type can be tricky.
For a long time i’ve been recommending my clients with chronic, recurrent and even acute bouts of neck pain start working on Pilates exercises to help to recover and stay pain free. Most of what I use to explain this my clinical expertise and understanding of how maintaining a strong core sets in place the spinal position or posture which determines how hard the muscles of the neck have to work. When these muscles work too hard you get headaches and neck pain but when we train the core and work the arms and shoulders in Pilates we can get the strength improvements we’re after without exacerbating pain.
Now science has caught up and a study published earlier this year backs me up. The study Effects of Pilates and Yoga in patients with chronic neck pain from the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, followed patients on a 6 week physiotherapy led exercise program including one of the following types of exercise: Pilates, Yoga or isometric strengthening.
What they found was that in combination with 3 weeks of hands on physiotherapy treatment any of these exercise styles reduced neck pain, range of movement, disability and depression scores and increased patients quality of life. However, it was only Pilates that created an increase in the muscle thickness of the semispinalis capitus (yes its a mouthful), a key muscles responsible for extending the head on neck to maintain good neck and shoulder posture. the researchers also felt patients benefited from the focus on the core trunk stabiliser muscles as they showed improved body movement patterns.
So what does this mean?
If you suffer from neck pain, headaches or tension after a long day, you could really benefit from starting a Pilates program led by a physiotherapist.
But Adriana, couldn’t I just do it at my gym?
Yes. The short answer is that you certainly could. However, most gym and fitness style Pilates classes area one-size-fits all style meaning it’s very hard for the instructor to adjust the program to suit your individual needs without disrupting the rest of the class.
At Activate Physiotherapy our Physiotherapists can tailor a treatment program to focus on addressing your unique needs. After a thorough assessment of your body, we run you through your program to ensure you are performing each exercise safely and correctly to achieve the maximal benefits after which you may be suitable to commence our Group based Physiotherapy sessions.