Neck muscles become tired and stressed from long hours of holding the same position. It happens only when you sit for hours and hours in front of a computer. It’s no surprise that one of the most common health conditions of our time is neck pain.
Neck pain and sore neck are usual complaints associated with simple everyday activities like reading for hours in the same position, holding the arms still like carrying your babies when she or he is asleep. If your posture is bad, you don’t realize all these can place strain and stress on the muscles, tissues, tendons, and ligaments of the neck. These cause the tendons to shorten, ligaments to lose tensile strength, and neck muscles to undergo spasm.
Pilates pain relief exercise methods can help relieve you of all these aches and pains caused by your daily activities, be it at home or at work.
Causes and Symptoms of Neck Pain
The neck spine, which we called “Cervical Spine” is a segment of 7 vertebrae – C1 to C7. It is basically made up of bones, joints, and discs held together by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The cervical spine is slightly curved as it comes down from the back of the skull and it is very easy to strain it if not careful. The musculature holding this section is sensitive and tires quickly because it has to support the cervical spine. So if any of these facets get injured, it is likely that you will suffer pain in the neck that may gradually increase over the following days or weeks, which could eventually lead to chronic neck pain.
It is also due to bad posture that contributes to most neck pain, such as sleeping incorrectly, on your stomach or sleeping with no neck support. Most people also get stiff neck by unintentionally sleeping on the wrong pillow or on their arms.
Many people find it hard to sit up with the proper posture for many hours. The hunched forward position for long periods of time means the spine is not properly supported. In fact, it is not in its desired position. Since the same routine happens every single day at work, it will eventually become a vicious cycle that will cause the neck muscles to become tense and sore.
Tips for Using Pilates for Neck Pain Relief
The objective of Pilates neck pain exercises is to release tension and stress and in time to teach yourself how to do it. If you are in some sort of pain, keep the movements soft and gentle. It is also crucial to be always mindful of your own form and posture.
To get an idea of the principle of good form, start by trying to maintain a long neck and a lifted chest that is open, soft and relaxed. To that, add space between the shoulder blades as well as the feeling that your arms are long and they hang lightly from the ends of your shoulders.
2.Train with Professionals
Train with an experienced pilates instructor who has worked with students with the same health history. They are more likely to be able to give specific exercises routines to help you achieve better results in a shorter time. It’s important to inform your Pilates instructor about your neck condition so that the right approach can be initiated.
3.Start with Private One on One Session
Your best bet will be to start with private one-on-one sessions as it will cater to your needs better. Group sessions, though small may not help you to achieve your goals. You will have a lot to learn. The results depend on your understanding on how to build a strong sense of awareness. Everyone has a specific mix of reasons for neck and shoulder tension. Therefore, you will need your instructor’s undivided attention in order to learn this.
Pilates exercises for Neck Pain
Pilates focuses on alignment of the spine, engagement of the core muscles and good breathing mechanics, using stretching and strength building methods. The following gentle exercises can relieve the pain caused by tense, knotted neck muscles and at the same time improve posture.
Sit on a chair with your back straight as in the tip 1 above. Relax your arms, neck and shoulders. Inhale while lifting the shoulders up, all the way to your ears. Exhale as you let your shoulders drop away from the neck. Repeat the movements five times while maintaining long extended neck alignment.
Rest your hands on the thighs and hold your neck in neutral position, looking straight ahead. Check that your jaw is straight and parallel to the floor. To start, inhale and exhale gently turn the head to the right side. Inhale again in this position while the neck is being stretched, and then exhale as the head rotates back to the center. Do the same movement this time rotating to the other side. Repeat this drill four more times while maintaining a long neck.