As we have progressed into the technological era, it is not uncommon for children and adults alike to presents with neck (more commonly being referred to as ‘text neck”), upper back and lower back pain. Parents provide their children with mobile phones or tablets to keep them entertained, which when held lower down can result in a hunched over or slump style of posture. Because of the increased amount of time staring at screens and the reduced amount of time we spend exploring our environment with movement and play, we are slowly evolving in a less than positive manner. As a result of this, we are seeing an increase in the number of both adults AND children presenting with neck and back problems.
80% of our population will suffer from back or neck pain at least once in their lifetime and half of that figure will be “diagnosed with chronic back pain”. What a staggering statistic! The frustrating part is that a large proportion of this population’s pain will likely be due to the lack of mobility and movement. Our body was designed for us to engage with the environment around us and hence was designed to bend, twist, extend, rotate and roam. It was not designed with the intention for us to sit still for 10-12 hours a day staring at screens. For us to think there will be no consequences of our immobile behaviours is greatly naïve.
Pilates was initially designed to assist injured WW1 soldiers by means of stretching, strengthening, improving core control and improve overall body alignment control. With its positive impact on the body and mind, it has continued evolve and to date is practiced by over 11 million people.
Pilates exercises, whether it be mat or equipment based, are frequently recommended (in conjunction with hands of therapy) to help reduce back and neck pain and further assist with the preventing the pain from returning. Through the strengthening and correct activation of muscles, the aim is to provide greater support to the back and neck. There is a focus on teaching and maintaining good postural alignment with a range of loaded (kneeling and standing) and unloaded (lying) movements that range from gentle simple movements to more complex, multi joint style exercises. As a result of progressive Pilates program that includes both stretching and strengthening exercises, targeted at a level that is appropriate to your ability it is possible to see a decrease in back and neck pain.
We very much live in a society where we want a quick solution however this isn’t always possible. Some people see an immediate benefit with Pilates, however for most it may take a little while longer to see the full benefits of a well designed Pilates program. If you think that you could benefit from a graduated and individualised Pilates program, please get in touch with us. We would be happy to discuss the possibility with you and alleviate any concerns or apprehensions you may have that are holding you back from getting your rehabilitation underway.