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Can Pilates Help Neck and Shoulder Pain?

Do you suffer from neck and shoulder pain? A Pilates fitness program may not only build strength, but help relieve neck and shoulder discomfort as well.

Do you suffer from neck stiffness and shoulder pain? Millions of Americans do, and the way to treat this nagging problem may be as close as your nearest Pilates studio. A recent study published in Clinical Biomechanics showed that a Pilates fitness program could be the key to reducing chronic neck and shoulder pain in some people.

A Pilates Fitness Program for Neck Stiffness and Shoulder Pain?: The Study

For this study, a group of study participants who suffered from neck stiffness and shoulder pain participated in a Pilates fitness program consisting of Pilates moves for the shoulders, abdomen, and Pilates exercises designed to build better posture. After completing the program, the participants not only had greater abdominal muscle strength, but they also showed changes in neck and shoulder anatomy that should lead to less neck and shoulder pain.

Why Does a Pilates Program for Neck and Shoulder Pain?

A Pilates fitness program is effective because it stretches and elongates the neck and shoulder muscles by using slow, controlled movements that emphasize good form. This not only builds strength, but does so without increasing the risk of injury. It also teaches correct breathing techniques and relaxation which may also have a beneficial effect on neck stiffness and shoulder pain. Pilates moves are designed to build better posture which is also a positive for those who suffer from neck and shoulder pain.

Before Entering a Pilates Fitness Program

It’s important that anyone experiencing neck stiffness and shoulder pain be cleared by a doctor before doing any kind of workout since exercise could be risky for people with certain types of neck and should problems. Some Pilates moves may increase the risk of neck and shoulder injury if done incorrectly, so it’s best to start with a beginner’s class where correct form can be mastered before moving on to more advanced exercises. Some exercises may need to be modified in people who have neck pain.

How to Get Started?

When starting out, people who suffer from neck stiffness and shoulder pain may be best served by getting a few private lessons from an instructor before entering a class to learn proper form and technique for reducing neck strain. It’s important to be aware of any neck stiffness or should pain and take a break if pain or discomfort occurs. The bottom line? If done correctly, a Pilates fitness program could make neck and shoulder pain feel a whole lot better.

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  1. Great Post…

  2. I totally agree, great stomach muscles put less stress on ones shoulders and neck. Awesome article……….as usual.

  3. Learned a lot from this great article.

  4. Good post and advice to do private lessons before doing a group session.

  5. For those who want to try Pilates geared to Neck or Back pain but do not have studio access try my free ebooks and inexpensive mp3s. Here is a review:

    http://www.yespilates.com/2010/01/04/lynda-lippins-mp3-downloads-reviewed/

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