There is no shortage of reasons why people suffer from neck pain, but primarily, the root cause is due to improper posture of the spine. The lack of strength from core muscles not supporting the head correctly overtime wreaks havoc on the neck.
You probably guessed it, improper posture is no doubt an outcome of today’s reliance on technology. With the constant checking of smartphones, typing on computers, and driving, plus, the stressful pace of life, people’s posture have suffered and become what is known as a “forward leading head” syndrome. This leads to postures like rounded shoulders, or a kyphotic posture. These actions put way too much stress on the structure of the neck, consequentially leading to many issues like headaches, muscle soreness, pinched nerves and degenerating spinal discs. These issues quickly become debilitating with pain, making everyday life very miserable.
If you suffer from neck pain, there can be a holistic answer to alleviating the symptoms. At Align, we believe that pilates and yoga can help prevent all of this from happening.
Both modalities of movement are grounded on the premise of correct spinal alignment and achieving a balanced posture. Joseph Pilates, the inventor of the pilates practice, believed that the spine was the key to physical and emotional well-being. He once said“Neutral spine alignment is everything. If your spine is stiff at 30, you are old.
If it is flexible at 60, you are young.”
Starting with their first pilates session, one is taught how to put their spine into a neutral posture. From this point forward, the exercises are designed to strengthen and enhance correct posture. The belief is that when the stresses of everyday life are occurring, muscles have the strength and stamina to carry one’s head properly on the shoulders. Also, many yoga postures help align and strengthen the back to aid in correct posture.
“Without the accurate spine movement, one can’t exist dynamically,” said BKS Iyengar, the founder of the style of yoga known as “Iyengar Yoga”. He was considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world before his passing in 2014.
When dealing with neck issues, strength is important but so is range of motion. Gentle yoga stretches and poses will help achieve suppleness throughout the torso and achieve correct posture. It’s not uncommon for the muscles surrounding the neck and shoulders to take on stress and tighten up. Fortunately, many studies have found that doing mindful breathing and meditation can dramatically reduce stress and tension in muscles. Both Pilates and yoga method address breathing and how it relates to posture. Yoga not only stretches muscles, but also contains a huge meditative component. Again, helping the neck, shoulders, and the mind to work with ease.
Pilates and yoga for the neck is a win-win. Come into Align today and get your head on straight.