Correct posture using bespoke Pilates programming to reduce back pain and tight, painful shoulders
Unfortunately, tight shoulders and back pain are not uncommon in today’s society. In our fast-paced, high-stress desk jobs, it’s not uncommon to sit for several hours at a time, leading to slouching and slouching shoulders and backs, respectively. This amount of time spent in one position can greatly affect our posture, causing significant negative changes in the curvature of the spine and tension in the shoulders. A specific type of exercise called Pilates might be your best bet for not only preventing further damage, but also reducing ongoing symptoms of pain and tension caused by poor posture.
Correct posture is defined as an optimal position when sitting, standing and moving to resist the forces of gravity acting on our bodies. When sitting or standing, our spine should have two posterior curves, a slight curve in the thoracic region (discs T1-T12), a fixed curve in the sacral region (discs S1-S5), and two anterior curves, a slight curve in the cervical region (discs C1-C7) and a more aggressive curve in the lumbar region (discs L1-L5). Any manipulation of these curves refers to poor posture that must be modified for optimal force absorption capabilities. These abnormalities can be detected from the neck and shoulders, to the lower back and pelvis. This means that the entire spine can potentially suffer from one area of imbalance.
Poor posture negatively affects the body in several ways. Back, neck and shoulder pain are the most common complaints of those who suffer from poor posture. Sitting for long periods of time causes compression and misalignment of the spine and the soft tissues located within it, which decreases the body’s ability to move freely with a full range of motion. Tension headaches are another observable setback caused by poor posture. Because people tend to put a lot of tension and stress on their neck and shoulders, the supporting muscles of the head become fatigued, leading to a tension headache. However, poor posture causes more than just structural problems. Even your digestive system, especially your intestines, are reduced to their full potential due to the added pressure and restrictions acting on your body. If you have digestive problems, it may be time to check and see if poor posture is the responsible cause.
After observing the falls of a bad posture, we must learn to solve it and correct it properly. Pilates fitness has scientifically proven the benefits and improvements it can have on people with poor posture. Pilates is known as “Contrology”, which means that the highest level of muscular control is developed through this system of exercises. When you can fine-tune muscle control, other skills like core strength, endurance, and balance begin to develop, and each of these components is crucial to progressing toward good posture.
Pilates also focuses on promoting consistent and balanced musculature throughout the body by increasing core strength. As additional muscles are engaged through targeted exercises, the body begins to align and support itself properly, and inflammation, tightness, and weakness begin to subside. This emphasizes hip, spine, and shoulder alignment, helping to eliminate the side effects of spinal compression and shoulder strain from sitting for long periods of time. In addition to structure and core strength, other fitness goals can be achieved by beginning a Pilates program.
Pilates, like other types of exercise programs, requires some time and effort for best results. The patterns of focused mind, work, and dedication are practiced when beginning a Pilates program. Working with a professionally trained Pilates instructor is your best bet to start seeing positive changes in your lifestyle and reduce back pain and tight, painful shoulders. While many instructors may claim to be Pilates experts, it is crucial to ensure they have a proper practice certification. Pilates is a very advanced and developed exercise method and working with the most skilled people will improve your experienced results faster.
If you suffer from neck strain, slumped shoulders, or back pain, consider trying Pilates to improve your posture. The observable benefits can reduce pain and tension in the back, shoulders, and spine, correct posture, and improve muscle tone, self-esteem, confidence, digestion, breathing, and flexibility. These factors can greatly influence your quality of life and lead to a fitter and healthier lifestyle. Instead of continuing to suffer from frozen shoulder and back pain and increasing the severity of your symptoms, learn more about Pilates and make the change in your life to see these desirable benefits.