If you’ve ever suffered from neck pain or stiffness you’ll know that the discomfort and pain can have a huge impact on your daily activities and how you feel generally. Lots of people often wake up to a stiff neck, and this can then lead to other issues like headaches and shoulder tension.
I move a lot as a Pilates instructor, but I also notice stiffness and tension in my head, neck and shoulders from time to time, especially after a day working at the computer.
You may have even noticed tension in your neck after a Pilates class, where you may have overdone it slightly and gathered tension in the neck. Many people say they experience this when they are learning to do a chest lift or a sit up. Sometimes we strain our necks when we have limited movement or strength through our upper back.
Neck pain can be a result of weakness in the shoulders and upper back. Pilates is perfect for developing stronger shoulders and strength in your upper back.
By maintaining your range of movement through your neck and the 7 vertebrae of the neck, you’ll be able to reduce pain and discomfort.
When stretching the neck, keep the movement very small and you’ll need to pay close attention to responding to the way your body feels. You don’t want to overdo it, so I suggest going slowly at first and gently increasing the intensity of the stretches gradually over a few days. This will avoid a flare up. The truth is, you don’t need to use strong stretches with the neck at all. Think about keeping movement smooth, gentle and graceful. You want to avoid anything harsh or jerky or intense.
Here is a video with some gentle stretches you can do if your neck is stiff.
Just a note friends: (If you have had a neck injury or a serious issue with your neck, check with your doctor first.)
Feel inspired to give Pilates a go? Join me for a live online Pilates class. I’ll be there to encourage you and lead you through your moves that will increase your energy and build a strong, healthy body.
I’ll see you then,