PREVENTING “BABY BUMP” NECK AND BACK PAIN
Ask anyone who has been pregnant how bad their back and neck pain was during pregnancy and you will get an ear full.
If you study the muscles involved, the piriformis and psoas tighten to help hold up the baby bump as the baby grows.
The weight in the front of the body pulls the neck and shoulder muscles like pec minors and sternoclidomastiod forward in a sort of hovering position.
Sitting on soft furniture, hovering over the computer or the dinner table only exacerbates the problem. The center of gravity shifts anteriorly based on increasing abdominal size which in turn increases stress on the neck and lower back.
Abdominal muscles stretch, weaken and fatigue faster during any activities. Compression and decreased height of the spine occurs as the body continues to shift forward.
What does this all mean for us Pilates teachers?
Many of our senior clients experience all these symptoms because of increased girth.
Several of my male clients are so large they have a hernia which shows during any abdominal exercises. Since we cannot do much to get them to lose weight, we have to do shoulder release exercises in order to strengthen their mid back area, work on buns of steel to support their back side and give them ways to sit and stand up straighter.
We have to modify the Pilates method of forward bending to do more extension work and give easy homework that the clients can remember to do.
You know immediately if they are doing their homework because they return standing better.
Hanging from the Trap Table will temporarily relax neck muscles.
If the client is tall enough have them grab the top bar then just bend their knees to simulate hanging.
If the client is shorter have them grab the bars while standing on the Trap Table then bend their knees.
At home I sometimes hang from the top of my refrigerator to relax my neck. Hanging is almost instant relief for neck pain.
There are many different Pilates stretches for tight piriformis and psoas.
I have a course called BOOMER-ILATES AND BEYOND that deals with these issues and many more.
The course offers suggestions like the ones above to solve senior issues. Check out my web site or call me with questions.
P.S. How many of you Pilates teachers stand up straight and have good posture? I’ve seen some who…