Treating Shoulder Pain with Pilates

Did you know? There are no bony attachments connecting our shoulder blades to the back of our body. The only skeletal connection between our shoulders and the rest of our body is in where the shoulder and clavicle meet, forming the AC joint. Essentially, muscles are responsible for keeping the shoulder stable and supported, making it the most mobile joint in the body and also the one most susceptible to injuries.

Shoulder scapulae stability is regarded as one of the fundamental principles of Pilates. With a strong focus on the mind-body connection and alignment, Pilates offers the opportunity to rehabilitate injured shoulders as well as to prevent injuries in the long run through a series of strengthening and stabilizing exercises.

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Here are a couple of reasons why Pilates can help treat shoulder pain:

Strengthen your core and free your shoulders.

A strong and stable core supports effortless shoulder movement, and without core stability your shoulders are more likely overcompensating for the absence of support elsewhere in the body.Think about reaching for something high up: instead of reaching with your arm and shoulder alone, think of your core coming on to support your extension as you use your entire torso to reach up for something. Now, think about when you rotate your torso to close a door, pick something up, put something down, swing a racquet or a golf club, etc… If that rotation could come from your abdominals, not just from your shoulders, you are more likely to keep your shoulder blades in a more stable and supported place and thus not over exert them.

Target specific muscle groups for greater alignment.

The muscles surrounding your shoulder blades and rib cage are responsible for much of the postural alignment in the upper body.  But sometimes, some muscle groups may be overexterted, leaving the opposing muscle groups underused and weaker which in the long run can cause imbalances pulling the shoulder out of place. Pilates is particularly great for targeting and isolating specific muscle groups. If you are dealing with shoulder pain, Pilates can help pinpoint which muscles are the true culprit, as well as remediating the situation through a series of stabilizing and mobilizing exercises. You can read more about that here.

Darcy Full Circle Chair Shoulder Exercise

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