Pilates promise prevention of neck and shoulder disorders

Dec 04, 2009

A Pilates training program was effective in improving arm-trunk posture, strength, flexibility, and biomechanical patterns during a functional shoulder flexion task in a study conducted by Canadian researchers. Emery and colleagues1 assessed 19 study participants; 10 persons in the experimental group entered a Pilates training program. The evaluation consisted of trials of seated posture, abdominal strength, shoulder range of motion, and maximal shoulder flexion; the investigators recorded neck, shoulder, and trunk kinematics and the activity of 16 muscles.

A Pilates training program was effective in improving arm-trunk posture, strength, flexibility, and biomechanical patterns during a functional shoulder flexion task in a study conducted by Canadian researchers. Emery and colleagues1 assessed 19 study participants; 10 persons in the experimental group entered a Pilates training program. The evaluation consisted of trials of seated posture, abdominal strength, shoulder range of motion, and maximal shoulder flexion; the investigators recorded neck, shoulder, and trunk kinematics and the activity of 16 muscles.

After the training, the participants showed smaller static thoracic kyphosis during quiet sitting and greater abdominal strength. They also had reduced posterior and mediolateral scapular displacements, upper thoracic extension, and lumbar lateral flexion; increased activity of the ipsilateral cervical erector spinae and contralateral rhomboid muscles; and decreased activity of the ipsilateral lumbar erector spinae. Because deficits in these aspects of function have been associated with symptoms in the neck and shoulder region, the authors suggested that their results support the use of Pilates in preventing neck and shoulder disorders.

References:

1.

Emery K, De Serres SJ, McMillan A, Côté JN. The effects of a Pilates training program on arm-trunk posture and movement.

Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon).

2009 Oct 29; [Epub ahead of print].

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