Pilates for Shoulder Pain

Pilates for Shoulder Pain

Article by Nadine Stewart

Shoulder Pain

What is Pilates?

Pilates is essentially a mind-body connection exercise that centres on awareness of breath control, alignment and precision of movement. It was created by a man named Joe Pilates. He believed that injuries stemmed from imbalances or maladaptive movement patterns in the body, resulting in compensations or over/under-development in other body regions. Hence, he developed a series of exercises that systematically restored balance to the body to prevent injury recurrence.

How Does Pilates Help Shoulder Pain?

The muscles around your shoulder blades and rib cage serve a postural role for your upper body. The movement of the arms is also contingent on the strong functioning of these shoulder blade muscles in conjunction with the rotator cuff muscles. Pilates can teach you how to effectively use these muscles through specific movement patterns, thus reducing strain on the shoulder joint and rotator cuff. And since Pilates emphasizes a whole-body focus. It will increase your awareness of how you use your neck muscles, shoulders, and back, which further enhances your posture and reduces injury recurrence.

What’s the Link Between Pilates and Core Stability?

The whole ‘core stability’ phenomenon started back in the 1920s with Joseph Pilates, whose exercise regimes have become quite trendy in the last ten years.

Pilates talked about developing a ‘girdle of strength’ by learning to recruit the deep-trunk muscles. Even without complete knowledge of anatomy and the benefits of the latest muscle activity research, he was aware of the importance of these deep muscles and their supportive effects.

Core stability training specifically targets the smaller and deeper back and stomach muscles. Once recruited, these muscles control the position of the spine during dynamic movements of your body.

How Do You Know if Pilates is Suitable for You?

At PhysioWorks, we only want clients who are suitable for clinical pilates to participate.

Before enrolling in one of the clinical pilates groups, one of our clinical pilates physiotherapists will assess and screen you for suitability. While most clients can participate in pilates classes, you may require some individual treatment or perform some specific pre-pilates homework to ensure that you benefit the most from your pilates classes.

More Information

Shoulder Pain & Injuries

Pilates Back Pain

Pilates

Common Shoulder Pain & Injury Conditions

Rotator Cuff

Adhesive Capsulitis

Shoulder Bursitis

Shoulder Instability

Acromioclavicular Joint

Bone Injuries

Post-Operative Physiotherapy

Muscle Conditions

Systemic Conditions

Referred Pain

Shoulder Treatment

Researchers have discovered that managing your shoulder injury with physiotherapy is usually successful. Typically, you have two options: a non-operative or a surgical approach. Your condition will dictate which option is best for you at this time. Non-operative care is conservative rehabilitation.

If shoulder surgery is required, then your physiotherapist may undertake:

Pre-operative rehabilitation  - either trial a non-operative/conservative treatment approach or condition and prepare your shoulder and body for a surgical procedure.

Post-operative physiotherapy will safely regain your normal range of movement, strength and function.

PhysioWorks physiotherapists have a particular interest and an excellent working relationship with leading shoulder surgeons. Our physiotherapy team provide you with both conservative and post-operative shoulder rehabilitation options. We aim for you to attain the best possible outcome for your shoulder injury.

For specific information regarding your shoulder, please consult your trusted shoulder physiotherapist.

Acute Injury Signs

Acute Injury Management.

Here are some warning signs that you have an injury. While some injuries are immediately evident, others can creep up slowly and progressively get worse. If you don't pay attention to both types of injuries, chronic problems can develop.

For detailed information on specific injuries, check out the injury by body part section.

Don't Ignore these Injury Warning Signs

Joint Pain

Joint pain, particularly in the knee, ankle, elbow, and wrist joints, should never be ignored. Because these joints are not covered by muscle, pain here is rarely of muscular origin. Joint pain that lasts more than 48 hours requires a professional diagnosis.

Tenderness

If you can elicit pain at a specific point in a bone, muscle, or joint, you may have a significant injury by pressing your finger into it. If the same spot on the other side of the body does not produce the same pain, you should probably see your health professional.  

Swelling

Nearly all sports or musculoskeletal injuries cause swelling. Swelling is usually quite obvious and can be seen, but occasionally you may feel as though something is swollen or "full" even though it looks normal. Swelling usually goes along with pain, redness and heat.

Reduced Range of Motion

If the swelling isn't obvious, you can usually find it by checking for a reduced range of motion in a joint. If there is significant swelling within a joint, you will lose range of motion. Compare one side of the body with the other to identify major differences. If there are any, you probably have an injury that needs attention.

Weakness

Compare sides for weakness by performing the same task. One way to tell is to lift the same weight with the right and left sides and look at the result. Or try to place body weight on one leg and then the other. A difference in your ability to support your weight is another suggestion of an injury that requires attention.

Immediate Injury Treatment: Step-by-Step Guidelines

  • Stop the activity immediately.
  • Wrap the injured part in a compression bandage.
  • Apply ice to the injured part (use a bag of crushed ice or a bag of frozen vegetables).
  • Elevate the injured part to reduce swelling.
  • Consult your health practitioner for a proper diagnosis of any serious injury.
  • Rehabilitate your injury under professional guidance.
  • Seek a second opinion if you are not improving.