April 2019

Whether you sit at a desk all day or exercise 5 days a week, you might be suffering from neck pain or back pain. Therapeutic Pilates uses a range of exercises to promote spine stabilization, coordination, strength and flexibility. If you want to learn more about this specific type of exercise and how it can cure your back and neck pain long-term, here’s what you should know.


Over 80% of adults have experienced lower back pain at some point in their lifetime, and is the 2nd leading cause of job-related disability and missed work days. Back pain is extremely costly, with total costs estimated between $100–200 billion dollars annually, two-thirds of which are due to decreased wages and productivity.

Neck pain is also very common. It is estimated that by middle age, 30-50% of people will have an acute episode of neck pain within one year. 

The causes of neck or back pain can be the result of poor posture, poor body awareness, text neck, heavy lifting required in jobs like nursing or construction, or from an injury like whiplash. These conditions can worsen significantly if left untreated by a licensed medical professional.

Sadly, over 75% of people suffering from neck or back pain choose to manage it with medications, while less than 50% seek alternative treatments like physical therapy and chiropractic. This is not entirely the patient’s fault, because traditional medicine is not very effective in treating pain disorders. The most common recommendation by a primary care physician is prescribing pain medications and neglecting to take advantage of referring their patients to physical therapy and other skilled practitioners. This is partially responsible for the current opioid crisis we know about in the United States today.

Physical Therapy and Therapeutic Pilates can effectively cure neck and back pain in individuals so they no longer have to rely on medications or injections. This method is not a quick-fix band-aid solution, but rather targets the root cause: weakness, tension and poor alignment.

How Can Therapeutic Pilates Help? 

Pilates in general, targets the deepest muscles in the spine and core that support your vertebrae…building strength, stability and controlled flexibility. Pilates is low-impact on the joints and focuses on decompression of the spine, shoulders, hips and knees. Over time, Pilates can even align your spine, improve circulation, strengthen the diaphragm, reduce stress and improve flexibility, which can ultimately help you maintain proper posture automatically.Much like yoga, Pilates increases your body awareness, which helps you identify tense parts of your body during the day. When you know which areas to relax and realign, you reduce your chances of feeling pain at the end of the day.

Therapeutic Pilates is more specifically used for people with musculoskeletal issues like bulging discs, osteoporosis, joint replacement and arthritis. It is taught not only by a Professional Pilates Instructor, but more importantly a Licensed Physical Therapist who is an expert at biomechanical analysis and well-trained in pathology- diagnosing and treating medical conditions.

Try Therapeutic Pilates Today!

If you are in active pain and cannot tolerate many forms of exercise, it would be best to schedule a private Therapeutic Pilates session to create a customized Therapeutic Pilates Program to practice before taking a group class to optimize your safety.

If you have a more tolerable level of chronic neck or back pain and know you need to strengthen your core and stretch more often, try a group Therapeutic Pilates class. Before your session, talk to your instructor about your pain and any special conditions you have like degenerative disc disease or osteoporosis. She may recommend quick modifications for certain exercises to help you avoid worsening a pre-existing condition.

This is what sets apart Therapeutic Pilates from Classical or Contemporary Pilates. Don’t risk taking a traditional Pilates class if you know you have a specific medical condition. Seek a Professional Pilates Instructor who offers Therapeutic Pilates instruction. 

If neck or back pain are negatively impacting your quality of life, Veronica Whetsel Integrative Physical Therapy can help you discover permanent relief. Located in Annapolis, MD, Veronica has over 16 years of experience treating patients with physical therapy, Therapeutic Pilates, and Medical Therapeutic Yoga™. After understanding your specific health needs and concerns, she crafts unique wellness plans including private and group sessions to help you manage your condition. Visit her website to learn more about Therapeutic Pilates, or call (443) 822-3725 to schedule an appointment.

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