Pilates Rehabilitation

Pilates Rehabilitation
7 Min Read

We have produced this article to hopefully answer some questions and discuss how rehab Pilates can help you and your recovery.

What is rehabilitative Pilates ?

Is focussed to increase function, strength and dynamic stability throughout the whole body. Pilates rehabilitation exercises aim to strengthen the weaker areas of your body to promote balance. It works on the deeper postural muscles to strengthen from the inside out giving you a stronger foundation to support more challenging movements. Pilates rehabilitation also stretches your whole body to increase the functionality of your movement.

Why is Pilates good for rehabilitation?

It’s fantastic as you will address your muscular imbalances, flexibility and balance in a low impact functional way to optimise your injury rehabilitation. Rehab Pilates will be graded to ensure progression and to achieve your goals.

Is Pilates an effective rehabilitation tool?

Yes, it’s important to keep moving when you are injured BUT in a low impact way and with structure. The old school attitude that you need to keep resting when you are injured is not useful, stasis is detrimental to your health. Having a Pilates rehab plan to progressively increase your strength, stability and flexibility will optimise your recovery. A recent systemic review has suggested it is an effective rehabilitation tool for both pain and disability. It's wonderful as it can take you from the early stages of rehab all the way through to having a well conditioned and fully functioning body.

Is Pilates good for muscle pain?

Yes, low impact strengthening and stretching exercises (or exercises that don’t over stress the injured muscle) are superb to help reduce your pain perception. Studies has suggested exercise has been found to reduce neuropathic pain by reducing inflammatory chemicals that trigger pain (Byrnes et al 2018). We find educating patients on the importance of meaningful movement helps a great deal both for your muscles and how you think and feel about your injury.

What part of the body does Pilates work?

It will work the whole body but you will always work your powerhouse muscles within a session. Your powerhouse muscles consist of core, muscles of your lower back, diaphragm and pelvic floor. By strengthening these deep postural muscles this will give you a strong foundation to support your rehab, everyday life and indeed more demanding exercises. We find having a flexible form of rehab is key to gaining the desired results.

Is reformer Pilates good for injury?

Absolutely yes, given the low impact nature, you are exercising in a safe manner that is less likely to flare up your symptoms. Post injury rehab exercise is vital to encourage circulation, reduce inflammation and optimise healing. A randomised controlled trial suggested equipment Pilates were more effective for disability and Kinesiophobia scores. This was after a 6 month follow up in comparison to mat work for patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain.

Is Pilates good for shoulder pain?

Yes increasing upper back and shoulder mobility through low impact exercises can be extremely beneficial. Shoulders are tricky as there is designed for mobility not stability so can easily be injured especially with racquet sports, weightlifting and even post shower drying off. You can also have referred shoulder pain so it’s important to see a shoulder pain expert to be managed effectively to optimise your recovery. We find the combination of hands on Osteopathy and rehab Pilates works really well.

What’s the difference between Pilates and Conventional exercise for rehabilitation?

Conventional exercise may be too strenuous for you and may not focus on the importance of technique to increase effectiveness and efficiency. In order to have a structured rehab plan we need to answer how and why did you experience the injury in the first place. We would address areas we need to address to get you feeling better and then reduce the chance of future injury re-occurrence. We have worked with many patients over the years and take a great deal of pleasure when you start not only liking but loving it! You recognise and appreciate the benefits and very much ‘get it.’

Is Pilates the same as Physiotherapy?

No, although there is some overlap between rehabilitation exercises given by a Physiotherapist and Pilates instructors they are not the same. A Physiotherapist or Osteopath who has conducted additional training will have detailed knowledge to support a client through a rehab plan. At Wellthy Clinic we are Osteopaths and Pilates Instructors so we have a depth of knowledge to make your Pilates sessions as efficient and enjoyable as possible.

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