Pilates was originally developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920's. It is a conditioning exercise program that targets the deep postural muscles of the abdomen and spine to improve overall core stability and posture.
Clinical pilates consists of a series of exercises in various different body positions which have been adapted by physiotherapists to make them more suitable for use with patients groups. Essentially I prescribe exercises based on an individuals’ clinical need, taking into consideration factors such as their injury or pain, their posture, areas of muscle weakness or over activity, and movement dissociation.
I teach clinical pilates underpinned by the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute. The APPI has modified the original 34 Pilates matwork exercises to incorporate the recent research on lumbar instability, muscle imbalance and adverse neural tension. This makes the exercises highly versatile and accessible to a broad range of individuals, of any age and any physical ability.
I feel that there is a large emphasis on not only what the exercise is, but also how the exercise is performed, i.e. having the correct technique; using the correct muscles; and utilising the appropriate amount of energy in order to work effectively and efficiently. This makes clinical pilates a gentle form of exercise and ensures optimal gains whilst minimising the likelihood of injury aggravation. However, this doesn’t mean that I can’t put you through your paces if that’s what you are after!
Key benefits of Clinical Pilates include retraining:
* Neutral lumbo-pelvic alignment and activation of the key lumbo-pelvic stabilising muscles
* Correct ribcage/thoracic alignment
* Scapulo-thoracic stabilisation
* Deep neck flexor retraining to stabilise the cervical spine
* Spinal mobility
* Flexibility of the key trunk and lower limb muscles groups
* Body awareness/postural awareness.
* Normal movement patterns, which is especially important in the case of injury or pain as this aids rehabilitation & reduces the risk of re-injury
1. Concentration: Focus on correct performance of each Pilates exercise and the specific muscles involved.
2. Centering: Focus on achieving neutral spine and activating the core stabilising muscles (pelvic floor and transversus abdominus) to support the lower back and pelvis
3. Control: Maintain optimal posture and control with all movements.
4. Flowing Movement: Work smoothly and efficiently with all movements.
5. Precision: Perform each Pilates exercise with attention to detail to ensure correct technique.
6. Breathing: Maintain relaxed, normal breathing throughout all pilates exercises. Do not hold your breath.
Clinical Pilates & Lower Back Pain
Recent research advocates the retraining of the deep stabilising muscles for patients with low back pain. Clinical pilates focuses on the retraining and recruitment of these stabilising muscles (core stability) as well as improving posture, strength and flexibility. Pilates can therefore help to prevent the recurrence of back pain in combination with correct back care and advice, and gentle aerobic activity.
I have lots of experience working with patients of all ages (children to the elderly) who present with back pain, acute and chronic. I have found a combined approach of clinical pilates, hands-on physiotherapy (especially myofascial release techniques) and advice/support to be a very effective program of treatment. In many cases I have worked with people who have had back pain for many many years, in some cases 20+ years! I couldn’t fix them over night but we worked hard together and had excellent results where people can feel better than ever, but it does take effort on both parts. So don’t be put off if you have had your pain for a long time.
Do I have to be pain-free/injury-free before I can start?
No. Many patients find that pilates is a useful form of exercise, helping them to return to their normal day to day activities/hobbies/sports following pain or injury.
What does it involve?
I would need to ask a few questions about your health and well-being, and what has motivated you to come see me. I will assess your posture and look at certain aspects of your joint/spinal mobility and muscle strength. I will work with you to address your specific needs and tailor a program to your individual requirements.
If you have any additional queries please not hesitate to contact us.
Physioimpulse Chartered Physiotherapists