Pilates was founded by Joseph H. Pilates in the early 20th century and is a unique combination of stretching and strengthening exercises that involve coordination of the body and mind. Pilates helps to tone and strengthen muscles while improving posture, flexibility and balance. Pilates also heightens body awareness through the use of controlled breathing, concentration, fluidity as well as precision of motion, stability, and muscular control of “the powerhouse”. It is a great movement technique to use during injury rehabilitation because it doesn’t put too much stress directly upon your injured area but gives you all the tools to increase strength and flexibility. With Pilates-based rehab, our physical therapists can help target specific weakness and retrain your muscles that may have contributed to your movement dysfunction. It is safe for individuals of all ages and can be adapted to suit your needs, whether your goal is to be a better athlete or to get up and down off the floor with ease.
Pilates-Based Physical Therapy
Studies have shown that including a Pilates regimen is more effective than minimal physical exercise interventions in reducing chronic lower back pain. Ranging from beginner exercises on a mat to more advanced techniques utilizing specialized equipment such as the Reformer, Pilates is comprehensive and utilized not only for highly trained athletes or dancers, but for individuals with various levels of physical fitness with adequate modifications. Therapydia physical therapists can also incorporate Pilates into treatment for patients with chronic pain and musculoskeletal disorders in order to correct their physical impairments and enhance their functional capacity and quality of life.
When treating low back pain, optimal spinal alignment doesn’t only encompass utilization of the muscles in your back but also includes core muscles which play a large part in spinal stability. Core muscles cover a large area of the body extending from the deep stabilizers along the neck and down to your pelvis and hips, supporting the weight of your low back. A reduction in strength along supportive core musculature may cause the muscles in your back to compensate for that lack of stability. As a result, you may end up with lower back pain because those associated muscles are taking on extra load. Pilates can help to rebalance and increase your core strength which allows your muscles to better align with your limbs and support the length of your body. If you’ve had an ACL injury recently, Pilates helps to maintain control, balance, and coordination along your trunk and in turn allow for stability to support your healing knee.
The goal of Pilates is to make sure that those weakened muscles are re-trained to avoid associated strain along the spine and peripheral joints. During your physical therapy session, your physical therapists will guide you on which Pilates movements would be the most beneficial for your rehabilitation.
By addressing your underlying posture, we will help you set a good foundation to build upon after you complete physical therapy. Give us a call to learn more about our Pilates-based physical therapy services.