Do you think Pilates could help me with my pain ?
As a physical therapist this is the question we are often asked. This question along with my own experience of seeing benefits in Posture and Strength with Pilates lead me to practice Pilates
Pilates and physiotherapy are a natural complement in patient care when it comes to the prevention of musculoskeletal conditions and provide positive rehabilitative outcomes for injuries.
Physiotherapy addresses imbalances, improves strength and endurance and supports movement patterns to reduce pain and inflammation. Pilates exercise targets some of the same basic principles to balance core strength, posture and mobility and balance. Injuries can be frustrating, and pain is simply uncomfortable to live with sometimes we push through the pain. But this oftentimes leads to additional stress on the body that may lead to injuries taking us away from our favorite activities. People who suffer from tight hips, weak core muscles, poor posture, and lack of flexibility may be prone to injuries .
What Is the Role of Pilates Therapy and Physio Exercises in Rehabilitation?
People’s instinctual response to an injury is to stop exercising. This may be the best recourse prior to seeing a physiotherapist but the importance of exercise is often underestimated to help the body’s long-term recovery process. The inflammatory process is the body’s natural response to acute trauma and musculoskeletal disorders.
Moderate, controlled exercises can stimulate the immune system to activate anti-inflammatory cellular processes that are essential to protect and heal damaged tissues. By inducing immunological responses, exercise helps to boost production of, for example, cytokines that help regulate local and systemic inflammation.
Now this doesn’t mean that you should continue to put the same load on your body and work out as you normally would as this can lead to further injuries. This is where Pilates therapy and physiotherapy treatments benefit recovery and healing.
Pilates exercise increases blood flow throughout the body creating a higher rate of circulation for immune cells. Pilates is great for rehabilitation because it focuses on strengthening the muscles around your joints through controlled movements with minimal impact. It helps to achieve greater range of motion and flexibility, which are vital especially when it comes to running or other sports activities.
Improved movement patterns in the body benefits injury recovery. The smooth movements of Pilates helps circulate nutrients to the cartilage around joint surfaces to reduce pressure on the joints and tissues that may cause imbalance and excessive load on weak muscles. Pilates addresses these asymmetries in the body by strengthening muscles by dampening down on excessive load on the musculoskeletal system. Following an injury, muscles throughout the body end up compensating to adjust for the injured area creating additional strain on the system.
Pilates is a great adjunct to conventional manual physiotherapy to reduce acute or chronic pain and muscular imbalances. Just as Pilates is designed as an extension of a patient’s treatment plan, physiotherapy at-home exercise programs also encourage patients to continue specific treatments to progress the body’s ability to recover. These exercises using equipment, like a Pilates reformer, improve therapeutic gains to strengthen surrounding muscles and improve flexibility to prevent re-injury.