Clinical Pilates and your “Core”

Clinical Pilates is an amazing treatment method that basically trains the muscles in the area where you have your injury. This will stabilise and balance your body and therefore support the movement and avoid your pain from returning. We are different to other physiotherapy clinics, because we strive towards making our clients well with treatments targeted at long term results. We will prescribe exercises that will stabilise and correct muscle dysfunction, so you can live your life painfree. WHAT IS CLINICAL PILATES? Clinical Pilates is one-on-one or small group Pilates with a therapist, training the core muscles around your spine. The focus is solely on you and we will make sure that you are maintaining the best technique possible, so you can recover from your condition as soon as possible. The Pilates exercises are aimed at the appropriate level for you and your pain and are progressed as tolerated. WHAT ARE CORE MUSCLES? The core muscles are the deep abdominal muscles that insert into the spine and are not visible. The core muscles are the closest muscles to the skeleton and it is difficult for a person to know if they are activating this group of muscles. Functional movements are highly dependent on the core, and lack of development can result in a predisposition to injury. Poor activation of your core will cause a loss of mobility and stiffness as the outer muscles of the back and abdomen brace to overcompensate, which may result in spinal stiffness as well as muscle fatigue. Research suggests people with chronic low back pain do not have a correctly functioning core and improved muscle stability of the spine is crucial for treatment of this condition. Having a developed rectus abdominis or ‘six pack’ does nothing to strengthen your back and does not mean you have a strong core. Sit-ups are commonly thought to assist in the strengthening of your core but this is NOT true and in fact may actually lead to an increase in back pain. Having a strong and stable core gives greater support and efficiency for most athletic endeavours, therefore, athletes and the general public alike can benefit from core strengthening exercises. A strong core assists with people’s posture especially those who work in a role that has a static posture such as an office job which can be a large cause of neck and back pain. By Melanie Roberts

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