Clinical Pilates From a Physio Point of View

Pilates is more than just a workout.  In recent times with all of the media attention and community interest in this form of exercise the other basis of Pilates has been ignored.  We are concerned with which celebrities are participating in the growing craze and how their body shape has changed while never hearing about the health benefits it serves.

Physiotherapists all around the world are integrating the exercise into their management of patients with pain and dysfunction.  This exercise based program is known as “Clinical Pilates”.

There has been a general decrease over the years of physical fitness amongst children and adults alike.  This decline in fitness level brings about many medical conditions and physical ailments.

It is known that participating in regular exercise is of great benefit in promoting internal health by improving functioning of organs and external health by maintaining flexibility plus condition of muscles and joints.  Having good strength in your deep stabilising muscles of your spine is very important and makes movement more efficient while it helps to protect the body against injury.  For daily activities such as lifting, gardening or vacuuming good trunk strength (or core stability) reduces injury risk.

Physiotherapy research highlights the important of developing good condition of the stabilising muscles of the body, particularly in musculoskeletal areas such as your neck and back, for example “whiplash” or chronic low back pain.

An individual tailored exercise program can be devised to concentrate on those areas of dysfunction.

Having a strong and stable “core” system of your body gives greater support and efficiency for most athletic endeavours.

Therefore, athletes and the general public alike can benefit from this type of exercise.  It assists with people’s posture especially those people who are involved in static working postures, which can be a large cause of neck and back pain.  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.

The Pilates exercises can be helpful in treatment of chronic low back pain, especially when under the supervision of a physiotherapist who understand through years of training the body and pathology involved.

Clinical Pilates involves the reintegration of exercise back into the lives of people suffering from chronic low back pain.  It is an effective way to rehabilitate, especially when carefully prescribed and monitored individually or in small groups.

By Melanie Roberts

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