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Pilates – The best way rehab orthopedic injuries

  • Pilates – The best way to injury recovery and prevention

Knee-injury If you are injured and have pain, did you know that there is more to recovery than just getting rid of pain? If your rehab only focuses on pain it will always miss the root cause of the real problem. The fact is that pain and injury oftentimes change the way how you use and move your body. The neurological connection between brain and muscles is not working properly and body starts to compensate. The compensation patterns create altered alignment in the joint, leading instability (too much uncontrolled motion) and abnormal wear on the joint surfaces. It also puts excess stress and tension on ligaments, tendons and muscles. When the muscle imbalances and faulty compensatory movement patterns are left untreated, there is a chance that you will suffer from that same injury again or additional injuries somewhere else.

The key to orthopedic rehabilitation is not only to get rid of pain and injury, but also identify and treat muscle imbalances and faulty movement patterns. Unfortunately, that is not often the case in a regular Physical Therapy. Therapists are often too busy and do not have time to look at the whole picture of how you are compensating or how to treat your muscle imbalances. If you really want to get rid of your injury and complete your rehabilitation after Physical Therapy, take private Pilates classes with an experienced hands-on-skilled Pilates instructor, or even better, with Physical Therapist who is trained in Pilates.

exercise-therapyPilates rehabilitation also works as an alternative for Physical Therapy, or together with Physical Therapy. I strongly feel that Pilates really is a missing part these days in orthopedic (musculoskeletal) rehabilitation. In Pilates, clients become more responsible for their own rehabilitation process. It is not just going to a therapist, lying down and receiving passive treatment by a Physical Therapist. Pilates is an active form of rehabilitation which can addresses a specific injury site while rehabilitating entire body. It can vary from specific isolated movements to more dynamic ones as necessary for that stage of rehab. A successful recovery includes regaining deep stabilizer muscles strength, joints’ controlled mobility and achieving muscles flexibility back to the normal level – that’s what Pilates exercises are all about. Pilates focuses also on the total body integration, working the whole body on proper alignments and posture, improving your joint stability and mobility – all those aspects that you need to recover safely and effectively.

However, it’s important to notice that there is big difference between teaching Pilates as a form of fitness and using it as a form of rehabilitation. If you are injured and consider Pilates, it’s important to make sure that your instructor has experience to work with injuries. An experienced Pilates Instructor or Physical Therapist trained in Pilates can provide an individualized rehabilitation program based on your special needs and conditions by identifying and correcting your muscle imbalances and faulty movement patterns. By investing in your sessions, you will get an injury-fee, well-balanced and well-functioning body. Not that bad investment at all, or what do you think?

More about PhysioWise pilates rehab training for orthopedic and neurological rehabilitation, please click HERE

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Exercise is part of Arthritis Treatment ( Pilates Wise, Carlsbad, Encinitas )

Exercise is an important part of arthritis treatment

When you have pain, probably last thing what you want to do is exercise. But did you know that disuse and inactivity can lead a muscle loss and joint stiffness by causing even more pain and discomfort? Researches have shown that proper exercise is crucial in managing arthritis and pain. It reduces stiffness and pain, builds strong muscle around joints and increases flexibility, joint stability and control.

Most importantly, proper exercise can help lubricate joint surfaces, build and provide nutrition to cartilage and decreases inflammation. Motion is really a lotion!

One of the most suitable exercise forms for arthritis is Pilates. Pilates exercises strengthen deep stabilizer muscles which support your joints and provide joint protection. Pilates exercises taught by an experienced Pilates instructor can also help reduce your joint stiffness and maintain/improve joints range-of-motion and a proper joint alignment. Posture and proper spine and joints alignment are very important part of treating arthritis as well as preventing further joint degeneration. As you probably know, poor posture put excess pressure on your joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons by causing more pain and joint wear and tear or even arthritis.

Very unique about Pilates are Pilates machines (reformer, trapeze table, wunda chair) which are designed to work your body in a safe and controlled alignment. Those machines are spring loaded which makes them very “joint friendly”. Pilates apparatus together with a knowledgeable instructor help you  work your supporting muscles around your painful and inflamed joints without aggravating them. And the facts that Pilates works your body as a whole and all exercises are low-impact, low resistance and should be performed in pain free range, make it even more suitable for people with arthritis.

If you consider Pilates a part of your arthritis treatment plan, it is important to work with experienced Pilates Instructor or Physical Therapist. An effective Pilates program has to always be customized for your specific needs and conditions.

 More about PilatesWise program in Carlsbad village, California, please click HERE 

Can Yoga Be Bad For You? ( by physiotherapist Carlsbad, CA)

 

Yoga is very well known about it’s healing side, but can yoga also harm you? People have more and more physical problems today and an increasing numbers of population is turning to Yoga for exercise and relaxation. Yoga is well known also about relieving tightness and pain in joints, bones and muscles. Even though Yoga has many health benefits, if practiced incorrectly it may lead to injury and pain. Typical Yoga injuries are muscle strains, torn ligaments, shoulder problems, neck and back aches & pains. One reason of injuries is that people are pushing themselves past their limits and not knowing how far they can go. Another reason is a teacher who is not well-trained and has very limited knowledge about healthy and safe joint alignment and human anatomy.

Did you know that many yoga gurus and yoga enthusiasts have experienced back or neck pain? Many yoga poses force your spine to go too far beyond its normal and healthy alignment. Ideal Yogis are flexible and limber, right? However, too much flexibility is not good for anyone. The joints hypermobility (too much movement) puts excess pressure for your joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Loose ligaments and muscles can not support your joint enough, thus increasing risk of injury, pain or even arthritis. Our body is not designed to be like “human pretzel” anyway.

Hot Yoga is worst type of yoga if you have problems with your joint hypermobility, previous orthpedic injuries or fibromyalgia. In the hot room temperature Yoga poses are more intense because warm muscles let you stretch even more and at same time increases risk of injuries tremendously. So, as a Physical Therapist I do not recommend hot yoga as a healing aid for anyone who has problems with inflammation, pain or joint & soft tissue.

In my studio I have two former Yogis with serous back and neck problems. One has fusion in her cervical vertebras as well lumbar vertebras (L4-L5). She has been hypermobile whole her life and her spine was extremely flexible because of spondylolisthesis (slipped vertebras). She used to go to chiropractor three times a week which isn’t definitely helpful for her spinal instability and joint hypermobility. The other Yogis has herniated disc in her cervical spine, I’m wondering what causes that condition for seemingly healthy person…how about head stand or shoulder stand? Normally our weight is shifted by ankle, knee, hip and SI-joint, not by cervical spine. Even though your neck is a correct position while head standing, repetitiions many times a week is not good for your cervical spine and when we are getting older it is not even recommended anyway. It is good to keep in mind that at over 50 years old almost all of us are getting arthritics changes in our spine, which is a normal aging process. My client is over 55 and in a very good shape, but besides herniated disc on her cervical spine, she has also chronic back pain with sciatica, caused by sponlylolisthesis, degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis. Yep, all of these in one person! She told me that she has been very active for whole her life and also practiced Yoga almost every day in a very advanced level (with head and shoulder stand). If I’m just looking at these two Yogis with all orthopedic problems what they have, my opinion is that Yoga can be sometimes bad for you. Especially if you really are extremely flexible like these two Too much is too much!

So, if you have too much movement (hypermobility) in your joints, you simply need more stability, not joint mobility or muscle flexibility. You need to strengthen supporting muscles around your joints which improve your joint stability and healthy, proper alignments. Pilates is a great form for improving your joints stabilization. Although many teachers typically have dancer background, they may also teach you to go too far. So, take the class from an experienced pilates instructor who has more knowledge about anatomy, proper biomechanics and orthopedic issues that you might have. If you find a good teacher you get definitely a long-term solution for your problems with pain, spine instability and joint hypermobility.

More about PIlatesWise Pilates & Rehabilitation program in Carlsbad California, please click HERE

KNEE PAIN WHILE RUNNING? ( by Pilates Wise in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside)

Got knee pain while running ? Pilates helps.

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Knee pain is very common overuse syndrome for runners. Pain is our body’s alarm system telling us that something is wrong. However, many runners ignore this natural alarm system and just keep running. Some runners even look for help from pain medications or knee brace.

But did you know that running with pain changes your strike? You probably start shifting weight more to your non-pain side and maybe start limping a little. This compensatory movement pattern put uneven pressure to your other joints, muscles and ligaments and leads to muscle imbalances, and over the time pain and injury elsewhere.

Two Imagemost common injuries for runners are Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome and Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome. Many runners think that just wearing knee brace or band help them to keep running. Unfortunately, these two common knee injuries develop over time from overuse and knee brace or band doesn’t appear to provide additional. Knee brace may even inhibit your normal joint function causing the pain continue or move to the other areas of the body. The best brace is your own muscle brace.

If you are experiencing knee pain from overuse, something is going on and need to be fixed. The essential components of treating your overuse injuries are stretching, strengthening and stability exercises. Muscle imbalance between quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, IT-band and glutealis muscles, are very common for people with knee pain. Tight muscles like hamstrings , quadriceps (Rectus femoris) or IT-band are pulling the knee joint and knee cap out of their proper alignment by causing abnormal stress into the knee joint. Gluteus medius and Quadriceps (Vastus lateralis, Vastus medialis) muscles weakness, which is very common for runners, causes problem with knee joint stabilization. Unstable knee joint is more vulnerable to injury and also put unnecessary stress to ligaments, muscles and tendons around the knee joint.

One-on-One Pilates with experienced Pilates instructor, who has a good knowledge about knee injuries, biomechanics and anatomy, can help with typical runners overuse injuries. Pilates equipment are perfect for knee rehabilitation. They are spring loaded, and very gentle for the joints by putting less pressure for knee joint while strengthen the supporting muscle around joint. In Pilates training improves hip-knee-ankle alignment and muscle balance which often causes your knee problem in the first place. In Pilates we have great attention to whole body alignment from head to toe and we focus on gaining strength, stability and mobility – not only your the injured & weaker side but also the whole body. Besides as knee rehabilitation, Pilates is also very good as overall cross-training form for runners to prevent also from other injuries.

More about PilatesWise program at Carlsbad Village Pilates studio, please click HERE

Restorative Pilates Class For Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Chronic Back Pain in Carlsbad, CA

Restorative Pilates For Chronic Pain And Overall Wellbeing

 

This class is for everyone, but it’s specifically designed for chronic pain such as fibromyalgia, lupus, myofascial pain syndrome, chronic back pain and osteoarthritis. The class is an unique blend of pilates, therapeutic strengthening and stretching exercises, breathing and relaxation techniques, myofascial release techniques and MELT method.

 

Proper exercise program is the best treatment for chronic pain. Movement heals physically and physiologically. Our classes focus on

  • Strengthen supporting muscles surround your joints and spine
  • Mobilizing joints and spine and emphasizing full range of motion
  • Stretching tight muscles
  • Releasing unnecessary muscle tension
  • Releasing myofascia and hydrating connective tissues
  • Relaxing body and mind

This all support your wellbeing physically and physiologically – and the most importantly – relieve overall pain.

 Are you in this pain cycle? We can help you out of it with our Restorative         Pilates class, taught by Physical Therapist & certified Pilates Instructor.

Classes are held on

  • Wednesdays at 11 am and
  • Saturdays at 9.30 am.

All classes are by appointment only and space is limited for max 5 people.

Please call or text 760.481.4943 to reserve your spot.
NOTE: 
Your first class is FREE!

Rates: Single class $18, 10 class package $150 ($15/class)

For more about our Pilates fitness and Rehabilitation program, please click HERE

Clinical Pilates vs. Fitness Pilates in Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas

Pilates is a wonderful exercise form for fitness as well as physical rehabilitation. Unfortunately, Pilates comprehensive certification program prepare Pilates instructors only to teach “Fitness Pilates”, which is Pilates for healthy bodies (no injuries). So, basic Pilates education does not give enough education about working with musculoskeletal and neurological problems and dysfunctions. Too confident Pilates instructors with lack of education are a dangerous combination. Don’t get me wrong, Pilates is still good for rehabilitation and post-rehabilitation – but only when taught by a skilled Physical Therapist or very experienced Pilates Instructor. Physical therapists have advanced education about anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and exercise invention and they are experienced to work with regarding different kind of diagnosis and bodily dysfunctions.

In Australia they have wisely separated clinical and fitness Pilates. Clinical Pilates is only taught by Physiotherapist (=Physical Therapist). Fitness Pilates is taught by fitness professionals or dancers. Aussies have understood also how good Pilates exercise is when practiced together with traditional physical therapy. Also in Finland they have separated clinical Pilates education which is only designed for Physical Therapists, and Mat Pilates certification program for fitness professionals. They don’t allow Pilates instructors with dancing & fitness background to work with injuries.

Clinical Pilates aims to correct biomechanical alignment and muscle imbalances which are caused by faulty compensation patterns due pain, disease or injury. Fitness Pilates concentrates only in proper Pilates exercise techniques, nice cuing and body & mind connection, which is definitely not enough for the people with post rehabilitation or rehabilitation needs.

Fitness Pilates:

  • Dance-oriented exercises, used for general conditioning and lifestyle
  • Strong bias towards flexion, stretching, end-of-range movements,
  •  No evidence to support its use for rehabilitation of low-back pain
  • Non pathology-specific exercises

Clinical Pilates:

  • Benefit Diagnostic and rehabilitation tool for injury and performance enhancement  
  • Progresses from static stabilization to dynamic; trains local then global stability systems.
  • Neutral zone stability comes before end-of-range flexibility
  • Aims to fulfill established evidence based criteria
  • Observes pathology under load and modifies accordingly

PilatesWise program in Carlsbad, Oceanside and Encinitas serves as a healing aid for anyone seeking to recover from injury, weakness from trauma, inactivity or illness, and recovery from chronic pain or disease such as MS, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, scoliosis, arthritis, Osteoporosis, sciatica, chronic back and neck pain. For more info please click HERE

 

Barefoot Running good or bad for your feet

Living in Coastal California allows people to enjoy a year around great weather and barefoot running. There are many opinions about barefoot running, some blame that barefoot running decreases running injuries and some that it increases. However, the fact is that barefoot running technique is totally different from shoe runners. Barefoot runners land on the ball of the foot or middle of the foot when shoe runners land on the heels. Some foot experts say that barefoot running is good for some people because there is really less impact on the heels.

Foot and ankle anatomies are extremely complicated. Foot has 28 bones and 32 joints and two very important arches which are running lengthwise (longitudinal arch) and crosswise (transverse arch).The both archers are important part of proper foot & ankle function. The arches enhance the foot’s flexibility, stability and ability to adapt to uneven surfaces, and also working as a shock absorbance.

If those arches are collapsed, like people with flat feet or over pronated feet, the chance to get overuse injuries increases gradually, especially when running without shoes. Barefoot runners, who run long distances with ball of the foot, tend to have tightness on the Achilles tendon and calf muscles, and prone to have injuries like Achilles tendonitis or calf muscle strain. Barefoot running might also increase risk of other overuse injuries like Plantar fasciitis and Shin splints. On the other hand, barefoot running activates foot and ankle muscles which are usually too supported with shoes. As shoe technologies advance the less people are using their supporting muscles around ankle and foot.

Because the running technique is very different by barefoot runners than shoe runners, I recommend to start carefully and increase running distance gradually. Also barefoot runners have to focus more on ankle & foot stability and proper technique (alignment) while landing to the ball of the foot. People who have problem with their feet and ankles and resent overuse injuries or correction in their shoes, it is probably not a good idea to try barefoot running.

Anyway, whether you are shoe or barefoot runner it is always very important to stretch. Stretching is a better way avoid typical runners’ injuries. The barefoot runners should especially stretch their Achilles tendon and calf muscles after every running. And remember, enjoy the summer and running – with or without shoes!