Tag Archive | exercise therapy

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


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


Stretching and Pilates are a good treatments for Myofascial Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

The fascia is a thick elastic connective tissue in and around the muscles, bones, blood vessels and nerves of your body. The fascia spreads throughout the body like web which travels head-to-toe uninterrupted and acts as a shock absorber in the body. In healthy condition, the fascia is relaxed and wavy in configuration with the ability to stretch and move without any problems.

Physical trauma, scarring, stress, repetitive micro trauma, poor posture, inflammation or disease such as arthritis cause the fascia to lose its ability and this causes restriction and tension to the rest of the body. This Myofascial restriction or tension is the underlying cause of most chronic pain problems that have not responded to traditional medical or surgical intervention.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) is essentially defined as a painful musculoskeletal condition, characterized by the development of Myofascial trigger points (TrPs). These points are locally tender when active and refer pain through specific patterns to other areas of the body.

The Myofascial tissue appears to tighten and thicken in those with Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). So often fibromyalgia sufferers might have also Myoafascial Pain syndrome (MPS). FMS and MPS are very different symptoms and makes life very complicated with pain.

Exercise is considered to be one of the most significant treatment methods for relief from the symptoms of Myofascial Pain Syndrome as well as Fibromyalgia. Research indicates that apart from medications and minimally invasive techniques, a set of planned exercises and a regular exercise regimen can be of great help for relief from the symptoms of Myofascial Pain Syndrome.

As a Physical Therapist, I recommend Pilates and specific stretching program for people with MPS and FMS. However, both exercises have to be tailored just for you needs and must be taught by a Physical Therapist or experienced Pilates Instructor.  Pilates helps improve your joint range of motion and increase muscle strength, endurance and stretch. Unfortunately, Pilates is not enough to stretching tight myofascia and releasing muscle tension. Specific stretching program with a foam roll and ball is a good myofascial trigger point release as well as muscle tension release. So, professional Pilates with a specific stretching program complete each other by relieving your pain and will improve your quality of life.

Please Check out also our info video clip about Fibromyalgia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpG24NEL6qQ

PilatesWise offers Pilates and therapeutic exercise program for rehabilitation, post-rehabilitation and chronic pain & disease, all sessions are taught by a Physical Therapist.

Stabilizer Muscles Prevent Injuries and Improve Sport Performence


Many gym goers are focusing on flatten stomach, tone arms and legs or maybe trying to improve their sports performance with strength training. Unfortunately, most fitness enthusiasts and athletes pay too little attention to the structure, stability and alignment of their body. It’s not cool to have six-pack abs with back pain or other injuries that are causes by muscle imbalances. Many people are training mirror muscles but don’t understand importance of stabilizing muscles and injury prevention. They will wake up only when injuries happen.

Your body has two types of muscles – movers and stabilizers. The primary role of movers is to produce the movement while the role of stabilizers is to stabilize the joints and the spine during a movement. So, stabilizing muscles give support to the trunk and joints’ function by controlling and limiting extra movement. The movers are most prominent muscles in your body, but they cannot function well if the stabilizing muscles are weak. Too much movement (called instability) in the spine or joints (such as hips or shoulders) can cause pain, degeneration and poor biomechanics. When you move with good muscle recruitment, and stabilizing muscles are working well, there will be minimal wear and tear in your joints. However, stabilizer muscles are more than just injury prevention. They are reducing the waste of energy and muscles are working together more efficiently and more ergonomically. In the athlete’s world that means better balance, co-ordination, power and speed – they all need a good stabilizer muscles to produce superior performance.

Core Stabilization

Core stability means an ability to contract the deep abdominal and back muscles – transverse abdominus and multifidus muscles. These muscles are responsible for stabilizing your spinal segments to help support your trunk in dynamic and static positions. The core is your “powerhouse”, the center of power. Core muscles’ strength and stability are important components to prevent injuries and back pain. Good core stability corrects posture and ensure more efficient and functional movement patterns of your other muscles and joints.

Hip & Knee Joints Stabilization

The gluteus medius and maximus muscles stabilize your hip joint and pelvic. By strengthening gluteus medius muscles will also help prevent knee injuries. When weak hip stabilizers exists, the iliotibial band gets overworked which can lead knee pain, iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) or trochanteric bursitis.

Knee joint stabilizers are more ligaments than muscles, but there are still quadriceps and hamstrings muscles that help stabilize the knee joint. Quadriceps include four muscles and two of them are more important to stabilize the knee joint – vatsus lateralis and vastus medialis. The iliotibial band also affects knee stability.

Shoulder And Shoulder Girdle Stabilization

The shoulder joint is most mobile joint in your body and needs a lot of stability to function correctly and prevent injuries. Prime stabilizer in your shoulder joint are the rotator cuff muscles: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis. These muscles are holding the ball of your shoulder joint tightly against the socket when shoulder is moving. Weak or fatigued rotator cuff muscles can lead to soft tissue injuries, like shoulder tendonitis and bursitis.

The muscles that move the shoulder blade also play a role in stabilizing the shoulder joint. The muscles that attach on the inside of your shoulder blade (scapula) are the key muscles for scapular stabilization. These include the middle and lower trapezius, rhomboid major and minor, and serratus anterior. The scapular stabilization is essential in preventing shoulder injuries.

Pilates Trains Your Stabilizer Muscles

Pilates is a good lumbar spine and joints stabilization exercise method, its’ foundation is strengthening stabilizer muscles. The main focus is on keeping your pelvic and spine stable while other parts of body are moving. You are contracting the deep stabilizing muscles, transverses abdominis and multifidus so that  superficial muscles (movers) of the extremities have optimal coordination and motion. The core stabilizers are present in all Pilates movements but it also strengthens your shoulders, shoulder blade and hip and knee stabilizers. Pilates help achieve and increase quality of movements and functions of all joints and muscles, from head to toe, by creating body awareness, co-ordination and endurance. Pilates is a good exercise for injury prevention as well as to improve your optimal sport performance.

For more about PilatesWise program for Athlete please check out our youtube video and click HERE.

All Pilates sessions are taught by a Physical Therapist, she is also specialized in sport injury rehabilitation and post-rehabilitation after surgery and physical therapy. PilatesWise “Pilates training &  exercise therapy” program is bringing the gap between injuries and fitness.

Pilates Helps Lessen Symptoms of Menopause

Menopause is a term that means you’ve had your last menstrual cycle or period. Typically age for this is between 48-55. Menopause can be accompanied by a number of physical changes and symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, joint pains, anxieties, irritabilities, depressions and sleep disturbances. Menopause and post menopause time are also risk of health problems such as heart disease and osteoporosis.

Many studies have shown that women who are physically active can lessen their menopause symptoms more than sedentary women. Some studies found also that weight gain after menopause is more likely in sedentary women than in women who maintain physically active lifestyle. Exercise appears to have a great influence on women’s total body fat and abdominal fat.  Abdominal fat storages are linked with heart disease and diabetes, so it’s important to keep your body fit and waist trimmed. Exercise has positive impact to your mood too and has been shown to be a helpful treatment of depression.

Pilates is a great exercise method for menopause. Pilates has been proven to improve quality of life for menopause women. Here are some of the benefits of Pilates method

  • Improves posture (less pain and aches, prevent arthritis)
  • Enhances pelvic floor muscles (prevents incontinence)
  • Increase spinal mobility (less back pain)
  • Improves muscle flexibility (maintains joints range of motion)
  • Enhances muscular strength, flexibility and endurance (less muscle mass loss per year, toned muscles boost your metabolism)
  • Decreases or prevent low back pain (core strength)
  • Makes you feel younger and more dynamic in your daily life (boosts energy) 
  • Improves bone density and joint health (prevents osteoporosis)
  • Improves lung capacity (active breathing technique is part of Pilates)
  • Relieves muscle tension (stretches your tight muscles)
  • Boosts self confidence and body image (body and mind connection)
  • Decreases mood swing (boosts energy and mood)

Long list but all this is true. Our bodies change with age but we have more control on it than we think. Pilates teaches you many valuable skills you can use in everyday life, giving you the feeling that you are really involved and helping you to enjoy your life by keeping your mind and body healthy.

More about PilatesWise program in Carlsbad, California please click HERE