Tag Archive | pilates private sessions

Pilates for Rehabilitation- Does It Work?

Today the Pilates method is widely practiced for both rehabilitation and fitness. Physical Therapists are recognizing Pilates as one of the most successful methods to treat many injuries, spinal disorders and joint diseases. However, Pilates rehabilitation is not only limited to just orthopedics and spine health but it also benefits individuals with neurological problems (MS), chronic pain (fibromyalgia), women’s health needs (menopause, osteoporosis, pre/post natal), performance enhancement needs (athletes), arthritic impairments (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis) and other movement dysfunctions.

How does Pilates method work? Pilates therapeutic exercises focus on individual asymmetries in flexibility, strength and muscle recruitment patterns. Pilates trains several muscle groups at once through smooth, continuous movements. By developing a proper technique, clients can actually re-train their body to move in safer, more efficient patterns of motion. No other exercise form is so gentle to the body while giving it a challenging workout!

Professional Pilates instructors give great attention and facilitation to you to gain strength, coordination, control and function in your weaker or injured muscles and joints. Pilates exercise not only leads to improvement at the injury site, but also improves your overall strength and function.

However, it is important to note that most Pilates instructors are not trained to work with rehabilitation. Always ask your instructors’ qualifications and beware of those Pilates instructors who don’t have real clinical knowledge and skills about your injuries or diseases. Done improperly, some of the Pilates exercises can slow down the healing process or even be contraindicated.

A good Pilates instructor with rehab background can help you to balance your body both physically and mentally and successfully support your healing process. Pilates is a mind and body method and a great natural alternative treatment or those who are looking for a different rehabilitation way. And the best thing is – it’s works too!

For more about Pilateswise rehabilitation program, please visit our website and click HERE.


Sciatica Back Pain – Is Pilates really helping?

The term sciatica describes the symptoms of leg pain and possibly tingling, numbness or weakness that travels from the low back through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of the leg. Sciatica occurs most frequently in people between 30 and 50 years of age. Often any particular event or injury does not cause sciatica, but rather it tends to develop as a result of general wear and tear on the structures of the lower spine.

Common causes of sciatica are Lumbar Herniated disc, Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Spondylolisthesis, Piriformis syndrome and Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction.

Exercise is usually better for healing sciatic pain than bed rest. Sciatica exercises are also important for the healthof the spinal discs. Movement helps exchange nutrients and fluids within the discs to keep them healthy. Many sciatica exercises focus on strengthening the abdominal and back muscles in order to provide more support for the back, so do Pilates.

Many Pilates studios are marketing their services as a treatment for lower back pain and sciatica, but does Pilates really help? Yes, it really helps if you find a good Pilates instructor who has back pain rehabilitation experience and who is familiar with your diagnosis, diseases and symptoms. Why Pilates instructor knowledge is so important? Because all Pilates exercises do not fit all sciatica clients and some exercises might be even contraindicated.

Here are briefly some underlying exercises that spine specialists recommend for each diagnosis of sciaticaThese exercises help to relieve pain and prevent further back problems:

  1. Spinal stenosis: Focus on flexion exercises (forward bending). Flexing the lower spine relives pain and nerve irritation for people with spinal stenosis. They often feel better bending forward than standing up straight. Still it’s important to strengthen back and abdominal muscles and teach posterior pelvic tilt which allows the client perform more activities and exercises with less pain.
  2. Degenerative Disc Disease: Focus on spinal stabilization exercises, back extension exercises including the McKenzie method. All Pilates exercises are focusing spinal stabilization, so Pilates for DDD is really beneficial. However, back is fragile for DDD clients, so full flexion and intermediate spine articulation exercises are in some cases contraindicated.
  3. Herniated disc. Focus on spinal extension with McKenzie method and Spinal Stabilization training.  Pilates is good, but has to be pain-free range.
  4. Spondylolisthesis: Focus on flexion based exercises and spinal stabilization program. It’s important to teach how the lumbar spine remains stable in a flexed position.
  5. Piriformis syndrome: Focus on stretching piriformis muscle, hamstring muscles and hip extensor muscles. Maybe only stretching exercises is enough to help to decrease this painful symptom. Finding neural pelvic position, spinal stabilization training and hip range of motion are all important for people with piriformis syndrome.
  6. Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction: Focus on restore range of motion in SI-joint, which can be limited if the joint is inflamed. So, spinal stabilization, pelvic and hip exercises are all good.

All the above diagnoses cause sciatica pain but as you see the recommended exercises are very different. Pilates in general is good but definitely there is no “one size fits all” exercise for sciatica pain clients. Sometimes Pilates instructors are too confidence to taking care of people who suffer back pain, caused by sciatica. Many Pilates programs don’t give enough information about back disorders and many instructors don’t have enough experience either. It’s very important for Pilates instructors to know the client’s history of sciatica pain before they plan any Pilates program for their client. However, carefully planned Pilates program with a good hands-on skilled instructor make the life of sciatica pain client easier by relieving pain, strengthening and stretching muscles and increasing spine and joints range of motion. “Motion is lotion” is true here.

Please visit PilatesWise.com and read more about our SpinePilatres bacxk rehab program which is specifically designed for people with back pain and sciatica. Program is combination of Pilates and Spinal Stabilization, click HERE and learn more. This program is available also via SKYPE, so not need to live in North County, San Diego, California.

Why Should Cyclists Do Pilates

Cycling is a great exercise and here in Southern California it is a year around sport. It is generally believed that cycling is one of the best exercises to improve your overall fitness. Unfortunately, riding for long periods of time with the spine bent forward easily causes back pain and leads many types of muscle imbalances. Cycling is lower body dominant and cyclists usually develop strong leg muscles but don’t always have the core strength to support spine and proper riding position. The core muscles are also responsible for producing power to your legs and maintain control with your pedal work. Having a weak back and abdominal muscles with decreased flexibility with your leg muscles can quickly cause muscle strain, fatigue and pain on your lower back.
The pelvis has a very important role in affecting cyclist’s posture and movement in the spine and extremities. Many cyclists who experience chronic back, hip and/or knee pain suffer from pelvic asymmetry due to muscle imbalance. Tight hip flexors (quadriceps and psoas muscles) and weak core muscles (transverse abdominus and multifidus muscles) tend to tilt the pelvis too much forward thus increasing the curvature (lordosis) of the lower back. This excess curvature of the back can create many problems for cyclists, including muscle spasms, pinched nerves (sciatica) and possible damage to the lumbar disc. Tight hamstring muscles tilt the pelvic backwards and will round the back by putting extra stress to your spine thus causing lower back pain too.

Pilates is a good cross-training exercise and conditioning program for cyclist by preventing muscle imbalances and overuse injuries. Pilates exercises help cyclists to decrease their muscle tightness and improve core strength and stability. Transverse abdominus (TA) is the most important muscle to stabilize your pelvic and spine (called lumbar-pelvic stability). It is your deepest abdominal muscle and acts like a corset around your trunk. TA is also the most important muscle in Pilates and it is present in all Pilates movements. This muscle, with deep back muscles (multifidus), gives an optimal spinal support to your lower back. Pilates improves your overall body awareness, too. Good body awareness helps you to find a proper riding position without putting extra stress to your spine and extremities. With strong core muscles and balanced leg muscles you are pedaling more efficiently without unnecessary fatigue and pain. So we can say that Pilates help you improve your overall sports performance. A good Pilates program for cyclist, please click here.