Tag Archive | pilates training encinitas

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


Home exercises vs. Pilates training for Orthopedic Rehab

Home Exercises vs Pilates for Orthopedic Rehabilitation

Therapeutic exercises are a part of traditional physical therapy and they are a very important way to get the client more involved in their own rehabilitation process. Unfortunately, the home exercises should be given only if clients can do them with proper form by recruiting correct muscles. Unfortunately, when they are injured or have pain, they may compensate, which makes it harder to learn a proper form. The matter of fact is, if they repeat these home exercises with poor form and control, the exercises may do more harm than good.

Many physical therapy practices seem to use their physical therapy aid to teach home exercises to clients and that is not ideal. Physical therapy aids usually have very little knowledge about body biomechanics and anatomy, even when PT aids are trained and supervised by a Physical Therapist. If those home exercises are not taught well, they are not going to help either. Furthermore, home exercises are usually isolated to strengthening and stretching the muscles around injury, and that may sometimes be too much to tolerate, especially when clients have pain or fear of pain. So, in home environment clients may not repeat their home exercises correctly which may lead them to compensate and add even more muscle imbalances than they have already.

If you were injured and think that you are fully recovered, you may still have 50% chance to get the same injury again or create a new one. Why? Because your brain may develop faulty movement patterns during your injury and pain. You start to compensate and your brain adapts to that faulty way of moving. Sometimes, even though you feel better and don’t have pain anymore, you may still have those compensatory faulty movement patterns. These faulty patterns can lead to new injury by placing abnormal stress and load on joints and soft tissues.

You need to re-program your neuro-muscle system to correct these faulty movement patterns. It may sound easy, but it is not. Unfortunately, your short visits to Physical Therapy and doing home exercises, is probably not helping to correct these faulty movement patterns and muscle imbalances, because they focus more on your injury, not on how you may compensate it. The ideal rehabilitation program should focus on your whole body alignment and how your body parts are working together.  Traditional Physical Therapy may still help at your acute stage but after initial physical therapy it would be very wise to continue your rehabilitation process with Rehab Pilates.

Pilates as a Rehabilitation is a missing link in your recovering process from injury and pain. Pilates Rehab works for many reasons. Great attention to detail and form is a perfect way for clients to gain strength in their weaker and injured muscles and joints as well as the whole body. Pilates develops a smaller muscle group that works to support joints and body structures. It is a great way to complete your Physical Therapy. It works also as an alternative rehabilitation method for people with orthopedic issues and dysfunctions. Pilates one-on-one training with experienced Pilates Instructor or Physical Therapist can help people with their real underlying problems such as correcting those muscle imbalances and faulty movement patterns (which may have caused your injury in the first place). It is pretty much re-educating your body to work more optimally, economically and ergonomically with proper alignment, control and coordination. With Pilates you will get long-term solution about how to take care of your body as a whole – and the best part, being injury FREE! It’s all about PREVENTION!

For more about PhysioWise after Physical therapy program, please click HERE

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

Pilates Improves Spinal Health for Scoliosis

The spine has an important role in our body. It supports the head and trunk and enables us maintain our upright posture. It also provides protection for the main pathway of the nervous system of the body, the spinal cord. Ideally the spine should be straight when it is viewed from behind. Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine has sideways curvature, typically curving in an “S” or a “C”-shape. The curve can appear in varying areas of the spine.

When spine is abnormally curved it causes an imbalance of the surrounding muscles, some are stretched and weakened and some are tight and shortened. Scoliosis causes also unusual weight to be carried on the spinal discs and vertebrae thereby causing back pain.Adult Scoliosis can occur with degeneration process of the spine like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. It weakens vertebrae’s bone and might develop nerve root compression when the vertebral bodies press on the nerves.

Although poor posture can’t cause scoliosis, maintaining proper posture is important to your back health. Pilates helps slow down the progress of the spinal curvature and gives some reduction in the angle of curvature by strengthening your core muscles and improving your posture. Improved function and strength of the trunk muscles take some of the stress off from the scoliotic spine and lessen pain.

The curves don’t go back to normal but with Pilates you will learn how your body is working more equally. Increased body awareness and strong core muscles help you avoid falling into the weaker side that your scoliosis curve wants to go. By knowing your body alignment and how you correct it help you avoid poor postural habits in your daily life, and that is a good self- treatment on your scoliosis and spine health.

Even when Pilates is good exercise for scoliosis, you might still need professional guidance. Good Pilates instructor tailors your Pilates exercises for your specific needs. “Pilates for Scoliosis” is currently a hot topic and there are many books and DVD’s available, but they are not enough – you will need professional help on your Pilates work and definitely some specific modification. There is no “one size fits all” for people with Scoliosis. So be skeptical of those materials and instead go to the well-educated Pilates instructor who has experience in scoliosis. She/he makes a real difference and you are worth it!

Please visit PilatesWise website and slideshow for back pain, click HERE.

Pilates Prevents Golfers Back Pain by Pilates Wise, Carlsbad, Encinitas, San Diego


Did you know that trunk rotation of the golf swing puts enormous pressure on your lower back? That’s why the back problems are the most common type of golf-related injuries.

Weekend golfers who have poor swing mechanics, lack of flexibility and core strength are more likely to get lower back pain. Golfers with poor swing mechanics tend to swing harder, causing larger spinal loads and increased muscle activity, resulting in more stress to the lumbar spine. Pro golfers who are physically fit and have good swing techniques are not immune to lower back problems either. Pro golfers tend to develop lower back pain from overuse due to repetitive one-sided movement.

Golfers who have degenerative disc disease or arthritis in the lumbar spine are more susceptible to overloading their spines. The discs lose their shock-absorbing capabilities, and loads are transferred to other structures within the spine that are unable to withstand these forces. A poor golf swing causes more shearing, compression and rotational forces on the low back. Can you believe that your body weight is forced through your spine eight times as you make contact with the ball? So, if poor mechanics are combined with a weak back, you are more likely to cause yourself a significant injury.

osteoporosisPoor posture is the most significant contributor to golfers’ lower back pain. Poor posture is caused often by muscle imbalances or visa versa. Poor posture and any amount of muscle imbalances cause biomechanical fault to your swing thus increasing risk of lower back injury. Golf swing requires that all elements of the posture have to be properly maintained throughout the swing. Golfers with a good posture swing better – and without back pain! Believe it or not, a proper posture has a positive influence on power production to your swing, too!

Many players with lower back pain are looking for an easy fix to treat their back pain. Some players are taking extra amount of painkillers before game while others try to get quick-fix with chiropractors. It’s true that these “treatment” might help reduce pain temporarily, but they rarely solve the underlying problem(s). If you lack flexibility on your shoulders, spine and hips, weak core muscles, poor posture and muscle imbalances, your back pain is not going anyway. Pain will persist until you decide to concentrate more in caring the cause of the pain, not only symptoms.

Pilates is a good exercise program for people with lower back pain, especially for golfers. Several studies have shown that golfers with low back pain have decreased trunk and hip strength, decreased hamstring flexibility, as well as trunk rotation to the right is also limited. Those are the main problem areas that we are focusing in Pilates – and much more. Pilates is all about body alignment, deep back and abdominal muscles strength, joint and spine mobility and stability, as well as soft tissue flexibility. A well-trained Pilates instructor can identify your musculoskeletal imbalances and provide personalized golf-specific Pilates exercises to improve your posture and overall conditioning specific to golf. Correct posture and good muscle balance will help you to get into proper positions which are required in effective golf swing. And the best part – they will lessen your lower back pain or even help you play pain-free!

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