Tag Archive | therapeutic pilates carlsbad

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

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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.

Pilates for SI-Joint Rehabilitation

The Sacroiliac joint (SI-joint) is located between your pelvic (ilium) and sacrum (sacral vertebrae).This joint does not move very much but it is critical to transferring the load of the upper body to the lower body and provides shock absorption for the spine. SI-joint dysfunction is common source of back pain. The pain is dull, deep pain on your back or buttock and it may refer to the groin, down to the leg. The pain can be similar sciatica-like pain to herniated disc.

SI-joint dysfunction and pain may be caused by sacroiliac joints hypermobility (too much movement) or hypomoblity (too little movement). Si-joint hypermobility (joint instability) is typical for young woman during and after pregnancy. Abnormal or asymmetric forces to the hip and lumbar area may also cause SI-joint hypermobility or even torn ligaments around the joint.

One of the best “treatment” to the SI-joint pain and hypermobility is specific pelvic and spinal muscles strengthening and stabilization program. Pilates and lumbar spinal stabilization training are both very efficient and safe exercises for people with SI-jointdysfunction.

The exercises should focus on strengthening the “inner unit”. The inner unit includes the deep back and abdominal stabilizers; transverse abdominus and multifidus muscles as well as pelvic floor muscles and diaphragm. These muscles are your Pilates powerhouse: roof, walls and floor around your spine and pelvic. The Pilates powerhouse muscles provide stability for the SI-Joint and lumbar-pelvic girdle.

The “outer unit” is also important to stabilize your pelvic and spine. The outer unit consist of the obliques (external & internal), latissimus dorsi, erector spinae and gluteus medius & maximus muscles with thoracolumbar fascia. These muscles and fascia contribute to load transfer through the pelvic region with rotational activities and during gait. Also muscles around your hips such as hip abductors, adductors and rotators are important because they are involved in a proper function of the pelvic girdle while walking and standing.

Many Si-joint dysfunction sufferers compensate their movement (due pain) thus resulting more pain and problems also to their spine and back. To avoid further pain and problems Pilates is a wonderful tool. Only challenge is finding a good Pilates instructor who has knowledge and hands-on-skills to work with SI-joint dysfunction.

People can often get rid of SI-joint pain when they start to practice Pilates with a good teacher. A professional Pilates instructor has an eye on correcting client’s compensation patterns and underlying problems. Individually customized Pilates program can also help increase body awareness which is important part of correcting many postural habits in daily life and activities. A proper posture is extremely important for healthy SI-joint and pelvic alignment. Private Pilates training may be pricey, but it provides big help for anyone to alleviate pain and keep strong. The results will be priceless!

For more about PhysioWise back pain therapy program for SI-joint dysfunction, please visit http://www.physio-wise.com

Runners’ Knee Pain – Pilates Stabilizes and Prevents

The knee joint is the largest and most complicated joint in the body. Knee is subjected to an enormous workload during any sport activity, especially running. The running motion itself puts a lot of stress to the knee joints, and if there are also anatomical abnormalities and muscle imbalances the stress become higher and often leads overuse injuries. Prevention is most important way to keep away from knee injuries Focusing on muscular imbalances with Pilates helps knee joints working more efficiently and ergonomically. Pilates also works well as a part of knee rehabilitation by restoring joint function and re-educating correct (all) joints movement patterns.

The most common runner’s knee overuse injuries are patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee, chondromalachia) and iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS).

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) has pain in front of the kneecap and may also include crunching and cracking sound when bending knees. Pain is most severe after hill running. The underlying cause is likely to be either anatomical abnormality (flat feet, foot overpronation, knock-knee, Q-ankle) or deficit of strength and/ or flexibility in the surrounding muscles. Runners who develop patellofemoral pain syndrome have often tight and strong outer quatriceps muscles (vastus lateralis) and weak inner side of quadriceps (vastus medialis). Both of those muscles stabilize kneecap and there has to be balance to provide maximal support and proper function.

Runners frequently underuse glutealis (maximus and medius) muscles. Hip muscle weakness also leads to dysfunction and increases forces on knees and feet while running. It is possible for weak hip abductors to contribute to knee pain since it will cause the femur to rotates inwards by causing patella misalignment (and patellofemoral pain). So, hip mucles are very important role for runner’s proper biomechanics as well as knee joint stability and function.

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITB) has pain and inflammation on the outside of the knee, where the iliotibial band (a muscle on the outside of the thigh) becomes tendinous. Tightness is felt also outside of knee and pain turns burning or stinging during running especially down-hills and disappears when stop running. Repetitive running motion causes ITB and anatomical abnormalities like foot overpronation and bow-knee increase the tightness of the iliotibial band. The muscle imbalance between weak quadriceps and tight hamstring and iliotibial band (ITB) can also cause the iliotibial band syndrome. Iliotibial band as well as quadriceps and hamstrings muscles function are the first place to provide knee stability.

Pilates is good for knee injury prevention and rehabilitation

Pilates is a good conditioning and cross-training program for runners. Adding Pilates can help runners restore muscular imbalances in the legs by increasing the flexibility of tight hip flexors and hamstrings, strengthen hip adductors, abductors and quadriceps muscles to help keep knee and hip joints more stable. Pilates foundation is about alignment head to toe and it is re-educating the muscles and joints work together by emphasizing body awareness. If you have underlying knee problem like iliotibial band syndrome, the best cure for it is a special ITB-stretching program, but Pilates is still a great addon to balancing your muscles weakness or tightness. It is recommend in Pilates training that instructor focuses on knee joints neural position and full, smooth range of motion. In Pilates leg and hip work the pillow or ball between legs helps the people with patellofemoralis pain syndrome to engage a weak vastus medialis. A specific Pilates program which is designed for your special needs helps you keep your body strong and balanced without injuries and enables you enjoy more of your sports that you love.

Please check out pilatesWise  youtube clip infos about patellofemorial pain syndrome and Iliotibilais Band syndrome http://www.pilateswise.com/pilates-youtube-videos.html

Is Pilates Good for Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis, also known as the “silent disease”, is characterized by low bone mass and decreased bone tissue. The bones become brittle, thin and prone to fractures, especially of the hip, spine and wrist. Risk factors for developing primary osteoporosis are being postmenopausal, Caucasian or Asian descent, family history, low body weight, little or no physical activity and smoking.

Physical activity has been shown to have a positive affect on bone remodeling. Many people who suffer from osteoporosis mistakenly assume they will fracture bones with exercise and do not realize that regular muscle use and exercise actually protects their bones. Research shows that regular exercise actually increases and maintains bone density at any age. The Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society states physical activity may lower the rate of bone loss, improve muscle strength, and fitness can help lower the risk of fractures and falls among the elderly.

Osteoporosis changes the shape of the vertebral bodies (they become wedge-shaped) leading to Kyphosis, which means that curve of your thoracic spine is increased. The Kyphosis decreases postural support on your upper back and leads pains and spinal pressure.

Pilates is all about body alignment and its specific, corrective exercises help to relieve postural strain on the spine and to prevent further wedging and compression fractures. Pilates repertoire uses your muscles and joints evenly and safely move your joints through their full range of motion by improving flexibility, strength and overall posture. Pilates is a whole-body experience and promotes symmetry of the musculature along with proper body mechanics and that is big benefits for clients with osteoporosis.

Most important exercises for osteoporosis are the exercises that strengthen the back muscles. Back strengthening exercises overall constitute a powerful intervention for reducing pain and increasing functional capacity.

Avoid any exercise that causes pain. Avoid also exercises where you have to lift up your head and chest off the floor and exercises where you have to flex (bend) and rotate (twist) your trunk in the sitting or standing position. All of those exercises put a lot of pressure to vertebrae and discs. Stress into spinal flexion also increases the risk of a vertebral compression fracture.

However, while Pilates is good for osteoporosis, it’s not recommend to start with Mat Pilates. Many Mat Pilates instructors have only very little training and don’t know how to modify exercises for osteoporosis clients. Private Pilates sessions with Pilates instructor, who has knowledge about your disease and condition can really make a difference and help your fight against spinal and bone changing process and enhancing your quality of life.

And it’s never too late to start Pilates program, especially after menopause, when the pace of bone loss really picks up. Even then, starting a Pilates program will increase your muscle strength, improve your balance and it may keep your bones from getting weaker. Please visit our website HERE and learn more our Pilates for back pain program.