Pilates is a form of exercise that emphasizes precise movements and breathing. It’s becoming a popular fitness technique, but it also has a role in rehabilitation and physical therapy.
A physical therapist will guide you through Pilates and ensure you don’t do anything that could cause injury. Besides that, there are many benefits to practicing Pilates.
Posture is the foundation for movement and stability. Pilates focuses on core muscles that strengthen the abdomen and spine, increasing posture and improving balance. This can help reduce the risk of injury by reducing stress on joints and soft tissue.
Many Pilates movements are done lying down, making them easier on the joints than other forms of exercise. Additionally, Pilates exercises can be tailored to fit your specific needs and limitations. For example, if you have a shoulder injury, a physical therapist may prescribe Pilates moves that target your specific needs and limitations.
The combination of focus, breath and rhythmical movement makes Pilates exercises highly effective for building strong and stable muscles. It also helps improve your sense of body awareness, helping you become aware of how your posture impacts your movements and ability to control them.
This enhanced sense of body awareness is known as proprioception, which can help reduce the recovery time from musculoskeletal injuries. It is also important for avoiding future injuries, as it helps form a link between your musculoskeletal and nervous systems.
Studies have shown that Pilates is effective in the treatment of several conditions, including neck pain, ankylosing spondylitis, multiple sclerosis, non-structural scoliosis and pre-menopausal osteoporosis. A 2018 study that randomised 56 patients with neck problems found that those who participated in Pilates sessions experienced less pain, disability and improved quality of life compared to their counterparts.
Strengthened Core Muscles
The body is made up of so many different muscles, and Pilates exercises target all the little ones that make up your core. When you do Pilates, you learn how to engage all these muscles and how to activate them in a way that helps to stabilize your spine and your limbs.
This strengthens your core, which helps to alleviate and prevent herniated discs as well as balance out your strength on both sides of your body so that your joints don’t get overused and stiff. This is why a lot of injuries can be prevented by taking up a regular practice of Pilates.
When you combine Pilates with physical therapy, your therapist can help guide you through the movements that are best for your recovery. As you become stronger, your therapist can help you progress to more challenging Pilates movements.
You might be surprised to find that Pilates is actually quite a challenging form of exercise. Despite the images of the lean and flexible people in much Pilates imagery, there are some very intense and challenging moves in Pilates. This is especially true in the early stages of learning, when you work slowly and carefully to perfect your form before increasing speed or intensity.
Increased Joint Mobility
Pilates is a great way to increase your joint mobility. It helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the joints, improving your range of motion while reducing pain. This is especially helpful for people with arthritis, herniated discs, and other joint conditions that can be caused by tight muscles or misalignments.
Pilates works your entire body, from the feet to the shoulders. This helps to strengthen and balance all of the muscles in your body, preventing muscular imbalance that is a leading cause of injury. It also heightens your body awareness and promotes controlled breathing, fluidity, precision, and stability.
While many people fear that Pilates will lead to increased joint pain, it actually helps to relieve the stiffness of your joints, allowing them to move more easily and with less pain. This is because Pilates exercises are designed to be low impact and the movements are done at a slow and controlled pace.
Some of the most common joint issues that benefit from Pilates include hip and knee pain, shoulder problems, back pain, and scoliosis. Research shows that Pilates is effective in treating these issues because it can help to improve the flexibility and strength of your muscles, reduce inflammation and pain, and help you maintain a healthy weight. The practice can also help to ease symptoms of herniated discs and sciatica.
Many injuries are caused by imbalances in muscle weakness and tension. These imbalances can often be found in muscles that don’t get exercised frequently. For example, if you work a desk job, the muscles in your back and neck may become tight and weak as they aren’t activated very often. Pilates Balwyn North can help to correct these imbalances by strengthening and activating these muscles.
Pilates can also improve your posture, balance, and coordination as well as your flexibility and strength. This can help to reduce your risk of injury in the future.
Another benefit of Pilates is that it can be very low impact and gentle on the joints. This makes it a great exercise option for patients who cannot perform high impact exercises like running or other forms of weight training. Lastly, the focus on breathing in Pilates can help to relieve stress and anxiety. In fact, a study published in 2021 by Med Forum found that Pilates significantly reduced perceived levels of stress among undergraduate Physical Therapy students.
There is an old myth that after an injury you should merely rest; however, this can be very bad for your general health and rehabilitation. Pilates can be a safe and effective way to strengthen your body while you are recovering from an injury or illness.