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Pilates for Rehabilitation

Pilates for Rehabilitation 

Hi, I’m Stacey Beierling and I am part of the Physiotherapy Team at Skye Health. 

Being physically active has always been a passion of mine. I had an interest in Rehabilitation Pilates and continued to gain this excitement after completing a dissertation researching the benefits of performing Pilates exercises for musculoskeletal conditions. I later completed my instructor training with Stott in mat-based Rehabilitation Pilates. Pilates targets physical and mental health and can be individualized to enhance the outcome for each participant. 

Physical therapy is beneficial for the recovery process following an injury. There are many forms of therapy and techniques available to assist clients in achieving their recovery goals. A new wave of physical therapists is offering Pilates as a rehabilitation alternative. What exactly is Pilates and why is it gaining so much momentum? 

Benefits of Pilates

Pilates is considered a mind–body exercise that focuses on core stability, muscle control, flexibility, strength, posture, and breathing. The full-body method aims to strengthen and stabilize the core, encouraging efficient movement in other areas of the body. 

Pilates can be performed with just a mat with gravity as a means of resistance, or on various pieces of pilates equipment like the reformer, a machine that uses springs and pulleys as a form of resistance.  Pilates is a convenient exercise that can be done at home or within a clinical studio.  

Physical therapist treating a patient at Skye Health

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Pilates and Rehabilitation

Multiple research has been performed determining the effectiveness of Pilates in the rehabilitation of conditions such as lower back pain, shoulder pain, chronic neck pain and additional musculoskeletal concerns. Outcomes were improved in the Pilates groups, including lower levels of pain and disability. These results are significant, and for those in the world of physical therapy, it means better outcomes for their clients.

Pilates rehab is slightly different than just going to a local Pilates studio. Rehabilitation Pilates is conducted by a Physiotherapist or Physiotherapy Assistant who has completed their Stott Pilates instructor training. We recommend clients complete a physiotherapy assessment before attending our Rehab Pilates classes to determine if this exercise is right for you. Pilates exercises can be adjusted to all levels of ability and are individualized for each participant. Therefore, if a person has limited range-of-motion due to an injury or surgery, the therapist can adjust the exercise to suit the individual while not losing the effectiveness of the exercise.

While most physical therapy exercises are performed for a set time period, the majority of people stop performing them altogether after their treatment program ends. The risk for re-injury is high, and people often do not regain the full aspects of mobility they once had prior to surgery or injury. Pilates, however, is not intended to stop after the person finishes their physical therapy. These exercises are to be continued and can help a person gain more strength, core stability and flexibility than prior to their injury or surgery.

Pilates rehabilitation at Skye Health

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A Positive Movement Experience

Many clients who have suffered an injury or are recovering from surgery fear the pain of moving in the wrong way. Physical therapy helps to get people moving and avoid any long-term stiffness or disability. With Rehabilitation Pilates, a person is helped to gain confidence in their movements. Muscle imbalances are a risk factor for injuries pre and post operation, and Pilates specifically targets and corrects muscle imbalances that occur due to bad posture by promoting core strength and balanced muscle groups.

Conclusion

At Skye Health, a Physiotherapist can determine if Rehabilitation Pilates is appropriate for your concerns and provide you the foundation to maintain these exercises as a home program or within a social setting through our group classes. Our classes are covered under most Extended Benefits Physiotherapy services. 

Pilates has allowed me to focus on my strength, mobility and core control and is a wonderful training technique to add to an individual’s routine. If you are interested in Rehabilitation Pilates please contact our clinic and we can help guide you in the right direction to aid in preventing or improving concerns. 

Stacey Beierling

Masters of Physiotherapy, MPT


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