ARTICLE | The Power of Pilates20 Apr 2011
Pilates is fast becoming a popular workout choice for many people. Black swan actress Mila Kunis is a fan, rugby players do it, Bruce Springsteen does it. Physiotherapists say older people can use Pilates to help manage pain and improve quality of life.
People with arthritis can benefit from Pilates. More and more doctors are recommending Pilates as the “arthritis diet” to their patients. It can be used to help people of all ages. According to research Pilates is now known to be very effective as an arthritis exercise. Pilates not only makes your joints strong, it also leaves you refreshed and energised. It was originally designed for rehabilitating patients and can be practised even if you are stiff and out of shape.
Pilates allows Physiotherapists to take treatment further. Focussing on basic activities like standing or sitting without pain so you are not just lying on a bed being treated. Pilates will not cure certain illnesses or conditions but it should relieve the pain, build your core muscles, giving you strength from within to support your joints.
Some people say they can’t do Pilates because of their age. But it’s very good for posture, for preventing joint damage or repairing wear and tear. If you have chronic arthritis, you can maintain your strength and fitness so you don’t get worse. Pilates can be modified to any level to suit any age. People might need to retrain their basic posture, starting with breathing and only then adding in movement. In Pilates classes people concentrate on small movements and become aware of how parts of the body work together.
Pilates exercises can reverse years of deterioration, but there’s a catch, simply going to one session won’t cure ongoing illnesses but following instructions at home can make all the difference.
Many Chartered Physiotherapists in Ireland use Pilates as a form of treatment, it is like a tool to help people manage pain, move more freely and improve their quality of life over time. Pilates can help with many conditions including osteoporosis or spinal stenosis. It can involve a variety of equipment including elastic bands, foam rollers, gentle trapeze-like pulleys, gym balls to focus on areas of the body or groups of muscles which are not working smoothly.
Concentration, dedication and willingness to implement is all that is needed from clients. It takes patience, you have to give it your full attention while in the class.
When a patient enrolls in a Pilates class at Mid West Physiotherapy they will have an inital one-on-one consultation if they are not already a patient at the practice. Here we will discuss any existing conditions or injuries. We do a full physical assessment which includes spinal observation, checking range of movement plus flexibility in and around each major joint. During this consultation patients are educated on the principles of Rehabilitation Pilates and variety of level one exercises are taught.
There are enormous benefits to be gained through Pilates and Rehabilitation Pilates. Find out more about our Rehabilitation Pilates Classes.