November 29, 2016

Rehab and/or Clinical Pilates

By Pankti Purohit, PT, DPT

Pilates is an exercise regime that has been consistently thriving. Its ever-growing popularity has made it a favourite among celebrities, athletes, and the general population alike. So how does Pilates fit in to the rehab industry and aiding in your recovery?  

Rehab (or Clinical) Pilates utilizes the classical principles developed by Joseph Pilates with traditional physiotherapy to help individuals establish control and regain balance in order to return to their pre-injury level. It consists of a set of exercises most often completed on special apparatuses, designed to improve strength, flexibility, and posture, and enhance mental awareness. The mind-body approach to these exercises help develop a strong and stable core by integrating the trunk, pelvis, and shoulder girdle. We hear the word core a lot, but what exactly is the core? The core or inner unit is a group of four muscles: the diaphragm, mulitifidi (tiny muscles found along the spine), transverse abdominis (the deepest layer to our abdominal muscles), and pelvic floor. When the core is inhibited, the body’s inherent response is to compensate by looking for stability elsewhere in the body. As a result we tend to overuse muscles in the upper or lower extremity, leading to restriction and overuse injuries.  

Pilates is a great addition to traditional physiotherapy exercises and treatment because the exercises work two-fold, to elongate and strengthen muscles. This improves muscle elasticity and joint mobility, creating a more balanced foundation for the body. And a body with balance between strength and flexibility has been proven to decrease the likelihood of injury.