The following article is a guest post written by and shared with us by Lena Hemsworth, a Lifestyle Blogger with an interest in physical health and wellness.
Usually, when we talk about rehabilitation we refer to physical therapy that includes specific movements and equipment. But in recent years, doctors have become aware that certain fitness practices can also help to enhance your movement and healing. One of them is pilates, a controlled movement exercise invented in the 20th century and highly popular in western countries like Australia, the USA, Canada, and the UK.
Today, physical therapists use pilates equipment for their practices and get certificates to be instructors to help their patients. There is still a lot to be learned about the ever-evolving relationship between pilates and physio. However, some benefits are apparent as long as you have an experienced physical therapist who is well versed in Pilates exercises.
History of Pilates
The story of pilates starts in the first half of the 20th century when Joseph Pilates developed exercises intended to strengthen the body and mind. Pilates developed this exercise method while held captive at the Knockaloe internment camp during World War I. He also used various equipment in his exercises and published two books explaining this training method.
Today, modern pilates is based on his principles while adding new movements and practices. Although, classical pilates is still faithful to Pilates’ teachings in his original work.
Practice at Home
If you are a healthy individual who wants to strengthen the muscles and skeletal system, then you can practice Pilates at home. But, it’s best if you start with pilates under the supervision of an experienced instructor to avoid any potential injuries. Also, they will show you how to do the exercises that are most efficient and are beneficially for your body type.
On the other hand, when using pilates as a rehabilitation tool, you should always do it with a physical therapist who is at least familiar with this practice. Performing movements on your own can further impair your condition and cause more damage. Furthermore, the equipment used in pilates is sometimes bulky and requires space, and you may lack that at your home.
Who Can Provide Pilates as Rehabilitation
Pilates is good for the body since it helps knees, neck, shoulders, back and other parts to grow stronger. As a fitness method, it’s recommended for toning the body and weight loss, but it is never used for diagnosis or standalone treatment of certain conditions. As a medical practice, rehabilitation through physical therapy is intended to restore the function of the body.
So, to provide rehabilitation a person needs to be a licensed professional like a physical therapist and chiropractor. This means that instructors licensed for pilates cannot offer this service unless they are also rehabilitation professionals.
Pilates and Physio Practice In the World
As mentioned before, western countries adopted pilates as a way to enhance physical therapy and create more beneficial outcomes for patients. A study conducted in Australia in 2013 concluded that supervised Pilates sessions twice a week can have benefits for patients who suffer from chronic low back pain. And now, big Australian cities offer professional physiotherapy paired with pilates like Sutherland physiotherapy clinic in Sydney.
The USA has thousands of therapists using pilates as rehabilitation practice. The country has strict regulations who can practice this type of healing, although physical therapists and pilates instructors are known to work together to help patients. Every major city has a significant number of studios which offer help with rehabilitation under the supervision of licensed physical therapist or chiropractor.
The Benefits of Combining Pilates and Physio
People who have certain conditions like Multiple Sclerosis which affects balance and mobility can benefit from core stability training pilates offers. Also, practicing pilates only a couple of times a week reduced the lower back pain which can be a debilitating factor in everyday life. When it comes to obesity, pilates on only a mat and with a ball can help individuals lose weight while at the same time gaining strength and stamina. Furthermore, people who spend the majority of their day in a sedentary position could benefit from Pilates exercise to enhance flexibility and posture.
Pregnant women need physical therapy as well since their bodies change over nine months. Combined with pilates, they increase spine mobility, respiratory capacity, torso stabilization, and flexibility, among other things. And even urinary inconsistence patients experienced improvement in their condition like an accelerated return to continence and better quality of life. Thus, combining physio and pilates can enhance healing and help patients to lead a more active lifestyle.
The benefits of establishing a Pilates and physio relationships are undeniable. While it will enhance your movement and healing, it will also help you mentally overcome sometimes challenging rehabilitation. However, always look for professionals who are licensed to practice both disciplines to avoid injury or worsening of your condition.