SPTA is excited to add Pilates, specifically Clinical Pilates Reformers, to its list of therapeutic services taking patients to the next level of their recovery. The Pilates Method developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, hit celebrity fitness status in the 90’s because of its focus on building a long strong slim physique. Soon after, the physical therapy world reclaimed this system for its innate rehabilitative qualities that help patients recover strength, flexibility, and core control after injury.
Unlike a Pilates class, Clinical Pilates means your therapist is using their intimate knowledge of your anatomical and physiologic needs to choose specific Pilates-based exercises for a therapeutic effect. Exercises using the Pilates equipment have been successful in treating lower back pain, overcoming compensations, and re-educating faulty movement patterns. For injuries or surgeries where weight bearing is restricted, using Pilates equipment like the Reformer or leg springs means strengthening muscles can begin earlier because the exercises can be done while lying down and the resistance or load can be safely introduced at a pace that is within the patient’s tolerance or restrictions.
Lastly, Clinical Pilates helps a patient “pull it all together”. Unlike traditional strengthening of isolated muscles, a therapist can choose Pilates exercises which simulate functional activities to give the patient a chance to integrate new movement patterns. Pilates can teach a patient how to integrate isolated corrections with a normal activity. Furthermore, breathing, a fundamental part of all Pilates exercises, links mental awareness and concentration to assist in making physical changes occur. Recent evidence shows that the mind-body feature can be a “game changer” for reaching therapy goals no matter how complex and challenging the problem is.