I’ve just spent the last couple of months updating my Pilates for orthopaedic conditions knowledge with FutureFit and wanted to focus a bit on exactly why Pilates is so helpful in the treatment of common orthopaedic conditions. Whilst I don’t solely use Pilates in my movement sessions but instead use a range of functional movement protocol the traditional Pilates principles certainly embody and underpin the main focus of exercise prescription for rehab thereby providing a safe and effective recovery.
Common Orthopaedic Conditions –
- Back pain (non specific, specific, root nerve pain, disc herniation and piriformis syndrome)
- Shoulder conditions (rotator cuff tear, impingement and frozen shoulder)
- Golfers and tennis elbow
- Hip and knee arthroplasty
- Arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)
- Osteoporosis and osteopenia
The Pilates mat repertoire gives a great range of exercises which allow for enough regression or progression to take participants with very limited movement capabilities and progress them in a sustainable way. The incorporation of the Pilates principles which are taught alongside each exercise help to integrate the breath with core co-contraction, increase body awareness (and therefore autonomy) and focus on the quality of movement.
A tailored programme can offer you many things – principally better alignment and mobility of the spine but also increased muscle strength and endurance, reduced stiffness and improved flexibility, reduced pain, better balance along with improved well-being.
If you are affected by any of these conditions it’s important to seek out an effective exercise programme which meets your needs and minimises your symptoms. Due to covid-19 I am not currently able to offer sessions but feel free to contact me for further advice.
Photo by Harlie Raethel on Unsplash
If you travel a lot for work it can be hard to prioritise your own movement let alone specific exercise. This post is an aid to those trapped in their hotel rooms (!) and in need of some body maintenance to cancel out all the sitting, screen watching, suit and work shoe wearing (that also ‘cast’ your body into unhelpful postures).
- Chest stretch: Arm at 90 degrees (i.e. bent at the elbow) with your forearm against a wall or door frame the stretch the chest open, away from the wall. One arm at a time then switch.
- Door frame: Reach up to a door frame and try to extend your arms whilst breathing deeply lengthening on the exhalations. Try to create space from your ears to your shoulders.
- Back extensions: Lying prone, chin slightly tucked – on an exhale raise your chest of the floor a tiny bit whilst lengthening your arms/fingertips towards your feet. Also try to draw your shoulders back as if opening your chest.
- Childs pose: Sit back on your heels stretch your arms forward onto the floor.
- Hamstring stretch: lying supine stretch one leg up – use a belt or tie around the foot to get leverage (keep the other knee bent and try not to press/flatten your lower back) Switch legs.
- Sit ups: support the head if necessary, deep exhale as you come up.
- Plank: On your elbows – keep breathing, back of the neck long don’t drop your chin.
- Childs pose: same as before but with the palms up.
Note: Written descriptions of exercises and movements can be lost in translation! So if these do not translate easily for you do get in touch via the contact form. Readers who have had been having sessions will recognise the cues!
Photo by Sergio Pedemonte on Unsplash
In sessions we are often trying to ‘undo’ or improve on aches & pains (limitations) we have, whether it be through bad alignment or injury. Both of these are usually caused by having poor alignment resulting in our inability to maintain a sustainable functioning muscle balance.
If much of your day is spent sitting or sedentary your body will be cast into that shape, there will be adaptations which define your body as ‘a sitter’ – even if you did a ‘workout’ (whatever that may be). What you do for the majority of your day will dictate how your muscles are conditioned. There will be specific movement pathways that your lifestyle does not expose you to due to ‘modern living’ & in particular the time saving devices we now have at our disposal e.g shopping online instead of walking to the shops & carrying it home, buggies, washing machines, cars etc.
In order to counteract this we need to look at steps we can take to change our environments to afford more movement time, different working postures or movement breaks spread out across the day.
3 steps to improving your ‘sitters body’.
- Work on corrective exercises to help counter the effects of sitting.
- Try to sit & do the movement we’re already doing with better alignment. See the picture on the left for ideal sitting alignment.
- Look at ways we can change our environments & lifestyles to incorporate more activity where possible.
Take a look back at my post on 6 Ways to Stretch at Your Desk for some ideas on how to counter desk sitting.