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  • Jo Everill-Taylor

How Pilates can help with injury recovery

Many people start Pilates sessions because they are recommended by their physio or G.P. as part of their recovery from an injury or surgery.

Pilates can be a valuable tool for recovery and rehabilitation.

Here's how Pilates can help in the recovery process:

1. Gentle and Low-Impact Exercises:

Pilates offers a low-impact form of exercise that is gentle on the body, making it suitable for individuals recovering from injuries.

The controlled movements and focus on proper alignment help minimize stress on injured areas while still providing a challenging workout.

Pilates exercises can be modified to accommodate specific injuries and limitations, allowing for a gradual progression in intensity as the body heals.

We start with setting up a stable base and then add in challenges and progressions as the body builds up strength and resilience.

2. Core Strengthening and Stability:

Pilates places a strong emphasis on core strengthening.

By targeting the muscles of the abdomen, back, and pelvis, Pilates helps stabilise any injured/recovering areas and promote proper alignment.

Strengthening the core provides a solid foundation for the body, which is crucial for supporting and protecting injured or vulnerable areas.

3. Muscle Balance and Symmetry:

Many injuries result in muscle imbalances, where certain muscles become weakened or overused.

For example, I was having a conversation with a class member this week about hip inflammation, and it was her non-inflamed hip that was becoming tight and less mobile as this was the one compensating for the lack of stability in the injured area.

Pilates exercises focus on restoring muscle balance and symmetry throughout the body. By targeting both the injured and opposing muscle groups, Pilates helps address these imbalances, enhancing overall functional movement and reducing the risk of re-injury. So helping to break what we call the “Cumulative Injury Cycle”.

4.Flexibility and Range of Motion:

Injuries can often lead to decreased flexibility and limited range of motion.

Pilates incorporates stretching and dynamic movements, helping to improve flexibility and restore the body's range of motion.

This can be particularly beneficial for individuals recovering from joint injuries, muscle strains, or surgeries.

Returning to the full and proper range of motion at a joint will improve your quality of movement overall and make daily tasks much easier. Imagine if you have limited range of motion around your shoulder and try to reach up high for starts to get more challenging!

5.Body Awareness and Mindfulness:

Pilates promotes body awareness and mindfulness during exercise.

This heightened awareness allows individuals to "tune into" and correct movement compensations or imbalances that may contribute to injury or hinder the recovery process.

By focusing on proper alignment and mindful movement, Pilates helps individuals develop better body mechanics and movement patterns, reducing the risk of future injuries.

Obviously, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist, who can assess any specific injury and provide appropriate guidance, before attending Pilates class. (Pilates instructors do not diagnose specific injury). This will then lead you into a safe and effective recovery process where your Pilates instructor can modify your workout to help you progress and recover.

If you'd like to try a Pilates class with us, you can see our range here:

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