We all know exercise can be good for you, but ironically it can also cause a lot of injuries. But there’s an exercise you can perform that will get your body right back into shape. Pilates is one form of exercise therapy that has taken both the medical and fitness worlds by storm. It focuses on strengthening and developing muscles in our bodies to protect and support our joint structures. If you are need in of such treatment, then this is ideal for those living around St Kilda or Port Melbourne.
Pilates: What’s it all about?
Pilates was developed in the early 1920s by Joseph Pilates who used yoga-like postures and movement to rehabilitate Second World War soldiers. He then modified the style for injured dancers, out of which the modern day method of Pilates was born. Over time, different groups have added their own movements to this workout routine; however, this style of exercise primarily involves training your muscles to improve the posture and alignment of your body. By focusing on your core strength, you enhance the important, deep muscles of the body so that you’re better able to support the larger ligaments, tendons and joints, therefore preventing or rehabilitating from injury.
Why do our clinical Pilates treatment in South Melbourne?
Apart from being a fitness regime, Pilates is utilised as a tool for injury management and prevention. Ironically, back pain is very prevalent both in the general population and the “health focused” population who exercise to prevent health problems in the cardiovascular system. It is also a major problem for those who compete at a high level in sports and athletics events.
For the first time, the scientific literature has made a correlation between the role of the deep muscles close to the spine in protecting the joints from injury and the possible dysfunction of these muscles in patients with lower back pain. From this new information, a new system was developed that focused on improving the support of spinal joints through specific clinically based “deep-muscle contraction exercises”. This new paradigm of treating lower back pain was developed due to the recognition of the close relationship between muscle function and the biomechanics of the spinal stability.
What is Spinal Stability?
The term spinal stability is used to describe the mechanisms involved in holding the spine upright, or preventing it from buckling under compressive forces. Numerous models have been written and developed on this concept. Panjabi (1192a,b) introduced a model that incorporates three phases to stability.
- Passive Subsystem: Passive structures of the spine and pelvis such as the bones, joints and ligaments while important in providing support at the end of range, only play a passive role in restraint towards the end of range of movement.
- Active Subsystem: Refers to the force generating capacity of the muscles to stabilise the spinal segment.
- Control Subsystem: The brain and spinal cord that must sense and plan strategies in order to co-ordinate muscle activity in advance of predictable challenges to stability. For example, the system must activate muscles at the right time, by the right amount of force, in the correct sequence and then turn off muscles appropriately.
Therefore, lumbo-pelvic (lower back) stability is not about training patients to maintain static trunk postures during function. Instead, stability and control should be thought of as a dynamic process of controlling static positions when appropriate, but allowing the trunk to move with control in other situations. This dynamic process is movement.
Why is Clinical Pilates good for you?
When our muscles are weak they make compensations for each other that lead to instability and injury. Take your back for instance: if your posture is bad, your lower back and hips will then adjust themselves accordingly, which means they are essentially out of place. Clinical Pilates, in conjunction with your treating practitioner, can assist the body to restore and maintain its proper alignment.
Pilates is actually great for people with injuries, weak muscles and particularly bad posture, because it encourages you to strengthen your problem areas in a relaxed and low impact way. It also encourages you to think about how you perform everyday movements. It heightens your body awareness, which in turn improves your overall agility, flexibility and muscle tone and subsequently performance. It helps to ensure that the body is working at its optimal level all the time, and may be a highly recommended part of your physiotherapy treatment.
Remember, “The body that moves well works well”, and good movement comes from functional or dynamic stability. Clinical Pilates is the means by which functional movement can be restored and maintained. This increases performance, reduces the risk of injury and assists patients in leading and maintaining a pain free life. You will soon be able to go for a jog along the beach in St Kilda and Port Melbourne again in no time.
If you are interested in undergoing our Clinical Pilates treatment to heal your body, please feel free to contact us at (03) 9699 2499 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Travelling from nearby areas like Port Melbourne, St Kilda or Albert Park? Find directions on our site.