I have recommended Pilates as a core strengthening regimen to our patients for years. People often discover Pilates after having back or neck problems and after traditional rehab had not solved their problem or they wanted to avoid a medical procedure for herniated discs in the back, neck, or both.
Pilates began years ago when Joseph Pilates, a German physical trainer who originally was a gymnast and body builder promoted his techniques after successfully treating famous dancers in New York City.
His unique approach to core strength and posture helped many dancers over the years and his methods have been taught internationally.
In today’s healthcare environment, many patients who wish to help themselves have turned to Pilates as a way of maintaining posture and core strength which helps them function better and stay out of pain. Many dancers continue to use these methods to avoid injury and maintain peak function of their bodies during their vigorous work weeks.
While many patients turn to Pilates after they have painful conditions, having good posture and a proper functioning core correlates well with the holistic approach used by chiropractors.
Mat exercises are how many people are introduced to Pilates. A reformer is a device that is used for upper and lower body core integration by Pilates instructors with further training and is used in small classes with one to five participants.
Medically speaking, chronic problems that are misunderstood or ignored by both patients and the medical system will often result in an MRI test showing bulges and herniations of discs years later. This has fueled the growth of both the chiropractic profession and methods such as Pilates and Yoga as people look for better ways to help themselves.
Chiropractic and Pilates; Perfect together.
From the chiropractic perspective, proper function of the musculoskeletal system enhanced with chiropractic holistic management of the human frame is likely to improve aging and avoid future preventable degenerative problems. Children and young adults are beginning these relationships after their parents recognize the benefits of chiropractic musculoskeletal approaches to the human frame. Pilates or similar regimens can also help since the problems people experience in their bodies resulting in shoulder, foot, ankle, knee and even neck pain are ultimately problems with movement. Chiropractic improves movement and function with methods such as manipulation of the joints, myofascial release treatment, and exercises. Many chiropractic patients also improve with the proper foot orthotic which helps with core stability. Pilates improves this further with instructed core and extremity methods that tone and strengthen. Together, chiropractic in conjunction with Pilates can improve the overall mechanical function of the body, help you avoid many physical problems due to poor function, and help you stay out of pain.
The NY Times recently did an interesting article on Pilates. Check it out below.
Is Pilates as Good as Everyone Says?
The strength and flexibility workout is having a moment. What can — and can’t — it do for us?
By Danielle Friedman July 22, 2022
After Shari Berkowitz was injured during a live dance performance onstage, doctors told the actress that one wrong move could leave her paralyzed for life. She had suffered three herniated discs in her neck, with one bulging into her spinal column. Months of physical therapy got her out of the danger zone, and then she discovered Pilates.
Though excellent doctors and physical therapists got her through the initial healing, she said Pilates gave her “strength and confidence in my ability to move — the confidence that I could move again,” she said. The workout led to her full recovery and inspired her to become a Pilates instructor and studio owner herself. “Pilates was so transformative for me, when I see a client start to develop that same physical and emotional strength,” she said, “it’s extremely satisfying.”
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