What is Pilates?

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The question ‘what is Pilates?’ is commonly encountered in physiotherapy clinical practice.

Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility, and breathing. The Pilates Method was developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century in Germany. These days, Clinical Pilates is often used in conjunction with physiotherapy as a means of treating a variety of injuries, particularly those of the neck and back. This is based on literature that demonstrates strong evidence to support the use of therapeutic exercise in the management of patients with injuries, particularly low back pain. Recent research advocates the retraining of the deep stabilizing muscles for patients with low back pain. Clinical Pilates focuses on the retraining and recruitment of these stabilizing muscles (core stability) as well as improving posture, strength and flexibility.

Although Pilates can be extremely beneficial for patients with certain injuries it needs to be specific to the individual and not used as a generic tool for everyone. Clinical Pilates (as distinct to generic Pilates classes) identifies this key issue by applying carefully selected exercises to patients with specific injuries. This ensures optimal gains whilst minimizing the likelihood of injury aggravation. If you are interested in commencing Pilates for your injury, it is essential to have a review with a physiotherapist to assess the suitability of a core stability program for you.

Read more about this great form of exercise:

Pilates

Figure 1 – What is Pilates?

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