Why Pilates? – Many patients ask about the benefits of Pilates and whether or not it may help with their back problems. I shall attempt here to explain the various benefits and disadvantages to be aware of in yourself, that may make Pilates the choice, or not, for you.

What is Pilates? It is a form of exercise that focuses on the “core stability muscles”, these are the postural muscles that help keep the body posture balanced. The exercises are slow and controlled, using correct breathing techniques and body alignment.

The muscles concentrated on are Transverse Abdominals ( those that give you a Marilyn Monroe figure ) The multifidi, these are small intrinsic muscles that cross from each vertebrae upwards to four or five higher vertebrae and stabilise the spine when heavier loads are lifted with the larger muscles. Also the psoas and iliapsoas which come from the upper lumbar vertebrae under the stomach to the inside of the upper thigh. Generally these muscles work continuously throughout the day, therefore they have an excellent blood suppy and need to be trained differently.
In modern day lifestyles, which generally entails a great deal of sitting, these muscles are often idle for prolonged periods of time, they may become shortened and weak. The outcome of this is their inability to support the core structures when heavy physical demands are required.

Is it wise to see an Osteopath before committing to Pilates?

The answer to this has to be yes. Very often our bodies carry some form of one sidedness due to how we have lived our lives. We also may have a long term rotation in the spine due to a slightly shortened leg or an old injury that may have lef us weaker or stronger on one side. When attempting to do excersises that require symmetrical controlled movements, a shortened muscle on one side of the back will take all the strain. This will very quickly manifest itself with pain in the insertions.

If the exercises cotinue it may become chronic, this would mean that the intended plan of regular Pilates will be broken before it has begun. Very unsatisfactory physically and financially for both trainer and exerciser. However should you undertake a course of Pilates and soon after experience pain. Book an appointment to see your local Osteopath or feel free to email us here at enquiries@theosteopath.net

Mat Pilates This form of pilates is a form of exercise regime done entirely free of machines. Generally it may be done in a group with a teacher overseeing the class.

Machine Pilates This form of pilates is a form of exercise regime done with the use of machines designed to control ans assist specificity of training. Generally you would work one on one with a highly qualified instructor until your body was stronger and you required less supervision.

More about Pilates – For more details about Pilates and one to classes from experienced Pilates instructors email jamie@theosteopath.net who is  fully trained by The Australian Physiotherpist & Pilates Institute.

The Osteopath – When visiting an Osteopath with chronic or acute problems, you are assessed and treated with a view to prevention of further injury, combined with corrective exercise. The Osteopath is empathetic to the patients need to establish a speedy recovery of the body and return to the achievement of intended goals. If you are unsure of whether or not Pilates is suitable for you please email us.