Pilates is a type of exercise designed to enhance strength, flexibility, balance, posture, and coordination. It is suitable for a wide range of people regardless of age, experience or condition.
At Functionize Health & Physical Therapy, we offer one-on-one Pilates with a Physical Therapist that’s also a Certified STOTT Pilates Instructor. Some clients solely use Pilates as their preferred exercise method but for most, Pilates is used in addition to other Physical Therapy treatments. When Pilates is instructed by a Physical Therapist, it is called Clinical Pilates. When it is instructed by a fitness professional that is also a Pilates instructor, it is call Fitness Pilates. Read below to find out how Clinical Pilates can benefit you.
How is Clinical Pilates different that Fitness Pilates?
Clinical Pilates is instructed by a physical therapist that is also a Certified Pilates instructor. The physical therapist first performs an initial evaluation, then specifically chooses Pilates exercises designed around your injuries and specific physical needs. Each session is unique and is modified based your functional goals and response to treatment.
Fitness Pilates is instructed by a Certified Pilates instructor, that is not necessarily a physical therapist. Therefore, they do not have the knowledge base to safely work with individuals with injuries or other physical limitations.
How can Clinical Pilates be used in my treatment?
Clinical Pilates can be used by itself or in conjunction with regular physical therapy treatment to help heal your injury or problem. The exercises can target the root cause of your pain and speed up your recovery. Clinical Pilates adds that additional element of clinical knowledge to all the Pilates exercises which provides the difference between a routine that works and one that doesn’t.
For example, a client may come to us to work on core stability to reduce their low back pain. Upon examination, we realize that their low back pain is due to a compensatory walking gait caused by a hip injury years prior. The specific choice of Pilates exercise to manage the low back pain and core weakness while also treating the hip problem is the difference between treating the body as a whole or aggravating the condition.
What is a reformer and how is it used?
From a learning and strength training perspective, the Pilates reformer (pictured below) is a great piece of equipment for improving core stability and strength. The reformer was designed to mimic the way the body and brain learn new tasks, exercises, and movements and therefore is an excellent way to supplement any exercise program.
What are the benefits of Clinical Pilates?
Clinical Pilates offers:
improved postural control and alignment
improved sports performance
enhanced balance and proprioceptive awareness
correction of tight or weak muscles
non-impact, safe exercise
Is Clinical Pilates a good type of exercise during and after pregnancy?
Pilates strengthens your stomach, back and pelvic floor muscles without straining other joints, so it is a perfect, low-impact workout to do when you’re pregnant and after delivery. The main benefit is that Pilates provides a safe way to target the exact muscles and functions that can be a problem during pregnancy and post-partum. Below is a picture of Merci using the reformer during her pregnancy.
What’s the difference?
If you want to begin Pilates but have an injury or condition that may limit you, seek out a Physical Therapist that does Clinical Pilates. The exercises will be tailored to your level and will help you get better faster. At Functionize, our certified STOTT Pilates instructor Lauren Sok PT, is happy to show you how Clinical Pilates can benefit you. If you don’t have any limitations but just want a great workout, she can do that too!
Thanks for reading,
-Lauren Sok, Physical Therapist
Lauren Sok, Founder of Functionize Health & Physical Therapy, brings 18 years of physical therapy practice and expertise in treating orthopedic and sports medicine related injuries. She incorporates a functional medicine approach in treating the whole person to find the root cause of a problem, rather than treating one body part at a time. Lauren holds a Master of Physical Therapy and Bachelor of Science in Health Science from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. She is a Certified Stott Pilates Instructor, a Clinical Instructor at the Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program, Emory University, and is trained in Redcord Neurac and Trigger Point Dry Needling. Lauren’s email is email@example.com. More information can be found at www.functionizehealth.com.