Simona Di Tucci
Pilates and Physical Therapy: Why Combining the Two is a Perfect Match
Pilates is a form of exercise that focuses on breathing, stretching, and strengthening the core. It is often an integral part of a physical therapy program for people who are recovering from injuries, or who need rehabilitation. Pilates exercises focus on the deep abdominal muscles and pelvic floor muscles which contribute to improved posture, increased stability in joints and spine, and improved balance--as well as increased flexibility in the hips and spine.
Pilates has been shown to be an effective treatment for people with chronic lower back pain, knee pain, and shoulder pain. It also has been shown to help with balance issues in people with Parkinson's disease.
Pilates Physical Therapy and the Benefits it Provides
The benefits of Pilates can be seen in many different ways: physical rehabilitation, lower back pain relief, and as an exercise to lose weight. These benefits make Pilates very popular among people who want to be healthy and have an active lifestyle. Because it is a form of exercise that has been around for decades, Pilates has evolved over the years and now is commonly used for rehabilitation in hospitals, physical therapy clinics, and other medical centers.
For those who don’t suffer from a serious injury or chronic pain, this exercise still has many benefits, because it strengthens the muscles around the spine and pelvis which will help to support the entire body. It can also be used as a form of personal training to help people with their fitness goals. As you build up your core strength, it also helps you to maintain flexibility in your spine and pelvis and improve your posture as well as balance.
Why is Pilates Good Exercise When Paired with Physical Therapy?
Body awareness increases with Pilates paired with physical therapy. Proprioception is the body's awareness of where it is in space without looking. There is a focus on rewiring the brain of an individual with Pilates, because it provides an opportunity to take control of one’s own body.
Pilates and physical therapy are not the same but they are related and can be an incredible combination of exercise and rehabilitation. Licensed physical therapists may recommend that their patients practice Pilates, especially in one-on-one classes. However, there is still a clear distinction between a physical therapy license and a rehabilitation session with a Master Pilates instructor. Visiting your local Pilates studio for a group or private session will not automatically replace medically supervised physical rehabilitation. Oftentimes, a Pilates instructor will be in communication with a client's physical therapist--allowing for a partnership in treatment and recovery.