In recent years, with the increased popularity of Pilates and physical therapy, many people have begun to experience the benefits of combining these rehabilitative activities. Because doctors often recommend Pilates to their patients with foot, back, knee, neck, shoulder, pain, our North Boulder Physical Therapy team has begun integrating Pilates into our practices.
In fact, we have physical therapists on staff who are certified Pilates instructors and educated in its methodology, equipment, and exercises. This allows us to use the two approaches and help our clients receive the benefits of both.
Just to clarify, Pilates focuses on fitness and does not treat or rehabilitate any injury or disease. Physical therapists, who are licensed to provide rehabilitation treatments, may propose using Pilates and physical therapy in tandem. However, Pilates instructors cannot offer Pilates as physical therapy. Going to a Pilates class offered by a local gym does not replace medically supervised rehabilitation.
So, where does Pilates come from anyway? Well, during World War I, Joseph Pilates developed these exercises with the goal of helping injured and sick people rehabilitate. In later years, he and his wife focused on rehabilitating dancers through special equipment and exercises.
Today, our trained physical therapists understand the unique benefits of Pilates and integrate it into their rehabilitative practice, weaving Pilates into a holistic approach to helping their clients. Our physical therapists also look at the client’s overall movement patterns, then decide whether or not to modify or avoid certain Pilates exercises based on the client’s needs.
Let’s say that you have back surgery that requires traditional physical therapy. Your doctor, our physical therapists, and a Pilates instructor will team-up and work together to help you achieve the goal of a proper rehabilitation. Combining Pilates and physical therapy will give you the best of both worlds.
As stated in this article, the medical professionals on your team will address all pathologies and pain, while the Pilates instructor will look at overall alignment, articulation, and mobility, control, balance, and fluidity. Pilates will be used support and enhance the overall healing process with its emphasis on strengthening your movement patterns and compensations.
Once the physical therapy portion of your rehabilitation is complete, your therapist may refer you to continued Pilates instruction. In this situation, the Pilates instructor can work with our physical therapist and plan how best to continue using Pilates to improve your overall health and fitness. The follow-up Pilates instructor may even be able to observe a physical therapy session to get a better idea of your needs so that they can tailor a Pilates regimen accordingly.
At North Boulder Physical Therapy we use Pilates and physical therapy hand-in-hand to support our rehabilitation methods and benefit our clients. We know that Pilates can enhance their health even after therapy is complete. For more information about how our experts can help you recover from surgery, illness, injury or generalized pain, please get in touch with us today.