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WHAT IS PILATES?
“Pilates” refers to an approach to exercise developed by Joseph Pilates throughout the early 20th century. Although most of Pilates’ original exercises were based on the use of specialised equipment, many people are most familiar with the mat-based exercises or floorwork popularised by gyms and exercise DVDs.
IS CLINICAL PILATES DIFFERENT?
YES! Clinical Pilates is a clinical tool that is used very differently to the traditional exercise form. It is used specifically by physiotherapists in the diagnosis and rehabilitation of physical dysfunction. It is particularly effective in the management of long term or complex issues, when manual therapy has not been enough to achieve full and sustained recovery.
DO ALL PHYSIOTHERAPISTS USE CLINICAL PILATES?
No. Clinical Pilates is a post-graduate area of specialisation. Some physiotherapists use traditional Pilates methods in their exercise programmes, but this is not necessarily Clinical Pilates. Dance Medicine Australia (DMA) is the world’s leading training body for physiotherapists in Clinical Pilates.
WHAT DOES IT INVOLVE?
Physiotherapists trained in Clinical Pilates use a unique approach to assessment. This involves observation of your posture and movement, and the analysis of how this relates to your pain, injury or functional issue.
Assessment findings will be explained to you so that you can understand your problem and learn how to control it yourself. You will be given exercises individually designed to correct your specific problem. Usually treatment involves 1:1 sessions with your physiotherapist in our specialised gym where we continue to re-educate your movement patterns in a real-life environment.
This does not involve strenuous or stressful exercise. We do not aim to “strengthen” or to “stretch” – smooth, easy, controlled and efficient movement is the key.
OUR GOALS are to:
- improve your function in a pain-free environment
- relieve the stress on your body, especially the area of pain/injury, allowing optimal healing to occur
- retrain your posture and movement patterns to maintain optimal function into the future
- improve your ability to complete everyday tasks, no matter how high or low level those tasks may be. This focus may getting in or out of a chair, or it may involve high-level sporting pursuits.
WHO CAN DO CLINICAL PILATES?
Because our approach is individualised, Clinical Pilates management with a physiotherapist can be appropriate to people of any age and any level of function. We aim to identify why your body is not functioning as well as you would like, and help you to take the next step. This can be applied to those with very limited function or significant pain, or to those with very high level function looking to improve on their sporting performance.
Some issues that we frequently address are chronic pain or stiffness, persistent muscle tension and recurrent injury. By improving the way you use your body, Clinical Pilates can help you to resolve long-term niggly problems, and especially to reduce your dependence on ongoing manual treatment.