Clinical Pilates: What is it?

Pilates improves strength, flexibility and movement control.  However, there are differences between how Pilates is taught in gyms and a Physio Clinic.
Fiona Rankine

Fiona Rankine

Masters in Physiotherapy

Graduate Certificate in Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapy

Bachelor of Business Management & Bachelor of Science

Qualified Pilates Instructor - Rehabilitative Pilates with Polestar Pilates

Fiona Rankine

Fiona Rankine

Masters in Physiotherapy

Graduate Certificate in Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapy

Bachelor of Business Management & Bachelor of Science

Qualified Pilates Instructor - Rehabilitative Pilates with Polestar Pilates

The backstory

Pilates is far from a new form of exercise.  It was developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s as a way to rehabilitate returned WWI servicemen. Back then, it was called ‘Contrology: the art of control over the mind and body in equal measure’.  Since then, Pilates has gradually evolved.  It is now practiced everywhere from Physio Clinics to Gyms. 

 

Clinical Pilates versus Gym-based Pilates

As a general principle, Pilates improves strength, flexibility and movement control.  However, there are differences between Pilates practiced in gym and a Physio Clinic.  These differences predominately come down to why the exercises are selected and how they are taught.  Hence, the name ‘Clinical Pilates’.  For example, many people with back pain adopt a maladaptive movement pattern.  In a Clinical Pilates setting, exercises are chosen by the Physio to reduce pain, teach correct muscle activation and help someone to relearn how to move and use their back in day-to-day life.  

 

 Who is Clinical Pilates appropriate for?

One of the best things about Pilates is how exercises can be tailored and to any presentation and age group.  Basic, supportive exercises using Pilates equipment are brilliant for someone wanting to improve their strength and movement following an episode of backpain or for someone who is returning to exercise following surgery or joint reconstruction.  On the other hand, spring tension on the equipment can be adjusted to make exercises challenging for even elite athletes. 

 Some of the conditions that we commonly treat it Clinical Pilates are:

  • Post Orthopaedic surgery

  • Falls prevention

  • Osteoporosis

  • Musculoskeletal pain

  • Back pain

  • Sport specific rehabilitation 

  • Pregnancy, Pelvic Girdle Pain and Incontinence

  • Injury risk reduction for athletes and weekend warriors 

 

Clinical Equipment Classes

Restore Function Physiotherapy runs Clinical Equipment Classes.  These classes have a maximum of 4 participants (currently we have reduced class sizes of 2 people as a COVID-19 precaution). Each participant has an individualised program that is designed for their presenting complaint, addresses their weaknesses and meets their goals.  These programs are designed by your Physio using their expertise in exercise prescription, with a combination of: Pilates and Neuromuscular exercises, weights, resistance, balance and cardiovascular exercise.  

If you would like to try our Clinical Equipment Classes (aka Clinical Pilates) please don’t hesitate to contact Restore Function Physiotherapy to find out more information.

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