Pilates is a fitness regimen that promotes leaner and more flexible muscles, comprehensive use of almost all muscle groups, and mind-body coordination. It has become a favourite exercise among men and women, particularly those who want to achieve better body movement, endurance, and muscle coordination.
But while Pilates is known to improve physical fitness, there are also variants of the exercise that concentrate on specific goals. One of these is clinical Pilates, which aims not just to make a person physically fit, but rather help the individual recover from an illness or injury.
Clinical Pilates follows all the principles of traditional Pilates, since its founder developed the exercise as a method for him to rehabilitate from an injury. However, this type of Pilates delves more on the healing of a specific area of the body, and how the unaffected regions can help in speeding up its recovery.
Clinical Pilates is recommended to persons with the following conditions:
- Spinal injury
Are you currently suffering from, or have recently suffered a spinal injury? If the answer to either these questions is yes, then most likely you will be recommended to take clinical Pilates classes.
The clinical method of Pilates is recommended as an aftercare treatment for persons recovering from spinal injuries because its exercise routines focus mainly on the core section of the body, where balance is developed. These routines are likewise followed by posture correction movements, which target the lower spine and the pelvic muscles.
- Posture problems
A person’s posture is often altered with the physical activities he or she does regularly. There are also athletes who, due to the frequency of their sports activities, experience posture changes later on in life. These changes may soon affect their overall physical wellbeing, as in time they find it difficult to return to their normal posture.
To help correct posture problems (including involuntary slouching or scoliosis-like manifestations), clinical Pilates is recommended. Persons with posture problems may undergo clinical Pilates using the reformer machine, as the exercises using this equipment directly target the affected areas of the body.
- Other spinal conditions
People suffering from conditions such as slipped disc or scoliosis are also suggested to take clinical Pilates classes. While Pilates is not a direct treatment for these spinal problems, it helps in alleviating the conditions and preventing them from getting worse.
This is because Pilates helps strengthen the areas affected by these conditions, such as the pelvic muscles and the upper and lower spine. The slow-impact routines are also essential in improving the wellbeing of the affected regions, since they allow the said muscle groups to move while adjusting to their current conditions-thus avoiding further pain while regaining their strength.
Pilates is also becoming popular as a supplementary treatment for arthritis. Through its routines, the muscles and joints are kept active and flexible by means of continuous movement, which in turn reduces the intensity of arthritis effects.
The slow-impact approach of Pilates is also essential in addressing arthritis, as the affected muscles and joints are not exposed to sudden force which may only cause them further pain; rather, the routines allow them to move smoothly and at their pace without being at risk to tremendous pain.
- Injuries to the peripherals
Clinical Pilates is also a highly recommended fitness exercise to expedite the recovery of people who have had injuries to the peripherals, such as the shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, and other joints. It can be practiced to alleviate pain in the said areas, as well as to keep the muscles awake during times when they are not being used for other physical activities. Exercises done to stabilise the joint can also prevent recurrent injuries and faster healing. By keeping the muscles in these affected areas working, other conditions that may result from immobility such as muscle atrophy can be avoided.