What Makes Pilates and Physiotherapy So Effective?

What makes Pilates and Physiotherapy so effective?

In my training as both a Pilates instructor and a physiotherapist in Toronto, I have noticed that both have produced impressive results in rehabilitating my patients. So why are Pilates and physiotherapy so effective? Here are four reasons why Pilates and physiotherapy are the way to go when it comes to rehabilitation.

In this blog I explain four reasons why Pilates makes physiotherapy so effective. I will highlight why it is sets itself apart from the conventional physiotherapy model in most Downtown Toronto clinics.
I originally entered the physiotherapy profession because of my Pilates training in the 1990’s. I saw how both practices could be used to create the ideal rehabilitation model.
After working in other clinics using the same quick-fix model, I saw how this was not working for most of my patients.

Pilates treats the cause not just symptoms.

Pilates is a technique that allows us to examine where your symptoms are originating from. Yes of course we are not going to ignore treating your symptoms. Pain, numbness, tingling all need to be resolved as soon as possible. However, this can only work if we also treat the cause of your injury or condition. A good example of this is tennis elbow which can have a number of different causes. In some patients, tennis elbow can be caused by poor upper back and shoulder posture in sitting. The elbow muscles become over worked and then cause the elbow pain. Pilates strengthens the upper back and shoulder muscles so that the elbow can heal from the over-use.

Pilates takes a whole body approach.

Most injuries have a cause and effect. Even the most unfortunate sports injury to the knee can be tracked back to weak hip and gluteal muscles. Yes, the knee needs treatment and exercises, but Pilates allows us to address the causes. In this case, the hip and gluteal muscles need to be incorporated into the rehabilitation. Taking it further, we usually find that the core muscles of the pelvis are also weak. The exercises are designed cleverly so that the pelvis, hip and knee can be strengthened together in the same movement patterns.

Pilates corrects postural habits

A good example of a bad postural habit is to slouch the upper back when working. This can cause neck problems, pinched nerves of the neck and carpal tunnel type symptoms. In some cases rotator cuff conditions can be caused by rounded shoulders, where the upper back muscles become too weak. In this example the root cause is the rounded upper back, not just the neck. Specific exercises to move all the joints in the upper back are essential. The equipment allows the spine to move into rotation and side bending. These basic movements are lost when we sit at desks for too long.

The body is designed to move

Rehabilitation should not involve being hooked up to electrical machines or acupuncture needles weeks on end. Be wary of the advice that you need 10 weeks on one machine. Acupuncture and electrical machines have their place in physiotherapy, but not for long. Joints and muscles need to regain their movements and strength. A stiff mid-back will stay like that unless you do specific exercises to mobilize it.
Pilates for physiotherapy should involve at least 30 minutes of specific exercises to correct old patterns.

Pilates4Physio digs deep to find the cause of your injury or condition. Even a mild achey lower back or neck can have different causes. Call or email us for an assessment to see how Pilates and physiotherapy can work for you! Email: info@pilates4physio.ca  Call: 647 499 6685

Damian Wyard is a registered physiotherapist in Toronto and is the owner of Pilates4Physio. We also use advanced manual therapy techniques to treat pain and restricted movement. We incorporate sports massage, manual joint mobilizations and the classic Pilates equipment to provide a very effective approach to physiotherapy.


Meet Damian

Damian Wyard

Damian Wyard has been a registered physiotherapist since 2003. He has also been teaching Pilates for over 20 years. In his unique practice, he combines physiotherapy treatments with Pilates rehabilitation, using the classic equipment. Damian blends manual therapy, sports massage and Pilates to rehabilitate most musculo-skeletal injuries/conditions. He uses Pilates-based exercise to treat both acute and persistent pain. Damian is always keeping up to date with the research and new skills, so that patients receive the best care. To learn more about Damian, read his full bio here.

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