Tag Archives: back injury

Clinical Pilates Vs Regular Pilates – What’s the difference?

With the huge explosion in popularity for Pilates worldwide, there seems to be new studios regularly popping up on every corner. The same can be said for our local Lane Cove area, with locals spoilt for choice when it comes to the variety of Pilates classes on offer.

Whether classes are offered as part of a gym membership, in a local community space, or in a  purpose built studio, there is a class for everyone – but what is the difference between these classes, and which is best for you?

Essentially it depends on what you’re trying to get out of Pilates. If you’re fit and healthy, and are happy to work in larger groups with minimal individual instruction, then a gym solution may be fine. If however you are new to Pilates, or have any specific imbalances or past / current injuries, then a more tailored program with a small teacher to student ratio is recommended.

You may also hear people use the term “clinical Pilates”, which is often run by Physiotherapists, and other highly qualified trainers. This is the sort of Pilates that we offer here at Pilates Connection, where we also hold the highest level of Pilates training certification as a member of the professional body, The Pilates Alliance of Australasia. Whilst we don’t diagnose injuries or conditions, we do work alongside many healthcare professionals to develop injury management and rehabilitation programs for the individual.

Ongoing staff training and development is key to our success here at Pilates Connection.  One of our core instructors, Larissa is a trained Physiotherapist, whilst Owner and Instructor Liane is a fully qualified Pilates Instructor and a certified Structural Integration Practitioner. This may give you a better understanding as to why we’re continually analysing movement patterns and restrictions before prescribing exercises to address any recognised imbalances or specific conditions or pathologies.

Here’s a quick look at the core differences between Clinical Pilates and Regular Pilates (larger group classes on the mat or reformer):

Do you suffer from lower back pain?

At Pilates Connection, we have many current clients on the road to recovery after lumber injuries, back pain, and even after spinal surgery. Often times, clients are referred to us from a specialist, physio or osteo for rehab and maintenance to help avoid future injury.

The most common back pain we help with is a herniated or slipped disk (usually the L4 / L5 disc). Let’s take a look at how this occurs, and how Pilates can help.

“The spine is a column of 33 bones called vertebrae. Small, round, flat and spongy discs are positioned between most of the vertebrae. These discs act as shock absorbers and keep the spine healthy and flexible. If one of these discs becomes damaged, it may bulge out or break open. When this happens, it is called a spinal disc herniation and commonly referred to as a slipped disc, herniated disc or ruptured disc. Often times, a herniated disc or slipped disc will press upon a nerve running through or extending from the spine and cause severe pain, numbness and/or weakness in the area of the body that nerve controls.”

slipped disc spine

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Pilates, the main principles involve an exercise program promoting back health, in particular, awareness and control of neutral alignment of the spine, and strengthening the deep postural muscles that support this alignment. By working with clients on alignment, Pilates can help decrease the wear and tear resulting from uneven stresses on the spinal joints and discs. Strengthening the girdle (core) muscles, and building stability and flexibility can get the body moving more freely again when back pain is present, and also help to avoid future injury.

Exercises are typically modified for clients presenting with lumber pain, to ensure no further aggravation and stress to the area occur.  Offering private sessions, and small group classes (4 maximum), enables our instructors to provide detailed support for clients who need a little individual attention for a safe and productive work out.  When you’ve suffered a lumber injury once, you’re far more likely to have reoccurring episodes, so it’s important to continue strengthening the supporting muscles with an ongoing maintenance program.

We’ve had wonderful feedback from clients going through this back pain journey, with health professionals amazed at the difference regular Pilates classes have made when it comes to alignment, pain management, and injury re-occurrence.

If you’re suffering from lumber pain, or other back injuries, please feel free to contact Liane on 0400 012 693 to discuss how we can help you manage your pain, and get you moving freely again.

 

Further reading – Here’s an interesting article about building core strength through Pilates to help with back pain, by The Sydney Morning Herald – http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/core-promises-20091007-gnbv.html

About the Author –

Liane Geeves

lianegeeves-197x300Pilates Connection is owned and operated by Liane Geeves, a fully qualified and experienced Pilates instructor, (Certificate 4 and Diploma in Pilates Instruction P.I.T.C.). As a member of the industry’s peak independent governing body, the Pilates Alliance Australasia, she is committed to their rigorous continuing education program, high skill levels and industry code of practice. To qualify as a registered member, Liane completed a minimum one year government accredited Pilates course, achieved over 300 hours of studio experience, and passed two written exams before certification.