Tag Archives: pilates for back pain

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):

The Power of Pilates – Tom’s Story

Today, Pilates Connection member Tom is sharing his Pilates experience with us. After suffering a burst disc in his back, Tom suffered major back pain, and was told he would most likely never be able to play competitive sport again. Find out how Tom made a comeback to competitive basketball below ….

Pilates Connection Member – Tom F, 50 something from Chatswood West

What were your main reasons for starting Pilates?

It was recommended to me after I had had a major issue with my back. Having had back pain for several years, I burst a disc in my back about 4 years ago. The recovery was very slow and at one point it looked like I would not be able to do anything “active” going forward. Pilates was recommended to me and it has been a game changer. I am back playing competitive Basketball, something they said I would never be able to do.

How long have you been doing Pilates?

I’ve been doing classes at Pilates Connection for 3 years.

What made you choose Pilates Connection? 

Initially I choose the studio based on the location in Lane cove as it is very convenient for me. But I soon discovered there were several convenient studios in the area. I have stayed with Pilates Connection because of their professionalism, the great staff and the approach they take in working with their clients. They took the time to understand why I came, what my goals were and have the skills and talents to help me achieve those goals.

How has Pilates helped you?

As mentioned above I was coming to terms after my back injury with never being able to fully exercise or play sport again. Pilates has been a major factor in proving that wrong.

What’s your favourite exercise or piece of equipment?

The reformer –  because it’s always best to exercise whilst laying on your back!

Here’s the links to our other Member’s stories:

Jane’s Story 2

Rowena’s Story

Tom’s Story

Gerald’s Story

Paul’s Story

Jane’s Story

Ran’s Story

Liz’s Story

The Power of Pilates – Ran’s Story

Here’s the second installment of our “Power of Pilates” initiative, showcasing how Pilates is making a difference in the everyday lives of our members.

Our members come in all shapes, sizes and ages, and for a variety of reasons, each with their own unique story to tell. We hope you enjoy reading about the Pilates journey that unites us all together, and if you’d like to share your experience, please see Liane when you’re next in the studio!

Pilates Connection Member – Ran from Lane Cove (40 something)

What were your main reasons for starting Pilates?

I was having significant problems with my lower back which was preventing me from doing my sport and causing me a lot of pain.

How long have you been doing Pilates?

I’ve been doing it at Pilates Connection for the last 4 years.

What made you choose Pilates Connection?

The teachers are extremely good and I always leave feeling better than I did when I arrived at the class.

How has Pilates helped you?

My back and core are now a lot stronger and I only get pain on rare occasions. Pilates has also improved my overall strength and flexibility which is helping my sport

What’s your favourite exercise or piece of equipment?

Its difficult to pick one exercise I like the most, what I enjoy is that there seems to be an infinite number of different exercises, so you never get bored.

How does Pilates fit into your health plan?

2016_PIlates_FB Ads 1200x628 (4)

Pilates – working alongside modern medicine and complementary therapies for optimal results.

Here at Pilates Connection, we are fortunate to have a high referral rate from doctors, surgeons, and other specialists, who send clients to us for strengthening and rehabilitation work. This may come in the form of clients who have a specific injury they need to recover from, and strengthen parts of the body to help prevent future occurrences, right through to those who have had spinal surgery, or are embarking on hip / knee replacements and are looking to strengthen the body pre and post-surgery for more effective recovery.

Offering private and small class sizes allows us to focus on the individual needs of each and every client here, and provide a tailored program in a safe environment. We also work very closely with many local practitioners such as physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and others, to help treat our clients as a “whole person”, not just a specific injury or disease. As with many complementary therapies, Pilates focuses on having a better balanced body, and is founded on six core principles that make up the foundation on which Pilates is built:

  1. Centering:This concept is defined as physically bringing the focus to the center of the body, the powerhouse area between the lower ribs and pubic bone. Energetically, Pilates exercises are sourced from center.
  2. Concentration:If you bring full attention to the exercise and do it with full commitment, you will obtain maximum value from each movement.
  3. Control:Every Pilates exercise is done with complete muscular control. No body part is left to its own devices. It is all a conscious, deliberate movement that the mind is controlling.
  4. Precision:In Pilates, awareness is sustained throughout each movement. There is an appropriate placement, alignment relative to other body parts, and trajectory for each part of the body.
  5. Breath:Joseph Pilates emphasized using a very full breath in his exercises. Most Pilates exercises coordinate with the breath, and using the breath properly is an integral part of Pilates exercise.
  6. Flow: Pilates exercise is done in a flowing manner. Fluidity, grace, and ease are goals applied to all exercises. The energy of an exercise connects all body parts and flows through the body in an even way.

All of these principles relate to one another, and using these through Pilates, we teach you about body awareness, and how to control your mind, which in turn controls your body, allowing it to function and move better.

If you are new to Pilates, or a local health practitioner who would like a personal tour of our studio, we’re happy to show you around and share some success stories of wonderful results our clients have achieved with Pilates working alongside modern medicine and other complementary therapies. Please contact Liane on 0400 012 693 for more information.

 

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.