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Pilates and Physiotherapy

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a unique body conditioning exercise designed to rebalance the body, bringing it, into its correct neutral alignment whilst targeting the deep postural muscles (Transverse abdominals and muscles of the pelvic diaphragm). In essence pilates challenges the core muscles and builds strength from the inside out, helping a person to reshape their body, adding to a leaner and more toned figure. It boasts of a perfect balance between strength and flexibility, whilst relieving unwanted stress and tension. The phenomena of pilates is a popular and growing trend in western countries amongst athletes and celebrities, as well as in the treatment of peripheral and spinal musculoskeletal dysfunction. Today pilates is evolving and is taught worldwide in gyms and hospital, benefiting millions of people. The aim of this article is a brief introduction to pilates and its clinical benefits in physiotherapy.

Background

Pilates was first discovered in Germany in the early 20th century by a keen diver, gymnast and boxer by the name of Joseph Pilates. Joseph Pilates had spent the majority of his childhood fighting rickets, asthma and rheumatic fever and this fuelled his desire to become physically immune to these ailments. Through studying a variety of different disciplines (yoga, Zen) he brought about this new notion of exercise. During the war he practised his theory of exercise, and became involved in the rehabilitation of war victims. Once the war ended, Joseph Pilates relocated to New York and soon went on to open the first pilates studio attracting elite actors, dancers and athletes.

 

Clinical Pilates vs Pilates

Clinical pilates is used to treat people with musculoskeletal injuries and is conducted by a physiotherapist certified with Clinical pilates certification. If a person experiences an injury or repetitive injuries, they may have joint stiffness, muscle spasms, poor posture or abnormal movement patterns as a cause or a result of the injury. It is therefore important to first treat the above complaints before commencing pilates.

In addition certain pilates exercises may aggravate the symptoms. An example is someone who may experience a back strain, due to too much extension in the lower back. Such individuals may have an exaggerated lordotic postures and therefore extension pilates exercises may not be advisable. This is something that would not be picked up if a person was to attend a routine pilates class, which does a combination of both flexion and extension exercises.

Not only is it important to select the right type of pilates exercise, it is also necessary to ensure that the correct and appropriate level is prescribed. Routine pilates may be too challenging for a person with back pain. This will cause the individual to compensate and utilise stronger global muscles as opposed to the core muscles, therefore negating the benefits of the pilates exercise. As a secondary result, a person may start to experience muscle spasm in the global muscles due to the increased exertion. The physiotherapist having tested your muscle strength and range of movement, will be able to ensure that the exercises are appropriate and although challenging not detrimental to recovery.

The added benefit of clinical pilates to routine pilates is not only is it more individualised to the person and their problem, it can also be more functional. If the person for example is keen to return to an activity or a sport (swimmer, footballer, dancer) the standard exercises can be modified by the physiotherapist to strengthen the core muscles whilst carrying out the aggravating movement. This could mean that the core muscles of a footballer is challenged as he kicks, dribbles a football and not just in static postures.


Peripheral injuries

When dealing with peripheral joint/ muscular injuries e.g. ankle instabilities the ankle is the main focus of the treatment. This makes sense and is always a good place to start to strengthen and rehabilitate local structures. However the research is beginning to move towards looking at the whole picture. Improving an individual dynamic control of their movements, will mean that person is less likely to sustain injuries. There is a growing trend to rehabilitate athletes whilst incorporating Pilates based exercises to teach a person to move more efficiently. Pilates can be used to treat hip, shoulder, knee and ankle injuries.


Spinal Injuries

Pilates in conjunction with manual joint mobilisations and soft tissue release is an effective way to treat back pain.
Time and time again the research has shown that any form of back pain leads to a loss of function of the deep muscles (multifidus) of the spine at that level. Unfortunately these muscles do not have the capacity to turn back on again, once the initial episode of back pain has resolved, and therefore these muscles require specific training to reactivate and stabilise the spine. In the long term these muscles without exercise will continue to waste further and subsequent muscle spasm in the global and more superficial muscles is experienced. This predominately occurs as a mean to stabilise the back in the absence of the deep muscle activity. Such individuals will report recurrent flare ups of back pain in the year due to the ongoing weakness of the spine.

In addition to weakness, back injuries usually occur after an extended period of time, in a bad posture, excessively loading the joint.

Clinical pilates is a form of exercise that both facilitates the strengthening of these deep muscles whilst educating a person where a neutral spine lies. In time a person will feel that there back is stronger, as they become more aware of what sitting or standing in a good posture entails.

In the long term they will also have the endurance to sustain these better postures for longer periods, through conducting the exercises.

If a person is new to pilates one- to one sessions with a physiotherapist or very small classes is initially strongly recommended, this is to ensure a person can be taught the correct techniques and the 5 concepts of pilates accurately (breathing, neck, rib pelvis position and stabilizing). Pilates can be a little tricky and can easily be done incorrectly and therefore close supervision is required to prevent faulty patterns learnt.

The benefits of Pilates

•    General fitness and body awareness greater strength and muscle tone
•    Improved flexibility
•    A flatter stomach
•    Improved efficiency of the respiratory, lymphatic and circulatory systems
•    Better posture and awareness
•    Less incidence of back pain
•    Increased joint mobility
•    Lower stress level

Which clients would benefit from Pilates?

•    Males and females
•    Pregnant: Pre and post natal
•    Athletes and dancers
•    Amputee and stroke rehabilitation clients
•    Elderly
•    Children 12 years-old +

Clinical pilates therefore  targets the musculoskeletal injury more specifically. The physiotherapist is able to identify your posture type, establish the mechanism of injury, understand what the peron is aiming to return to and work out which exercises would be of more benefit to the individual. Clinical pilates therefore looks at treating the cause as well as selecting the appropriate repertoire of exercises to strengthen the injured areas and even be done for injury prevention.

If your suffering from recurrent episodes of back pain or peripheral injuries – Clinical Pilates may be just what you need!

 

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Very professional and caring Therapists. My left foot has been hurting for a month. After 3 sessions, 80% of the pain is gone. I just need one more session and I think I should be fine. Thank you very much.
Theressa Lim
Theressa Lim
I had an excellent sports massage by Wan Ling, which was very different from the usual massage I've tried elsewhere. Wan Ling skillfully and systematically loosened every muscle in my upper back and neck over the course of an hour. If anyone is seeking relief from tense muscles, I would highly recommend making an appointment with Wan Ling.
Rebecca Lim
Rebecca Lim
Came to see Xue Ting with a broken shoulder for the last 6 weeks and was impressed with her attentiveness and ability to make me feel me feel comforted in my condition . Very dedicated and good therapist indeed .
Janet Koh
Janet Koh
They adopt a scientific and personal approach. The therapists put in a lot of effort to diagnose the issue before attending to it. Overall, I would strongly recommend their professionalism and methods.
Varun Sharma
Varun Sharma
Really good sports massage! Booking process was efficient too :)
Charmaine Miranda
Charmaine Miranda
Friendly and really professional service! I immediately felt welcomed the moment I stepped into the clinic! The physio offered me great advice beyond what I had asked, which allowed me to have a deeper understanding as to why I had my issue in the first place. With this kind of service, I would honestly recommend this physio if you are serious about getting better.
Jimmy Allen Poh
Jimmy Allen Poh
Thoughtful and sincere service. Highly recommended!
Benedict Koh
Benedict Koh
My mum received her first Apos treatment. We intend to continue until her hip muscles become strong. We believe in the treatment as we saw how amazing it was. The idea was simple. Really love that she can be herself again, for long term. The hip and knee cap operations offers 15yrs. Hence we reject the cost and short-life. My wish is that the treatment cost can be lowered and more are aware of this treatment. God bless and thank you team.
Victoria Soh
Victoria Soh
Look for Soo, he is a great physiotherapist . Always communicating and always asking for my feedback. I’m on the right path to recovery all thanks to Soo. Two thumbs up.
Daniel Wang
Daniel Wang
Xue Ting has been working on my troublesome QL, hip girdle - basically the whole left lower kinetic chain! She has been patient, strong and cerebral in her approach to my 48 year old compensatory mechanisms. Her strong massage will finish with an assessment of muscle imbalance and poor activation with finally a retraining back to healthy movement.I’m impressed! Thanks Core Concepts!
Brett McLaren
Brett McLaren
I went from barely understanding physical therapy for injuries, to highly recommending Core Concepts to friends and family for their aches and pains. Ken was knowledgeable, patient and explained symptoms and consequences in a simple, relatable manner. I hope more people will come to understand how physio is a much better alternative to short-term painkillers.
Manda Misso
Manda Misso
Ken is really amazing!
Terry Tan
Terry Tan
The physiotherapist here explained the problem very well and provided me with exercises that helped improved my condition.
Ferdinand Mar
Ferdinand Mar
I have been experiencing great pain on my shoulder coupled with occasional numbness on my arm. Thanks to Ken Liew, I felt so much relieved after my first session. He was very patient and knowledgeable and had definitely made my 1st visit to a physiotherapy clinic a very memorable one. Thank you so much Ken
Bee Choo Gian
Bee Choo Gian
I have been experiencing knee pains lately especially walking up and down the stairs. The pain was so bad that I was very concern. I chanced upon CoreConcept on FB and book an appointment with them at Camden Medical Centre. My therapist was Ken Liew, he is very professional and knowledgeable. He did a thorough job to assess my condition. To my surprise I felt immediate relieved on my knee after the first session with him! Amazing! Looking forward to my next session. 😊
Sandy Toh CH
Sandy Toh CH
Hi I am Sally and I am in my late sixties. I have endured a year of thigh(joint) pains and thought that it must be due to old age. Visited Core Concepts at Novena and after only 2 sessions, my condition improved so much that I was able to climb stairs easily again. THANKS to my Physiotherapist Samuel Ong who is extremely polite, professional and knowledgeable.
Shino Tutu
Shino Tutu
I have had several sports related injuries and Core Concepts has saved me and put me "back to new" each times! The therapists are excellent - knowledgeable and professional, and the receptionists (Carol, Adiqah and Rin) are always friendly and helpful. They even give me oreo cookies for my children! :)
Paola Venturini Hubert
Paola Venturini Hubert
Highly recommended for sports massage
Simon Ray
Simon Ray
Extremely friendly staff and therapists! Folks Novena Square are just simply smiley and happy. Coming here towards the end of the work day always brings up my mood. Therapist and coach are fabulous. My condition improve so much that I can even start to train up some of my predominately unrealized problems. Highly recommended!
Von Ling Wei Hao
Von Ling Wei Hao
I go to Novena and Cheryl is my therapist. She was upfront from the get go about my neck condition. I liked her honesty and said we'll give it a try. I was better after 4 weekly sessions and continued to go to her every 2 weeks. With her help I am in a better condition, had to put in effort on the exercises she taught me as well.
Tania Chevrez
Tania Chevrez
Li Hoong is a very dedicated sports massage therapist and functional trainer. Her ultimate goal is the client's holistic well-being. Highly recommend.
Pei Yee Wong
Pei Yee Wong
i have tried different physiotherapy sessions with almost 10 physiotherapists in india and in Singapore, my back pain was treated well by CHERYLL, with God's grace , i was pain free only after Cheryll attended to me. Thank you Cheryll and core concepts for the great experience.
Madiha Sadiq
Madiha Sadiq
I am working with Yiren on my knee after my ACL/MCL reconstruction and recovery has been good! He does a thorough job to assess my progress each session and challenges me to push myself to get to various milestones. He's extremely friendly and helpful despite my many questions. Thanks!
Yingling Huang
Yingling Huang
After many different physio and massage sessions in different places, my experience with the core concepts team has been the best. I started seeing them for sports massage, and now for my knee rehab. The level of care and attention makes me want to do more for myself. Isn't this most important when one tend to slack off with the prescribed exercises?
YitKoon Gan
YitKoon Gan
Very friendly and professional physiotherapist as well as receptionists within the clinic. Dr. Issac Wong is easy to approach and came up with alternative ways for me to strengthen my weak thigh muscles and it really helped in reducing my knee pain! Thanks :)
Sam Costanza
Sam Costanza
The best physiotherapist ever. Cheryl is really good. Doesn't shortchange me of time and make sure I feel better before she lets me go. The front desk staff are great too. Very accomodating and friendly. Thank you Carol and Farrah. Only thing if they can give instructions to how to go to their place will be great. Usually only unit number but do give some details like mrt exits and directions to lift and such will be excellent. Coz I almost got lost in 2 different places. Overall still love core concept because of Cheryl! Thank you Cheryl!!
Jeanette Goh
Jeanette Goh
Found out about Core Concepts last year through social media and made an appointment as i was experiencing some neck and shoulder discomfort after a traffic accident. My therapist was evidently experienced and was able to pinpoint the cause of my aches. The one thing i loved about my experience at Core Concepts is that they are not like typical physiotherapists who simply prescribe take home exercises, instead my therapist was extremely hands on, helping me to massage my neck at the right spots to relief the stiffness - best massage ever! Would highly recommend Core Concepts!!
Claire Chia
Claire Chia
Easily the best physio clinic I've been to.
Natarajan Baradwaj
Natarajan Baradwaj
The only physio clinic i trust! A unique approach to treating pains, you simply have to try it out for yourself. Have recommended many friends and family and core concepts has not disappointed. Thumbs up!!!
Claire Chia
Claire Chia
From the reception to the therapist, they are friendly and nice. I was taught on a 2 steps stretching to strengthen my leg muscles that I can do it myself daily and It did help :) Will recommend to anyone who wish to have therapy sessions.
Jaz
Jaz
Knowledgeable and brilliant!
Brenda Chong
Brenda Chong
-emails with advertisement and birthday wishes came, but they didn't think that their customer (with 4/10 sessions remaining in his package) would have expected a reminder of ANY kind if his package was already expiring. I asked the clerk from my last visit how many sessions I had remaining, and she told me 4, with no update on the expiry at all. -assumed I wanted a physiotherapy (PT) appointment when my past SMS have always been for sports massage (SM); whenever I asked for "available slots", they would give me the slots for SM. yet they suddenly gave me the list of available slots for PT ytd. I'm also to blame for not verifying and reading their long SMS carefully.-their masseuse is very good though, skilful and respectful. They ask important questions to understand their client before starting on the SM. I'd still return even though the administrative process is lacking.
Beale Liu JieXiong
Beale Liu JieXiong
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