Occasionally I meet people who say, “I would LOVE to do Pilates, but my knee (back, hip, shoulder, fill in the blank) is injured or hurting so I can’t do it right now.” Well, when you have a nagging injury or body part that has chronic pain, now is in fact the perfect time to start a Pilates program.
The beauty of Pilates is that it is totally adaptable and can accommodate almost any physical restrictions a client may have. Following the basic principles of good alignment and body mechanics, any Pilates exercise can be modified to account for limitations. For example, if your knees hurt, the Pilates Reformer can allow you to gently begin to rehabilitate the muscles supporting the joint by taking away the forces of gravity, and gradually build up strength so that full function is restored. With the use of various straps and props, the equipment can also be used to keep the rest of the body healthy and strong while the injured part recovers. When I taught Pilates at Pacific Northwest Ballet, dancers injured or recovering from surgery were able to keep the rest of their bodies fit and primed for ballet so that the transition back to full time dancing was practically seamless.
Additionally, a good Pilates instructor can help you figure out why you are hurting in the first place – often pain is the result of compensations due to poor joint alignment. Simply by learning proper placement and muscle recruitment, full function and pain free range of motion can be regained.
If you are concerned about starting a Pilates exercise program because you are currently suffering from pain or an injury, please contact me (Cynthia@bracepointpilates.com) so we can discuss your specific situation and determine how Pilates training can get you back to feeling great!