Why Does My Doctor Want Me to Start Pilates?

Perhaps you have visited your GP doctor concerned about a stiff lower back, knee pain or not long after some joint injury still affecting your mobility. Your doctor recommended you to try pilates as a safe form of therapeutic exercise, but you are not sure how it can be helpful for your post-injury recovery or how it can reduce your joint (or any other) pain. Why does your doctor want you to start pilates?

Pilates is widely known for helping people to improve their flexibility and balance, optimise alignment, strengthen core muscles, reduce and even prevent chronic pain. Pilates itself, while not physiotherapy, offers practitioners many therapeutic benefits including reduction of muscular imbalances that make the body perceptible to various strains, pulls and further injuries. In addition, pilates exercises can be modified to each person’s needs, taking into consideration the complexity of injury and physical fitness capability. Pilates can be safe for those who suffer from chronic pain or those healing from injury as it promotes overall well-being and physical health while working around your injury/pain.

If you have an injury or are recently recovering from one pilates may be included in a broader rehabilitation programme, in addition to work with a qualified rehabilitation specialist or physiotherapist. A successful treatment strategy - after you have previously consulted with a medical professional, very often includes working with both specialists (physiotherapist and pilates teacher) in order to achieve best results and quicker post-injury recovery. 

It is crucial to understand that physiotherapists and pilates teachers have different scopes of practice and that experts in physiotherapy are not necessarily experts in pilates (and vice versa). The main difference to note is that physiotherapists are able to asses the physical condition of a patient in order to diagnose problems and implement a treatment plan, while pilates teachers can not diagnose any medical, mental or physical condition, prescribe diets, recommend supplements or claim that they can “treat” injury or disease.

What can a pilates teacher do?

  1. Design pilates exercise programs according to an individual’s needs.

  2. Recognise conditions that would preclude a student from safely participating in a pilates exercise program.

  3. Coach and provide general information and direct students to seek medical attention as necessary.

  4. Document student progress and cooperate with referring medical professionals.

  5. Promote exercise to improve overall health.

 1-to-1 lesson with Dawne at bePilates (classical pilates studio)

1-to-1 lesson with Dawne at bePilates (classical pilates studio)

Pilates can be used as a part of your therapy and recovery but only if recommended by your doctor or other medical professional who will conduct an appropriate (clinical) examination first. 

When looking for the best pilates studio for your practice, you should look for one that is fully equipped with pilates apparatus, specifically designed for pilates, including the reformer, cadillac, hi-chair, wunda chair, arm chair, barrels, just to name a few. Training with specifically designed pilates equipment provides the safest option for you to get started, as the tension of the springs will help you to strengthen muscles around your joints while avoiding over-stretching and providing you with additional, very specific support and challenge. 

How we teach at our studio?

bePilates is a classical pilates studio fully equipped with Gratz apparatus (find out what “classical pilates” means here-> https://www.be-pilates.co.uk/whatispilates). We offer lessons in 1-to-1 and 2-to-1 formats as well as Beginner Group Courses and “Open studio” practice for those ready for more independent practice. Our comprehensively trained pilates teachers will show you how to strengthen your body and find that mind-body connection which can be applied to how you move outside of the studio. 

If you are wondering if practicing pilates with us would be beneficial for you, we would be happy to hear from you.  Just send us an email at: hello@be-pilates.co.uk or give us a call: 020 7935 1315. We would love to help you experience the many benefits of a classical pilates practice.

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For those interested in finding out where pilates system may be the most effective in terms of rehabilitation process we recommend reading the following research conducted in 2017 by Department of Chiropractic, Faculty of Science and Engineering in Macquarie University (Australia) link here-> https://www.bodyworkmovementtherapies.com/article/S1360-8592(17)30095-5/pdf