What is Pilates?

The Pilates method of exercise (pronounced pi-lah-teez) is a form of body conditioning in which posture, alignment and abdominal core strengthening are the focus of every workout. It was developed by the famous German born trainer Joseph H. Pilates, who was a boxer-turned- nurse during World War I. He rigged hospital beds so that patients could start recovering while on their backs. He returned to New York City in 1926 and opened a Pilates studio. Increasingly, Pilates has been recognized by sports medicine clinics across the country as a key strengthening and stretching program.

Why use the Pilates method?

Posture and alignment, combined with engaging the deep postural muscles are the focus of every session. The “powerhouse” of the body – abdomen, back and buttocks – are supported and strengthened enabling the rest of the body to move freely. As the mind is directed through the bodies precise movement, a new awareness of muscle function and control is experienced As patients incorporate these basic principles into daily posture bad habits are discarded and there is a lifestyle change. They view this as a new way of living in their bodies, rather than an encumbering daily exercise. This positive carry over effect from Pilates is not only therapeutic but aids in preventing future injuries.

How will Corvallis Sport and Spine Physical Therapy use Pilates?

Our background as physical therapists or musculoskeletal specialists lends itself to this type of practice as core strengthening exercises are incorporated in most of our orthopedic rehabilitation patients for overall performance and wellness.

Many patients are afraid of returning to a mat Pilates class situation at a health club in fear of being re-injured. We will be offering remedial Pilates exercises to patients with lumbar and neck injuries, so that they can eventually be weaned into a class with a fitness professional without the fear of re-injury. Because safety is our main concern, we offer a pre-Pilates assessment which is performed by a physical therapist. This could highlight any current but more importantly potential problems a Pilates exerciser may have, depending on the patients diagnosis. It is possible that patients may need Pilates postural correction sessions with a physical therapist, before they begin, or have concurrent treatment for problems that need our hands on solutions.


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