Rehab Pilates: Can Pilates help recovery from injury?
Pilates works with bodies that are injured
Many people seek out Pilates as it has been recommended as a good exercise for people in rehab from injury or recovering after pregnancy and labour. This connection is made especially plausible as some physios have absorbed Pilates exercises into their own work.
Pilates has a long record of working with injured bodies, but it does not treat injuries and it is not physiotherapy. Pilates is a way of training the body and mind and its goals are not dictated by physiotherapy. Pilates is corrective exercise, not therapy.
Pilates is not therapy
Therapy concentrates on the injury, Pilates on training the uninjured rest of the body. Therapy can work with people who are in a pain and unable to function normally, but if you can’t walk into the Pilates studio, then in most cases you shouldn’t be doing Pilates right now. Therapy stops when you get better, Pilates is the ongoing work of decades. Therapy is something done to a patient, Pilates is something the student does for themselves.
It’s fair to day that a Pilates teacher is no more qualified to do physiotherapy than a physiotherapist is qualified to teach Pilates (find out what it takes to be Classical Pilates instructor here). They are really not the same thing.
Pilates keeps your body fit
Many of our ongoing clients at Kinetic started Pilates because of rehabilitation, whether from pregnancy or serious physical injury. They keep doing it because they have found that it keeps their body working better, reducing their pain and improving their fitness.
To start with, it is better to work on the equipment as it gives you an extra set of muscles to support you and help you get stronger before you move to the mat. The mat gives you no support or help – an excellent challenge, but one that shouldn't be jumped into straight away by everyone.