Using Pilates to Retrain after Injury
Updated: Aug 5, 2019
Over the past 12 years of being a Pilates instructor, I have often been questioned about the functionality of the Pilates exercise method, as many of the exercises are performed lying down, which changes weight bearing requirements for someone who may want to return to running, golf or tennis. After any injury, especially a chronic injury, the body adjusts how it reacts to forces and makes compensations for pain, which can lead to poor biomechanics and perpetuate the pain cycle. In order to retrain the poor patterns that your body learns after an injury, it is important to have successful movement without pain. Often times that can be achieved by working on the Pilates equipment in a gravity eliminated position to retrain the body in a proper pattern. As the body learns the pattern, you would move towards adding gravity back in until you’ve reached your goal. For example, a common complaint for tennis players is knee pain. Often times this pain is due to poor tracking of the patella and poor alignment of the entire lower extremity during high intensity play. This tracking and alignment can be retrained lying on your back on the reformer, progressed to standing retraining exercises with spring assistance on the cadillac, then back to tennis. This is just one of the reasons that Pilates is such a great adjunct exercise method to any other activities that you do!