What is Clinical Pilates ?
There are three basic styles of Pilates which have evolved over the years. Repertory, Modern and Clinical Pilates.
The Repertory style is based on the original teachings of Joseph Pilates and is mainly aimed at the dance population. The Modern style is a modification of the original form but similarly, both these styles have an emphasis on stretching and strengthening with close attention to exercise accuracy and technique. Classes can be both mat or equipment based and most of the exercises particularly in mat classes are done lying on your back.
There is currently no evidence to support the efficacy of these two styles in the management of low back injuries and the prevention of low back pain. These styles of Pilates can provide a general form of exercise but for those people who may have an underlying problem, it may explain why they continue to have recurrent problems and why for some people it may even make them worse.
Research is showing that a different approach to these traditional strengthening programs are required to improve the control and efficiency of the way our deeper core muscles function to stabilise our spine, shoulder and pelvic girdles. The Clinical Pilates repertoire is research based and is focused on improving the quality and control of movements rather than retraining strength and power. Unlike Joseph Pilates who discouraged mindless exercise this is the essence of what we try to achieve with Clinical Pilates. As your core muscle control improves the exercises should become mindless and automatic just like any other motor skill you acquire with practice and improved co-ordination.
Physiotherapists undergo specialist post-graduate training before beginning to teach Clinical Pilates. DMA Clinical Pilates is a leading international pioneer of physiotherapy based Pilates training. The Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute also provides specialist training Courses for Physiotherapists.
Much of the efficacy of the Clinical Pilates program is in the ability of physiotherapists to adapt and modify the program to meet the specific needs of the patient. The program can also be used as an effective tool in diagnosing and identifying underlying causes of many injuries.
What can be gained?
Improved postural awareness and flexibility
Improved core stability of the trunk, shoulder and pelvis
Decreased recurrence and incidence of back pain
Improved sporting performance and injury prevention
Ability to identify and rectify underlying movement dysfunctions that lead to injuries
Firmer and more toned stomach and body muscles
Improved breathing control
Safe and effective way of exercising during pregnancy to minimise pressure on the spine
Based on scientific research