WHAT IS CLINICAL REHAB?

The foundations of clinical rehabilitation at Advantage is derived from traditional Pilates. Pilates is a specific, controlled and safe form of exercise to promote “core and / or intersegmental stability”. It aims to incorporate the basis of traditional Pilates exercises into a program specific to treat individual movement patterns that may be contributing to pain or risk of injury. Clinical Pilates is assessed, prescribed and supervised by a Pilates trained physiotherapist or exercise physiologist.

THE TYPES: MAT VS STUDIO PILATES

The goal of clinical rehabilitation is to strengthen and train specific muscles to improve motor control and spinal control through a targeted and tailored program, whilst achieving individual goals of the client. Offered in two variations: mat and equipment/studio Pilates. Both enable us to initiate movements from the core, and to help improve strength and posture to translate into day to day activities. A big focus is on improving segmental stability and re-learning to co-ordinate and recruit correct muscle patterns.

CLINICAL REHABILITATION – STUDIO

The incorporation of different equipment (reformer, wunda chair, Cadillac, and more) to add resistance to each exercise is the basis of Clinical Rehabilitation classes. Exercises on the reformer with differing spring loads can either challenge strength or core stability and is a great way to vary exercises and add versatility to contemporary Pilates exercises. The spring loads on the equipment can also act as a support system, aiding proper form, increasing range and resistance through joints.

Each exercise on the equipment can be further progressed through changing springloads, altering positions and even progressions through the exercise itself. Therefore equipment based loading is suitable in a wide range of clientele, whether it be in the early stages of rehabilitation, to more function and sports based return for specific muscle loading.

CLINICAL REHABILITATION – MAT

Mat Pilates is the basis of all the fundamental principles of Pilates. With little to no equipment, the matwork requires the client to use their own bodyweight as the resistance against gravity, which can often make the exercise more challenging. This means that emphasis on maintaining a stronger centre and “powerhouse” through the body is higher during many of the mat exercises as reliance on a support through spring resistance is removed. Mat Pilates therefore increases awareness of motor control and whole-body movements much more than apparatus assisted studio Pilates. This translates into aiding postural control and neuromuscular control.

Although matwork Pilates can be a great foundation for beginners, advanced mat exercises can be even more challenging and variable than some equipment Pilates. Depending on the clientele, and goals of the session, a variety of different levels of mat exercises are incorporated into one session. Each exercise is then tailored to the individual by reducing or increasing loads, changing position or altering the exercise according to their level.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

Some examples of how Clinical Rehabilitation can benefit the individual:

  • Improved posture
  • Increased core strength and stability, peripheral mobility
  • Improved balance, co-ordination and circulation
  • Longer, leaner muscles (increased freedom of movement)
  • Prevention of injury
  • Enhanced functional fitness, ease of movement
  • Balanced strength & flexibility
  • Increased body awareness & whole body movements
  • No / low impact – easy on the joints (can progressively re-load joints for rehabilitation)
  • Complementary strengthening for other methods of exercise
  • Able to individualise & customize exercises for everyone from rehabilitation to elite athletes

Mat Pilates achieves:

  • Clinical goals – improving motor patterns and poor motor control behaviours
  • Relaxation – reduce tension, increase awareness and therefore listen to the body! “Body-mind conditioning”
  • Concentration – proprioception
  • Alignment – postural balance; a big focus in mat exercises; pelvis in neutral
  • Core – the physical centre of the body, the powerhouse; engaging the TrA
  • Breathing – the big Pilates rule (inhale to prepare the exercise, exhale as you perform it)
  • Co-ordination
  • Stamina – endurance; keeping up with the program with the class

Jenny Kim

Physiotherapist

Jenny Kim