In physical therapy, we often use breath, stability, flexibility, and balance as tools in the rehabilitation of our patients. When someone sustains an injury, their stabilizing muscles become inhibited. It is important to regain access to these muscles to protect the patient’s joints, control movement efficiently, prevent further breakdown of the body, and eventually, emerge from pain and return to activity. If these areas are overlooked, and a patient instead goes directly to strength and speed training after an injury, the body starts to compensate, producing movement patterns that are sub-optimal. This compensation only works for short periods of time and the patient’s pain or injury will return. At Axis, we recognize this hierarchy of movement and, as a result, these tools we often use are Pilates-based.
Pilates is a type of body conditioning that was invented by Joseph Pilates over a century ago, utilizing whole-body movements that emphasize both mobility and stability. To help people achieve better physical and mental health, Pilates exercises center around posture, visualization, breath, the powerhouse core muscles, and quality of movement over quantity. Pilates sometimes utilizes special equipment to achieve the best results. During World War I, Joseph Pilates rehabilitated non-ambulatory patients, using springs attached to wheelchairs and beds as tools to aid patients in gaining stability, strength, and mobility. His springs are the basis for the equipment used in Pilates today. At Axis, we use the Reformer, Cadillac and Pilates Chair to either assist or resist during a particular exercise, helping a patient to better execute a desired movement.
Many of our therapists at Axis have been trained and certified in Pilates. We frequently use Pilates-based principles, exercises, and equipment to help our patients recover from injuries and achieve their goals. These tools help our patients recover and return to activity in the short-term, and stay healthy and #kickaxis in the long-term.