It takes time to get over an injury, especially if you have been rendered immobile for a while. Your muscles will need some effort to rebuilt and strengthen itself again. When I suffered an accident practicing my sport, I have to admit, I was eager to get back on my feet and playing again. In order for me to achieve that in the shortest time possible, I consulted a physiotherapy practice in Werribee.
It turned out to be a great decision, as I couldn’t imagine anyone else better in supporting me get back in shape. After all, their approach looks at not just the area that suffered damage but examines my whole body in all. In my first appointment, I was scheduled for full screening. The point is to assess the root cause as well. This way, the treatment they will plan would not just help me rehabilitate, but at the same time, reduce the chances of future trauma.
After this assessment, I was recommended Pilates as a method for injury rehabilitation. I had heard of, of course, the popular exercise program, but my physiotherapist explained that what they use in the clinic is different. Developed by Joseph Pilates, it targets deep postural muscles of the spine and abdomen in order to improve your overall core stability.
Clinical Pilates, offered by my physiotherapy practice, uses exercises selected based on the injuries. This means that every patient will have a program that is different from anyone else’s. After all, rehabilitation is meant to enhance and restore function where there had been physical impairments because of specific trauma in any of the following: muscles, tissues, bones and nervous system.
The popularity of Pilates extends to the practice of physiotherapy, especially to help rehabilitate patients. Its key elements were explained in my first visit. First of all is concentration, then centering, breathing and isolation are also important. Routine and precision are other elements, as well as control and flowing movement. This is achieved because this exercise regimen is not just focused on a specific part of the body, as what happens with traditional training methods.
A treatment plan may include various exercises like stretches, mobility or strengthening exercises. Here are some more specific exercises that have helped me get back in shape after my injury:
In the beginning, to ease me into the routine, I used springs on the reformer machines so that I could move more fluidly. Springs made me feel the resistance at the strongest point of contraction of your muscles, and less on the completion of these movements. This reduced the stress on my ligaments, tendons, and joints.
As I started to build strength and make some progress, I moved on to the mat, where springs are not used anymore. Without them to support me, my core stabilizers will start to be developed.
Being conscious and concentrated on how my body is moving is a part of Pilates. My therapist chose movements that will isolate and target muscles close to the area that sustained trauma. This helped me strengthen this area and get it back into shape.
Like in Yoga, a big part of Pilates is conscious breathing. I had to make sure I was not holding your breath because right breathing will help my diaphragm stabilize my trunk. At the same time, it brought needed oxygen to injured parts of the body to help relieve the pressure points and improve circulation there.
A basic reason for accidents is muscle imbalance, especially for those who practice sports. This is because some muscle groups are worked out more than others, and the weaker ones will then be prone to damage. My therapist observed my movement patterns and identified incorrect ones. Exercises that promoted balanced and aligned movements helped me then recover and moreover, prevent me from incurring new ones.
A key component is to keep a strong core, therefore movements are used that require keeping a neutral spine. This means, my core alignments were always maintained to avoid further damage as well. With the help of my physiotherapist, I was able to adjust my exercises based on my capability and slowly increase the intensity as I became more stabilized.
Sometimes wrong movements cause accidents, and a part of rehabilitation is to correct them and learn new ones that will reduce stress on these specific areas. Pilates taught me how to operate in the most optimal way that will reduce the risk of future trauma.
The key principles of Pilates have certainly taught me a lot about my body and how it moves. These exercises have also helped me move better in order to practice my sport more efficiently without risking any further damage. The fact that it was also personalized means all movements were tailored to me and my strengths and weaknesses. Not only did it help me recover from injury, but allowed me to become a better athlete in the future.