Clinical Pilates Myths and Facts

We would like to talk about Clinical Pilates myths and facts. At Complete Wellness Physiotherapy we decided to find out what our clients thought or knew about Clinical Pilates. So we designed two questionnaires for them to complete. One for our patients who hadn’t taken part in a clinical Pilates program and one for patients who had.

When we read the results of the questionnaire for people who hadn’t taken part in a Clinical Pilates program, we were astounded! There were several misconceptions which we felt were important to change, as Clinical Pilates is a much more specific and specialised management method than people were giving it credit for.

The most common mistakes

For the most part people believed:

  • A Pilates Instructor can prescribe Clinical Pilates
  • Clinical Pilates improves only core strength and flexibility
  • Clinical Pilates can only be performed in a gym or clinic

Firstly, it is important that our patients understand that the Clinical Pilates program they receive at Complete Wellness Physiotherapy cannot be received from a Pilates instructor. A Clinical Pilates program is specifically tailored to each individual based on the problem, injury or disease they present with. Only a DMA Clinical Pilates trained physiotherapist is able to perform the assessment and subsequently prescribe a specific exercise regiment because he/she will know how to match an exercise with a patient’s pathology amd movement/direction preference. This means that the Clinical Pilates service provided by the physios at Complete Wellness Physiotherapy cannot be received from a Pilates instructor, as it is so much more specific and requires the intimate knowledge of human function that only a physiotherapist can provide.

The outcomes that Clinical Pilates provide was another misconception commonly found. Most people thought that Clinical Pilates could improve mainly only strength, core strength and flexibility. Very few people knew that Clinical Pilates could improve pain or bone strength. The truth is that Clinical Pilates improves not only core strength and flexibility, but also balance, movement control & coordination, muscle endurance, stability, breathing and bone strength. In the elderly, improvements in balance and bone strength are very important as people who have strong bones and good balance are far less likely to suffer fractures.

The fact that so few people believed Clinical Pilates could help manage pain was concerning, because current research has found that Clinical Pilates is extremely effective at managing pain! Patients with chronic pain can find fast and vast improvements in their levels of pain when managed with Clinical Pilates.

At Complete Wellness Physiotherapy we have a Clinical Pilates astudio which contains some highly specialised and state of the art equipment used to augment Clinical Pilates exercises. The exercises performed using these pieces of equipment would be difficult to do at home and are more effective due to the sensory feedback they provide. That being said, Clinical Pilates exercises CAN be performed at home! Our Physios generally prescribe some simpler exercises that patients can do at home in-between sessions to keep on top of the problem.

At Complete Wellness Physiotherapy we not only treat patients but promote active lifestyles. Clinical Pilates is a fantastic form of exercise with a huge array of benefits. You don’t need to be sick or injured to experience the benefits that Clinical Pilates has to offer. Clinical Pilates is a great treatment to deal with low back pain, chronic pain, or a joint injury. But even if you’re not injured or ill, Clinical Pilates can still be highly beneficial. At Complete Wellness Physiotherapy we would recommend Clinical Pilates to anyone, especially women, over the age of 65 as a tool to incorporate into their lifestyle, as Clinical Pilates improves balance, coordination and bone strength, attribute which prevent falls and fractures. Moreover regular exercise has been shown to significantly improve a sense of well being and fight depression. Through Clinical Pilates you receive enhanced benefits as a physio understands how your body works and the best way to maximise improvements.

The results from the second questionnaire, which was completed by patients who had taken part in a Clinical Pilates program, yielded much better outcomes.

Every single person who completed the questionnaire was happy and satisfied with the program, every single person found significant improvements in their pain and function, and 100% of people who took part in a Clinical Pilates program at Complete Wellness Physiotherapy would recommend it to a friend.