What is Clinical Pilates?
Updated: Oct 3
Are you considering signing up for Clinical Pilates but wondering what it entails? At its core, clinical Pilates is a patient-specific and individualised form of traditional Pilates. Clinical Pilates is a specialised exercise regimen that places emphasis on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, and flexibility.
In this article, we'll explore what Clinical Pilates is, its benefits, and why it might just be the therapeutic solution in Melbourne you need.
Clinical Pilates vs. Regular Pilates: The Key Differences
As a form of exercise, Pilates has been popular for decades. Developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, it started out as a routine for dancers to increase their flexibility and core strength. Over time, its advantages were more widely acknowledged, which increased its acceptance and widespread popularity.
Notably, if you’re recovering from an injury, regular Pilates may not be appropriate, as certain positions and exercises may actually put you at further risk of harm or aggravate the existing injury. On the other hand, Clinical Pilates will not put you at risk.
Clinical Pilates is a more recent evolution, standing out due to its therapeutic approach. The difference between Pilates and Clinical Pilates is that it’s not just about fitness. Clinical Pilates integrates into a personalised fitness routine, emphasising rehabilitation and addressing the individual’s specific health conditions. Clinical Pilates classes are conducted by a trained, expert physiotherapist who understands how certain Pilates exercises can affect injuries and recovery.
Imagine you're walking, perhaps even dancing, and you suddenly feel a very painful twinge in your back. Regular Pilates might help, but Clinical Pilates, with its therapeutic approach, is designed to address such specific concerns. Overseen by trained physiotherapists, Clinical Pilates ensures that every stretch and movement is tailored to your unique needs, making it particularly beneficial for those recovering from injuries or surgeries.
Clinical Pilates can also be referred to as remedial Pilates and is used to treat a range of injuries, including:
Lower back pain
ACL (knee) injuries
Hip pain/hip replacement pain
The goal of this treatment is to activate certain muscles in the body that will aid in a safe recovery and allow for a faster return to sports/activities. It can also work to counteract the ill effects of prolonged sitting, assisting with the realignment of the spine and posture. Unlike regular Pilates classes, Clinical Pilates sessions are adaptable and will change to suit the patient’s injuries, level of fitness, and abilities.
Moreover, Clinical Pilates can not only aid in recovery, but it can also aid in injury prevention, as it addresses risk factors for injury including a lack of muscular support, muscular imbalances, and poor posture. These exercises will help to ensure harmonious muscle function, leading to improved posture and reduced skeletal strain. Your physiotherapist will use a combination of Reformer Pilates and Mat Pilates to achieve the desired outcome.
Mat Pilates: The Foundation
Mat Pilates is the most foundational form of Pilates. Performed on a mat and primarily using your own body weight for resistance, it focuses on core strength, flexibility, and balance.
Mat Pilates is often incorporated into Clinical Pilates regimens, with the use of specialised Pilates equipment, such as resistance bands, weights, and rings. Mat Pilates targets the body's abdominals, lower back muscles, pelvic floor, hips, and glutes, while remaining low-impact and gentle on the joints.
Reformer Pilates: Advanced and Dynamic
Reformer Pilates takes the discipline to a new level. Using a machine called the "reformer", Reformer Pilates provides resistance through a pulley and spring system, offering a dynamic and challenging workout. Additionally, the reformer’s bars and cables enable a more thorough workout for arms and legs. Specifically for Clinical Pilates, the reformer allows for targeted exercises, making it a favourite among physiotherapists for its adaptability and range of uses.
Clinical Pilates Benefits
Rehabilitation with Clinical Pilates: Post-Injury or Surgery
Recovery from life-altering injuries and operations can be accelerated with Clinical Pilates. Your physio will focus on rehabilitation, retraining movement patterns with increased abdominal control, body awareness, and proper breathing. Clinical Pilates thus bridges the gap between passive treatments and full recovery, ensuring individuals can return to their daily activities with confidence.
Improved Mental Well-Being
Through the emphasis on breathing and mindfulness, Clinical Pilates assists patients in being mindful and present, reducing stress, and enhancing mental clarity. Furthermore, for individuals who lead sedentary lifestyles, Clinical Pilates offers a break in the routine, ensuring the body remains agile, and the mind refreshed.
At Align Health Collective, we pride ourselves on offering a wide range of physiotherapy and non-surgical treatment options, including excellent Clinical Pilates sessions tailored to your needs. We understand the nuances of Clinical Pilates and its myriad benefits.
Whether you're looking to recover from an injury or trying to prevent one, you’ll appreciate our tailored treatment plans. We’ll start by giving you a quick consultation and clinical assessment to identify areas that need work. After this, you can join our 1:1 or small group classes (with a maximum of four patients). Our sessions range from 20 to 45 minutes, and can usually be claimed back from private health insurance.