The pilates method is a form of physical exercise developed by Joseph Pilates during the early 20th century in Germany. One type of pilates that is in conjunction with physiotherapy is called clinical pilates. It focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility, and breathing as a means of treating a variety of injuries, particularly those of the neck and back.

Recent research advocates the strengthening of the deep stabilising muscles in patients with low back pain. Clinical pilates focuses on these muscles (core stability) as well as improving posture, strength and flexibility. Studies demonstrate strong evidence to support the use of therapeutic exercise in the management of patients with injuries, particularly low back pain.

Pilates needs to be specific to the individual to be beneficial for patients with certain injuries, and not used as a generic tool for everyone. Clinical pilates, which differs from generic pilates classes, identifies key issues by applying carefully selected exercises to patients with specific injuries to optimise gains while significantly reducing the likelihood of injury aggravation. It is essential to have a review with a physiotherapist to assess the suitability of a core stability program for you, should you intend to commence pilates for your injury.

How is clinical pilates different from the standard pilates?

Clinical pilates is different to standard pilates in that the patient is individually assessed by a physiotherapist, and then given exercises that specifically target their problem areas. The physiotherapist closely supervises the client’s technique, and grades the exercises so that injuries are prevented. Some physiotherapists may use real time ultrasound feedback in order to help with training the core stability muscles. Most health funds will recognise clinical pilates as a physiotherapy intervention, so rebates may apply.

How will you benefit from clinical pilates?

Clinical pilates exercises offer numerous benefits, which include:

  • favicon Improved posture and core stability
  • favicon Increased muscular strength and flexibility
  • favicon Prevention of injuries
  • favicon Aiding rehabilitation
  • favicon Restoration of normal movement patterns
  • favicon Enhanced breathing control
  • favicon Increased co-ordination and muscular control
  • favicon Firmer and flatter stomach muscles
  • favicon Improved overall body tone and fitness
  • favicon Improved balance

Clinical pilates is based on a theory that demonstrates firm evidence that explain the use of therapeutic exercise in order to help you recover from injuries. When you are suffering from low back pain for example, clinical pilates will help the body retain the deep stabilising muscles, and go a step further to promote flexibility, posture, strength, and thus alienating the ache.

What type of patient are suitable for clinical pilates?

Clinical pilates is suitable for people that have musculoskeletal pain or injury. It is particularly appropriate if the symptoms are recurrent or chronic, or if there are moto