The Benefits of Clinical Pilates for Postural Aches and Pains


Do you suffer from poor posture? Do you experience aches and pains as a result of your poor posture? If so, you may be a candidate for clinical pilates. Clinical pilates is a type of physical therapy that uses special exercises to help improve posture and relieve pain. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of clinical pilates.

What is Clinical Pilates?

Clinical pilates is a type of physical therapy that uses special exercises to help improve posture and relieve pain. Clinical pilates is based on the principles of Joseph Pilates, who developed the system in the early 1900s. Joseph Pilates believed that poor posture was the root cause of many health problems, and he developed his system as a way to correct these problems.

What is the difference between Clinical Pilates and Fitness Pilates?

Clinical Pilates and Pilates are both forms of exercise that focus on improving strength, flexibility, and posture. However, Clinical Pilates is a specifically tailored form of exercise that is often prescribed by physiotherapists or other allied health professionals. Clinical Pilates exercises are designed to target specific areas of the body that may be experiencing pain or dysfunction. In contrast, Pilates is a more general form of exercise that can be beneficial for overall health and well-being. Both Clinical Pilates and Pilates can be performed with or without equipment, and there are many different exercises that can be performed in each system. Ultimately, the choice between Clinical Pilates and Pilates depends on an individual’s specific needs and goals.

Clinical Pilates will involve an assessment and sometimes real-time ultrasound of your core muscles. Your practitioner will work with you to set goals that you want to achieve. You can expect to be in a small class, generally no more than four people. What is different between clinical pilates and pilates is in your class everyone will be doing different exercises tailored to their individual needs and goals.

What is Poor Posture?

Poor posture is a common problem that may lead to a number of muscular and joint problems. Muscles and ligaments work together to hold our joints in position and allow for a normal range of motion at the joints. When muscles are used improperly or become too weak, over time there can be different stresses placed on the body’s structures such as ligaments and joints. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion. Over time, poor posture can also lead to degenerative changes in the joints and discs, as well as nerve impingement and pinched nerves. Posture is something that should be addressed early on to avoid these more serious problems down the road. There are a number of ways to improve posture, including stretching, strengthening, and awareness exercises (often called motor control exercises).

How Does Clinical Pilates Work to help poor posture?

Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down. Poor posture can lead to back pain, neck pain, and other problems. Clinical pilates works by strengthening the deep abdominal and back muscles that support the spine. When these muscles are weak, it can lead to poor posture and related aches and pains. Clinical pilates exercises help to strengthen these muscles, which in turn leads to improved posture and relief from pain. In addition, Clinical pilates helps to lengthen and stretch the muscles, which can also help improve posture. During Clinical Pilates sessions you may not only use pilates equipment such as a reformer, wunda chair, and trapeze table but also muscle release tools such as foam rollers, spikey balls or lacrosse balls. We know that this can muscle release work can help improve muscle activation and reduce pain.

The Benefits of Clinical Pilates

Clinical pilates can provide a number of benefits for people with poor posture and related aches and pains. Some of the benefits of clinical pilates may include:

  • Improved posture
  • Relief from back pain, neck pain, and headaches
  • Improved flexibility and range of motion
  • Strengthened muscles
  • Increased energy levels
  • Reduced stress levels

Some of our favorite Clinical Pilates Exercises you can do at home to help posture

We love sharing exercises that we think can help. Check out these three exercises that we often use when doing floor work during Clinical Pilates to help our clients.

Thread the Needle

This is a great exercise to help release tension through the mid back where a lot of postural tension can be held.

Lumbar Extensions (lower back)

We often don’t move into extension with our lower back as we sit slouched on the couch. This gentle exercise targets the deep muscles and joints of our lower back to help improve mobility and strength. 

Four Point Kneel

This exercise works on stabilising the trunk to help build strength whilst challenging it with the movement of the legs and arms. You can try lots of variations of this exercise. 

If you suffer from poor posture or related aches and pains, you may be a candidate for clinical pilates. Clinical Pilates can be a great adjunct to your current exercise regime, read more here, or it could be the focus! 

Learn more here.

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