There are many causes of sports injuries, from overexerting your body without proper stretching to musculoskeletal injuries caused by underuse or overuse.
However, one of the biggest causes of injuries, especially for athletes, is muscular imbalance. Muscular imbalance results from strengthening one set of muscles over another, which forces these muscles to overcompensate for weaker muscles.
One of the main causes and effects of muscular imbalance is postural misalignment. So by promoting proper postural alignment, athletes can better prevent sports injuries.
One of the best ways to promote proper posture, spinal alignment, and core strengthening is through Pilates. Not only can Pilates help prevent sports injuries, but multiple studies have shown that Pilates for rehabilitation is an effective way to overcome existing injuries.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of Pilates and how Pilates for rehabilitation on a reformer can result in faster recovery.
Is Pilates Good for Rehabilitation?
Active rehabilitation has proven more effective in relieving lower back pain and overcoming lower back injuries than passive rehabilitation. In addition, active rehabilitation has also proven effective in a wide range of significant injuries, such as recovering from strokes.
Pilates is a form of active rehabilitation that promotes full-body exercises, which improve joint function, posture, and muscle strength. As a result, using Pilates as a tool for rehabilitation can help reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and promote faster recovery.
One of the ways Pilates promotes faster recoveries is by improving blood flow across your body through better posture and flexibility. Research has shown that poor posture adversely affects organ function. So by improving posture and unlocking better blood flow to injured muscles and joints, Pilates can aid in speedier recoveries.
In addition, Pilates for rehabilitation allows patients to engage in low-impact workouts that target specific injured or inflamed muscles. For this reason, Pilates is a popular exercise after a knee or hip replacement surgery, where mobility is encouraged to prevent arthritis and inflammation.
Does Pilates Prevent Injuries?
In general, the stronger and more active your body, the less likely you’ll receive injuries from overexertion during physical exercise. Pilates helps your body in shape, promoting proper postural alignment and strengthening muscles from your core to your legs.
In turn, promoting proper muscular balance and posture reduces the risk of overexerting your muscles or damaging joints through rigorous exercises.
In addition, stronger muscles also mean stronger tendons and ligaments, which are more resistant to tears.
Most importantly, since Pilates is a fairly low-impact exercise, there is very little risk of exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD).
However, if you want to improve your recovery and muscle balance, Pilates therapy on a Pilates reformer can be a more effective option than a mat.
Is Reformer Pilates Good for Injuries?
While mat Pilates is powerful for muscle recovery and rehabilitation, most instructors and physical therapists will most likely conduct Pilates therapy on a Pilates reformer.
Pilates reformers are especially effective for rehabilitation because they allow users to engage in full-body workouts that provide a deeper burn and help promote proper form and posture during workouts.
In addition, Pilates reformers come with special equipment that allows users to engage in a wider range of workouts and also target specific muscle groups using controlled movements. Since the reformer is more effective at targeting deeper muscles than a mat, the Pilates reformer is ultimately more effective for rehabilitation, promoting proper joint movement, and relieving pain at the site of an injury.
Pilates Rehab Reformers
While most pieces of Pilates equipment can be used for rehabilitation, it’s important to find a Pilates reformer that’s comfortable enough and suits your individual needs.
For example, specific reformer machines are designed specifically for rehabilitation, including the Merrithew Rehab V2 Max Plus Reformer Bundle. This machine includes a vertical pulley frame, an extra soft carriage, a precision spring package, and educational materials designed to assist physiotherapy clinics and seniors in managing their joints and improving mobility.
Furthermore, the Pilates Cadillac reformer offers state-of-the-art equipment, precision spring resistance, and comfortable padding designed for a wide range of traditional Pilates exercises and rehabilitation workouts.
However, some clinics may rely on a traditional reformer or chair. Be sure to work with your physical therapist to find the right Pilates reformer for your rehabilitation.
Can Pilates Replace Physical Therapy?
Pilates is not a physical therapy replacement, but it can most certainly assist your physical therapy journey. With the right equipment, education, and guidance, you can improve recovery times and prevent the risk of future injuries by using a Pilates reformer.
Ultimately, by improving core strength and spinal posture, you can prevent muscular imbalances and reduce inflammation in your body that leaves it susceptible to injury. The Pilates reformer is the most useful equipment for providing all of these benefits.
To find the right Pilates equipment for your rehabilitation needs, browse our selection and read our resources above to find the best piece of individual equipment for your home or studio.