Selecting Pilates for rehabilitation of injuries is an excellent option. Whether it be a back or neck injury, knee injury from skiing or a niggling running injury, Pilates works through improved alignment and joint stabilisation.
When our body sustains an injury or is used in correctly as with poor posture, it is common for changes to occur to your muscles. Two things can happen; some muscles to become inhibited or less active and the correct muscle firing pattern or co-ordination changes.
Muscle inhibition or weakness leads to a cascade effect where other muscles over work to compensate of these inhibited muscles. The overworked muscles become tired, tight and angry and often get trigger points or painful knots in them. This, in turn, leads to more miss alignment or lack of joint control and in many cases pain. Incorrect muscle firing patterns or co-ordination leads to lack of joint control.
If you imagine a joint in your body is like the derailleur on a bike, if this mechanism lifts the chain immediately when you change gears, and moves the chain by exactly the right distance, then changing gears are a smooth and easy transition, making your biking more efficient and putting minimal force is put through the components of the bike. This is just what happens when your body is in optimal condition. All the muscles contact in the right timing and pull with exactly the right force to smoothly move your joint in the most smooth and efficient way
However, if the derailleur on your bike lifts the chain too late, by not the right distance or your chain doesn’t quite fit the other components of the bike correctly then your gear change becomes shuddery, inefficient and the components of your bike wear out quickly.
This is what can happen after an injury and lead to delayed healing and in some cases chronic pain. After your injury some muscles become inhibit due to pain, swelling or a change in the way you move. This results in the complex coordination patterns that our muscle use becoming un-coordinated leading to clicking, clunking, and grinding in your joints or pain.
You can imagine Pilates for rehabilitation as being like the body’s teacher. There are some muscle we need to strengthen or get activated again but mostly we are working to get the correct firing patterns back to allow your muscles to move in a pain free and efficient way.