Can I do Pilates if I have a disability?
Definitely! Pilates aims to optimize postural alignment and improve movement efficiency through individualized exercises.
An initial physiotherapy assessment will be carried out to identify the key goals for physical management and if necessary, the Pilates programme. Natalie Woodman, Specialist Neuro Physiotherapist is a qualified Rehabilitation Pilates Specialist and has assisted several clients with neurological impairments such as incomplete spinal cord injuries, strokes, head injuries, Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis to improve muscle strength, posture, alignment and function.
Both Natalie Woodman and Ashley Van Dyk have used equipment based Pilates with clients who present with neurological impairments and work closely together in clinic to ensure that the Pilates therapy compliments the key physiotherapy functional goals identified at the initial assessment.
Exercises may be adapted and made accessible to clients with various pathologies, thereby making Pilates and its principles available for those who wish to explore this form of exercise.
We at Neurolink Physiotherapy encourage our clients as much as possible to incorporate clinic based Pilates alongside their long term physical management programme to maintain wellness, functional ability, physical fitness and improve flexibility and strength.
As you know, there is a fine balance to managing fatigue levels and activity if you have sustained a Stroke, Head Injury or if you have MS. Pilates Rehabilitation is one of the few exercises that can help with strengthening or rehabilitating without leaving you feeling exhausted after the session. In fact, it has often been described by clients as leaving them feeling energised and more aware of their posture and alignment.
Pilates for clients who sustained a Head Injury / Stroke
If you have sustained a Head Injury or a Stroke, and your movement in your arms or legs affects your walking, certain exercises on the Reformer can be used to help with gait re-education and strength training. The use of springs can help to re-educate the concentric and eccentric muscle control. Pilates will energise you and make you feel more aware of your posture and alignment.
Pilates for clients who have Multiple Sclerosis
If you present with MS and have weakness down one side and tightness down the other, the use of the Reformer can help to re-educate a more functional alignment and improve posture. It creates length in tight muscles while enhancing awareness and/or movement in weaker muscles.
Pilates for clients who have Parkinson’s Disease
If you have Parkinson’s Disease, you may have difficulty turning around, reaching for objects, looking over your shoulder and your body may become stiff, making walking more challenging.
Your posture in standing and walking can change if your back muscles become weak. Pilates aims to improve and maintain your ability to turn, improve your back strength and improve your balance for standing and walking.