As an Osteopath and Pilates instructor I’m always asked about what I do, and why – both on the treatment table and then in the Pilates studio. And what my approach to treatment and rehabilitation is. This is a great question to answer!!!
From my training and many years of experience, in both assessing, diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating many different bodies and complaints, it is really important to treat each case individually. This is obviously expected by each individual but I really want to stress how important it actually is when it comes down to treatment and rehabilitation. Many cases which may have the same diagnoses, such as bulged/slipped disc, can have often very different pain and movement presentations and it is really important to analyse what the patient in front of you is complaining of, how their body looks and moves, both statically and dynamically. This then enables me to put them back together the most effective way!
Osteopaths and Pilates Instructors, can really be seen as musculoskeletal problem solvers of the human body.
We both not only look at individual muscles, joints and specific areas of the body, but we work on a very holistic level to help all systems of the body. These include the nervous, circulatory, gastrointestinal systems, cardiothoracic system and brain as well as the connective tissue, or fascial system, which is enveloped and a part of all the other systems too!
By encouraging optimal movement patterns, either by hands on treatment, or active movement with correct exercises and techniques for the presenting conditions and body, we can create a more optimal sense of well being for our patients. This can include decreasing pain, improving mobility and flexibility, decreasing stress, encouraging ownership and understanding of one’s own body and empowerment over pain!
The beauty of Pilates is that it can encompass that sense of empowerment, and by activating specific muscles through exercise, it can help decrease pain! Yes, decrease pain with muscle activation!! We work on correcting the neural pathways from the brain to the area of pain, discomfort or tightness which in turn improves function!
Pilates is also fabulous for giving the body a better sense of length, strength and flexibility that boosts a feeling of overall wellness. Therefore combining both manual therapy such as Osteopathy with specific exercises that Pilates offers there is a marriage of principle’s, and sense of body wellbeing.
For example, many people will have lower back pain at some point in their life with statistics showing that this is approximately 80% of Australians. This can be due to postural strain and sitting at a desk all day, poor lifting technique, or from underlying problems such as a slipped disc/bulged disc, joint degeneration, arthritis, sciatica, muscle spasm and tightness. Treatment for this complaint would be two-fold: 1.Hands on manual therapy specific for that person, using appropriate techniques that can include soft tissue massage, joint articulation, mobilization, dry needling, muscle energy release techniques on the affected tissues in not only the lower back, but also the mid-upper back, hips, and legs and 2. Appropriate and specific exercises prescribed to decrease and hopefully remove pain, as well as strengthen and mobilise the areas affected and whole body.
So… whether you are a Pilates instructor, student, devotee, or if you have any muscle conditions that need addressing – have a holistic approach to treatment and rehabilitation!! In my experience as an Osteopath and Pilates Instructor this is the most effective way to help your body or your clients, as well as give you the satisfaction as a health care practitioner that you are doing the best for your patients and they are doing the best for themselves!!
Please be in contact if you have any questions!!
And in the meantime enjoy your treatments and Pilates training!!
This blog post is an educational tool only. It is not a replacement for medical advice from a registered and qualified doctor or health professional.