Pilates_for_rehab by fanzhongqing


									                                                                   August 2005

Pilates Provides Effective Rehabilitation
for Both Body and Mind
By Daniel Wilson

   Across the country, a rapidly grow-        rehabilitation, fitness and training in-   that with Pilates a PT can create a
ing number of physical therapists             stitute headquartered is in Miami, FL.     positive movement experience with
and their clients have discovered that        “When you’re talking about Pilates for     an exercise that a patient may even
Pilates, a popular form of body-mind          rehab, you’re talking about modify-        perceive as beyond their capacity.
exercise, is tremendously effective for       ing the exercises and working in the           “They might look at the equipment
rehabilitating injuries.                      Pilates body-mind environment to be        and say ‘There’s no way I can do this’,
   The success of Pilates as a fitness        able to facilitate a positive movement     and then they do it, and without pain.
program is well chronicled—the                experience for your client.”               It totally changes the paradigm of the
Sporting Good Manufacturers As-                   “That’s the crux of why Pilates is     belief model that the movement causes
sociation reports that the number of          so powerful in the field of rehab,”        pain. This shift in attitude is much
North Americans participating in a            Anderson said, “If you use it correctly    more powerful than any strength or
Pilates class has grown more than 500         and are able to provide that positive      flexibility measurement”
percent in just the past four years.          movement experience, your client’s             As an example, he points to a recent
Now, many physical therapists are             outcome physically and emotionally         patient who had tremendous low-back
turning to Pilates as a primary method        is going to be much greater. It is more    pain for three years. The patient had
of rehabilitation with outstanding            about the principles of the exercise       been an avid runner and equestrian
results.                                      than the actual repertoire.”               but was no longer able to do either. He
                                                  Rob Kopitzke is a PT and co-owner      had also undergone various conven-
It’s the Principles – Not the
                                              of Body Concepts, Inc., a physical         tional rehabilitation programs without
                                              therapy and personal training center       success. After four visits using Pilates
    Pilates develops core strength, inte-     in El Dorado Hills, CA. Body Con-          he was 80-percent pain free. Anderson
grating the trunk, pelvis and shoulder        cepts has both a Pilates studio and a      put him in a lower-back care program
girdle. By emphasizing proper breath-         traditional therapy gymnasium. “Cli-       and after only a month, the patient
ing, correct spinal and pelvic align-         ent-wise I would say that 80 percent       was riding again.
ment, and complete concentration on           of the time I choose the Pilates studio        “He was to the point where he
smooth, flowing movement, clients             over the gym,” says Kopitzke.              didn’t really care about riding or run-
become acutely aware of how their
                                                  “It’s a more dynamic environment.      ning anymore—he just wanted the
body feels, where it is in space, and
                                              It allows for an earlier progression. As   pain gone,” Anderson said. “Through
how to control its movement. Quality
                                              the patient gets stronger physically       Pilates, however, he’s changed his
of movement is valued over quantity
                                              and mentally, he or she can increase       perception and is active again. Pilates
of repetitions, and proper breathing is
                                              the amount of resistance or difficulty     can be implemented so gently yet so
essential as it helps execute movements
                                              for each exercise. They can basically go   successfully by a skilled practitioner,
with maximum efficiency.
                                              from a non-weight bearing status to        that it can completely change people’s
    Pilates for rehab, however, can dif-      a full-blown effort. From that stand-      lives in the way they view their capa-
fer from Pilates the exercise. “I think       point it provides a nice progression       bilities.”
it is important to clarify Pilates for        that other traditional or conventional
rehabilitation as not ‘just Pilates,’” says   forms of therapy can’t duplicate.”         Versatility a Factor
Brent Anderson, PT, OCS, president                                                          Another reason many therapists are
                                                  Anderson agreed and explained
of Polestar Education, a Pilates-based                                                   turning to Pilates is the tremendous
versatility of the equipment, which           and running their practice. That’s a         they’ve seen in their patients’ strength
can benefit them both clinically and          drawback to some.                            and flexibility, but how it affects their
financially.                                      However, from a pure business            clients’ positive mental perception of
    “Compared to most rehab gym or            standpoint neither reason has merit          their own well-being. That’s powerful
studio set ups, physical therapists find      in the long run. “It is important for        stuff.”
they can do much more on a single             all PT’s to know that if you are able            Daniel Wilson is a freelance writer
piece of Pilates equipment than on            to add Pilates to your practice, even as     out of Rocklin, CA.
multiple exercise machines designed           just an adjunct, you can bill [for it]. It
to do one thing,” said Ken Endel-             becomes a nice supplement and you’re
man, CEO and founder of Balanced              not totally dependent on insurance or
Body.                                         Medicare payments,” said Anderson.
    According to Anderson there are               It can also be tremendously prof-
almost a thousand exercises a PT can          itable—Polestar sees approximately
use on a single piece of equipment or         140 people go through the center on
trapeze table. “If you have four differ-      a daily basis—and all of them pay
ent types of Pilates equipment, you           out-of-pocket.
literally have 4,000 different exercises
you can choose from”, said Anderson.          The Future of Rehab
“But if you have a leg press machine,             What’s on the horizon for Pilates
all you can do are leg presses. That can      as a rehabilitation tool? Some see it
be mundane for both client and thera-         expanding into the area of neurologi-
pist. Pilates is limitless and allows us to   cal rehab for patients with multiple
be very creative in our programs.”            sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and
    Kopitzke said his clients get more        stroke. For these patients, the amount
out of a one-hour workout on a                of movement awareness input they get
reformer then taking them through             combined with the frequency of that
potentially 10 different pieces of other      input facilitates a better recovery.
exercise equipment. Just as important,            Therapists know, however, that
he adds is how a reformer’s versatility       while these patients need a lot of
helps with the bottom line. “If you           repetitions, they must avoid becom-
have limited space, you need to get           ing fatigued or overheated. Because
equipment that gets you the most              Pilates allows for a larger number of
bang for the buck. That makes a re-           movement patterns without as much
former a very smart investment.”              cardiovascular stress, patients can
                                              undertake these exercises without
Why Isn’t Everyone Doing This?                adverse effects.
   So why aren’t all PTs offering Pi-             Overall, the future looks bright
lates? One contributing factor could          for PT’s and Pilates. Endelman said
be that shrinking insurance reim-             therapists and rehabilitation centers are
bursements are forcing many PTs to            one are of the fastest growing markets
see multiple patients during an hour,         at his company.
to make up for declining revenue. This            “I think many are finding that it
creates an atmosphere not conducive           simply is a kinder, gentler way to rehab,
to a Pilates intervention.                    yet still incredibly effective both physi-
   Another limitation may be a lack           cally and emotionally. When I talk to
of education. Many PTs were not               PTs and ask them what’s the best thing
exposed to Pilates training while in          Pilates has done for their practice, some
school. Now they realize they need            of the answers are surprising. Many say
to get certified while still working          it’s not necessarily the improvements

To top