Pilates was developed as a method of physical rehabilitation in the early-20th century, and has been used by physical therapists to assist in injury recovery since the 1960s. A pilates reformer is a machine looking similar to a bed frame with strategically designed springs and pulleys. It was created as an innovative and creative tool to optimize muscle function with low-impact resistance exercises.
The principles of pilates-based exercise are commonly incorporated into physical therapy intervention. This is so because breathing techniques and core muscle activation are integral to developing postural support and functional movement. One achieves control of the core by integrating the trunk, pelvis, and shoulder girdle in skillful coordination. With this in consideration, physical therapists have been using evidence-based exercise programs on the reformer to successfully treat many common orthopedic and neurological injuries causing knee, back and shoulder pain, to name a few.
Whether we are treating an ankle sprain, low back pain, or shoulder impingement, it is important to address muscle imbalance that may be contributing to the onset or continuation of an injury. The reformer is ingenious in that it facilitates smooth, continuous movements recruiting multiple muscle groups in many planes of motion. Exercises utilizing the reformer are aimed to enhance strength, stability, and flexibility that are performed with direct supervision from a clinician to modify according to each individual’s capabilities. Many individuals start with pilates basics in their physical therapy appointments and retain the strength and skills they have gained to incorporate into their general fitness, once they are done with their care. Pilates and rehabilitation truly go hand in hand to enhance general wellness and help many people attain their fitness goals with reduced risk of pain and injury.
Incorporating the reformer into physical therapy care plans is yet another tool that allows our providers to truly customize each individual’s treatment. Call (512) 442-2727 with questions or to schedule an appointment. You can also click here to learn more about the physical therapy provided at Austin Preferred.