Clinical Pilates at Claremont Private Hospital

Claremont Physiotherapy Department welcomes Ben Matthew to the team.
Ben has previously worked at the Yorkshire Clinic and specialises in Pilates – trained by the recognised Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute (APPI) to Level 3, meaning he is qualified to treat a range of spinal and joint problems with this technique. Ben answers some FAQs on Clinical Pilates.
What is Clinical Pilates?
Clinical Pilates is an exercise method aimed at restoring controlled, relaxed and pain-free movement using modified versions of traditional and modern Pilates exercises. The exercises develop strength, flexibility and coordination, beginning at a very basic level where needed: typically in people experiencing higher pain levels or with less strength and flexibility, possibly following surgery. However, Clinical Pilates can be progressed to a high difficulty level where appropriate, typically in those making the transition from injury or surgical rehabilitation to a return to high-impact exercise or sports performance. It can be equally useful as part of a strength and conditioning programme for injury prevention in sports players, especially if there are known 'weak spots'.
Is it different to traditional Pilates or a typical gym Pilates class?
They have their similarities because they are based on the same idea but their differences are important. Traditional Pilates (or Contrology) was developed over 100 years ago and the term 'Pilates' is not protected or regulated. A long time has passed allowing different styles to evolve, therefore styles and methods can vary greatly from teacher to teacher. 
At present, traditional Pilates is commonly taught to large groups in gym classes. Compared to basic Clinical Pilates the gym classes tend to require a higher level of strength, flexibility and tolerance to high volume and high intensity exercise. Advanced Clinical Pilates can certainly be as challenging as the traditional classes and should be more closely supervised so weaknesses and flaws can be worked on more precisely.
The most important difference is the way that Clinical Pilates teachers are able to break down the exercises using knowledge of how weak or tight spots, injuries and conditions can affect the body and how best to address them. The exercises can be carefully selected and modified to achieve the best outcome.
Is it suitable for me?
A significant advantage of Clinical Pilates is that the exercises and routines can be modified to suit almost anyone providing that relevant precautions are taken. For example, most exercises can be adapted to standing or sitting positions for those that are unable to get to a floor mat and where lying in a certain position is uncomfortable or recommended against, such as in pregnancy. Likewise, an athlete may benefit from a targeted programme of prehab or rehabilitation exercises using Clinical Pilates principles. You are likely to benefit from Clinical Pilates if you have:
  • Pain or stiffness in the spine, hip, shoulder or knee joints and their surrounding muscles
  • Localised or generalised weakness
  • A diagnosed musculoskeletal (MSK) condition
  • A job or lifestyle that involves prolonged sitting or standing or repetitive bending and lifting
  • An involvement with sports (especially if you keep getting injured!)
Date: 04/04/2018
By: Paula Lee