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Q: I have been seeing an increased number of clients who are recovering from injuries or surgery. One of my regular clients has just come back to me after surgery for an ACL tear. I know he should be doing different exercises, but I’m not sure how to approach it. What are your thoughts on this and where can I get ideas for new programming?
A: You are not alone. Pilates is an excellent form of post-rehabilitative exercise in an increasing number of situations. This is due to a number of factors. First, health care professionals are recognizing that Pilates can be a ‘smart’ way to exercise as its underlying principles are founded on scientific information and in most cases follow rehabilitative protocols. Second, exercisers are recognizing that they need some type of ongoing conditioning once their physical therapy has stopped.
In your client’s case, it is first important to get as much information as you can from his medical team. Being able to access an exercise prescription from the surgeon or therapist will give you guidelines to follow. It is difficult to give you specific direction without knowing the details of your client’s injury, in most cases, you will need to start with small un-loaded movements while maintaining a supportive neural alignment through the spine. The gradual addition of range of motion, resistance and plyometric training will be assessed as your client progresses.
The STOTT PILATES® Injuries & Special Populations course provides the Pilates professional with information regarding injuries and conditions to various areas of the musculoskeletal system that will be valuable in any number of situations. Specialized post-rehab workshops, like The Knee: Stability and Function, will give you more specific information that can be applied in your case.