As the clinical lead of a private clinic specialising in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, I regularly recommend to patients that they would benefit from attending a Pilates class at least once a week. Whether to improve their posture, strengthen weak areas of the body or help with injuries, Pilates really can complement what physiotherapists do.
So how was Physiotherapy conceived?
Early physicians like Hippocrates and Galen are believed to have been the first practitioners of physical therapy, advocating massage, manual therapy techniques and hydrotherapy to treat people in 460 BC. The earliest documented origins of physiotherapy as a profession date back to Per Henrik Ling the “Father of Swedish Gymnastics,” who founded the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics (RCIG) in 1813 for manipulation and exercise. Within the UK the first origins of physiotherapy were in 1894 when four nurses created a professional and regulatory body for physiotherapists and masseuses, which later became The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and is still the professional body for Physiotherapy.
Physiotherapy, as it’s recognisable today, was developed in the UK in the 19th and 20th century. Surgeons started to employ people who were trained in ‘physical education, remedial massage and exercise’ to treat individuals following surgery. This was then developed further during World Wars I and II to rehabilitate and restore physical function to wounded soldiers. As physiotherapy developed during the 20th century it became more scientific and widespread within the medical community – clinics, hospitals and sports clubs all started to employ in house physiotherapists to improve the care available to members of the community.
How could physiotherapy help?
Modern physiotherapy is the science of diagnosing and treating injuries or diseases mostly through physical means. Aims of the profession include reducing pain and dysfunction by using evidence based techniques. Physiotherapists can help people of all ages from infants to the elderly. Specialist areas of physiotherapy include musculoskeletal, orthopaedics, respiratory, neurology, sports injuries and women’s/men’s health, to name a few.
Physiotherapists use a variety of techniques to aid in physical rehabilitation:
- Manual therapy such gentle hands on mobilisation of a joint to ease pain and restore movement
- Muscle stretching
- Exercise therapy to improve strength and restore movement patterns
- Supportive strapping / taping
- Acupuncture which can help with pain relief and improve muscular tightness
- Electrotherapy such as ultrasound to aid with tissue / cell healing
- Biomechanical or postural analysis to identify issues which may be contributing to your discomfort
Why is Pilates important?
I believe that Pilates is an excellent way of restoring strength and control through a variety of controlled movements, especially through your core and trunk. Think of your trunk as your bodies ‘powerhouse’ that supports all the movements you will do in daily life – from running / jumping right through to lifting a cup of tea! Pilates can complement physiotherapy when core strength weakness can be a contributing factor in injury or dysfunction. For some patients, it can be a great way to regularly build strength and reduce risk of injuries returning, after initial physiotherapy management.
If you’d like further information how we could help you, then you can contact us here.