Pilates After Surgery

Pilates after Surgery at Pilates Central

Pilates makes a good choice for people rehabilitating following various types of surgery. It addresses specific challenges that people face when recovering from surgery, as well as helping them gradually increase fitness at a time when they may otherwise be fairly sedentary.

Pilates after abdominal surgery builds the abdominal muscles

– and cut the risk of hernias or back pain

One of the biggest concerns when recovering from abdominal surgery is how best to rebuild abdominal muscles once someone has received the all-clear from their doctor to start exercising again.

Surgeons have to cut through the tummy muscles and fibrous bands in the abdominal wall in order to perform this type of surgery. As a result, there is usually a long-term weakness in the abdominal muscles. Not only may this affect the appearance of the abdomen but it may also lead to an increased risk of developing a hernia or lower back pain from a lack of core strength.

Pilates is ideal for slowly beginning to rebuild core strength. Our teachers are able to create a tailored exercise regime to suit the needs of each individual, reflecting, of course, the specific type of surgery performed and the best way to rebuild the muscles affected.

Pilates after hip or knee replacement

Pilates is considered an excellent form of rehabilitation exercise following a joint replacement such as the hip or knee. It helps to address any weakness, stiffness and balance issues, while also helping the person concerned to get used to their new replacement joint. Exercises are performed in a slow and controlled manner allowing any necessary adjustments or modifications to be made.

Unfortunately, many people learn bad habits while waiting to have surgery due to dealing with symptoms such as stiffness or pain in the joint.

One of the major benefits of Pilates for people who have had joint replacement surgery is that Pilates allows them to learn and rebuild movement in the joint as well as the body as a whole. This is important for restoring alignment in the body as well as creating good posture and strengthening weak muscles.

Pilates after knee surgery, such as ACL reconstruction

Even if you have not had the joint replaced but have instead had knee surgery, Pilates can help to aid rehabilitation post-surgery. For example, people who have had ACL (Anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction benefit from strengthening the muscles around the knee joint.

Pilates, particularly on the reformer, allows this to be done in a way that means there is lighter resistance on the joint than with other forms of exercise.

In addition, because Pilates works on the body as a whole, the whole lower half of the body becomes aligned and strengthened. This helps with creating better balance and posture, thus stabilising the knee and helping to prevent injury in the future.

Get in touch

We would be happy to help you find out if Pilates might help you with your recovery following surgery. Call us on 020 7288 8080 or use our contact form to drop us a line and we’ll get back to you.

As always, it is advisable to ask a doctor before starting any exercise regime.




Pilates in Old Age

Pilates in Old Age

Pilates is ideal for older people as it can provide a safe effective workout in largely reclining or sitting positions. Most Pilates exercises are low-impact and partially weight-bearing, which is good for the prevention of osteoporosis, the brittle-bone disease. The gentle routines build strength and improve posture, flexibility and agility. They are also good for balance, another plus for the fall-prone elderly, and correct breathing is encouraged, which reduces stress and anxiety.

Broadcaster Joan Bakewell started doing Pilates 13 years ago, when she was in her 60s. She chose it because it’s easy:

“I wanted something that didn’t expose my own efforts to ridicule and contempt,” she says. “That is, I had to be able to do it. Two other things; I didn’t want exercises that left me puffing and red in the face, nor did I want to pound machines. What I wanted was subtlety, thoughtfulness and my own place in a quiet and peaceful setting.”

Bakewell cites a tremendous sense of well-being as one of the main benefits of Pilates. But there’s more: “It is wonderful for injuries,” she says. “And rehabilitation of patients is quicker, easier and less costly if they are basically fit and able.”

Probably the best advertisement for the programme is its founder, Joseph Pilates, who was lively, active and still teaching until his death – from a fire at his studio – at the age of 87.

Neck and shoulders problems

We spend hours each day hunched over computers and steering wheels, slumped on trains, sofas and bar stools, rounding our shoulders and inadvertently helping to cause the musculo-skeletal disorders that are such a feature of modern life. Once damage has been done, even reaching for something on a high shelf can be painful.

It doesn’t have to stay that way. We rely on good muscle balance and strong ligaments to keep the shoulder joint stable, and Pilates exercises can improve body awareness and posture, strengthen muscles and achieve free-flowing movement, thereby reducing the chance of developing shoulder pain caused by poor posture or repetitive activity, or helping to heal a chronic complaint.

Everyday anxiety is a problem, too. When we are stressed, the first place we feel it is in the neck and upper shoulders. Because these tensions can build up with time and contribute to muscle imbalances, simple relaxation is the first of the eight principles of the Pilates method.

Give us a call for a no obligation chat about how you can benefit from a tailored programme of Pilates sessions.

Back Pain, Back Problems and Postural Problems


Pilates Provides Exercises To Help Lower Back Pain, General Back Health and Good Posture

One of the key advantages of Pilates is that it offers relief from lower back pain. Lower back pain is an extremely common health problem that is difficult to solve. Pilates offers a solution via lower back pain exercises.

Back problems are only made worse by our tendency towards sedentary and desk-based lifestyles. Unsurprisingly, back problems are the single most common reason that our clients give for attending Pilates Central.

At least three in five of us can expect to suffer back pain at some point in our lives. Many of the treatments offered by conventional medicine address the symptoms rather than the underlying cause. Yet it doesn’t need to be this way. Pilates provides a stronger, healthier back and better posture, which in turn provides the best long-term solution to the most common kinds of back problems. Or, as a headline in The Times (above) declared recently: “Pilates not painkillers the best cure for backache”.

Celebrities ranging from the actress Jennifer Aniston to tennis star Andy Murray have praised Pilates for helping their back problems and improving the health of their backs.

The Advantages of Pilates for Addressing Back Pain Issues

Pilates can both alleviate existing back problems and prevent future ones by straightening the spine and improving posture. It does so both by strengthening core muscles and by improving awareness of how the way that we move can stress the spine. In addition, good posture is both crucial to the health of your back and central to Pilates. The combination of core strength, flexibility and balance, which Pilates promotes, leads to good posture.

Learn to stand straight and you will breathe better and digest your food more efficiently. You will also walk taller, feel slimmer and look longer, leaner and younger. Place your bones correctly and you’ll get the right muscles working, supporting your joints rather than stressing them. Stand properly and you will also maintain the natural balance and correct length of your muscles.

Poor posture, on the other hand, can cause many problems – ranging from lower back pain to the sort of rounded shoulders and stooped appearance which can come with age – of the kind that end up being treated by physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors.

Joseph Pilates discovered that if he hollowed his navel back towards his spine, his back felt protected. He was using the deep postural muscles to stabilize the spine and achieve what physiotherapists now call ‘core stability’. This strong centre forms the basis of the Pilates technique, providing the support that your body needs to function properly and freely.

If in doubt, it’s always best to check with your doctor before embarking on any fitness programme, but remember what Joseph Pilates told his clients: ‘You are as old as your spine’. Keep yours healthy by building strength from the inside out.

To find out more about how Pilates could help alleviate lower back pain through specialist lower back pain exercises, give us a call.

Who Benefits from Pilates? Pilates is for All!

From combating ageing to pain-averting lower back exercises…

Pilates offers something for everyone. It is still popular with dancers, gymnasts and athletes, but it is equally suitable for most men and women. From nine to 90 and beyond, it truly suits all. In fact, some people are surprised that almost a third of our clients are male. Many of our clients come to us because of back pain and benefit from learning lower back exercises. Whereas other clients want to change their shape or improve their flexibility.

Pilates is particularly suitable for…

  • The middle-aged and elderly
  • The desk-bound and inactive
  • The pregnant and post-natal
  • Those needing Pre- and post-operative strengthening
  • Those referred by their doctor, physio, osteopath, chiropractor or other practitioner

And for those who suffer…

  • Back pain, back-ache and other back problems
  • Scoliosis/curvature of the spine
  • Poor posture and rounded shoulders
  • Neck and shoulder pains or problems
  • Stiffness, joint pains and muscle pains, whether caused by arthritis/ osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia or other health problems
  • Injuries: sports injuries and others
  • RSI
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Whiplash
  • Stress

So how does Pilates help such a wide range of problems and age groups?

Pilates focuses on the whole body and works on strengthening the core. In doing so, the knock-on effect to the rest of the body is immense. Pilates offers a holistic fitness approach to a number of concerns. Not only does it help to relieve current body imbalances in terms of muscle and bone problems, but it helps to prevent future ones from developing. As we age this is really important. The lengthening and strengthening aspect of Pilates helps to keep people supple. Again this is another important aspect of combating the ageing process. The positive result of the internal, and invisible, aspect of Pilates’s benefits is that your shape changes to become leaner and you also develop a better posture. So ultimately you not only feel better, but look better too.

Don’t be fooled into thinking you are too old, as these benefits are not isolated to a specific age group! They can be achieved by anyone who is prepared to dedicate themselves to regularly attending Pilates classes at Pilates Central. To find out more about attending the studio and how we can help you to achieve the results you have been reading about, give us a call. You can find our telephone number on our contact page.

For answers to more frequently asked questions, please see our FAQs page.