Pilates for MS and Other Neurological Conditions
How can Pilates help people with neurological conditions?
Neuro-Pilates is an exercise and rehabilitation approach that can provide positive relief to individuals who are suffering with conditions that affect their neurological system.
Pilates includes core exercises for stabilization, balance, back and spine strengthening that improves posture, and dynamic flexibility that relieves muscle spasticity. It can also help to loosen up stiff joints and muscles and provide relaxation. Pilates is frequently used in physical therapy sessions to address problem areas and help improve people’s abilities to carry out a normal life.
Specific exercise programs are designed on an individualized basis to improve walking ability and stamina; the ability to use arms while sitting and standing; and providing improvements in ease of movement. All these factors help improve people’s daily lives and routines.
Benefits of Pilates reported by some of our neurological patients:
- Improved arm and leg control
- Reduction in joint pain
- Reduction in muscle tightness and tension
- Improved balance in sitting for longer periods
- Improved walking and balance in standing
- Reduced muscle spasticity
- Improved mood & positive outlook
- Increased motivation & confidence
- Less stressed & improved sleep
Pilates is a wonderful tool for individuals of any age for the purpose of neurological rehabilitation. Referred to as Neuro-Pilates, this specialized program can be used to help with neurological conditions at any stage of the injury / disease process. Exercises are tailored to meet the needs of each individual providing a safe and functional workout with the benefits of effective rehabilitation.
Studio owner, Patricia Baiano, has completed the advanced training program “Pilates for MS™ and Other Neurological Conditions” earning the certificate of “Specialist in Pilates-Based Exercise for Multiple Sclerosis.” She now dedicates her teaching to help clients with MS, Traumatic Brain Injury, Ataxia, stroke and other neurological disorders overcome its most common symptoms, including balance difficulties, weakness, muscle spasticity, gait abnormalities, as well as the principles and applications of neuromuscular rehabilitation and neuroplasticity exercise.
Recent studies have concluded that:
“In MS, Pilates can improve posture, boost the immune system, reduce stress, increase energy and bone density, improve circulation and respiration, improve muscle tone and balance. Pilates is ideal for someone with MS as many of the exercises are done lying down and they are all non-impact and non-weight bearing.” (multiple sclerosis resource centre website www.msrc.co.uk)
“…participation in the Pilates component of the study led to improved static and dynamic balance.” (Bird, Hill and Fell. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Jan;93(1):43-9. Epub 2011 Oct 5)
“…individuals can improve their muscular endurance and flexibility using relatively low-intensity Pilates exercises that do not require equipment or a high degree of skill and are easy to master.” (Kloubec. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Mar; 24(3):661-7)
“Experimental research has produced evidence in recent years underlying the beneficial effects that exercise can have in preventing and deceleration of the development of Parkinson’s disease.” Alonso-French; Sanahuja; Rodriguez AM. Neurologist. 2011 Nov;17(6 Suppl 1):S47-53).
We recommend Neuro-Pilates clients practice in the studio four times per week with a minimum requirement of two times per week. Clients are asked to commitment to performing homework exercises at home on all other days. In home visits are possible with an additional fee for travel time and expenses. We also ask that a care-taker or Home Health Aid be present for all sessions to learn the homework program to assist the client. Frequent repetition of functional movement exercises is a major component in Neuroplasty success and client progress.