Joint pain and Pilates go hand in hand because one of the biggest benefits of the exercise is the ability for it to strengthen muscles and increase joint flexibility. If you have joint pain, you probably think you can't exercise because it would cause further injury or cause you to feel more pain during and after the exercise. That is not the case with Pilates' low impact and low intensity workouts.
The Causes of Joint Pain
Many times, misalignment due to wear and tear on the body is a cause of joint pain. Joints can lose elasticity and flexibility. Due to this decrease in joint range of motion, people suffer from injuries or chronic pain.
Athletes and Joint Pain
Athletes suffer from joint pain because of strenuous workouts. In conventional exercising, people place a lot of strain on their muscles and joints without keeping the rest of the body balanced. This increases the risk for joint injuries resulting in joint pain. To prevent injuries, exercises that target muscle groups and stretch the joints are best.
Arthritis is another common reason for joint pain. Many people who suffer from this condition believe there's nothing they can do about it except take medication. However, some forms of exercise can help decrease the pain associated with arthritis and the amount of medication needed.
Joint Pain and Pilates: Helping the Pain
Don't live in pain any longer, try Pilates to help decrease and prevent joint pain.
The Benefits of Pilates
The joint pain and Pilates connection has grown due to the increased knowledge of this beneficial type of workout. Pilates is a low impact and low intensity type of workout. The movements are easy on the joints, making it possible for people of all ages with or without pain to participate in the workouts.
The mind-body connection in Pilates is important. You will learn how you can teach your mind to control your body's movements. This will help you increase flexibility, strength, and balance. Once you have done Pilates for a while, you will increase your range of motion and prevent further damage to your joints.
Pilates focuses on balancing the core of your body to improve posture. You strengthen and stretch your spine, knees, hips, and shoulders during a workout. Besides improving your range of motion, posture, and flexibility, you will also increase circulation and abdominal strength. The movements are controlled and done slowly to maximize the effectiveness on the muscle groups and joints.
Pilates Instruction and DVDs
Due to the mind and body components of the workout, one of the best ways to gain the full benefits of Pilates is through a class. The instructor will be able to guide you through the breathing techniques along with the movements. Check out community centers in your area for information on Pilates' classes.
If you do not have classes available, Pilates DVDs are the next best thing. You'll find many to choose from, but you might want to start out with a beginner's DVD if you have never done it before. Some movements can be difficult and complex, so you don't want to start out at an advanced level and not be able to keep up.
If you are interested in purchasing your Pilates DVDs online, here are some sites to check out:
A Word of Caution
Take it easy when you start working out. Your body is not familiar with the movements and you don't want to strain and cause further pain. Practice the movements slowly at first until you fully understand how to do them correctly. If at any time, you feel pain or are straining too much to do a movement, stop immediately.
Anytime you begin a new exercise routine, you should speak to your physician. Your doctor will be able to tell you which movements you can do and which ones you should avoid. Even though Pilates is low impact and low intensity, there may be moves you should avoid due to prior injuries.
Remember to have fun and treat your Pilates workout as a time to be with your mind and body. Life can get out of control sometimes, make time to take back that control and live a healthy, happy and joint pain free life.