Injury Recovery

Sprains and strains are common injuries affecting the muscles and ligaments. Most can be treated at home. Start with RICE therapy for the first 48 hours:

Rest – Stop any exercise or activities and try not to put any weight on the injury.
Ice – Apply an ice pack (such as a bag of frozen peas in a tea towel) to the injury for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.
Compression – Wrap a bandage around the injury to support it.
Elevate – Keep it raised on a pillow as much as possible.

While treating with RICE, avoid heat, alcohol and massages. Painkillers like paracetamol will ease the pain and ibuprofen will bring down swelling – but avoid the later for 48 hours after your injury as it may slow down healing.

As soon as it is not too painful, start moving the injured area so that the joint or muscle doesn’t become stiff. Too much rest can cause your muscles too shrink and scar tissue to form. However, be cautious, because doing too much strenuous exercise too soon could make your injury worse.

After two weeks, most sprains and strains will feel better. Continue to avoid strenuous exercise, such as running for up to 8 weeks, to avoid the risk of further damage. Severe sprains and strains can take months to get back to normal.

Seek medical help if the injury is not getting any better or is getting worse.

See the NHS website for more information.

Quote: Concentrate on the correct movement…

Here’s a quote from Joseph Pilates about the need to concentrate in order to perform the exercises correctly so as to benefit from them.

“Concentrate on the correct movement each time you exercise, lest you do them improperly and thus lose all the vital benefits. Correctly executed and mastered to the point of subconscious reaction, these exercises will reflect grace and balance in your routine activities.”

Online Pilates Classes

Whilst I always recommend that Pilates is best done under the instruction of a qualified teacher, you may wish to do some extra practice at home or away, Here are a couple of online subscription services (others available), which offer a range of classes you can do on demand. Both have free trials, so you can see whether you like them before you have to pay.

Pilates Central

Developed by Body Control Pilates (my teaching association) in 2018. New videos issued monthly. Discount for those attending my classes!

Pilates Anytime

US based and has been running for some time. Wide range of videos and audio only option available.

Quote: every moment of our life…

Here’s a quote for those who are just getting starting with Pilates. Joseph Pilates said:

Every moment of our life can be the beginning of great things.

I started Pilates in 1999 and have been doing it ever since. Joe was still teaching when he died at the age of 83. I don’t know whether I’ll still be teaching at that age, or even reach it, but I hope to still be doing Pilates for many years to come.

Pilates celebs: Winnie Harlow

Winnie Harlow is an international model from Canada who suffers from vitiligo, a skin pigment disease. She has teamed up with Burt’s Bees for their campaign #BringBackTheBees.

In an interview last year she says “…keep pushing for it, no matter what it is or what people think about it. If it’s your dream, never settle.” On fitness she says “Pilates is a lot of fun too” – I couldn’t agree more!

Read the full article in Vogue.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a condition where the spine curves sideways, in a ‘C’ or an ‘S’ shape, and the spine can twist at the same time. Symptoms vary significantly from person to person, so treatment depends entirely on the individual.

The British Chiropractic Association recommends avoid being stationary at a desk for more than forty minutes at a time, and to ensure good posture while working.

Pilates exercises can benefit those with scoliosis and are best done under the supervision of a certified teacher with relevant knowledge. Read this article from Spectator Health.

The NHS has a free video with exercises for scoliosis. It covers:

For these exercises, focus on creating as much symmetry in your body as you can. Do up to 8 repetitions of each, identify your weaker side and do an extra 8 on that side.

  • Standing pelvic tilt
  • Standing side bend
  • Semi-supine level your shoulders and hips
  • Supine hip hitching (slide alternate legs along the floor away from  you)
  • Pull knees to chest to stretch lower back
  • Chicken wing arms with
    • pelvic tilts while squeezing glut’s
    • spine curls
    • spine curls on one leg (the other in single knee fold)
  • Pull knees to chest to stretch lower back and circle them
  • Side-lying with legs bent
    • Oysters
    • Large leg circles in parallel with foot flexed (both directions)
  • Sitting with crossed-legs
    • Spine twists
    • Back bend, supported by hands on the floor behind your back

Pilates celebs: Pierce Brosnan

Pierce Brosnan, recently revealed that he has taken up Pilates to keep fit and has invested in a reformer/trapeze combo. See https://twitter.com/piercebrosnan?lang=en.

The large Pilates equipment has springs to provide either assistance or resistance helping to make the exercises more effective more quickly. If you’d like to try a workout, I have a reformer, trapeze table (cadillac), ladder barrel and wunda chair in my studio. Contact me for an appointment.

Level 4 Certificate in Instructing Pilates Matwork

Body Control Pilates is unique in having an Ofqual-ratified ‘Level 4 Pilates’ qualification. This demonstrates that a teacher has advanced knowledge and the skills to assess and develop specific programmes for a broad range of clients, including those from special populations.

I am delighted to announce that I achieved my Level 4 certificate in August 2018.

To gain this award, I had to demonstrate competence in repetoire beyond intermediate level, study special populations (older adult and bone health), movement, adaptations and produce a detailed case study for a client including an initial assessment, goal setting, an 8-week lesson plan and review.

It has been a challenging course which has encouraged me to think differently about the combination of joint and movement strategies in the exercises that I teach; not just which joints we are moving and which we are holding still, but in more detail about the muscle groups in use and the forces of gravity as we perform the same movements in different positions.