Finding the right form of exercise that is not only bearable, but also beneficial for people with arthritis can be tricky. However, Pilates is proven to be a great option.
Derived from the Greek words arthritis means joint inflammation with ‘arthro’ meaning joint and ‘itis’ meaning inflammation. There are different types of arthritis including, Osteo, Rheumatoid arthritis, Gout, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Lupus and Scleroderma – all of which Pilates can assist in. Pilates will provide a joint friendly workout as it helps reduce joint pain and stiffness and increase flexibility, muscle strength and endurance. By speaking with your Pilates Instructor and letting them know of your arthritis, they can easily adjust your session with different exercises to suit your joints and help assist as part of your own comprehensive arthritis treatment plan.
To give you an idea, here are some of the arthritis friendly exercises and stretches performed in our Pilates classes. Some of which can also be done in the comfort of your own home.
Stretching in particular benefits those with arthritis as it lubricates, enhances and maintains range of motion in the joints. However, if you practise some of these stretches at home, there are some precautions to consider before adding them into your stretching routine – it is always best to avoid stretching cold muscles and use dynamic/active stretching as a warm up.
You should also start off small when including these exercises and stretches into your routine. With the help and guidance from your pilates instructor you will preserve and increase, overtime, the range of movement in the joint. Instructors will also introduce props that will assist and create great alignment, make sure the tempo of your movement is fluid (too fast ruins alignment, too slow stresses the joints), and adjust your exercises to a light resistance to keep you pain free and increase resistance if you are pain free.
There are also some other forms of therapy that can help assist pain and inflammation. We’ll include them here, but always ask your GP, specialist or pilates instructor to ensure you’re using the right form of therapy specific and most helpful to you.
If you are living with arthritis and want to discover how Pilates can help book in for a Pilates Body Assessment. We are offering them free to any new client! Learn more here.