...building beautiful bendy bodiesTM

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An Introduction

Osteoporosis is bone loss or “thinning” of the bones. The early stage of bone loss is referred to as Osteopenia, and research shows that more fractures occur during the Osteopenia stage than in the Osteoporosis stage.
Treat bone loss seriously. A quarter of all men and half of all women over 50 will break a bone due to Osteoporosis. Get a DXA scan if you have not had one yet. A DXA scan is a special type of x-ray that measures the amount of bone you have in your body. A proper reading of your DXA scan is essential for the accurate diagnosis and treatment of Osteopenia and Osteoporosis.
Exercise is good for osteoporosis, however, you should check with your doctor before you start any exercise programme to confirm that it is suitable for you.

Read more: Osteoporosis and Pilates

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Foam roller massage

The following video demonstrates some fantastic massages that you can give yourself using a foam roller.
The foam roller is great for pain relief from stiff, sore muscle groups.

Areas covered include:
  • thighs (including IT band) and calves
  • hips
  • back
  • shoulders
  • neck

Read more: Pilates stretches and massages

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Mechanical Back Pain

It is generally accepted that mechanical back pain is simply the name given to any type of back pain which is as a result of bad postural habits caused by sitting incorrectly, pregnancy, repetitive and incorrect ways of lifting and bending in the workplace, continually carrying a child on one hip and so on.

Lifestyle changes should correct this back pain, for example taking regular Pilates classes. Stretching, strengthening, realigning and rebalancing the body through a series of Pilates exercises should correct imbalances, postural and poor flexibility issues which are often the starting point for mechanical back pain. In Pilates classes we seek to strengthen and stretch out the muscles of the pelvis, lower & upper back, hips, core abdominals and gluteals.

Sciatica / Piriformis syndrome

The sciatic nerve is the largest peripheral nerve in the body. It starts around the lower back and runs down the back of the leg. Sciatica is a condition that some people have when there is pressure on the sciatica nerve.

Read more: Back Pain and Sciatica

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Why should I exercise my pelvic floor muscles?

  • To prevent stress incontinence, that is, the inability to control the movements of the bowel, bladder or both when those muscles are put under strain e.g. in the form of coughing, sneezing, running, jumping, skipping and so on.
  • To help prevent prolapse
  • To improve your sex life after child birth and surgery

 

Read more: The Pelvic Floor

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The small ball is probably my most favourite piece of equipment with which to practise Pilates as not only does it helps to keep the spine in neutral, it also prevents the tendency to squeeze the buttock muscles instead of the pelvic floor.

Before you start...

there are a few things you should be aware of in order to get the most out of these exercises. 
  • Try and maintain a neutral pelvis. In other words, don't clench your buttock muscles or try and tilt or "tuck" your pelvis under
  • Use the small ball as your guide. If you are standing doing these exercises with the small ball between your knees and you clench the buttock muscles and tuck your pelvis under, chances are the ball will shoot out from between your knees. That will teach you that you are definitely doing the exercise incorrectly!

Read more: Pelvic floor exercises

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  • Have you had knee surgery?
  • Do you suffer from knee pain?
  • Are you constantly tearing ligaments in your knees?

Understanding your Knees

A Pilates programme on the Reformer will optimize knee function. To help you understand how to help your knees, it is important to understand the way your knees work.

The Knee Joint

The knee is a hinge joint and its primary function is flexion and extension. The knee joint lacks what we call intrinsic stability and so therefore it relies on the ligaments and muscles which surround the knee for support. An imbalance in the ligament and/or muscle strength will affect the function of the knee.

Read more: Pilates for Knees

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