Professional Category: Physical Therapy
Pilates Fitness & Physical Therapy Center seeks to support the health needs of women throughout each individual’s lifespan, restoring the body to its maximum function and most efficient state. We are a full-service physical therapy office, and we offer traditional as well as Pilates-based physical therapy. In addition, we have group classes as well as private training in Pilates and GYROTONIC™. Some of the women’s health needs we focus on are:
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
According to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, more than 25 percent of women will experience some sort of pelvic floor disorder during their lifetime. The study found that pelvic floor disorders affect about 10 percent of women ages 20 to 39, 27 percent of women ages 40 to 59, 37 percent of women ages 60 to 79, and nearly half of women age 80 or older. Addressing pelvic floor dysfunction – which may have roots in pregnancy, osteoporosis, surgery in the pelvic region, endometriosis, or even heavy lifting – is important because it affects so many women.
Common symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction include urinary or bowel incontinence, lower back pain, or pelvic pain. Although many women have these symptoms, they often go untreated. Ron Jegadeesh, P.T., M.B.A., and owner of Pilates Fitness & Physical Therapy Center, explains why: “It’s a combination of women thinking these symptoms are a normal part of aging, and a lack of awareness of pelvic floor dysfunction amongst health professionals. These symptoms aren’t normal and can significantly affect a person’s quality of life.”
Luckily, the symptoms can improve with physical therapy.
Pilates-based physical therapy helps to strengthen and relax the pelvic floor muscles, bringing them back into balance. Jegadeesh and his staff educate patients on the proper way to engage the core, inner thighs, back muscles, and pelvic floor, resulting in improved function in all types of movement.
Breathing is also an important way to improve pelvic floor health. Simply focusing on moving the diaphragm up and down during respiration can improve pelvic floor function, Jegadeesh says.
Pre- and Post-Natal
“Gentle exercise is important for maintaining prenatal strength and flexibility,” Jegadeesh explains. “Pilates helps keep the back and abdominals strong, allowing for a more comfortable and easy delivery.”
Pilates is easily modified for the pregnant client. Contraindicated exercises may include lying on the back and excessive flexion after a certain point in pregnancy. Many exercises can be done seated or sidelying, and can still achieve similar results.
After delivery, Pilates can help rehabilitate pelvic floor dysfunction, correct a diastasis recti (splitting of the abdominals), or improve scar tissue from a C-section. It can also help correct muscle imbalances that occur when a woman is caring for – and carrying around – an infant.
Always be sure to check with your doctor before beginning a Pilates program while pregnant, and always get cleared to exercise post-partum.
Many clients come in suffering from varying degrees of bone density loss. Osteoporosis is what happens when the dynamic tissue of the bone becomes porous, causing the bone to weaken and become brittle. Once the bone is weakened, a fall or even mild stress on bone, like bending over or coughing, can cause a fracture. Fractures are most common in the hip, wrist, and spine. While anyone can contract osteoporosis, the disease is most common in women over 50.
Studies have shown that exercise is important for osteoporosis prevention. Since falls are the major cause of injury, alignment and balance are key areas to work on. Alignment is the principal focus of Pilates, which explains why it can be an effective tool to help prevent and manage osteoporosis.
With osteoporosis, the areas that need the most strengthening are the hip, spine, and wrists. Most Pilates exercises specifically target these areas, especially the core. It’s also good to focus on strengthening the back and shoulders, hips, and deep core muscles to take pressure off the spine. Women diagnosed with osteoporosis should always work in neutral positions and pay special attention to proper alignment. It’s also important to incorporate standing exercises into the workout, as the bones need vertical force in order to rebuild.
Pilates Fitness & Physical Therapy Center offers massage therapy services and accepts auto, workers’ compensation, and other insurance plans with a physician’s prescription. Individual classes are available for clients who want to achieve a pain-free lifestyle and optimal health, and experience physical well-being throughout their lives.
Ron Jegadeesh PT, MBA,
Certified PMA, Polestar Pilates, Stott Pilates, GYROTONIC™, GYROKINESIS™ Instructor