The Power of Pilates for Rehabilitation Purposes

29th January 2018

The Power of Pilates for Rehabilitation Purposes
The Power of Pilates for Rehabilitation Purposes

At the age of 12, Angela Hinton visited her grandfather in the hospital. She helped an elderly gentleman in the next bed to take a sip of his drink. Since then, she has wanted to help people and care for them.

22 years ago, she became a Chartered Physiotherapist, specialising in musculoskeletal injuries and rehabilitation. When she discovered a lot of her patients started to make significant improvements just by trying a few basic Pilates exercise, she wanted to learn more. So, 13 years ago, she qualified as a Pilates instructor.

She has enjoyed helping people every day; from working in hospitals for the NHS and Nuffield, to now, at her own private practice in Leeds. It’s amazing how pilates can transform a person’s physical and emotional well-being and how powerful it is for rehabilitation purposes.

The Challenge

A few months ago, she received a call from a gentleman asking her if she would visit his wife. She had been in the hospital for several months but, now she was home, she was struggling to independently transfer from her bed to the commode and get in and out of her walk-in shower. Her loss of mobility was having both a physical and emotional impact on her life.

After taking down the details of her medical condition, it was evident that she needed intense rehabilitation. Angela and the woman agreed that she would visit her three times per week for an hour and give her a home exercise programme to complete between visits.

The Solution

Angela began the woman’s rehabilitation with simple exercises, such as going from sitting on the bed to standing up. Over time, this progressed to walking with a Zimmer frame, to walking using just Angela’s hand for support.

Angela incorporated pilates exercise into the visits and worked on the functional difficulties. Using the Zimmer frame in front of her for confidence, the woman practised good posture management, drawing her navel to her backbone and lengthening. The woman soon progressed to more complicated exercises, such as arm floats, side bends and monkey squats.

The home exercise programme included the use of the treadmill and various pilates accessories, such as full and half foam rollers, pilates circles, ball and thera bands. With a steely determination, the lady completed single and double knee folds, knee drops, single and double leg spine curls, front and side planks and exercise such as clam, swimming legs, leg sweep, foot pedals and more.

Angela assessed her progress on each visit so that she could tailor the exercises to target her instability and weaknesses.

The Result

At each visit, Angela saw huge progress. This was mainly due to the lady’s determination and execution of her exercise programme when Angela wasn’t there. One could say she was the perfect patient!

After just a month of rehabilitation, the woman had gained enough power to use the stairs. A few weeks ago, the consultant was amazed at the progress when she walked into the room!

There are still a couple of weak areas that need to be concentrated on using pilates, but Angela feels she will make a full recovery.

Testominial from the patient
“To my angel (or Miss Whiplash as I sometimes refer to you)
Angela, I will never be able to thank you enough for playing such a big part in helping me to move on from a very bad place in my life. Not only did you help so much in my physical improvement, but also spiritually.
I don’t know who sent you to me, but I will be forever grateful. I know you will say you were only doing your job, but you did so much more!”

Angela Linton
Physiotherapist/Health and Safety Trainer
Supplied By: Angela Linton