How Pilates and GYROTONIC® Help Arthritis Sufferers Move Again
By: Special Advertising Section
If you live with arthritis, you understand all too well how even the simplest movement can be painful. It’s often enough to make you want to stop moving altogether. Yet research shows that movement and exercise are essential tools in managing arthritis, as building stronger muscle around the joints is essential for increasing flexibility and endurance. Exercise is also a key factor in lubricating the joints and building cartilage.
The thing that makes a huge difference in managing arthritis through exercise is the kind of exercise you do. When incorporating movement with arthritis,
it’s crucial to maintain proper joint alignment while minimizing any potentially damaging forces. Pilates and Gyrotonic® stimulate joint surfaces, which is what makes them so effective in managing arthritis pain.
“Stimulating joint surfaces results in the production of synovial fluid,” says Ron Jegadeesh, physical therapist and Pilates instructor, and owner of Pilates Fitness & Physical Therapy Center in Southfield, “and synovial fluid is essentially the motor oil of the joints.”
Pilates, especially when using the reformer, is ideal because it works with structured, intentional, and informed movements. The Pilates reformer machine was developed as a rehabilitative tool to help strengthen muscles safely so they can more effectively support joints. It consists of a bed-like frame with a flat platform on it, called the carriage, which rolls back and forth on wheels within the frame. The carriage is attached to one end of the reformer by a set of springs that provide differing levels of resistance as the carriage moves along the frame. Rather than focusing on weight-bearing movements, body weight and the resistance of the springs make the carriage more or less challenging to move.
There are a wealth of exercises that can be performed on the reformer to promote length, strength, balance, and flexibility. The exercises allow those with arthritis to move their joints in safe and controlled angles that would otherwise create pain or discomfort. An individual’s work on the reformer can be tailored to meet their specific needs. “By working in a pain-free range of motion, our goal is to strengthen the muscles around the problem joint areas,” Jegadeesh says. “This, in turn, provides support when these joints are called upon to perform a task.”
Similarly, the movements incorporated in
Gyrotonic are designed to articulate the joints while strengthening the surrounding muscles. The Gyrotonic method incorporates original and unique movements to increase range of motion, improve strength, stimulate the nervous system, and open energy pathways. Each movement seamlessly flows into the next, so the joints progress through a natural range of motion without any compression or jarring.
In fact, with the first circular movement of Gyrotonic, joints are gently stretched and lubricated, creating space and allowing for delicate and rehabilitative movement. Meanwhile, the overall musculature is strengthened to protect and stabilize the joints.
Both Pilates and Gyrotonic allow for aligned movement and proper biomechanics in a low- or no-impact environment, giving those with arthritis the ability to move and rehabilitate their joints. The end result? More movement, less pain, and potentially slower progression of the arthritis. It’s truly a win-win-win.
Pilates Fitness &
Physical Therapy Center
Ron Jegadeesh, PT, M.B.A. Certified PMA, Polestar Pilates, STOTT PILATES®, GYROTONIC®, GYROKINESIS® Instructor
17418 W. 10 Mile Rd., Southfield, MI 48075 email@example.com pilatesfitnessevolution.com 248-552-1012