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Pilates for osteoarthritis

11th March, 2017

Osteoarthritis physiotherapy in Cambridge

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis affecting our joints.

It’s sometimes called ‘wear and tear’ arthritis but I think this is a misnomer as joint wear is a normal consequence of daily activity. Osteoarthritis actually develops when our joint repair processes are insufficient to cope with the stresses and strains passing through them. So it’s probably more accurate to call it a ‘wear and repair’ problem.

Pain, swelling and limited joint movement can all be features of osteoarthritis and although there’s no magic bullet a combination of exercise and lifestyle changes, including medication, can significantly reduce pain and help you to continue your normal activities.

Pilates is ideal form of exercise for people suffering with osteoarthritis as it’s low impact and focuses on muscle strength, control, posture and precise, aligned joint movement.

Here are three of our favourite pilates exercises for osteoarthritis of the spine:

Scissors level 1

 

Exercise for osteoarthritis

 

  • Breathe in to prepare.
  • Breathe out to tighten your abdominals gently and float up one leg to 90 degrees
  • Pause and breathe in
  • Breathe out to lower your leg again and repeat on the opposite side – 8 times each side

Pelvic tilts in kneeling

 

stretch for the lower back

 

  • Breathe out to tuck your tailbone under and curve through your spine
  • Hold and breathe in
  • Breathe out and relax your spine and draw your shoulders into the back of your body
  • Hold and breathe in – repeat 10 times

Bridge

 

Physio exercise for osteoarthritis in Cambridge

 

  • Breathe in to prepare.
  • Breathe out to curl up your tailbone and ‘peel’ your spine bone by bone away from the floor
  • Breathe in to hold and stretch the front of your hips
  • Breathe out to sink through your breastbone and melt down into your lower back, tailbone coming down last – repeat 8 times

A programme tailored to your own specific movement restrictions and weaknesses will give you the best results and physios who teach pilates are experts at modifying the exercises to offload sore, stiff joints to allow everyone to enjoy the benefits.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions,

The Pilatesfit Team!