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The Benefit of Pilates for Arthritis

The Benefit of Pilates for Arthritis


Arthritis is a condition which affects a huge number of people throughout the world. There are a number of different forms of arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis. Arthritis causes increased inflammation of joints, wearing of the cartilage which covers joint surfaces and the formation of osteophytes which leads to an uneven joint surface. These joint changes in turn cause increased pain, stiffness, swelling and decreased strength of surrounding muscles. As of yet, there is no cure for arthritis but certain forms of exercises have proven to be effective in reducing the symptoms associated with arthritis.

Pilates is a form of exercise which focuses on control and quality of movement. Movements are smooth and controlled with no impact. Optimal joint and movement control is achieved by improving the strength of the core, scapular and gluteal muscle groups. By improving strength of our core muscle groups, improved biomechanics and control of our joints is achieved. Through repetition, endurance of these muscle groups is increased, meaning there is less load on stiff, irritated joint surfaces and overall posture and body movement gets better over time.

Pilates also centres around deep breathing and relaxation during movement. The more we breathe as we move, the better the circulation around the joints carrying increased nourishment and synovial fluid to the joint surfaces. This also often leads to an improved sense of well-being, decreased stress and improved sleep.

In summary the main benefits of pilates include:

  • Reduced joint pain and stiffness
  • Improved strength of muscles and ligaments surrounding affected joints
  • Maintenance of bone strength and quality
  • Improved balance and co-ordination
  • Improved posture and body mechanics
  • Increased joint range of motion
  • Increased energy throughout the day
  • Increased knowledge of suitable exercises to control and ease discomfort
  • Improved breathing and relaxation

If you have been experiencing symptoms associated with arthritis and have not found any form of exercise, which helps ease these symptoms, Pilates might be just what you need. If you are interested in finding out more, contact us here and book a free Pilates assessment. For more information on arthritis, check out the arthritis Ireland website here.

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