Achilles Tendon Rupture – Diagnosis, Treatment and Pilate’s for Rehabilitation

The Achilles tendon is the confluence of the independent tendons of the gastrocnemius and soleus, which fuse to achilles_backandsideviewbecome the Achilles tendon
approximately 5 to 6 cm proximal to its insertion on the posterior surface of the calcaneus.
The gastrocnemius and soleus muscles, via the Achilles tendon, function as the chief plantarflexors of the ankle joint. This musculotendinous unit provides the primary propulsive force for walking, running, and jumping. The normal Achilles tendon can withstand repetitive loads near its ultimate tensile strength, which approach 6 to 8 times body weight [1].

Complete Achilles tendon ruptures occur most commonly at the mid-substance, but also distally at the insertion site or proximally at the myotendinous junction. These can be traumatic and devastating injuries, resulting in significant pain, disability, and healthcare cost. As many as 2.5 million individuals sustain Achilles tendon ruptures each year and the incidence is rising [2]. This trend is due, in part, to an increase in athletic participation across individuals of all ages.

Achilles tendon rupture is when the achilles tendon breaks. The achilles is the most commonly injured tendon. achilles_tendon_ruptureRupture can occur while performing actions requiring explosive acceleration, such as pushing off or jumping. For a 150 lb person the amount of muscle force that would have to be generated to rupture the Achilles (excluding external trauma forces) would be 900 – 1200 lbs. The male to female ratio for Achilles tendon rupture varies between 7:1 and 4:1 across various studies.

The Achilles tendon is most commonly injured by sudden plantarflexion or dorsiflexion of the ankle, or by forced  dorsiflexion of the ankle outside its normal range of motion. Other mechanisms by which the Achilles can be torn involve sudden direct trauma to the tendon.  Some other common tears can occur from overuse while participating in intense sports. Twisting or jerking motions can also contribute to injury.

Most cases of Achilles tendon rupture are traumatic sports injuries. The average age of patients is 29–49 years with a male-to-female ratio of nearly 20:1.

Diagnosis is made by clinical history; typically people say it feels like being kicked or shot behind the ankle. Upon examination a gap may be felt just above the heel unless swelling has filled the gap. Walking will usually be severely impaired, as the patient will be unable to step off the ground using the injured leg. The patient will also be unable to stand up on the toes of that leg, and pointing the foot downward (plantarflexion) will be impaired. Pain may be severe, and swelling is common.  Sometimes an ultrasound scan may be required to clarify or confirm the diagnosis. MRI can also be used to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment options for an Achilles tendon rupture include surgical and non-surgical approaches. Among the medical profession opinions are divided what is to be preferred.

Non-surgical management traditionally consisted of restriction in a plaster cast for six to eight weeks with the foot pointed downwards (to oppose the ends of the ruptured tendon). But recent studies have produced superior results with much more rapid rehabilitation in fixed or hinged boots. Some surgeons feel an early surgical repair of the tendon is beneficial. The surgical option was long thought to offer a significantly smaller risk of re-rupture compared to traditional non-operative management (5% vs 15%).[3]

Non-surgical treatment used to involve very long periods in a series of casts, and took longer to complete than surgical treatment. But both surgical and non-surgical rehabilitation protocols have recently become quicker, shorter, more aggressive, and more successful. It used to be that patients who underwent surgery would wear a cast for approximately 4 to 8 weeks after surgery and were only allowed to gently move the ankle once out of the cast. Recent studies have shown that patients have quicker and more successful recoveries when they are allowed to move and lightly stretch their ankle immediately after surgery. To keep their ankle safe these patients use a removable boot while walking and doing daily activities. Modern studies including non-surgical patients generally limit non-weight-bearing (NWB) to two weeks, and use modern removable boots, either fixed or hinged, rather than casts. Physiotherapy is often begun as early as two weeks following the start of either kind of treatment.

The relative benefits of surgical and nonsurgical treatments remain a subject of debate; authors of studies are cautious about the preferred treatment.[4]  It should be noted that in centers that do not have early range of motion rehabilitation available, surgical repair is preferred to decrease re-rupture rates.[5]

Rehabilitation: There are three things that need to be kept in mind while rehabilitating a ruptured Achilles: range of motion, functional strength, and sometimes orthotic support. Range of motion is important because it takes into mind the tightness of the repaired tendon. When beginning rehab a patient should perform stretches lightly and increase the intensity as time and pain permits. Putting linear stress on the tendon is important because it stimulates connective tissue repair.  Doing stretches to gain functional strength are also important because it improves healing in the tendon, which will in turn lead to a quicker return to activities. These stretches should be more intense and should involve some sort of weight bearing, which helps reorient and strengthen the collagen fibers in the injured ankle. Such as the toe raise on an elevated surface; the patient pushes up onto the toes and lowers his or her self as far down as possible or better yet, foot work on the Pilate’s reformer.

The other part of the rehab process is proper alignment of the foot.  This can be achieved with orthotic support or with Pilate’s reformer footwork training. This doesn’t have anything to do with stretching or strengthening the tendon, rather it is to keep the patient comfortable and place them in as proper alignment as possible. Custom made shoe inserts can be made to help maintain proper pronation of the foot.  If ankle and foot alignment are compromised, it can lead to further problems with the Achilles.

To briefly summarize the steps of rehabilitating a ruptured Achilles tendon, you should begin with range of motion type stretching. This will allow the ankle to get used to moving again and get ready for weight bearing activities. Then there is functional strength, this is where weight bearing should begin in order to start strengthening the tendon in proper alignment and getting it ready to perform daily activities and eventually in athletic situations.[6] [7]

 

Original articles adapted from Soslowsky Laboratory projects, Perelman School of Medicine and
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

References:

[1] Allenmark, C. (1992). “Partial Achilles tendon tears.” Clinics in sports medicine 11(4): 759-769.
[2] Suchak, A. A., G. Bostick, et al. (2005). “The incidence of Achilles tendon ruptures in Edmonton, Canada.”Foot & ankle international / American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society [and] Swiss Foot and Ankle Society26(11): 932-936.
[3] Richter J, Josten C, Dàvid A, Clasbrummel B, Muhr G (1994). “[Sports fitness after functional conservative versus surgical treatment of acute Achilles tendon ruptures]”. Zentralbl Chir (in German) 119 (8): 538–44.

[4] Nilsson-Helander K, Silbernagel KG, Thomeé R, et al. (November 2010). “Acute achilles tendon rupture: a randomized, controlled study comparing surgical and nonsurgical treatments using validated outcome measures”. The American Journal of Sports Medicine 38 (11): 2186–3.

[5] Jump Up Soroceanu A, Sidhwa F, Aarabi S, Kaufman A, Glazebrook M (December 2012). “Surgical versus nonsurgical treatment of acute Achilles tendon rupture: a meta-analysis of randomized trials”The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American Volume 94 (23): 2136–43.doi:10.2106/JBJS.K.00917.

[6] Cluett, J. (2007, April 29). Achilles Tendon Rupture: What is an Achilles Tendon Rupture. Retrieved May 6, 2010, fromhttp://orthopedics.about.com/cs/ankleproblems/a/achilles_3.htm

[7] Jump Up Christensen, K.D. (2008). Rehab of the Achilles Tendon. Retrieved May 6, 2010, from http://www.ccptr.org/articles/rehab-of-the-achilles-tendon/.htm

Body equilibrium – how Pilate’s develops strength from the inside out.

Pilates training develops the necessary strength and mind-body connection to hold our spine, joints and bones in the most anatomically correct positions, enabling us to move more effectively.  It develops the deep muscles which support our skeleton, allowing a more balanced body and connected core.  It helps eliminate creaky hips and shoulders, and trains you to develop better spinal mobility, and placement during exercise.  With this we can train harder, work harder – in general – move more efficiently and with less likelihood of injury no matter what we do from construction to desk work.

Yes, it focuses on the core, yet core does not just mean abs and back.  We in Pilates refer to the core as the deepest layer of muscle which is closest to our skeleton.  These are the local stabilizers which control neutral joint position and segmental motion.  They provide proprioceptive input about joint position, range, and rate of movement. They are also active continuously during movement, thus are endurance type muscles. When there is muscle pain, injury or movement impairment the stabilizers become inhibited and since they control joint placement our body no longer can stabilize itself or we cannot hold our spine or joints properly.  When this happens, our larger more superficial muscles called global stabilizers, have to work harder, become overactive and react to this pathology with spasm.

Stability retraining can only be accomplished with low load core conditioning focusing on the mind-body connection, to retrain motor control and endurance.  Pilates works our body starting with the deepest muscle layer outwards.

The video below is a great example of these principles – this isn’t a normal squat:

Pilates training is essential to any fitness program.  With its emphasis on alignment, breath, total body conditioning, it educates the participant on proper form and function.  The following video demonstrates how paying attention to alignment can greatly increase the challenge of an exercise;

It makes one mindful of how to stand, squat, flex, extend, bend and move in a stronger more stable way.  If you do not develop and  connect with your core muscles no amount of weight lifting, squatting or cross training will change your physique.   In fact you may well continue to develop muscle bulk as the global or superficial muscles continue to over work while the deeper intrinsic muscle layer fights for stability.  Stop the battle!  Let Pilate’s balance your strength and flexibility  – develop body equilibrium.

 

By Samantha T. Reed

Reference: Injuries and Special Populations Manual, Stott Pilates, 2010.

 

 

What’s the difference between Level 1 and 2 Pilate’s class?

They say knowledge is power.

The more knowledge you have about how your body works and the Pilates method the more effective your training will be.

Level 1 Pilates covers not only the fundamental exercises it reviews anatomy, alignment and breathing techniques.  If you don’t understand how to identify and maintain neutral of the lumbar spine and pelvis then you definately should be in Level 1.  If you haven’t taken a Pilates class before then Level 1 is recommended.

There are several principles which takes a little time to sink in:

  • Connecting with your breath to activate the core, each exercise has an exhale and inhale phase, often beginners fail to breath effectively, even hold their breath;
  • Knowing what navel to spine means – it doesn’t mean draw navel toward your back as this triggars a spinal imprint, it means meet your navel and anterior aspect of your spine opposite the navel (L3-4) in the middle of your body – this encourages neutral alignment and activates the transverse abdominus;
  • How to move sequentially through the vertebrae – it’s surprising how most of us have chunks of spine that are stuck together, each vertebrae should move freely from it’s neighbour like a string of pearls;
  • With the above point, most of us have very stiff necks, learning how to initiate an ab prep with a head nod – moving chin to chest, lifting the head first then the shoulder blades off the mat – is often really complicated;
  • How to keep the ribcage and thoracic spine from ‘popping’ with arm/shoulder movements;
  • Keeping the thoracic spine and ribcage quiet or not moving it to achieve neutral of the lumbar;
  • Most of our shoulder blades or scapula are stuck from habitual posture and/or repetitive movements – getting the scapula to move, as well as, knowing how to anchor them so that the shoulder girdle is strong, properly aligned and stable takes a bit of time before attempting the advanced full body weight exercises;
  • How to achieve the proper range of motion of the limbs for your body during the dynamic Pilate’s exercises – if you push beyond your body’s limit, alignement is compromised and the exercise is lost one doesn’t feel the proper stretch or muscle engagement – it’s all about method – not aimlessly following your neighbour or instructor – you gotta feel it;
  • all of the above assists the body into achieving better agility (range of motion / flexibility) while holding and developing a rock solid core – we now know how and begin to move from a strong, stable center – flowing from one exercise to the other.

Once you understand the above and begin to move from a strong centered core then Level 2 is a snap!   Even those with injuries or medical conditions can eventually progress in the Pilates repetoire – keeping the movements within their body’s ability.  The point is if you’re not feeling it and Pilate’s is stressing your body instead of making it feel energized, just step it back and learn the fundamentals.  It shouldn’t hurt – it should be challenging, gentle and mindful exercise for profound results.

For further explaination of the above principles (if you are one of those cognitive learners versus a kinesthetic one) read the Stott Pilates five basic principles attached pdf document:

Pilates5-Basic-principles

To your health and wellness – Do Pilates – You will feel the difference.

Anatomically aligned posture - standing

Anatomically aligned posture – standing

Pilate’s for Athletes

After playing hockey, golf or coming off the mountain do you ever feel like your body’s been through the ringer?  Like most athlete’s you just push yourself through the pain, test your limits and not worry too much about the after affects.  You’re tough and just accept some sore muscles and achy joints.  No pain no gain right?

You don’t have to feel like that – always in need of a good massage or hot tub.  Did you know Pilate’s training can help you move more efficiently so that whatever your sport you expend less energy, put less wear and tear on your spine and joints, so that  you have better endurance and focus.  WHAT?  Yeah.  Stop exercising to feel exhausted and beat up – exercise, play sport and feel energized.

Pilates is a revolutionary full body conditioning program, which focuses on training the mind and body to work together more effectively and efficiently. Pilates dramatically transforms the way the body looks, feels, and performs. It incorporates modern exercise science and rehabilitation principles, eliminating contraindicated movements while emphasizing neutral alignment, core stability and peripheral mobility. It builds strength without excess bulk. It teaches body awareness and good posture. Pilates improves flexibility, agility and economy of motion, and is a safe form of movement.  These factors are what also make it optimal for clients that need to rehabilitate injuries, thus why most good Physiotherapists are now trained in it.

Pilates exercises train several muscle groups at once in smooth, continuous movements. By developing proper technique, you can actually re-train your body to move in safer, more efficient patterns of motion – invaluable for optimal sport performance  and optimal health.  In fact, all other forms of current exercise training now borrows from the Pilates principles and system.

Leg_Pull_Front

I have been an avid athlete for most of my life.  Growing up on a farm definitely contributed to the development of a natural athleticism – from building tree forts, picking rocks out of the fields, bringing in hay,  to chasing escaped cattle, fixing fences and tractors.  Attending a small school in this farming community, enabled me to participate in all of the sports offered. I eventually found my niche with Basketball.  After being offered a scholarship to a college in New York city and recruited by several Canadian universities, I chose to attend University of Toronto – mainly because they had the most number of players on our women’s national team and was one of the strongest teams in Canada.  And so I played competitive Basketball for the next 5 years of my life which truly was my job along with studies.

Of course playing within a varsity system with a demanding coach and trainer we competed, pushed ourselves to our limits, got our share of injuries and continued on thinking it was all good.  Not until graduate studies did I find the Pilates system and it rocked my world.

I thought I was a fit athlete – a basketball player, snowboarder and Ultimate player by that time – yet after training in the Pilate’s system I was humbled.  It changed my body.  My alignment morphed – my bones actually shifted and I was able to maintain neutral of the low back and pelvis in my sports and daily activities.   I developed incredible core strength, while my superficial muscles relaxed, lengthen and got leaner.  The years of holding a ready stance (i.e. defensive or athletic stance) took a toll creating a pattern of tight hip flexors and hamstrings with compensating low back muscles.  My shoulders and neck improved mobility and lost chronic tension.  It was a different world I was experiencing.

Now when I played sports I felt incredible.  I had seemingly boundless energy; could run faster, play longer, experienced less injury and no longer felt exhausted or sore afterwards. Not only could I  move better, I could focus more on the task at hand and that, to any athlete, is golden.

What I couldn’t at first grasp about the Pilates training is how subtle the exercises were.  It wasn’t pumping out push ups or burpees, running, cycling or cardio-ing to exhaustion.  Each exercise is seemingly gentle, yet when done correctly, creates a deep connection to the target muscle where a mere 8 reps are sufficient to make those muscles tremble. (1) (2)(3)(4) If you’re not feeling that muscle shake a slight readjustment in alignment and cueing will produce results.  As they say; it’s all about method!

Ab_Prep

That’s what I found so powerful about the Pilate’s method.  It makes you focus on your own body and how it’s suppose to work.  One is not just aimlessly imitating an instructor.  It focusses you on proper muscle sequencing, breath, contraction and relaxtion – producing a re-newed, re-organized body.  Try it I guarantee you will feel the difference.

Pilate’s classes now being offered at Revelution

Schedule a class for your sports team
& feel the difference!

 

1) Functional adaptability of muscle fibers to long-term resistance exercise  Shoep,e T.C., Stelzer, J.E., Garner, D.P., et al. Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA. Medicine and  Science in Sports Exercise. 2003 Jun;35(6):944-51.

2) Muscle fatigue: what, why and how it influences muscle function. Enoka, R.M., Duchateau, J. Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO. Journal of Physiology. 2008 Jan 1;586(1):11-23.

3) Measurement of voluntary activation of fresh and fatigued human muscles using transcranial magnetic stimulation  Todd G., Taylor JL., Gandevia SC. Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute and the University of New South Wales, Sydney Australia. Journal of Physiology. 2003 Sep 1;551(Pt 2):661-71. Epub 2003 Aug 8.

4) The neurobiology of muscle fatigue: 15 years later. Barry, B.K, Enoka, R.M. Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado at Boulder, CO. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 2007 Oct;47(4):465-73. Epub 2007 Jun 6.

Pilate Revelution – Revelstoke’s new studio

Revelution_Logo

 

I just wanted to let you know about the new Pilates studio – Revelution.

Grand opening this Saturday.  Final finishing construction details are in the works.  Saturday at 1 pm is a free 1/2 hour Pilates demonstration with yours truly.  I hear it is already full with newbies.  You are welcome to drop by anytime and see the new place.

The stationary bicycles, TRX suspension systems, mats, foam rollers, thera-bands and all the other equipment are in place for a class of 15.  I trust the Pilates classes won’t have that many but there is enough equipment for that many bodies.
Go to: http://revelution.ca/classes/prices/ 
to see pricing details, classes offered, to schedule yourself into a class and even pay on line.

This is going to be the best location in Revelstoke for Pilates mat training.  See you there.

Best regards;

Samantha 

PILATES AND FITNESS FOR SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING

Pilates fitness skiing snowbaording barcelona bienestar

Pilates and fitness for skiing and snowboarding

I am a snowboarder. Anyone who either snowboards or skis will know that the two sports, whilst closely related, are very different in technique and especially mentality. One thing they do have in common (apart from snow) is the training that you need to be able to enjoy the coming season on the slopes.

Specific training for skiing and snowboarding

Skiing and snowboarding bring their own special demands on the body. If these demands are not adequately considered, then the skier or boarder, whatever their level, will reduce their performance potential, and thus reduce their enjoyment. By carrying out a specific training program, benefits can be gained such as:

• Improve endurance, so ski and board for longer
• Improve strength in the appropriate muscles
• Improve flexibility and agility
• Improve balance and control
• Reduce the risk of injury by strengthening areas such as the lower back and knee joints and muscles.

The fundamental skills needed to ski or board successfully are balance, rotary movements, edging movements, and pressure control. Most muscles of the lower body are used, as are the abdominal muscles and some upper body muscles. A planned training program carried out during the off-season can make dramatic improvements when the season arrives. It is also improtant to learn warm-up and warm-down routines which you should use before and after you ski.

Chris Snowboarding 21.2.14 2Happiness is a snowboard in your hands.

Why Pilates?
In order to complete a turn, there must be adequate strength in the core, buttocks, lower back and legs. Flexibility is needed, especially in the hips. We use specific Pilates exercises to target all these areas.

Pilates is a revolutionary full body conditioning program, which focuses on training the mind and body to work together more effectively and efficiently. Pilates dramatically transforms the way the body looks, feels, and performs. It incorporates modern exercise science and rehabilitation principles, eliminating contraindicated movements while emphasizing neutral alignment, core stability and peripheral mobility. It builds strength without excess bulk, creating a sleek, toned body and a flat abdomen. It teaches body awareness and good posture. Pilates improves flexibility, agility and economy of motion, and is a safe form of movement making it optimal for clients that need to rehabilitate injuries.

Pilates exercises train several muscle groups at once in smooth, continuous movements. By developing proper technique, you can actually re-train your body to move in safer, more efficient patterns of motion – invaluable for injury recovery, good posture and optimal health. No other exercise system is so gentle to the body while giving it a challenging workout.

Injury Prevention
Skiing and boarding place great demands on the lower body, which can lead to overuse injuries. The most obvious place for such injuries is the legs, and especially the thighs. It is not so obvious that the core has a vital role to play in keeping the body upright and balanced, and enabling the hips to turn.

The shoulders and back can also become fatigued, and are prone to falling injuries. Such injuries can be reduced by strengthening these areas. This also applies to hand and wrist injuries, which can again be reduced by strengthening the forearm and wrist.

The time to start training for the coming season is now. If you are in Barcelona, then give me a call because Barcelona Bienestar offer specific training on a group and individual training basis. Sessions take place on the beach, in our studio or at client’s homes.  (If you’re in Revelstoke give Samantha an email – group and private Pilates training sessions available).  

There are other functional exercises that great as well, and they can be done on the slopes as a warm up. Check out my video below. I shot a sequence of Pilates/functional movements in La Molina last year.

I love the sun and the sea, but I love the snow just as much. This is one of the many reasons why I love living in Barcelona. Where ever you live or plan to ski or snowboard, you really must start to plan your fitness routine now, before it’s too late.

Origianl article written by:  Chris Hunt, an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.

 

 

 

 

 

Explaining the 2 Way Stretch of the Pilates Method

Andrea Maida owner of Pilates Andrea explains the Pilates method 2 way stretch in the following article.  Well done Andrea and thank you!

2-Way Stretch and the Anatomy of Pilates

2-Way Stretch and the Anatomy of Pilates

I’ve got a secret.

As a child I underwent a series of surgeries resulting in nerve reconstruction on one side of my body. A facial nerve was cut and reattached using an additional nerve taken from my left leg.

It has been my nearly 15 years of study and continual practice of the Pilates Method that has enabled me to “uncover” a series of weaknesses along my entire left side.

Just when you thought Pilates was about sculpted abs and a tight butt…

After many years of Pilates I began to notice a heightened body awareness that developed as I continued to train in this amazing method. Yes, ‘body awareness’ is a chief benefit of the Pilates method.

But this is in fact, an understatement.

The degree of awareness one can achieve through diligent practice of the method is staggering. It manifests in the sensation of many muscle groups working in unison – a seamless reach from the sides of your back up to the tips of your fingers, or down the entire length of the back of the body.

Left Side Story

But some muscles on the weaker left side simply did not respond in the same manner as their right-side counterparts.

Hmmm… How long has that been going on?

The Pilates exercises had revealed along the left side: a weak arch, knee, buttock, lower stomach, back muscle and neck. I remember vividly the workout that allowed me to realize each of these “separate weaknesses” was really one long chain of imbalance.

Can it be coincidence that all these parts are connected?

I decided to investigate.

Joseph Pilates himself believed (and stated vehemently I gather) that his method was 50 years ahead of its time. I completely agree. The connected muscle systems one finds in the 2-way stretch, for example, are articulated and well known today in the study of connective tissues or myofascial meridians in the body.

From Wikipedia:

“Myofascial meridians (also known as anatomy trainsconnective tissue planesfascial planes, or myofascial trains) are lines of bones and connective tissue that run throughout the body, organize the structural forces required for motion, and link all parts of the body.

The idea of myofascial meridians was first introduced by Thomas Myers in his 1997 article ‘The anatomy trains’. In his 2001 textbook Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists, 3e, the term ‘myofascial meridians’ was first used synonymously with the term ‘Anatomy Trains’.

Myers claims myofascial meridians were described by German anatomist Hermann Hoepke in the early 1930s.”

From Anatomy Trains by Thomas Myers:

Anatomy Trains is a unique map of the ‘anatomy of connection’…the interplay of movement and stability.

Ooooh…the anatomy of connection. Yum yum.

My copy of Anatomy Trains confirmed my Pilates discovery. My long chain of imbalances that the Pilates exercises had revealed is officially known as the Deep Front Line. Anatomy nerds will want to check out this amazingly über-detailed and specific discussion of the Deep Front Line which I quote:

“The Deep Front Line is a key component of all things core.”

Oh dear…

The Deep Front Line (DFL) is essentially the lift up the entire front of the body: in Pilates the lift up out of the arch of the foot reaching all the way up the inner leg to the abdomen continuing up to lengthen the neck and to the crown of the head.

So the left side of my core/powerhouse/center was not doing its fair share of the work. Well this solved a bunch of ‘Pilates mysteries’ of the “Why can’t I…?” variety, but sadly it does not make me like the Snake on the Reformer even a weensy bit more.

Please realize that an involved discussion of fascia is not really my gig. I note my experience here as just one example of the depth of information, discovery and jewels that abound within Joe Pilates’ original method.

2-way stretch, yo

The anatomy of movement differs from a study of medical static anatomy. I do not promote an ignorance of the formal study of anatomy, but it does not apply in the same ways to a body in motion as it does to address specific joints, muscles or tissues in a medical setting.

The 2-way stretch is the hallmark of a body engaged in movement. In actuality there are numerous oppositional forces in play during your Pilates workout.

I am a big fan of the 2-way stretch intrinsic to the Pilates Method. So useful, yummy, simple and satisfying, it gives you a particular way of looking at your body in motion.

Teaching the 2-way Stretch

A client of mine, Janet, a former registered nurse, is trained in human anatomy. She marvels that the oppositional forces of the body in motion are quite tangible and yet unexpected given her education in the musculoskeletal systems.

Janet remarks that her knowledge of the traditional anatomy with regard to the individual muscle groups, their function and insertion points is a completely different animal to the anatomy of movement she is finding within the Pilates exercises.

It feels totally different. It feels like the insertion points for the tendons and ligaments aren’t there, the energy [of the lower body] just flows all the way down to my feet, without the different muscles being involved. This is a whole body thing as opposed to picking out an individual muscle group.

I feel like I am using my whole body together and as a result everything works much better. It just flows.

No wonder Jay Grimes has been telling me for years:

“Whatever you’re looking for, it’s in there.

 

By Andrea Maida