Pilates before and after injury

Far more than a fitness craze, Pilates has been around for a century.  Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates for his rehabilitation to overcome personal illnesses and frailty as a child.  During the First World War, he used his technique with patients unable to walk.  He attached bed springs to hospital beds to help support their limbs leading to the development of equipment which today is called a Reformer and a Cadillac (both utilizing springs and pulleys to this day). He went on to work with dancers, gymnasts and equestrians, and his technique became known as the Pilates Method.
In recent years, the medical community realized the effectiveness and benefits of Pilates in injury prevention and rehabilitation. Pilates is a perfect balance of strength and flexibility. Pilates addresses the whole body engaging the deeper core muscles and postural muscles that help support and stabilize the spine.  Breath work is also utilized to improve blood flow, relaxation, and help recruit the deeper core muscles.  Pilates is an excellent supplement to more intensive routines, such as Cross Fit, and has also been used to improve golf and tennis play with individuals reporting improved muscle control, increased strength, and increased flexibility. Beyond a supplement to fitness it is also great in rehab. Using the equipment such as the Reformer or Cadillac, your body is supported and can accommodate an injury.  Pilates is a mindful form of exercising, addressing asymmetry in the body and muscle imbalances. 

At Flex PT, Pilates has been used to help Parkinson’s patients, knee replacements, spinal injuries, osteoporosis, and ankle injuries just to name a few. If you are looking to incorporate Pilates into your fitness routine or rehab process, consult with your physician or physical therapist to see if Pilates would be beneficial for you.  


Tips for an injury free winter

When the days are dark and gray you know winter is in full swing in the Pacific Northwest and even though the groundhog saw his shadow we all know winter can carry over into spring. For some of us that means more curling up on the couch, while for others it means hitting the slopes or conquering our New Year's resolutions. Whichever category you find yourself in don't get caught off guard by winter's dangers. Slippery payment, low visibility, shoveling snow, and a sedentary activity level can all contribute to injuries this time of year so here are some helpful tips to minimize your chance for injury. 

  • Wear shoes with non-slip soles 
  • Use a flashlight in dimly lit areas
  • Try to push snow with the shovel rather than lift and swing
  • Take breaks from prolonged sitting to decrease strain to the low back/neck

Living with prolapse

If you have been diagnosed with pelvic organ prolapse (POP) by your doctor, Pelvic floor physical therapy can help! Research has shown that women with POP, after undergoing pelvic floor PT, report less symptoms.  
Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition in which the muscles and ligaments that support the pelvic organs (such as the bladder, uterus, and rectum) become weak causing these structures to drop lower within the pelvic cavity, protruding into the vaginal canal.  Common causes of POP include childbirth, advancing age, excessive straining during bowel movements, or a chronic cough that causes long term exposure to high intra-abdominal pressure. 
Women with symptomatic pelvic organ prolapse feel discomfort, heaviness in the vagina, or pain.  Usually symptoms are worse during or after physical activity that involves lifting or high-impact movements, standing for prolonged periods of time, or at the end of the day. 
In addressing prolapse, pelvic floor physical therapists work toward helping you optimize the function of your pelvic floor and core muscles as a whole.   This will allow you to best support your pelvic organs and alleviate any excess intra-abdominal pressure that puts adverse force through the system. Pelvic floor muscle coordination and strength (“Kegels”) are important, but only one piece of a larger puzzle in treating, or preventing, prolapse.  Think of your core as a three dimensional canister. Your abdominal muscles form the front and sides, the deep muscles of the spine form the back, while the pelvic floor muscles are the base, and your diaphragm is the top.  Pelvic floor PT’s will teach you to optimize the function of your core to support the prolapse from above and below. This means assessing and improving posture, breath mechanics, motor control with lifting and exercise, and education on minimizing constipation and promoting full bladder emptying.  The team of pelvic floor PT’s at Flex are passionate about pelvic health, and we’re here to help!

Resources:,, Hagen,, 2014

Our Services

-sports injuries
-post-surgical rehabilitation
-work injuries
-motor vehicle accident injuries
-back and neck pain
-joint and muscle pain
-pelvic pain therapy: for men and women
-instrument assisted soft tissue: Graston and ASTYM

Contact Us

12900 NE 180th St. Suite 110, Bothell, WA 98011
Phone: 425-483-4270 Fax: 425-483-4268

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Flex Physical Therapy · 12900 NE 180th St Ste 110 · Bothell, WA 98011-5773 · USA

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