Recovering from surgery, or even a minor injury, can be frustrating and discouraging. In the time it takes to recover, the body can change drastically.
In 2014 I sustained a hip labral tear and ended up getting surgery to repair it. After surgery, I was in a hip brace for two whole months and, as a result, my body became uneven – I had extreme muscle imbalance, severe tightness and my body was just completely out of alignment.
I seriously questioned if I was going to face these issues for the rest of my life. After I graduated from physical therapy at FFC’s East Lakeview NovaCare, my therapist recommended I try Pilates.
I knew nothing about Pilates, except that all the apparatuses looked like a bunch of torture devices. Needless to say I was skeptical that these weird machines could actually help me. To be honest, I thought some of the stuff was odd during my first few sessions, but then I started to fall in love with it as I began to see my body transform. All those issues I had after surgery were completely fixed with continuous Pilates sessions.
I was in awe that this method of exercise literally healed me. Pilates ignited a passion in me – it helped me so much that it made me want to be a teacher to help others like myself. Since that turning point post-surgery, I have graduated from the FFC Pilates Teacher Training Program and am a Pilates trainer at FFC South Loop.
Due to pre-existing conditions, I tore the labrum of my other hip and got surgery in 2015. Having practiced Pilates both pre and post-surgery this second time around, I can definitively say Pilates helped me recover faster by reducing the muscle imbalances, alignment issues and overall tightness I experienced during the first surgery.
So, if you are hoping to get stronger before a surgery, recovering from a hip (or other type of) injury or just want to improve your overall balance and alignment, here are a few specific ways Pilates can help you. Pilates:
- Restores alignment of the body and corrects muscle imbalances
- Helps correct the body’s natural tendency for overcompensation when trying to cope with alignment or imbalance issues
- Strengthens and lengthens muscles around the hip area
- Helps speed up recovery time with pre-surgery preparation and with scar tissue issues post-surgery
- Enhances overall core strength to assist with balance and confidence in falling
- Reduces muscle tightness and increases flexibility and range of motion
Both before and after surgery, I experienced tightness in my hip flexors, quads and lower back, Pilates helped relieve this tightness and brought length back into my compressed spine.
Whether you have hip issues or not, Pilates will challenge your body in a new way and educate you about your own body. If you are apprehensive like I was, I encourage you to break out of your comfort zone and try it! If you are interested in scheduling a free introductory session please email me, Jenna Greenfield, at [email protected].