Pilates for MS and Neurological Conditions

Strength, balance and flexibility. These are three physical skills often affected by multiple sclerosis (MS), a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord. Pilates, when practiced a few times a week, can help improve these three skills, and it’s usually well tolerated by people who have this disease. With a qualified instructor, balance, posture and movement are the primary factors when starting an exercise program. Pilates facilitates corrective movement behavior so the muscles can learn to work more efficiently. It helps strengthen weakness and loosen unwanted tensions and spasticity. Pilates helps the neuromuscular system to be reeducated.

Pilates can be modified to meet the MS clients needs with progressions added when necessary. Because pilates is not considered cardiovascular it is safe for a student to work harder with the assistance of springs and gravity on the machines which can be altered to achieve more functional movement. We focus on breathing, postural alignment, concentrating on correct bodily movement and try to find a mind/body balance so students can control their own movements. We work on balance, gait, proprioceptive problems and bladder issues as well. Let us design a program for you with your goals in mind. We will treat your MS symptoms and you as an individual. This program can be designed for those with stroke, Parkinsons or other neurological disorders as well. We also accept patients that use the aid of a cane, walker and wheelchair. Absolute Pilates prides itself in high-quality Pilates exercise programing for neurological conditions, and incorporate the latest research in neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation into Pilates programs. Studio owner, Allison Zang along with the team of instructors at Absolute Pilates, have completed advanced training for MS & other neurological conditions, as well as Traumatic Brain Injury, Ataxia, Parkinsonism, stroke, and other neurological disorders.

The what-ifs

If an MS client experiences a neurological setback or “flare-up” it can then cause compensatory issues. For example, a numb foot can cause a person to drag the foot or use the hip flexors to lift the leg too high for fear of falling. Thus you can get hip issues or the gait gets compromised causing other physical ailments. We can work with you try to train the brain to communicate to those body parts building strength and/or flexibility.

It can be hard for some people living with neurological disorders to participate in regular physical activities. Due to the uniqueness of Pilates and specialized equipment, programs and exercises are tailored to the exact needs of the participant. It is also important to remember that a sedentary lifestyle can further complicate the progression of many disorders, so maintaining movement is an important part of a complete health and wellness regime.

For more information on Pilates and Neurological Wellness, take a peek at these resources:

  1. https://mssociety.ca/research-news/article/ms-society-funds-three-new-studies-that-seek-to-provide-more-options-for-accessing-physical-activity-for-people-living-with-ms
  2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/elder/3354927/Parkinsons-Can-Pilates-help.html
  3. http://www.pilates.com/BBAPP/V/pilates/library/articles/pilates-for-people-with-parkinsons-disease.html