But what about for those of us who are not physical therapists? How can we work with or around an injury?
Last week a client of mine who is accustomed to a strong and challenging workout came in reporting a flare-up of elbow tendinitis. This particular client is a golfer, and on occasion too many swings "hitting the dirt" flares up an old injury. I could see the discouragement on my client's face, and knew there was worry the session wouldn't be as fun or as demanding. I listened to my client's concerns and silently decided there would be no weight bearing on the hands and very little arm work with the Reformer or Cadillac until the flare up calmed down.* The session passed quickly and at no time were we putting stress on the elbow joint. At the end of the session my client was sweaty, tired and happy. "Did you notice anything different about our session today?" I asked. "No hands!!" I exclaimed. My client smiled and nodded, happy with the consistency of challenge and the 'new' exercises. I was grateful for the Pilates tools that enabled the balanced session.
So what's the take home message today? The diversity of the Pilates equipment is amazing. That we can get a complete and full body workout even when having to avoid certain movements such as weight bearing on the hands or feet, inversions, or flexion of the spine demonstrates the genius of Joe Pilates and the creativity of the instructor. Long live Pilates and the many ways it challenges us while keeping us safe. healthy, and consistent with our daily practice.
*"itis" type pain indicates inflammation. In my experience, flare-ups of elbow tendinitis require as much rest as is possible. Ice or ice massage can help. If the problem persists the client may choose see a doctor and have cortisone shots administered.