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Tag: Pilates

The Pitfalls & Promise of Pilates

The Pitfalls & Promise of Pilates

Janet had to sit down when she read the report from her DEXA scan.

Impression: OSTEOPENIA in the right hip and lumbar spine.

Can’t be. She spent more time pounding the pavement than most women.

Good diet – check.

Calcium and vitamin D supplements – check.

Regular weight bearing exercise – check.

Janet had few risk factors: she didn’t take steroid medication; she didn’t smoke and despite all her dieting, she wasn’t underweight.

No wonder she was flabbergasted by the diagnosis.

Janet had been doing everything she could imagine to keep her bones strong, but clearly something was missing. More and more older people were turning to Pilates and yoga for exercise because they seemed gentle and safe. Why not?

Yoga made her sore, but it was a new kind of exercise, so maybe, she thought, she just needed to get used to it. She already had neck and back pain, so what the heck? If a little was good, more would be better. Resolute, she added a few more classes.

By the end of a fortnight, Janet couldn’t sleep – she could barely walk. The pain was relentless. Her doctor confirmed the really bad news: she had several compression fractures in her spine. Smart as she was, Janet did not know how to protect and strengthen her bones during yoga or Pilates. Don’t be like Janet. Though these exercise forms can be gentle, knowing how to modify them when you have bone loss is critical.

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PILATES: Bringing Cyclists Full Circle

Why do cyclists need Pilates? Per the last newsletter, Pilates trains eccentric control, aka contracting and lengthening. But there’s more! Any cyclist who puts miles on his/her bike has probably had pain. It’s really common. Common complaints from riders are low back or neck pain, anterior knee pain, and Iliotibial Band syndrome. Let’s look at

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The Missing Link: What Every Cyclist Should Know

The Missing Link: What Every Cyclist Should Know

Several years ago, I wanted to place in the top 3 in the Mount Evans Hill Climb, so I spent every spare minute on my bike. Cross training did not cross my mind (pardon the pun). That same year, I took my then boyfriend on a trip home to Montana. I wanted to show him Glacier National Park and do some hiking. True to form, we hiked the steepest trail we could find, passing as many other hikers as possible.  We reached a beautiful vantage point in record time, took some pictures and started hiking back. Within a quarter mile (maybe less) I had developed “sewing machine legs.” I looked like someone with a neurological disorder.  I stumbled the rest of the way down, mostly peg-legged and collapsed on the nearest bench.

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Staff

The Exercise Conundrum

Exercise is making headlines every day. And, living in Boulder, I witness and participate in a spectrum of strength and cardiovascular exercise. Some people exercise for hours and hours each week, or even hours and hours each day. Some of those folks like to compete, while others are happy to be outside just enjoying the day. So, what is the BEST way to exercise? What kind of exercise is BEST? How much exercise is BEST?

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IMT – a key piece of the puzzle

IMT – a key piece of the puzzle

I love how my practice has evolved over the last 33 years as a physical therapist. So many new and wonderful evaluation and treatment techniques are emerging constantly that there is never a reason to be bored. I’m thrilled when I can relax an artery in the pelvis and back pain goes away. Or that getting the bladder moving can make Yoga hip openers a piece of cake for my patient.

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Clam Shmam: Keep Up That Glute Strength

“If I hear one more person tell me to do the clam, I might just scream.” says my sister Barbara. Barb is an MD in Seattle and she has seen a few PTs over the years. They have all given her “the clam” to eliminate knee and back pain. She has done the clam over and over, but alas, the pain persists and it has stopped Barb in her tracks whenever she tries to run. She has another doctor friend who is hindered by Iliotibial band (ITB) pain while on the bike. He has been told to do the clam, but that’s not working for him either.

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