We spoke to Mark Klion MD, orthopedist, Ironman triathlete, FAMI faculty member and author of the newly published “Triathlon Anatomy,” about what sets Pilates Instructors apart from other movement professionals. In addition, he prescribes a healthy dose of Pilates for our common sports injuries, including ACL and meniscus tears.
Q: Over the past several years you have lectured to Pilates Instructors at FAMI, Pilates on Tour and at Kinected. During this time what is it that you find sets Pilates Instructors apart from other fitness professionals?
A: As an individual who likes to teach, my experiences at both FAMI and Pilates on Tour have been extremely positive. These lectures have cultivated a community of inquisitive students with a desire to learn and better understand how to treat musculoskeletal injuries. Very much like Physical Therapists, Pilates professionals are exposed to and have an opportunity to treat a variety of injuries in both the acute and chronic phases of healing. There has been extraordinary interest in learning specific protocols of treatment as well as possible red flags that might require further physician intervention. I have also learned a great deal and truly feel that for some specific patients, Pilates is an optimal course of treatment.
Q: You often refer your patients to Pilates Instructors post rehab. What is it about Pilates that you have confidence in, in terms of the incorporation into a musculoskeletal recovery scenario?
A: The non-weight bearing atmosphere and versatility of Pilates is safe, yet progressive enough to move the client forward. One of the true skills of a Pilates Instructor seems to be the ability to evaluate movement by utilizing the equipment. My motto has always been if the activity doesn’t cause pain than it is appropriate. The concept of ” No Pain, No Gain” is never really appropriate for rehabilitation. The principles of Pilates create a perfect environment to allow a patient to progress through functional retraining with minimal potential for re-injury.
Q: In your opinion what makes Pilates so effective as a recovery modality, specifically with knee injuries?
A: The global and local approach and emphasis on the core in Pilates seems to build stamina as well as retrain functionality. This is especially true for lower extremity injuries, including ACL recovery and meniscus tears. Runners routinely suffer from core instability and a lot of treatment protocols for lower extremity injuries leave out this important rehabilitation concept.
Q: As an Ironman you obviously dedicate a significant amount of time to training. In your experience as an athlete do you see Pilates as more effective in injury prevention or injury recovery?
A: There is no question that there are significant merits to Pilates training for the endurance athlete. With repetitive activities, muscular strength often takes a back seat to aerobic training, and this causes over-use injury. Performing functional strength training like Pilates will help identify potential weaknesses and address them before they become a problem.
Read more about Dr. Klion and his advice on conditioning and injury prevention for runners here.
Don’t miss Kinected’s Ask the Expert: Pilates Rehab for ACL and Meniscus Tears with Dr. Klion and Studio Director, Matt McCulloch! Learn more here.