The Brain in Pain

Many of our Pilates clients seek us out because they are in pain, and most of our clients will have pain at one time or another. Often, the pain will resolve as tissues heal, muscles strengthen, and the client improves their overall fitness. But how do we judge how fast to progress a client in pain? And what about the people who don’t get better?

In order to work effectively we must understand what pain is, and the role of the central nervous system in pain processing. Advances in pain science demonstrate that rather than being simply a signal from the body that something is wrong, pain is an output of the brain. And each individual’s pain experience depends not just (and sometimes not at all) on tissue damage, but on their history, their thoughts and beliefs, and the baseline state of their nervous system. Further, research has shown that educating our clients about pain can reduce their pain and improve their function.

In this Movement Science Made Simple course, we will:

  • Update our understanding of pain, and learn to convey that understanding to clients
  • Practice movement protocols for getting started with clients in pain
  • Study the basic physiology needed to work confidently with painful conditions

Stand And Deliver

Humans are bipedal animals, with the various muscles and joints of the legs working together to produce controlled movement through space. In Pilates, we train in both gravity-eliminated and weight-bearing positions to optimize this upright functioning. By understanding how the hip, knee, ankle, and foot interact, we can more easily see where our clients’ movement is going wrong, and are more able to coach them safely and effectively.

In this Movement Science Made Simple course, we:

  • Study the anatomy of the lower extremity, with an emphasis on how the hip and the foot affect the knee
  • Learn Pilates protocols for promoting mobility and stability in the lower extremity
  • Examine common structural variations, such as genu valgum (“knock knees”) and genu varum (“bow legs”) and learn to adapt our Pilates protocols to accommodate or correct them, as appropriate