In This Show, We Look At Pilates For Spondylolisthesis And The Related Condition Spondylolysis, Explore How The Conditions Present, The Differences Between Them, And How We, As Pilates Instructors Can Help People Who Have Them. The Pilates ‘Elephant In The Room’ In This Discussion Is The Myth That Spondylolisthesis And Spondylolysis Always Correlate Directly With Pain. Pilates Teachers Are Often Anxious That There Are Specific Exercises That They Should Or Shouldn’t Be Recommending To Clients With The Conditions So In This Episode We Dive Into Why It’s So Vital To Rely On Evidence And Data And Ensure You Are Up To Date With Best Practice So That You Aren’t Engendering Fear In Students With Outdated Beliefs.
Spondylolisthesis is the forward displacement or movement of one vertebra, relative to the one below it, typically, the L5 slips forward on the sacrum although it can happen with other vertebrae. Spondylolysis is a related condition, but instead of a displacement, there is a hairline stress fracture on the back of the vertebra. That people with these conditions shouldn’t do certain types of exercise is a misconception, and we can use evidence-based studies to see how we can support students and use Pilates for spondylolisthesis and spondylolysis.
The causes of the conditions tend to be a combination of things — but there is a significant component of genetic inheritance with spondylolisthesis, in that a major risk factor is a first degree relative with the condition. Spondylolysis, in contrast, seems to be common in lots of different athletes in a variety of sports. We examine the evidence around movement in Pilates students with these conditions and share that data that shows neither surgery nor physiotherapy are the definitive answer.
Managing Back Pain
If your client’s back pain and spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis are both in the same location, then it’s possible that they are related. But you still can work with that client within their pain tolerance levels, a little bit of pain or discomfort is unlikely to be a problem, the critical principle is not to aggravate the back to the point where it doesn't settle after the workout — build in time to rest and recuperate but don’t nocebo your client and make them fearful of movement.
Raphael Bender, CEO, Breathe Education
Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.
Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.
Cloe Bunter, Lead Trainer, Breathe Education
With 8+ years in the industry, both teaching Pilates and nurturing new instructors, Cloe is passionate about empowering new and seasoned instructors to think critically and move fearlessly. Empowered instructors empower their clients, and in turn, change lives.
She finds great joy in building connections with clients, students, colleagues, and the broader movement and rehab community. Co-hosting the Pilates Elephants Podcast, with Raphael Bender, has provided an incredible platform to bust common Pilates, movement, and rehab myths whilst creating a worldwide community of critical thinkers who are elevating health literacy.
Cloe is fascinated by movement in general, and its ability to enhance our lives, at any age. Her own movement practice includes Contrology/Pilates, running, weights, and kettlebells. Close has a Diploma of Clinical Pilates, Cert IV in Pilates, and Cert IV in Training and Assessing.
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