Pilates: The Key to Avoiding Sports Hernia
By Jackie Edwards
If your sport involves a lot of intense twisting or abrupt changes of direction, then you may be at risk of getting sports hernia. Also known as athletic pubalgia, this extremely painful condition occurs when the soft tissue of the groin or lower abdomen tears during bouts of intense physical exertion. In some cases, rest, medication and rehabilitation are enough to fix the problem. Unfortunately, more serious cases usually require surgery. The good news, however, is that Pilates not only helps prevent the condition, but also helps patients recover from it faster.
Control, stability and flexibility for prevention
According to a study published by Sureeporn Phrompaet, MSc et al, Pilates can help improve both mobility-control and flexibility in the pelvic and trunk regions—the areas that tend to get injured when you make sudden directional changes or twisting motions. In addition, Pilates-type exercises also promote better lumbo-pelvic stability, giving you the power to perform all sorts of complex movements with perfect form. All this, of course, makes the muscles and tendons in your body significantly more resistant to tears and similar injuries, ultimately reducing your risk for hernia.
Functional exercises for recovery
The movements in Pilates do a lot to strengthen the core. This means that they have great carryover to real life activities, making them an effective way to help patients recovering from sports hernia get back their full mobility. In addition, since pilates uses a combination of dynamic and static exercises, it can easily be tailored to the specific needs of the patient. If, for instance, they have severely limited mobility due, then they can start with isometric movements first to get the strength improvements without aggravating their condition. Dynamic exercises can simply be introduced later on as their condition improves.
But don’t forget to talk to your doctor first
While Pilates, without a doubt, has massive potential when it comes to helping athletes and weekend warriors alike not only prevent sports hernia, but also recover faster from it, it would still be a good idea to seek professional advice first before undergoing any form of treatment. Keep in mind that no matter how effective a treatment method is on paper, if it’s not what you need, then it still won’t make a difference. So, start with getting a proper diagnosis first and then proceed from there.