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Rehabbing a Labral Tear With Pilates

Tearing of the labrum cartilage, whether in the shoulder or hip, causes pain, discomfort, and joint instability. If you’re suffering from a labral tear, consider Pilates! We can definitely see these during snow sports season. Sometimes shoulders are more prone to this injury with snowboarding and the hip with skiing. Of course, we can find any injury in either sport! Pilates rehabilitation has been shown to offer tremendous benefit in restoring pain-free movement after a labral tear by gaining muscle strength and stability for the surrounding muscles.

What is a labral tear? The labrum is a band of cartilage that surrounds a joint, either in the shoulder joint or the hip joint. This ring of soft tissue helps keep the ball, or head, of the joint in place. While normally smooth and strong, the labral tissue can be torn by a direct injury.

What causes a labral tear? Labral tears in the shoulder often result from falling and landing on an outstretched hand. Baseball pitchers are prone to tear as, when they forcefully throw the ball, the bicep tendon pulls hard against the front of the shoulder joint and labrum. Labral tears at the hip joint are commonly a result of slipping and falling, an awkward twist of the hip or being tackled in sports. Some labral tears are due to an unusual shape of the hip bones that lead to abnormal wear and tear of the cartilage over time.

What does a labral tear feel like? Whether a labral tear is at the shoulder or hip, symptoms include a sharp pop, catching sensation or pain. Often these joints will ache and cause instability. How does Pilates help with labral tear rehabilitation? Pilates rehabilitation offers safe exercise that avoids further injury while improving joint stability for easier, pain-free movement. If your labral tear requires surgery, joint replacement, or other intervention, Pilates rehabilitation can help you achieve full function of the affected joint with custom exercises and trained instruction to get you pain-free and back to the activities you love!

When can I start Pilates rehabilitation? Following surgery, you will enter a physical therapy program (usually for 4-8 weeks, depending on your recovery) that will help you to feel more confident about the injured area. Once this is completed, you should have improved range of motion restored. Only at this point should you talk to your doctor about undertaking a Pilates rehabilitation program at UP Pilates.

What can I expect with Pilates rehabilitation? At UP Pilates, we will develop a safe program targeted at your condition, overall health, and rehabilitation goals. Our trained instructors will use our extensive array of equipment and props to guide you through Pilates exercise aimed at improving the affected area. We will focus on helping you regain stability of the joint and then begin to strengthen the larger muscles around the joint.

The shoulder and hip joints should “seat” in the center of the joint socket but, often, the labral tear that is healing does not “seat” correctly. The result can be discomfort, abnormal movement, and increased risk of reinjury. At UP Pilates we use an innovative prop called the Oov, along with free weights, to help isolate and strengthen the muscles of the shoulder or hip. This improved strength allows the joint head to sit centered in the socket where it is most efficient and safe. Strength exercises are only increased when this joint is correctly seated in the socket.

Have you experienced a labral tear in your shoulder or hip? With extensive experience in rehabilitation, UP Pilates instructors offer safe and effective programs to help improve strength, flexibility, and mobility in these crucial joints.

Contact us to see how Pilates rehabilitation can help you achieve faster recovery. We help people every day improve their strength, flexibility, and quality of life!

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