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Thread: pilates reformer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    237

    pilates reformer

    Anyone in scoli surgery land have any experience with the Pilates Reformer machine? I had wanted to try it for a long time and finally found a place that has the machines and I was able to take a free class yesterday. So far it feels ok. It certainly felt safe enough and I didn't wake up with mad pain so I am thinking of signing up for a month to see how things go. So I am curious if anyone has any experience negative or positive with the reformer. I did mat pilates for several years but since my latest surgery, I have been afraid to go back. The reformer seemed like a much safer way to approach the exercises.
    any and all comments will be appreciated.
    avis
    1987 Lumbar Laminectomy (forget which levels)
    2005 A/P fusion, L2 - L5, 2/2005
    2009 2 Posterior fusions, T6 - Pelvis, 2/10 & 2/18,
    Dr. Frank Rand, NEBH

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    129
    I've been doing mat pilates for 2 years (was fused T2-L1 this spring) and started doing work on the Reformer at six months post-op. I love it! I am actually in the process of becoming a certified pilates instructor right now....and while there are obviously certain exercises I can't do, I feel I can do most. Actually, just simply getting myself off of the Reformer is the hardest movement of all. Pilates is amazing for recovering from back surgery and helping you regain strength & mobility.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Meridian Idaho
    Posts
    103
    I have a Pilates Reformer and loved doing it prior to my surgery. I have dabbled in it, but have held off due to my current situation. Once I have this, hopefully, last surgery I plan on hitting it once again. I absolutely love the toning and relaxing move of this machine!
    Les
    Les, Biker Babe, age 56 (at time of first surgery)
    Fused T2 to S2, posterior only, 8 Apr 08
    T3 fracture repair and revision, Mar 09
    Broke left lower rod and pelvic screws removal, Dec 09
    Scheduled to remove all hardware, replaced everything instead due to non-fusion, Nov 10
    Remove top 2" of rods and screws, Feb 14
    Pre surgery degrees: L40, T45
    Post surgery degrees: L8, T10

    Happy, joyous and pain-free!
    Surgeon: C Timothy Floyd, MD, Boise Orthopedic Clinic

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    long island, ny
    Posts
    233
    Hi Avis, I also tried pilates before surgery and loved it, unfortunately is was too expensive for me to keep going. I purchased the Susan Luci pilates machine from one of those infomercials, while it is not anywhere near the actual machine, I got a lot of use out of it, soon I will dust it off and get back on it. From what I researched, pilates was created for wounded soldiers as a low impact type of therapy. The theory makes sense to me, you get a lot out of it with having to jump all around the place!
    Dolores A
    June 4, 2009 Anterior L3 - S1
    June 8, 2009 Posterior T4 - Pelvis
    Mark Agulnick, MD FAAOS
    NY Spine & Scoliosis Center

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    Could you explain this machine a bit more? I know my gym has one but you have to work with a trainer and it's a separate $60 fee each time so I didn't even try it before surgery. I did a pilates/yoga class before surgery but can't imagine being able to do any of that now or ever actually. Since I'm to the pelvis would that make the difference? I'm back to the gym doing lots of stuff but I haven't returned to any classes yet--pilates or otherwise. Getting down for floor exercises would be over before I got down there. Plus, I tried it and I feel like I'm lying on a a long heap of metal--guess I am. Janet
    Janet

    61 years old--57 for surgery

    Diagnosed in 1965 at age of 13--no brace
    Thoracic Curve: 96 degrees to 35 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 63 degrees to 5 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis--March 30, 2009
    T-2 to Pelvis, and hopefully all posterior procedure.

    All was posterior along with 2 cages and 6 osteotomies.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    237

    Talking

    Thanks for the replies. I have tried it twice now and think I will keep going. Yesterday was a hard workout and I am sore today so I will take today off. I had never used one before so I was nervous about it. It sounds like those who have used it like it.
    Doodles, I can't get up off the floor which is why I wanted to try the reformer. It's just like rolling off of a bed (sort of) which is a hell of a lot easier than the floor. The place that I found is so reasonable price wise that I couldn't help but try it. If it was $60 a session forget about it. I found it by accident and it's only about half an hour from home. I wanted to say that the bed is not all metal but it's padded like a workout bench and not uncomfortable. Yesterday I did exercises on it that I used to do on the mat. The machine provides safety for the back or at least that is how it seems to me.
    avis
    Last edited by theizzard; 12-22-2009 at 06:59 AM. Reason: forgot something
    1987 Lumbar Laminectomy (forget which levels)
    2005 A/P fusion, L2 - L5, 2/2005
    2009 2 Posterior fusions, T6 - Pelvis, 2/10 & 2/18,
    Dr. Frank Rand, NEBH

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    129
    the Pilates reformer is a sophisticated system of springs, straps and pulleys - and more than 100 exercises can be performed on this machine. it helps you establish core/torso stability, flexibility & proper postural alignment while working your limbs in a range of motion. the adjustable springs allow for progressive resistance, which helps to lengthen and strengthen the muscles. what i love best about the reformer is it makes for an effective, no-impact stretching and toning workout that is extremely friendly to the joints and spine! and the effects go deep with Pilates - i've engaged muscles i never knew i had. in fact, i experienced significant shoulder girdle and rotator cuff weakness post-surgery, and i cannot even tell you how much Pilates has helped me to rebuild my strength. in addition to the reformer, i also love the Pilates Cadillac and chair. Pilates IS expensive, but in my opinion totally worth it. also, some studios/rec centers are cheaper than others. you need to look around. i actually prefer to go to a physical therapy clinic that offers Pilates classes - the instructors seem to have a lot more knowledge of the spine and/or experience working with fusion patients....give it a try!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    Thanks for the info. I definitely need to look into this. Janet
    Janet

    61 years old--57 for surgery

    Diagnosed in 1965 at age of 13--no brace
    Thoracic Curve: 96 degrees to 35 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 63 degrees to 5 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis--March 30, 2009
    T-2 to Pelvis, and hopefully all posterior procedure.

    All was posterior along with 2 cages and 6 osteotomies.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Quote Originally Posted by theizzard View Post
    Anyone in scoli surgery land have any experience with the Pilates Reformer machine? I had wanted to try it for a long time and finally found a place that has the machines and I was able to take a free class yesterday. So far it feels ok. It certainly felt safe enough and I didn't wake up with mad pain so I am thinking of signing up for a month to see how things go. So I am curious if anyone has any experience negative or positive with the reformer. I did mat pilates for several years but since my latest surgery, I have been afraid to go back. The reformer seemed like a much safer way to approach the exercises.
    any and all comments will be appreciated.
    avis
    Hi Avis,
    I haven't but it sounds like a great idea. If you try it, let me know how it goes. How is your 'bowling ball' pain lately? Has it improved? My similar upper back spasms 'mysteriously' disappeared overnight when my gigantic work super stressful project ended. I really wish I could control the stress and not have it go to my back.

    Have a good Christmas!
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,294

    Pilates Reformer

    I have been doing Pilates before and after my revision surgery 7 years ago.

    I stress: do not try it on your own.

    Learn from a certified Pilates instructor. Once you learn how to use it, after movement modifications based on one's physical conditions, you can then do it on your own.

    Pilates is not supposed to result in significant pain. Then you are doing something wrong.
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    143

    How do I find an instructor?

    Hi all. This discussion is fascinating to me. Pilates sound so beneficial that I believe that if I had done this instead of going to Clear Institute in 2007, I would have been in much better shape now. The Clear Institute method practically ignored the torso muscles and I was alarmed to feel those muscles giving way so that my back became flatter as my spine moved way over to the right side.

    So does anyone know a good instructor in New Jersey, or how to find one. I found a book on the internet called "Pilates for Fragile Backs" by Andra Stanton, forward by Dr. Boachie-Adjei, but I would feel more confident with an instructor.

    Joy

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,294

    Lightbulb Finding a Pilates instructor

    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

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