Kim Pang - January 2019

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Before I started having major problems, I noticed some weird alignment issues in my everyday movements and ignored them, thinking they would go away. Had I acknowledged that I was having trouble and started Pilates sooner I could have prevented many of these issues or maybe even all of them.

 

"At the age of 29 (I'm 37 now) I suffered a sudden and unexplained injury to my right hip while running. For the five years following that injury, I dealt with difficulty standing, walking, and sitting for any length of time before I was finally diagnosed with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS). During that time I accumulated injuries to my left hip and both shoulders as well as having pain and instability in my back and several other joints. hEDS causes joint instability, incredibly tight fascia and muscles, fragile tissues, pain, and makes it challenging just to move throughout the day. Laying down was the only somewhat comfortable position for me. My function had been so poor that I didn't have the ability to perform a regular full time job (or even part time) as an RN for four years.

My physical therapist had made several recommendations that I try Pilates but I kept saying, "I’m not ready yet". Finally, I made it to Concord Pilates when my stepmother invited me to the Pilates Day Open House. At the time, I did not know much about it. I assumed it was for people who were at a high level of fitness and I didn’t think I was ready for that. I remember saying, "I’m just here to observe, I’m not going to try anything". I really didn’t want to set myself back after making slow but steady progress with physical therapy the previous two years. At the Open House I learned that Pilates is adaptable and it can be modified to whatever level you're at. This made me feel comfortable enough to try it out, knowing this type of exercise would not set me back and only help me progress.

After just a few weeks, I already felt more stable in my joints and more solid on my feet. I have been consistently practicing for six months now, 2-3 times per week. Pilates has allowed me to safely gain strength and stability while re-learning how to move correctly. Even on days when I am not feeling up to par (which is just something I deal with having hEDS) I still go to the studio and I feel so much better afterward! Overall, I have made steady progress towards my goals. I know I am working the right muscles, the right way. I love it and I'm so happy I finally tried it!

Now I can stand better, sit longer and travel more. In the past, I would take a flight somewhere on vacation and by the time we got to our destination - due to how taxing travel is - I would be down for the rest of my vacation and basically spend it in bed. Fast forward to now, I completed a three-mile hike in Oregon! I am thankful to be functional enough to complete a hike, something I have not been able to do for the last 7 years.

I'm confident that had I started Pilates before the pain and functional impairments set in I could have prevented a lot of these issues. Even before I started having major problems, I noticed some weird alignment issues in my everyday movements and ignored them, thinking they would go away. Had I acknowledged that I was having trouble and started Pilates sooner I could have prevented many of these issues or maybe even all of them. My level of function would certainly be much better. Now I know, and I'm looking forward to continuing to get better! Everybody should do Pilates. Whatever your occupation or level of fitness is, Pilates can help to correct your alignment, decrease pain, increase function, and prevent future injuries. Try it out!"