Written by Sabrina Fu, Pilates Instructor

Most people who are unfamiliar with the Pilates method may think that the main benefits are simply improvements in posture and flexibility, but it goes far beyond that!

Whether you are looking to rehabilitate an injury, improve overall strength and mobility, or enhance athletic/sports performance, Pilates is an excellent exercise method to add to your lifestyle.

How Pilates Can Benefit You:

1. Strengthens your Mental & Body Awareness

Pilates is low-impact, yet highly effective for enhancing your mind-body connection, regardless of your fitness level. There is a strong emphasis on sufficient breathing and working the body as an integrated whole, which massively improves your coordination and musculoskeletal function. Ultimately, this prevents the risk of injury and thus promotes a better quality of life.

2. Improves Mobility and Flexibility

Wanting to feel less ‘stiff’ in the joints and more supple and mobile? Pilates engages your body through different planes of movement in a controlled and repetitive manner. This stretches and strengthens the deep muscles surrounding your joints, so that you are able to move your joints comfortably and confidently through a range of motion that they were designed for.

3. Core strengthening

Your core not only comprises the abdominal muscles, but also the diaphragm, deep postural muscles in the spine and pelvic floor. Challenging your core with a variety of movement patterns, along with the correct breathing technique, can help strengthen and stabilise your core and translate to everyday activity and/or athletic performance.

I’ve only named a few of the myriad benefits Pilates has on your overall well-being. So, the next best thing you can do now is to give it a go (with consistency and effort, of course) and experience the positive changes for yourself! Contact Auckland Physiotherapy to help you begin your journey into the world of Pilates.

By Anna Geraets, Physiotherapist, Pilates Instructor and Women's Health Specialist

Why get a WOF?

Well… How are you feeling? 

Whether you are currently pregnant, or you are in the process of recovering from childbirth, surely you are appreciating just how much your body can transform to meet the demands of growing a baby. This can shake the confidence of even the most body-aware women. What activities are safe? What is beneficial? What is just normal pregnancy discomfort and what can be eased with some clinical management?

The childbearing years are a journey through a period of what can feel like constant change for our bodies.

The pre and postnatal WOFs are designed for those who are really after information and feedback in a one-off session (though the WOF can lead on to further management if this is indicated). If there are specific concerns or questions, these will be addressed, and if further clinical management is indicated this can flow on in consecutive sessions.

The WOF session is really guided by what you need; what are your concerns, how are you going with exercise, what is your history with exercise, do you have any history of incontinence or perineal problems, and what are your goals? Though there is plenty to go through even if you don’t have a complete list of questions!

What you can expect from your pregnancy WOF:

What you can expect from your postnatal WOF:

NB: if you have had any perineal pain or trauma, it is more likely that you will need a postnatal women's health appointment, and possibly some follow up, where we will focus more on the perineum recovery and any concerns related to this.

We have loads of information on our women's health section of our website, including conditions specific to women's and pelvic health that we manage daily in our clinic, as well as an online shop for many products related to pregnancy, postpartum, and pelvic health.

Compiled by our Director, Senior Physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor Helen Dudley. To book an appointment with Helen, or read her Meet the Team profile CLICK HERE.

Incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine at an inappropriate time or place. For a lot of us, incontinence can be an everyday occurrence that puts strain on our mental health and can limit our physical activities and enjoyment. This taboo problem is unfortunately all too common so if you do experience incontinence, whether it is a few drops every now and then to full bladder leakage, you’re not alone. In fact;
- 1 in 3 women have some degree of urinary incontinence
- In women 45-60 years old, this number increases to 50%
- 13% of men have urinary incontinence

As Physios, we obviously advocate the assessment and rehabilitation of incontinence issues with a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, especially as the research is so propelling as to the success of treatment. In fact, 70% of women with incontinence will get significant improvements with appropriate treatment.

In saying that, we also understand that it can be very debilitating to every day life so management is just as important to enable you to live well and do the things you love. In the past, this has meant using pads that are uncomfortable and not environmentally sound. That is why we were so excited and had to share this great new product with you.

Awwa is a great NZ female founded company that provides pee-proof pants for people of all shapes and sizes. They have a great ethos; making sustainable and climate positive products that are made of natural, organic and recycled fabrics. The pee-proof underwear wicks moisture away from the body and locks it into the centre layer, meaning you feel dry and smell fresh all day long.

Here is more information taken from their website:

How Does AWWA work for bladder leakage?

Our innovative hi tech layers have been developed especially to absord fluid but keep you dry and fresh.
1 - The top layer, sits closest to your skin and wicks moisture away fast and keeps you feeling dry.
2 - An antimicrobial layer that fights odours and bacteria
3 - A super absorbent layer that safely holds 18 ml of fluid (that you do NOT feel)
4 - Bottom layer, is a leak proof barrier

Do they smell?

Our high tech layers mean that all liquid and odour are locked in the middle layer so there’s no smell.

Do you feel wet wearing them?

Absolutely not!

How long can you wear incontinence underwear before changing them?

This comes down to what you’re comfortable with, but our underwear can hold up to 18ml so you should be able to wear one pair all day long.
They are great for periods too. ​​Our absorbent technology supports you through pregnancy and incontinence. Making us period proof, postpartum proof and pee proof with a range of absorbency levels and styles to suit you.

What AWWA styles do you recommend for incontinence?

We recommend the Eva brief, Cotton Brief or Skye High styles

AP have created a health solution company called The Health Collective. The collective consists of a group of trusted experts in the health and wellness field that have personally selected products that will assist our communities health and wellness.
We stock a wide range of select locally produced, ethically sourced, sustainable products to help you keep healthy, recover from injury, support you while you work and play, help you to sleep and relax and to support women during pregnancy, postpartum and beyond.


Our Ask A Physio series is a collection of micro blogs aimed at giving a basic understanding to some frequently asked questions. If you have an injury or are experiencing discomfort please book for an assessment, or contact reception for more information.

What does tape do and how long does it last?

There’s lots of different types of tape, ranging from the super rigid brown sports tape through to paper thin and colourful “K-tape”. The common idea is to try to make an area more stable, or at least to give the area a bit more feedback and control. We used to think that tape holds an area in place, but what we know now is that the real effect is with position sense; helping you know where your joints and muscle are sitting.

I’ve seen plenty of physiotherapists advise to leave tape on for a couple of days, but I wouldn’t recommend anything more than 6 hours. If you sweat into the tape then let it dry, it turns into a kind of smelly paper mache, and it will take a few layers of skin off when you try to remove it. If you’re repeatedly taping for more than a few days make sure you wash your skin in between, let it dry thoroughly and check for any irritation.

Our Ask A Physio series is a collection of micro blogs aimed at giving a basic understanding to some frequently asked questions. If you have an injury or are experiencing discomfort please book for an assessment, or contact reception for more information.

What is the best immediate response to an injury?

Is RICE still a thing?? Absolutely! If we remember from health class, RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate for 72 hours.

In most cases rest means relative rest, not completely stopping everything. Unless you’ve fractured, dislocated or otherwise seriously injured something, keeping on with gentle exercise will help settle early inflammation.

Ice is actually a topic which gets us arguing about whether it's appropriate or not. My simple rule of thumb is if the injury is hot (throbbing, red, swelling), then ice it down for 20 minutes. You can do this 2-3 times a day, but going over the top with ice for a week or more can actually slow your healing down. 

Compression should be flexible and comfortable, and shouldn’t be a super rigid brace or splint early on. There is a tendency for injuries to stiffen up quite quickly in the first week, and stopping gentle movement can make this much worse. Again, the obvious exception would be a fracture, dislocation or something else really serious.

Elevation is pretty self explanatory, and probably isn’t as important as the other things you’ll do. It's most useful for ankle and knee injuries, just keep your leg up while you’re icing it to help with draining out any swelling.

Then book in to see a physio and we can get a plan happening so you'll be back to doing what you love!

Shoulder Pain: When Should I Be Worried?

The shoulder is a pretty remarkable piece of kit; it’s by far the most flexible joint in our body, capable of loading up in an almost infinite combination of movements. It’s also the fastest; a good thrower can make it turn at an acceleration of 6000-7000 degrees per second! All this performance doesn’t come without a few issues though, and shoulder injuries are some of the most common reasons people come to our clinic.

The most common pattern we see is called rotator cuff related pain, sometimes also called bursitis, impingement, subacromial syndrome or any combination of those. This is generally from a big spike in how much you’ve been using your shoulder. Think push up challenges during the COVID lockdowns, heavy loads of laundry, or doing lots of throwing after time off over winter. It’s a soft tissue injury, irritation or damage to the big 4 muscles which rotate your shoulder, and the network of other tissues around them.

Most of the time, this is pretty simple to manage. Early on, basic range of motion, grip strength and gentle loading exercises help to keep things steady. This is also where you might consider some pain relief, heat packs and making sure you’re getting plenty of good quality sleep and food.

*Example movement exercises courtesy of Physiotec - the program we use to provide patients with their individualised exercise programs.

If you find that after 5-7 days of this, the pain is sticking around and you’re still a bit weak or stiff, a good physiotherapist can point you in the right direction with more specific exercises targeted at your specific issues. If this sounds like you, you shouldn’t be worried at all. These injuries can be a bit stubborn and take a few months to settle completely, but it’s rare for them to stick around beyond that.

More serious shoulder injuries can be spotted by pain levels, strength levels and by big, fast, high impact stories. Normal rotator cuff pain will settle with rest, basic pain relief and heat. If you find that isn’t that case and your pain is throbbing when you’re at rest or trying to sleep, it’s a good idea to get checked out. If you get really weak after your injury, with or without pain, then that can also be a sign of some more substantial soft tissue damage. It’s actually not uncommon for more serious rotator cuff injuries to be pretty much pain free early on. If you can’t lift your shoulder above rib height in the first 48 hours, and you can’t support the weight of your own arm, that’s another reason to come in ASAP for some more tests.

Lastly, if you got injured by something big, heavy and/or fast, then there’s a higher chance of something serious happening. This is particularly true if you felt the joint “pop” in or out, or if you felt something move in the joint. You don’t necessarily need surgery if this is the case, but catching big injuries early on gives us a much better chance of getting you a good outcome.

The bottom line is to keep moving, do your basic rest and pain relief early on, and if there’s anything stubborn or suspicious from what I’ve mentioned above, then come in for a check up.

Our Ask A Physio series is a collection of micro blogs aimed at giving a basic understanding to some frequently asked questions. If you have an injury or are experiencing discomfort please book for an assessment, or contact reception for more information.

How soon post injury should I see a physio?

Ideally ASAP! A bit like an issue with your car or house, the sooner we can get you doing the right things, the better chance we have of getting you back to normal sooner. Particularly when it comes to sport and exercise, we’ve got good research showing that the first 72 hours can make your recovery a lot faster or slower.

If it’s an injury or issue you’re really familiar with from previous experience, then you’ll already know the routine for the first week. In that situation I usually tell people to manage it how they’d manage a stomach bug; do what you know for the first 48 hours. If you’re not getting anywhere doing what you know, then check in with us.

If in doubt you can always book for a free 15min phone consult with one of our Physiotherapist!

Do foam rollers work?

Absolutely, there’s a reason that they are such a staple in so many different fitness environments. One big reason why massage, manipulation and other types of manual therapy get criticised is that you don’t want to build too much of a dependence on other people to manage your aches and niggles, so foam rollers allow you to take some of that power into your own hands.

Massage in some form or another has been used in sport and exercise at least as far back as the Roman gladiators, and for good reason. Self massage with foam rollers can be used to improve recovery times after workouts, to lengthen restricted muscles and even to copy the “cracking” or “pops” that you get to free up a stiff spine. Similar to other types of exercise kit, if you’re not already comfortable with foam rollers, make sure that you check in with a physiotherapist or good personal trainer to show you a few techniques before you bring them into your weekly routine.

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