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Pilates COREterly

Summer 2010

Rehab Corner

The CoreAlign®: A New Way to Expand Rehab and Fitness Services

by Brent Dodge, PT, OCS, CMPT, CSCS

Riding the wave of a new rehab and fitness trend can put your career or business in the driver’s seat. But sometimes you realize it’s more than a trend. Take Pilates. I heard of it in the 1990s; I embraced it in the 2000s. Doing so placed my skillset and PT practice in the forefront, even in a market saturated with PT clinics.

Enter, the CoreAlign

As a PT practice owner, I’m constantly assessing new equipment and technologies. Some come and go. Others are here to stay. That’s why I was inquisitive when two of my clinic managers approached me about the CoreAlign®. When I first learned of this new approach, I admittedly wasn’t that intrigued. However, when I considered who was alerting me to this new technology, I determined to assess it seriously.

These people were Samantha Schoeneman, a PT and a PMA certified Pilates instructor and Angela Listug-Vap, who is a Kaiser-Hayward residency-trained manual physical therapist and the only Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists in the state where I practice. When these seasoned clinicians present new information and insights, I listen.

As it turned out, Sam and Angela happened upon the device at an international Pilates trade show. While there, they met the inventor of the CoreAlign, Jonathan Hoffman, a physical therapist from Tel Aviv, Israel.

Immediately seeing the potential, Sam arranged to go through an intensive week of advanced training in order to complete all three levels of certification. In March of this year, she attained status as a Master Instructor and is currently one of only 12 people in the world with this distinction. Angela is scheduled to complete the necessary training toward her advanced certification this month.

Satisfied by the rationale offered by Sam and Angela, I signed the checks to pay for the initial training and certification, as well as for purchasing four units. I allocated additional money for a marketing campaign and to invite Jonathan Hoffman from Israel for a two-day training for my entire PT staff.

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Initially, I still wasn’t sold on the approach, mainly because I hadn’t yet integrated it into my clinical practice. Since then, I’ve had many opportunities to work with my patients using this new approach. The clinical results, although anecdotal at this point, are promising. Even my toughest patients responded well when I incorporated CoreAlign into their rehab programs.

From observing the results with patients, I am confident that the decision to invest in this new method will benefit our patients, as well as a more healthy population.

The CoreAlign device sports two independent tracks and a workout ladder. The apparatus enables clients to exercise in an upright, functional posture, while addressing muscle balance, alignment, coordination, balance, and strength. Combining the tracks with upright postures is a key element in giving clients an immediate “feel” for proper alignment while doing specific exercises. As a result, they are able to make changes that translate into improved function within a single session.

Who benefits?

Pretty much anyone: people rehabilitating from back and neck pain, joint problems, and sports injuries are ideally suited for treatment with the CoreAlign. Aging adults, people with osteoporosis, and others with pain conditions also benefit because of the low impact nature of the exercises. And high level athletes, including racquet enthusiasts, runners, and golfers will find the method challenging and varied, while also enabling them to establish a powerful core for improved sports performance.

In the same fashion that Pilates caught a significant wave of success in the 90s and beyond, so this new approach appears to be on track to rise to equal heights of success.

Brent Dodge, PT, OCS, CMPT, CSCS is the owner of Alpine Physical Therapy in Missoula, MT, one of the first CoreAlign studios in the country. He holds several professional certifications and is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, among others.