Pilates & EDS

Recently we discovered that my joint pain and multiple joint injuries were due to an off shoot of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Since high school I have been on a roller coaster of joint pain and injuries. When I tell my clients I know what its like to start over multiple times, I am not joking. Been there, done that…every 3-6 months actually. Background information first, I have had two knee surgeries, a wrist surgery, multiple shoulder dislocations, and chronic hip displacement. This was all attributed to being flexible until recently. My younger cousin has EDS and it is much more severe than mine, however her diagnosis was able to point my doctors in the right direction.

Ehlers Danlos is a connective tissue condition that makes the joints very unstable, dislocate easily, and can move around. Ribs tend to float or squish under each other and it makes it extremely uncomfortable to breathe or move or exercise. My brother-in-law’s dog jumped on me over the holiday’s smashing one rib up under the other one. YIKES!  For a normal person the dog may have just knocked the wind out of them, but with this condition the consequences are far more painful. Unfortunately there is no cure and the advice to mitigate symptoms is exercise. But wait, exercise is what caused all those dislocations and injuries, right? Yes, I know, its an oxymoron.

I have tried every type of exercise out there. My degrees are both in exercise science and nutritional science so I do have a vast background to pull from. If anyone could avoid injuries you would think it would be me. NOPE. As I said before I am use to starting over. Since high school I have had an injury of some sort roughly every 3-6 months. They range from needing surgery to just needing time off. Either way these injuries cause a start-stop cycle that I have not been able to get out of. In my many session of physical therapy I have used a Pilates reformer regularly to rehab and strengthen joints, however Pilates classes are PRICEY! Or they don’t offer the reformer classes only the floor work.

So as I grapple with this condition I realized Pilates was probably my best bet at strengthening joints with the smallest possibility of injuring something. So I looked into buying a reformer for the house. Well now I know why the classes were so darn expensive, they have to pay off the machines! They can be has high or higher as $7,000. I don’t know about you but I will not be spending that much money on 1 item even if its going to be my saving grace in the exercise world.

My father, who is computer challenged, found a website that had refurnished reformers that I had missed in my search, Hayneedle. Their name should be a tip off that you can find the proverbial needle in a hay stack. I found a refurbished reformer with a few attachments for $299.00 AND free shipping! Now that price looks much more doable compared to $7,000+. Of course its not Amazon Prime so it wont be here in two days, but it will be here in less than 10 days. Which is not too shabby for such a large piece of equipment.

Stay tunes for the updates of the reformers arrival, assembly, and use! I’ll let you know if it is money well spent!

PS: 2 hours post wrist surgery, and I’m out shopping and taking selfies… guess I am just used to it!

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