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Pilates for Fragile Backs: Recovering Strength and Flexibility After Surgery, Injury, or Other Back Problems [Paperback]

Andra Fischgrund Stanton
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £17.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

11 Oct 2006
Studies suggest that proactive strengthening and flexibility-recovery exercises can speed recovery after spine surgery. Whether they are preparing for or recovering from spinal surgery, recuperating from a back injury or just dealing with a fragile back, this book offers readers a regimen that will help manage pain and regain strength and mobility. The exercises in this book modify Pilates exercises to accommodate partially immobilised spines, making this routine safe and effective for readers with fragile backs. These exercises are designed not to compromise a spinal fusion. Instead they will do what Pilates exercises do best - stretch, strengthen and tone the trunk with precise positioning and movement, rather than repetition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger; 1 edition (11 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572244666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572244665
  • Product Dimensions: 25.6 x 17.8 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 328,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Andra Fischgrund Stanton, LICSW, an independent, licensed psychiatric social worker, has been practicing individual and marital psychotherapy for twenty-five years. Over the years she has been especially sensitive to clients with chronic illness as she herself has been coping with scoliosis and back pain since the age of 11. Certified through the Power Pilates Method in New York City, Ruth Hiatt-Coblentz has earned advanced certification in Pilates mat, Reformer, Cadillac and Wunda Chair instruction. In her private studio, Think Pilates in Worcester, MA, she finds particular satisfaction helping those with fragile spines, having had three spinal surgeries of her own.

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
2.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not recommended 14 July 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this expecting lots of variations on traditional pilates for those of us with back problems and I was disappointed. Not only are there not alot of alterations to standard exercises but two sections of the book require pilates machines. I don't recommend it for anyone who knows any of the basic pilates exercises.
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1.0 out of 5 stars disapointing 9 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Half of the exercises require a pilates machine called the 'reformer' which I've never seen in any gym I've been to. It would have been more useful to show how to do these exercises on equipment more widely provided in gyms. The book seems to focus too heavily towards patients with sever back problems requiring surgery, who make up only a small % of back sufferers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 17 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is very helpful and I am now doing pilates at home every day.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SAVED ME FROM SURGERY! 7 July 2007
By Pamela D. Blair - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I can't thank you enough for writing this book. As a 58 year old woman with chronic back issues from scoliosis, degenerative spine disease and three herniated disks, I was going crazy from the pain and 3 seconds away from calling a surgeon when I found your book. The book encouraged me to take it slow and gave me great ideas for not hurting myself. After awhile I decided to get a trainer. When I showed it to her she was grateful to have such a wonderful resource to recommend to her clients. I highly recommend this book if you are at all afraid of hurting yourself. I am pain free for the first time in 20 years! Pamela D. Blair, Author The Next Fifty Years: A Guide for Women at Mid-Life And Beyond
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Encouraging and comforting!! 10 Feb 2007
By RBL - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I had spinal fusion surgery in July 2005. Although it was highly successful, there are always issues to deal with, that most people dont understand. Some are actually unexplainable, until I read this book.For the first time, someone was actually explaining all the feelings and emotions that I have gone thru. They also offered great alternatives and tips for everyday living to improve your situation!!Another plus for me, was that it was co-written by a top surgeon in the country.For anyone that has had spinal surgery, I would HIGHLY recommend this book from start to finish!!
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Pilates book for those with scoliosis 11 Nov 2006
By David K. Wolpert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Pilates is a wonderful program for strengthening support muscles in the abdomen and back, improving alignment, achieving better balance and posture, reducing muscle tension, and increasing flexibility. Unfortunately, for those with back problems such as scoliosis, standard Pilates exercises may be too painful or physically challenging to follow. Pilates for Fragile Backs provides an excellent, step-by-step, comprehensive introduction to Pilates exercises that are particularly well-suited for those with spinal disorders, including those who have had spinal surgery. The book also includes valuable supplementary material, such as an overview of spinal anatomy, common back pain triggers and conservative pain remedies.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An indispensable resource for anyone with back problems 10 Dec 2007
By Elizabeth Rasche Gonzalez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This remarkable book has already generated major "buzz" in the "bad-back" community. Better yet, it is being used by some of us with truly terrible backs -- complex disk problems, severe scoliosis, major iatrogenic deformities resulting from previous scoliosis corrections. If you are in any of these categories, please check out this singular new approach to physical conditioning and emotional well-being. Unlike any of the previous "bad-back" books I have surveyed -- in the process of moderating a large online group for people with flatback syndrome and trying to find some kind of exercise I could do after eight fusions and revisions -- the program outlined here is safe and reasonable. For that reason, it has garnered endorsements from leading spinal surgeons who would never recommend most generic bad-back programs to their fragile-backed patients. (The "fragile backs" descriptor is inspired -- those of us with complex spinal problems know in the bone just how fragile we are, and just how cautious and patient we must be in initiating any exercise program.)

One reviewer criticized the book for spelling out special Pilates equipment which is necessary to do the core-strengthening exercises in the book. This is a legitimate concern for those of us on fixed disability incomes or in other limiting circumstances, but I doubt that it could stop any of the motivated people I know through my own 560-member website for people with flatback syndrome. I regard it as just another challenge, along with the many others we face every day -- to name just two, locating a qualified surgeon and getting our insurance carriers to pay for the surgery s/he prescribes to make our lives livable! Having had some personal email correspondence with author Andrea Stanton -- a personable and empathic human being, a psychiatric social worker by profession, and a woman whose own back-saga has some major similarities with my own -- I have learned that there are all kinds of ways to minimize the expense for someone who is motivated and determined.

Moreover, the book offers more than just the equipment-requiring program. Among other things, it includes one of the clearest "lay" explanations of spinal anatomy and back mechanics I have ever read -- anywhere.

Members of my own support group have been posting ever more frequently about this book, approximately one year after its publication. They report that they are sharing its thoughtfully adapated Pilates exercises--a program initially worked out by Andrea's Pilates instructor, whose own hair-raising spinal saga is detailed in the book, along with Andrea's -- with their own exercise instructors, taking the book along with them to their "workouts," and otherwise using it in practical ways which have brought them to new levels of personal mastery and pain relief.

A couple aspects of the book could use some work or expansion, through no fault of the authors. It is my understanding that someone at the publishing company decided at the last minute to require these "extras," such as a list of outside resources. Given the publication schedule, there was simply not adequate time to produce any kind of comprehensive or thoroughly annotated list. The book does not suffer at all from this problem, which is hardly central to its main content: logically laid out, well-written, impeccably edited text, supplemented by equally clear photographs. The book provides a wonderful explanation of where Pilates came from and what it is all about, then goes on to explain how people with the most extreme and debilitating back problems can actually use and adapt the most crucial Pilates exercises to their own situations.

In my estimation, no other exercise, yoga, or related book on the market comes close to accomplishing what this volume accomplishes, and most contain prominent disclaimers warning scoliosis-surgery patients, for instance, to see their doctors and try something else! -- either that, or they indicate clearly that they are aimed at people with mild, unoperated scoliosis, or perhaps an occasional reader who has undergone a laminectomy for some isolated disk problem, while failing to address the rest of us at all.

In short, *Pilates for Fragile Backs* is a uniquely encouraging and helpful resource for anyone with severe and complex spinal problems seeking some attainable level of physical conditioning and strengthening. There is simply nothing else like it on the market. Even if you are not prepared to embark on the prescribed program, you may well find it worthwhile to read the book simply for its excellent medical explanations and the authors' inspiring personal stories. If you are like me, it will give you -- at the very least -- something that is often in short supply for people with terrible spines and incredible chronic pain: a whopping dose of hope.
36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Keep looking 30 Jan 2007
By Bartholomew - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought this book after sugery on my back and was disappointed. Yes, it did have some exercises for the lower back but a good portion of the books was devoted to exercises that you can do IF you own or are willing to go out and buy many more pilates equipment or go to classes.

This book may help some people but I had hopes to find a book for people looking to stregthen and exercise their back after surgery. I hope that someday there will be a book of safe and simple exercises targeted to low back that people can do at home without having to spend even more money to do them.

Take a look at this book before you buy it to make sure that it has the information that will help so that you don't end up with another book gathering dust.
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