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Pathologizing Normal, with Natalie Wilson and Raphael Bender

By June 5, 2022July 5th, 2022Become a better instructor

Many, possibly most of the things we think of as “dysfunctions” in Pilates are in fact just normal variations. Things like:

  • Anterior pelvic tilt
  • Rounded shoulders
  • Asymmetrical range of motion

are highly prevalent in pain-free people and do not predict injury. In fact, 80% of pain-free people have anterior pelvic tilt; so is it really a “tilt” or is it just the shape of the human pelvis?

Even hypermobility & scoliosis are arguably not the cause of pain, or increased pain, and don’t need to be (nor can they be) “corrected” or “protected” by exercise.

Raph and Natalie talk through:

  • What is the evidence that these things are not pathologies?
  • Why do we pathologize normal?
  • What should we do instead?

Resources mentioned in the episode:

  • 80% of pain-free people have anterior pelvic tilt here
  • Anterior pelvic tilt is not related to hip muscle tightness or strength here
  • Stabilization exercise works better if you THINK your back is unstable here
  • There is very weak correlation between scoliosis curve magnitude and back pain here and here
  • Pain in hypermobile people is not related to joint angle here but is more likely a result of higher pain sensitivity of the central nervous system here
  • Current ACSM guidelines here
About Raphael Bender:

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

How to Connect with Raphael:

Purchase Raph’s new book:

  • Strengthen The Person Not Just The Body Part here
About Natalie Wilson:

Born and raised in Hawaii, Natalie’s foundation in movement comes from years of training in the native dances of Hawaii and Tahiti.  After college, Natalie pursued a career in social work and mental health.  She discovered Pilates after the birth of her second child and loved how the practice gave her renewed strength, energy, and focus. Desiring a career shift, Natalie enrolled in a comprehensive Pilates training program, graduating in early 2017.  In addition, Natalie received her National Pilates Certification in 2020 and her Pilates Certification from Breathe Education in February 2022.  She currently teaches at Vitality Pilates as well as the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, where she lives with her husband, two kids, and too many houseplants.

How to Connect with Natalie:

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