Peak Physio Blog


The benefits of Pilates during Pregnancy

Antenatal Pilates

Exercising during pregnancy offers many benefits to both mother and baby! Research has shown that exercising during the prenatal period can enhance your baby’s growth and development, while improving both yours and your baby’s cardiovascular health. 

Pilates is a safe form of exercise to do at any stage of your pregnancy. It has been shown to help women cope with the physical and psychological changes during and after pregnancy, while also enhancing your recovery after childbirth.


Our Core

In Pilates, our core is known as the ‘Powerhouse’. When talking about the core, we are referring to a group of muscles making up the deep abdominal musculature which supports and stabilises the spine. This includes your Transverse Abdominis and Multifidus muscles, Pelvic Floor musculature and the Diaphragm. 

Prenatal Pilates is targeted at building and reinforcing this support system to minimise the adverse effects of the physical and postural changes during pregnancy

Effects of Pilates in Pregnancy


Pelvic Floor Muscles

The Pelvic Floor is a group of muscles connecting from your pubic bone to your tailbone, forming the ‘floor’ of your pelvis. This muscle group contributes to continence, breathing, pelvic stability and helps to support abdominal organs. 

During the prenatal period, the pelvic floor can become weakened due to weight gain, change in pelvic alignment and increase in uterine and abdominal size. The pelvic floor musculature responds to exercise training just like any other muscle group so cannot be neglected, especially in pregnancy. When training these muscles it is important to learn how to correctly activate them but also how to relax them fully to allow for optimal function.

Pilates is a great way to enhance pelvic floor muscle function due to its synergistic relationship with both the deep spinal stabilisers and the diaphragm as a component of the ‘Powerhouse’. 


It has been reported that the spine is the body part that suffers most changes during pregnancy. One such change being an increase in spinal curvature due to uterine and abdominal growth, pelvic rotation, hip position, weight gain, fluid retention and ligament laxity as a result of hormonal changes. These factors together contribute to the increased prevalence of low back and pelvic pain during pregnancy. Most women experience some form of musculoskeletal discomfort during pregnancy, the most prevalent being low back pain, affecting up to 50% of pregnant women.

Pilates teaches you to activate your Powerhouse which helps contribute to spinal support and stability, minimising the risk of developing low back and pelvic pain or helping you overcome this pain.

Abdominal Muscles

Almost all women experience a separation of the Rectus Abdominis muscle in the third trimester of pregnancy. This is due to the increased abdominal girth and hormonal changes affecting the connective tissue between the Rectus Abdominis muscles (Linea Alba). This separation is known as Diastasis Rectus Abdominis (DRA). Some level of separation is inevitable towards the end of pregnancy, however, natural resolution occurs for up to 8 weeks after delivery.

Exercise, including Pilates during the antenatal period has been shown to reduce incidence of DRA and enhance recovery of the Rectus Abdominis postnatally. Strengthening of the deep abdominal muscles, in particular the Transverse Abdominis, reduces the stress placed on the Linea Alba during and after pregnancy. This enhances postnatal recovery and allows women to return to their usual social and physical activities quicker following birth.

Other important benefits of Pilates in pregnancy include:

  • Preparation for labour through breathing control and positions of ease
  • Increase in upper limb and gluteal muscle strength
  • Improved posture and postural awareness
  • Maintain and improve mobility and movement efficiency throughout pregnancy
  • Improved psychological well-being through social interaction, stress management and relaxation


Guidelines to doing Pilates during Pregnancy

  1. Stay hydrated
  2. Take time changing positions 
  3. Limit time spent lying flat on your back especially during the 2nd and 3rd trimester
  4. Stop exercise if you experience abnormal pain, bleeding, dizziness or headache
  5. Always exercise at your own pace; if you feel an exercise is causing you pain or making you breathless, work at a slightly lower level or avoid that exercise completely
  6. Respect that your body is going through some major changes and allow yourself time to relax and focus on deep breathing
  7. Enjoy! Pregnancy is one of the most significant times in a woman’s life and Pilates can help you adapt to these physical and psychological changes as comfortably possible 


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EoinThe benefits of Pilates during Pregnancy

Claim Your Medical Expenses

Claim Your Medical Expenses!

All major health insurers recognise care provided by Chartered Physiotherapists at Peak Physio.

To check your own cover, please review your own policy for its terms and conditions. We will provide receipts for all your treatment sessions either session by session or a full receipt of all visits at the end of  treatment depending on your preference.

If your health insurance provider does not cover you, you can also claim back some of your fees by claiming through your tax return form at the end of the year. To find out more click on the following link: How to claim health expenses

Below are some examples of the policies that are provided by different insurance companies:


                               Irish Life

Irish life covers both physiotherapy and acupuncture (depending on your own policy) and pre/post natal Pilates.


Day to Day Plans cover physio – Depending on the plan

  • €25 back up – up to 5 visits
  • €30 x 3 visits
  • Physio visits covered 50% up to €25 x 8 visits each

Day to Day Business Plans:  Depending on the plan

  • €20 x 3 visits

Day to Day Health Plans: Depending on the plan

  • physio visits – 50% up to €30 x 25 visits each (subject to €50 excess)

Enhanced Health Plans: Depending on the plan

  • Money back on everyday medical expenses – physio sessions
  • Physio visits – €65 x 10 visits each


Acupuncture as part of Complementary Therapy:

  • €25 per visit x 3 visits.


Enhanced Maternity -Pilates Cover:

  • Pre/post natal Yoga & Pilates: €20 per visit x 2 visits


Please note that excesses may apply to some schemes. Please consult Irish Life Health to see what your Health Insurance policy will cover.


VHI covers both physiotherapy, acupuncture and Maternity Pilates(depending on your own policy) .


One Plan Extra:

  • Physiotherapy cover – €25

Family Plan Plus Level 1:

  • Physiotherapy x 7 visits up to  €25 per visit

Healthsteps Gold:

  • Physiotherapy cover – x 7 visits up to €35 per visit

 One Plan Starter Day 2 Day

  • Physiotherapy x 3 visits at €20 per visit

Company Plan Extra Level 2 (Excess)

  • Physiotherapy 12 visits at €40 per visit



  • Acupuncture – x 7 visits up to €35 per visit



Maternity cover – baby bundle:

  • Maternity Pilates


Please note that excesses may apply to some schemes. Please consult VHI Health to see what your Health Insurance policy will cover.

VHI Healthcare

                            Laya Insurance                            

“At laya healthcare, our health insurance schemes provide cover for a variety of treatments. For example – physiotherapy, acupuncture, dietician and osteopathy. Please note, the therapist you attend for treatment must be a member of one of our recognised bodies before you’re eligible for benefit.”

All the below are only outlines, you must check with your health insurance policy or check with the health insurance company in regard to cover:


Advantage Cover/Assure Cover/ Company Health:

  • Up to €20/€25 of physiotherapy visit is covered


Care Manage/Company Care/Connect Care:

  • 50 % cover of costs – up to 25 visits
  • 50-75% cover of costs – up to 25 visits

Control Suite:

  • Control 150 Create – up to €30 per visit – 25 visits
  • Control 150 Secure – up to €40 per visit – 25 visits
  • Control 150 total – up to €15 per visit – 25 visits





  • Control 300 total – Up to €15 per visit – 12 visits


  • Control 300 create – up to €30 per visit – 12 visits
  • Control 300 secure – up to €40 per visit – 12 visits


Please note that excesses may apply to some schemes. Please consult Laya Healthcare to see what your Health Insurance policy will cover.


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EoinClaim Your Medical Expenses

10 Thing’s You Didn’t Know About Tennis Elbow

10 things you didn’t know about Tennis Elbow

  1. The condition was initially described in 1873. The name “lawn tennis elbow” first came into use for the condition in 1882.
  2. Around 2 % of the population aged 30-50 will present with these symptoms.
  3. It is not just tennis players, Tennis Elbow is also known as Lateral Epicondylitis or Lateral Elbow Tendinopathy
  4. Our lateral elbow anatomy is made up of a number of components, the key component we have to assess when looking at Tennis elbow is our common wrist extensors. They create a broad tendon that inserts on the outside of the lower part of the humerus.
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Peak Physio10 Thing’s You Didn’t Know About Tennis Elbow

Achilles Tendinopathy – a common running injury

Running is an excellent way to get fit! However, sometimes when we start a new program we can feel little niggles beginning to arise. Achilles tendinopathy is a common injury among runners, especially those who are increasing their training load.

What is the achilles?

The achilles tendon is the biggest and strongest tendon in the body located in the back of the lower leg. The tendon has the capacity to resist large forces. It stems from the calf muscles (the gastrocnemius and soleus) and inserts into the heel of our foot (the calcaneus).

What is Achilles Tendinopathy?

A tendinopathy is a disorder which can happen when there is disrepair and disorganisation within the tendon structure. This can happen when there is excessive load placed on the structure, for example if someone starts running and increases their mileage too quickly.

The effects of overuse, poor circulation, lack of flexibility, gender, and hormonal factors can lead to tendinopathies. The structure of the tendon is disturbed by repetitive strain, causing inflammation. This cumulative microtrauma weakens the tendon, which ultimately leads to tendinopathy, especially if recovery is not allowed.

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Peak PhysioAchilles Tendinopathy – a common running injury

5 Tips to Keep Moving Over the Holidays!

2/3 of Irish adults are not getting enough exercise. All though Christmas is a time to switch off and relax, it’s important to try maintain a level of activity over the festive period. Here are easy tips to help keep you moving.

1. Walking
Weather permitting, try meet your friends and family for a nice walk instead of sitting by the fire. Aim to get up to your 10,000 steps daily.

2. Stretching
Going through a stretching regime is a nice way to get moving. Check out some good overall body stretching exercises here and here.

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Peak Physio5 Tips to Keep Moving Over the Holidays!

Why should I get a Deep Tissue Massage?

When it comes to hands on skills Chartered Physiotherapist are highly trained in the area. We are trained in the specific manual techniques which will work deeper into the tight tissue thus giving the best results.

Deep tissue massage focuses on getting into the deeper layers of Muscle,Fascia and Connective tissue. Often these structure can be tight and inhibited causing either pain or restriction in joint.

Massage is very effective in releasing inhibited muscles, preventing injuries, and helping the body to recover from tough training or competitions. It is also very effective in helping with chronic problems, such as back and neck pain.

Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage

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Peak PhysioWhy should I get a Deep Tissue Massage?

What Is My Rotator Cuff & Why Is It Important?

What is the rotator cuff?

The shoulder is the the most unstable joint in the body and comprises by 3 main parts the glenoid, the humerus and the scapula (shoulder blade). The shoulder joint is stabilised by several structures; ligaments, capsule and the tendons of the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is made up of 4 muscles, SUPRAPINATUS, INFRASPINATUS, TERES MINOR and SUBSCAPULARIS. These muscles work together to rotate the arm inwards and outwards and also work to take the arm away from the body to the side. These muscles can be injured in several ways with repetitive movements, trauma, muscular imbalance or adaptive postures.

In anatomy, the scapula (plural scapulae or scapulas)

Why is it important?

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Peak PhysioWhat Is My Rotator Cuff & Why Is It Important?
EoinPeak Physio Blog