Arthro-Pilates and Lupus





Zoomer magazine Sep 2010 issue


At 18, Lori Weisbrod could barely walk, Psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory arthritis, riddled her body. Over the years, numerous corrective surgeries- five joint replacements on her hands, a right wrist fusion, radioactive synovectomy on each knee and two double foot surgeries, her jaw wired shut and tendon replacement- were necessary. Limited mobility and lack of exercise left her overweight and out of shape, with more joint problems and normal everyday activities leaving her fatigued. “I had to find something to keep my muscles toned despite the arthritis or this disease would consume my life”, Weisbrod says.

Arthro-Pilates™ Modified Balance Pose
Please click image to enlarge

Photography and permission to publish:
Nicolett Jakab

Pilates, a fitness system focusing on stretching, deep breathing, and strengthening the abdominal core, changed her life in 2000, just as she was turning 40 and facing her 11th operation. “I took classes where I was barely able to get down on the mat”, Weisbrod recalls, “plus instructors weren’t trained to consider compromised and artificial joints, restricted range of motion or fatigue associated with arthritis”. She modified the positions to accommodate her condition and, over time, got in the best shape of her life, became a certified Pilates mat instructor and, in 2006 created Arthro-Pilates ™.

Weisbrod also went from a size 12 to a size 4.  Along with the physical activity, she changed her diet: she eats five small meals a day that are rich in nutrients, high in fibre and low in starch and contain ample amounts of healthy fats. She gave up sugar, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, processed foods and boxed treats for freshly prepared, vitamin-packed whole foods. Her program worked so well for her, she posted her weight-loss tips on her website (Weisbrod advises checking with your doctor before starting a major weight-loss or intensive fitness regime; what worked for her may not necessarily work for you). Experts at The Arthritis Society note that maintaining an ideal body weight is important, particularly for people with osteoarthritis , who must deal with a disease that’s lodged in their weight- bearing  joints. Staying active, including swimming, tai chi, yoga and a stretching program, akin to Weisbrod’s Arthro-Pilates, decreases pain and increases flexibility and overall fitness.

Her program adapts Pilates postures for people with joint limitations. It uses a slower pace and assistive equipment to protect joints, both original and artificial. Arthro-Pilates™ can be done at home or in a class, from a bed or in a wheelchair.

“I know what it’s like to have arthritis in it’s most severe form”, Weisbrod says, “So people are comfortable working with me”. She helps pre- and post-surgical patients strengthen their bodies, as well as people with all forms of arthritis and associated illnesses such as fibromyalgia, chronic back issues, herniated disks, and multiple sclerosis.

Michele Goddard, a 49-year old banking executive diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at 12, wanted to build up her body to speed recovery prior to surgical reconstruction of her right hip replacement. Weisbrod created a program to strengthen muscles around hips, legs, core, and upper body.

“After surgery, my hip muscles were not as sore, and I had more energy,” says Goddard.

As Weisbrod sees it, “Boomers are going to need a gentle form of fitness that’s effective and doesn’t harm their joints. That's Arthro-Pilates™".


arthro-pilates: pilates for every body

Lori Weisbrod's Arthro-Pilates™
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