I have had nagging right sided lower back pain for years. My sacroiliac joint was unstable and I’d “throw it out” routinely. Now, if you’ve ever had back pain, acute or chronic, you know what I mean when I say that when your back hurts, it ruins everything in your life. Being an athlete with medical training, for years I stubbornly pursued many avenues of treatment, holistic and conventional. I read dozens of research articles on the subject, hunted down and visited numerous specialists in several states, and put myself through thousands of dollars of training including dynamic neuromuscular stabilization (DNS), Barefoot Training Certification, Don Tigney’s work, the Egoscue system and even Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) sequences.
In the late summer of 2013, I had an MRI and CT scan performed. My chiro looked at these and thought my spine looked “pretty bad.” My orthopedic surgeon was more admirably direct and matter-of-fact stating “Your spine looks like sh-t.” Here I was, a lifelong athlete dedicated to the pursuit of fitness and health, and I had somehow torn my own back apart in the process. I got pretty depressed.
Sensing an epiphany, I began doing the Foundation Training exercises… I do not exaggerate when I say that within a few days (< 1 week) I noticed that I wasn’t throwing my back out. After a few more days, my back felt abnormal…meaning it didn’t hurt. It was so strange (and welcome!) NOT to be experiencing nearly constant pain…
Since I began using the techniques in Foundation Training, I have remained free of the back pain and instability that had plagued me for years before. Interestingly, my left knee, quite commonly a source of pain, also stopped hurting. This latter tidbit may seem odd at first, but the knee’s function is strongly influenced by central (core) body control. I incorporate parts of the system regularly in my daily life…sometimes just a couple of movements and sometimes a whole sequence. For people who have back/hip/neck pain, I strongly recommend Foundation Training because it really hits at the essential components of human movement and function. For people who don’t have pain, I recommend the practice because even if you are pain-free now, you are probably well en route to developing it as pain is a pretty late sign of long-term dysfunction. To clarify, think of a car with bad front end alignment and an abnormally worn front tire. As with our bodies, the tire wear didn’t happen suddenly, but was a result of a long-standing alignment problem.
A little about me: I am an active 50 year old male in the final year of the Human Movement Master’s Program at (ATSU), former Marine, currently Firefighter/Paramedic, Tae Kwon Do Black Belt, current Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner, Hardstyle Kettlebell Instructor, NASM Personal Trainer with specialization in Performance Enhancement and Corrective Exercise, DNS Sport Levels I & II, FMS I & II, Barefoot Mechanics, and just a nerd in general 🙂