Meet Sveta. She’s a 50ish-year-old client of ours, who used to work as a doctor back home and now works as a nurse. She started working with us after hearing about me from different people. Why did she start working with us? She was in a car accident. Her neck was in pain. Her shoulder was in pain. Her hip was in pain. A lot. Plus headaches.
- She could not work
- She could not sleep
- She was having a hard time concentrating, it was giving her a headache
- She was constantly tired
What She’s Tried Before
So obviously, constant shoulder and neck pain isn’t pleasant, and the doctor’s advice usually doesn’t help. “It is the result of a car accident. Learn to live with it.” Or “That’s a common problem after a car accident. Learn to live with it” Makes you feel a lot better, doesn’t it? Thanks, doc.
Sveta also tried doing physiotherapy but didn’t find that to be beneficial. No changes in headaches, sleep, or pain in her neck and shoulder.
In 5 months since she started working with us, she has made some very dramatic progress, and in this article, I’ll outline the exact approach that we used with her to get her to sleep again, get her energy back, get rid of headaches, stop pain in her shoulder and hip, and be able to get back to work again.
After meeting with me, Sveta went home puzzled. Being a doctor herself she found out that she has never paid attention to her own body, she had no idea of what the body was telling her!
Using an extensive movement assessment, Sveta didn’t score so well in:
- The shoulder movement test.
- Chest area movement
- Hip range of motion
And there were significant differences between her right side and left side. The right side scored worse, which is where her pain was.
Although other tests were used as well, these were the 3 that really stood out, and pinpointed me to the areas where there is the greatest potential for improvement.
It’s beyond the scope of this article to explain what these tests are, but let me explain what failing these tests means.
Hip range of movement test
The hip has many degrees of freedom. It’s one of the most flexible joints in the body. And to maintain good hip function, and pain-free movement, that range of motion needs to stay.
I was looking for two things here:
- How well she can swing each leg without compensating with her lower back
- How is her shoulder alignment while she’s swinging either leg?
We found out that there is a significant difference between her sides. One hip joint moves freely and the other…not great at all. Her shoulder has to constantly compensate for this, keeping her neck muscles contracted all the time
This means that Sveta constantly pulled one of her shoulders towards her ear creating a tension headache. All the time.
What Exercises Were Used
Based on the results of Sveta’s assessment, I came up with an exercise program for her.
Because the hip muscles were particularly weak, Nem used a few dancing exercises that improve hip range of motion and strengthen the gluteus medius, gluteus maximum, quadriceps, and hamstrings.
Other exercises used for this purpose were single-leg abductions and single-leg extensions. At first, this was done while holding on to something, so that balance isn’t an issue. Eventually, this progressed to doing the same thing, without holding on to anything.
After decent muscular balance was established, and those muscles started “firing” at the right times, she started to use more exercises that carry over better to the “real world” and activities of daily living.
So we started to incorporate real yogic poses creating sequences out of them, such as
- Multiple Warrior poses based on lunges to further strengthen legs and hips,
- Different variants of Forward Bend pose (Uttanasana, etc.) to free up blood flow in the neck and brain
- Standing, prone and supine twists to improve chest area flexibility that helps the neck area and takes care of shoulders mobility as well
All these latter exercises help Sveta integrate her newly-found strength in “functional”, real-world exercises.
And that’s something that I want you to notice. The order of exercises. Notice that in the initial parts of Sveta’s training, I was using isolation exercises, to get the muscles firing properly. But usually, that’s not enough. We don’t want something to look good in the gym, but it doesn’t carry over into life outside the gym. And if we had just done the first few exercises, traditional rehab exercises, it might have carried over to “real life”, and it might not have. That’s why in the second phase of Sveta’s training, I started to incorporate movements that are actually used in real life, to get the best carry-over possible.
The results are nothing short of phenomenal.
In 5 months, Sveta:
- Completely stopped having headaches. She went from every single day to absolutely nothing!
- Started to sleep through the night. This gave her energy and a sense of rest
- Couldn’t stand up out of a chair without pain. Now she does not even talk about this
- First, she started to work part-time at one private clinic. 4 hours twice a week. Now she works full-time in the hospital and still keeps working at the private clinic
- Improved her confidence
- Now she is enjoying her life, smiling, telling jokes, and becoming such sunshine!
If you or someone you know wants similar results to these, just call or text me to 416-277-5432 to book a consultation
P.S. – Whenever you’re ready… simply call me