Angel's Story - Neck & Shoulder Pain Journey

Angel in the snow in front of Mount Shasta

Before Align

Life before Align was very limited and to be honest pretty hopeless. I was in constant pain as my body was a total mess. When I tried to do any kind of activity it was almost impossible without pain, in fact it got to a point where I had to stop work because of the intensity of my pain. This severity started in 2020 when everything in my body went crashing down. I felt tingling down my arms and my hands went numb while I slept. My shoulder pain was so intense; I could not move it, and it felt like I had an extremely heavy weight on my shoulders and neck. 

Those were very terrifying times because I had no idea what was happening with my body and it was only getting worse. I felt weakness throughout my back, neck, and shoulders, and could feel how twisted everything was. I knew I was in chronic pain. At 26 years of age, I was in a pretty desperate and hopeless place in my life, as I was at the end of my rope surviving amongst the pain.

When I was around 9 years old I fell off the roof of my house where I went unconscious, nothing serious was diagnosed by the doctors at that time so life just went on. In 2020 with this whole body flare up of pain, I first started seeing a chiropractor. After X-rays and treatment the chiropractor believed I had suffered some ligament fractures in the fall, which led to a ton of instability in my neck. I also had a plantar fibroma in my left foot since I was really young and over the years, it grew to almost the size of a golf ball. I had it surgically removed, but I could tell it was changing how I walked over the years.  

Making a Change

After walking through all this in 2020, I realized the pain I was experiencing could be physical changes needed in my body. At that time I was pretty disconnected and unaware of my body, so it was difficult to distinguish whether the pain was physical or if it was something else. I started with Physical Therapy, and although I didn’t see much relief there, I felt like I was finding a little light in the tunnel. 

I had a friend who told me about Align, and so I decided to schedule a consultation. I knew I needed this program, and I knew it would be a journey to fix what was going on with my body. 

I came really committed to my process and what my journey was going to be because I really believed what they did was going to really help me get out of pain. Trusting and following my coach’s lead came easy to me so I just tried my best to put in the work and be as consistent as possible with my weekly sessions and the programs my coach assigned me.

Life at Align

I have seen SO MUCH PROGRESS since starting the Align program. When I first came to Align my average daily pain level was a 6, by my follow up evaluation (8-10 weeks) my pain was down to a 2! After we fixed the way my nervous system and muscles were communicating, and built a baseline level of stability and strength, I got to push my body to build the strength it needed to stay out of pain. I started deadlifting, and slowly built up my weight weekly. I have been deadlifting over 150lbs! I thought I would NEVER be able to do that. I also was able to regain some of the overhead movement with my shoulders. This was a challenging process for my body, but I also have gained so much strength in that area. 

I think something I was surprised about was the nervous system calming technique they used. I was surprised how effective and essential it was to the success of what is done at Align. Not too long ago, I started using that technique on my own whenever I felt my body triggered and in stress and I noticed how much it helped reset my nervous system and calm it down. It has been pretty awesome!

What I like the most about Align is the atmosphere they have created, it is very welcoming, community oriented, light (always lots of fun and humor going on), and you are always getting constant encouragement from the coaches. I also really love the professionalism and knowledge the coaches possess as well as how in tune they are to your body and what you need in a given moment/time. 

A way Align has changed my life has been by helping me understand how my body works and how to keep it healthy. Here, I have learned a lot about the factors that contribute to the chronic pain we experience, how to prevent it, and what it takes to come out of it.