Cher's Story - Back Pain Journey
In November 2021, my mother became suddenly immobile, and I had to help move her for three days. I have worked many years as an RN and after three days I knew she needed to be transferred to the hospital. I hurt my lower back from lifting her and I could barely bend over, getting out of bed in the morning was painful and even turning over in my sleep was awful. Getting up off the couch while holding my grandchild was painful and my lower back would stiffen and spasm.
I missed sitting on the floor with my grandkids and I was afraid to lift anything. I was also in the middle of losing weight and getting into shape with my peloton, but had to stop everything with my back flaring up. I was in a ton of pain, about a 9 out of 10. Luckily, I wasn't working because there was no way as a RN I would have been able to work with that intense pain and stiffness.
I also had past battles with plantar fasciitis, and on and off arthritis pain in my hands. My feet had been hurting for awhile, but it was so on and off I didn’t notice it when my back flared up. My hands began to hurt after the constant usage when I had to make a lot (and I mean a lot) of saline bags at work. Unfortunately, it got to the point I could barely snap my fingers, or open/ grasp jars.
Making the Change
I finally got tired of being stiff and in pain every morning. I had to roll out of bed. I really wanted to hold my grandkids without pain. I don't like taking medicine and was living on Ibuprofen daily. It was getting depressing. I started doing stretches and some light rolling. I tried different pain creams for my hands with light massage. I didn’t know what to do for my back at all. My friend, Lisa Tierney, told me about her good experience at Align, and I had heard of this place before so I decided I had nothing to lose. I had to get out of the pain.
Life At Align
I first attended a couple of the free meetings Matthew hosted and after being at the first one, I could tell Align truly cares about the clients. Align's first and foremost concerns are the clients! The coaches focus on each person individually because one exercise may be good for one person, but not for the other, so no one is doing the same exact thing. Everyone’s pain journey is unique.
I am currently doing the online program and I like being able to do my workouts at home, with my coach’s support and guidance through the app. I also like how we continually take posture photos throughout the process to show the changes in my overall posture and body composition. My coach, Andrea, is awesome, very helpful, and always good about addressing my concerns and questions.
My results have been amazing. As I previously stated my pain levels could be up to a 9/10 for my back, little less for feet and hands, but still not good. Now I'm at zero 98% of the time for my back and feet, and if they do bother me (due to an activity I haven't done in awhile or maybe I do too much in a day), the pain may be a 3 or 4. That's it! I am able to do my routine and it dissipates by the next day. As for my hands, I still have pain in them, BUT there has been improvement. The pain in my hands could be between a 6-8 sometimes and now it can be a 2-5.
I am not afraid to lift objects any longer. I can sit on the floor and play with my grandkids. I can sleep without any pain and get out of bed in the morning without any issues. I feel stronger and am so happy to be almost pain free. I know moving forward as I get even older, things can happen so I am consistent with my program to stay strong and out of pain. I'm so much happier and relieved the pain is gone in my back and feet! I honestly didn't think it was possible to undo the damage I did with minimal strength training.
Pass It On
I would tell anyone who is suffering to really give this program a try. I will say I was hesitant at first but again, I knew I needed it. I am so glad I did! My biggest piece of advice is to be patient. I learned from the Align coaches it is necessary to build strength to stay stable and out of pain, and that takes time. They were right! It felt slow at the beginning, but I kept going and my consistency paid off! I plan to keep up with this journey for as long as I can!