Jeff’s Story- Low Back Pain Journey

Jeff holding a fish

Before Align

When I first came to Align, my body had a lot of restrictions. I couldn’t sit or stand for long periods of time. My activity was dictated by low back pain. I was walking like the third guy in the evolution chart. I could hardly stand up straight.

I had a terrible back spasm last summer that locked up my back just prior to a month long RV trip with my family. I was not able to do much during the trip, and it really affected my mental health as well. I have two young children, both very active, and I didn’t like not being able to do all the things they wanted to do because of my constant pain.

Jeff with his two kids

Medication didn’t help my pain. When I tried to exercise it made everything worse. I would try resting, and do twice monthly massages complimented with chiropractic adjustments. I even did lots of complaining, and that didn’t even help.

Coming to Align

I live a very active lifestyle. I hunt, fish, hike, camp, and compete in adventure and spartan races. I wanted to do these activities without paying for it for hours, days, or weeks after.

Coach Jaylee: “I remember meeting Jeff at his initial evaluation and saw how he wanted to stay moving, strong, and healthy, but was inhibited by back spasms and intermittent flare ups. Although Jeff’s pain was severe, his joint problem was not. He had a very unstable SI joint which was not strong enough to handle the load of the activities he loved. This is very common for people with low back pain, and in the grand scheme of things, does not take a long time to fix (with the right guidance from his Align coach). After cleaning up his posture and instability, Jeff was able to get back to deadlifting and squatting without pain and with proper biomechanics.”

Coach Jaylee: “I think something I wish more people knew was just how strong they need to be able to handle their daily lifestyle. Even sitting at a desk takes levels of strength most people do not have without repercussions of tightness, pain, and discomfort. Jeff now knows he has to have strong and stable glutes and hip flexors for the rest of his life, and he can work to keep his body strong and pain free for years to come.”

What I have loved most about my process at Align is how I learned what my pain generators and root causes of my pain were. I now know I need to have a strong and stable SI joint, and I have the knowledge (and strength) to realign my hips on my own if I have pain. 

At first, the exercises were simple, but they were new to me. Activating new and dormant muscles took more brain power than I anticipated, I really had to focus on not using the wrong muscles I had used previously.

Life Now

I have much less pain daily. I don’t worry about what “things” I have to do (yard work, working out, long trips in cars or airplanes, hikes etc.) I know I can do my homework stretches before (hopefully) or after my activities. I am confident I can do just about anything I used to be able to do.  If I hurt afterwards, I have the tools and knowledge to get out of the suck. I’m not limited in my active lifestyle any longer. Additionally, since starting my program at Align I have completed a spartan race, and an adventure race, which are both physically and mentally demanding.