Judy's Story - A Shoulder Pain Journey

Founder's Introduction

Judy’s story is about doing the right work. She had made a ton of progress on rehab and weight loss before she came to Align but she was limited and unsatisfied with stalling out in her progress. She needed to refine her approach. She was taking the “work harder, not smarter” approach. With a bit of fine tuning Judy was able to finally get rid of pain, combat her desk jobs’ effect on her posture, and even do athletic events with her friends! She finally feels hope that she has a plan to make sure she can age gracefully. I can speak from experience, feeling fear daily about what the future will hold is not quality of life.

Judy kayaking

“My story starts a decade ago. I injured my shoulder and went to an orthopedist. I had X-rays and a MRI and was told that I had an impingement and bone spurs. He suggested surgery to scrape the bone and spurs to make more room in my shoulder for freer movement. I have chronic kidney disease caused by high blood pressure and can’t take anti-inflammatories. I didn’t want surgery, so I chose physical therapy. It took a year but I finally was out of constant pain. The problem was that I had put on an extra 40 pounds during my recovery.

I decided 4 years ago that I was tired of being overweight and unhealthy. I started eating healthier and joined a gym where I worked out 5-6 days a week. I had great success and lost over 40 pounds. It was the best shape I had been in a long time, but I was not satisfied. I made a goal for myself that 2018 would be the year I worked on my posture. I was still having pain in my shoulders. I sit at a computer for 8 hours a day and I was concerned that if I didn’t do something soon I would be like this or worse for the rest of my life. I saw an ad on Facebook for free Posture Classes at Align on Saturdays. I came to a few classes and knew Align was the place for me to start my journey.”


When Judy first came in our goals were purely posture. Although Judy was a very active individual before Align, she also sat at desk all day long, exercised elsewhere (with poor form and focused on the wrong muscles), and was in constant pain. Judy presented with pretty severe Neck & Shoulder Pain Posture. Her neck and shoulder muscles were super tight and that was forcing her shoulders to be overworked and inflamed. She was well on her way to neck pain too. She had very limited range of motion through her shoulders and her shoulder blades were stuck forward. She had poor glute activation, tight hip flexors and weak transverse abs. She was training hard, but she just wasn’t addressing the dysfunction in her body.


I love Allison, my coach. She asked a lot of questions during my consultation about my health and my shoulder issues. She came up with a plan for me that I hated at first, but it worked. The reason I hated it was I had been very active working out 5-6 days a week with additional cardio workouts and she had me just lying on my back on a mat for 45-60 minutes every day. Some days twice a day until I got through each of the three different sets of exercises, 14 times of each. I think it took 6 weeks, but it worked. I started getting relief in my shoulder pain the first week. She also customized my workouts for me and gave me bonus work to do at home and when I couldn’t come in. In addition, she also is helping me with my nutrition. My most favorite thing about Align is that it’s small groups. I don’t have great technique and Allison is always right there watching me or touching my muscles to make sure I am using them correctly. She does not let you “cheat” your way through the movements.


It works. My posture has improved so much that people notice. My shoulders are almost pain free. A friend invited me to be on a mini-triathlon team. My part was kayaking 4.1 miles. I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to do it because of my shoulders, but I did it without pain. I did some of my posture exercises pre and post-race and I never had a problem. I never would have been able to do this without my training at Align.


If you are having any pain, call Align today and set up a consultation. I am so happy I made the call. They know what they are doing. I wish I had done this 10 years ago.