Why the MD and PT laughed at my client

Back in December I started working with a young guy who had been diagnosed with a herniated disc. According to his doctor, chiropractor, and physical therapist, the herniated disc was impinging on nerves that ran into his leg, causing both lower back pain and aching in his legs.

I had severe back and sciatica pain for about 9 months. I spent thousands of dollars trying to get better. Physical therapy, chiropractic, accupuncture, injections etc…. You name it and I tried it. It got to the point that my doctor said I would probably need surgery.

I was desperate and just wanted the pain to go away. I started researching surgeons online and stumbled onto Upright Health’s website. I was skeptical at first, but I figured it’s worth a shot. I read all the reviews on yelp and google and a lot of the people were in the same boat I was in. Either real close to having surgery or already had it and it didn’t help. So I called and set up my free consultation.

Matt was very knowledgeable and professional. After a set of pictures and some tests he determined that my upper body was out of alignment and that was causing my sciatica and lower back pain. He had me do an exercise to confirm his findings and magically my pain went away. If he could do this during my free consultation, imagine what he could do if you go through his program…and I did.

It’s been three months and I can say that I am pain free. I went back and told my doctor and PT what I did and they laughed at me. They didn’t think it was possible that my upper body posture could affect me that way. Boy were they wrong. All I know is that it worked for me and apparently for a lot of other people too. If you have pain and nothing has worked give Upright Health a call!

Quote from Yelp! testimonial

Anthony’s story highlights an issue that too many people dealing with chronic pain have to deal with: health professionals who don’t listen to the person suffering.

Often, people call and ask if I have some sort of voodoo power to heal all manner of pain, and the answer I often give is, “If I had that magical power, I would be charging much more than I do.”  The truth is I don’t have magical powers, but I do listen.

What helped Anthony get out of pain was that he told me everything he could think of that was making his pain worse. He told me what positions were comfortable for his body, what therapies he’d tried, what things had provided a little relief, what activities had made the pain and aching even worse.

With that information, an assessment of his posture, a few posture exercises to test my idea (because I do not always get it right on the first try!), and he was out of the acute, searing pain within the first thirty minutes that he’d met me.

Because the symptoms of “sciatica” fit under one neat heading with a corresponding treatment protocol, his PT and MD knew that he would have to be treated a certain way — regardless of what issues were unique to him. Because the MRI said he had a herniated disc and rest wasn’t helping, they knew that nothing short of surgery was going to help the issue (since that’s what they were trained to know).

What they didn’t know was that because of the extreme tightness in Anthony’s left pectoral muscles and reduced range of motion of his left shoulder blade, Anthony couldn’t stand straight. His body was bent forward and twisted in compensation, putting strain into his back and hips.  This wasn’t a medical issue. This was simple physics. Things couldn’t move into an efficient arrangement, and a small part of his body was getting ground down by the abnormal forces.

As his pectoral muscles loosened and he restored proper range of motion to his whole body, Anthony felt better. Pressure came off his back, and his hips were allowed to start moving normally again.

And yet, since his doctor and PT knew from their training that posture had nothing to do with his disc issue, they just laughed at such a simple, powerful, voodoo-like idea. C’est la vie!


About the Author

Matt Hsu is a trainer and orthopedic massage therapist. He fought a long battle with chronic pain all over his body and won. He blends the principles he learned in his journey, empirical observations with clients, and relevant research to help others get their lives back.