The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Freed From Pain, He Rides Again

Reader Bill Slabonik had sports injuries, motorcycle and bicycling accidents. He was a good exerciser and hard worker, doing all the conventional exercises and ways of lifting during his regular workouts, long hours sitting as a pilot, and vigorous work in the Coast Guard. I know these things because I've seen his x-ray and MRI reports.

Bill writes:

"After two years of waking every couple hours with extreme pain in my shoulders and both hands completely numb, I sought relief from the medical community. Thinking that something was wrong with my shoulders, I was very surprised to find out that I had degenerative disc disease in my neck and spine. I was scheduled for epidural injections and advised that if they did not help, surgery was the only alternative. I was advised that I might consider disability retirement.

Not being pleased with my choices, I was able to get a script from my family doctor for physical therapy. Two months of therapy gave encouraging if small improvements. Back spasms stopped and pain diminished somewhat. Encouraged by this I continued to search online for neck and back pain fixes until I was fortunate to find a website maintained by Dr. Jolie Bookspan. The articles made logical sense to me and I soon ordered her book "Fix Your Own Pain." I noticed rapid improvement as soon as I began to practice her methods. Encouraged by these results I chose to attend one of her clinics held at Temple U.

I have returned to an active, athletic life. Waking due to pain is a thing of the past. I am setting and achieving physical goals that seemed impossible only a year ago. I am hiking farther and riding faster than I could have dreamed of. I am using post-it notes in my car, at my desk and on my flight kit for the airplane as reminders to maintain good position.

The photo is my neighbor Ken and myself taking a break from the year's Pennsylvania State Police Memorial century ride. He is also putting your principals into good use. We rode 50 miles that Saturday morning without pain or discomfort. Ken is 61 years old and I'm 55. The amazing part is that I had over 180 miles for the week without pain. Ken and I have made a goal of riding together on each of our birthdays, the number of miles matching our age, i.e., a 62 mile ride this fall for Ken's birthday. Oh, the ride was from Hershey, PA to Mount Gretna, PA and back. A nice loop through the central PA farmlands. Thanks again for your encouragement and books. I am feeling fantastic today!

Your work has not only provided hope but is putting life into my years. I want people to know that there is help.

I normally shy away from putting myself out on display like this, but if it encourages others to fix their pain then it was worth it. Thanks again Doc. I'm out mowing the lawn by hand.. two pain...riding my bike to work tomorrow 42 mile round trip.. I'm not going to stop."

LT William M. Slabonik
US Coast Guard (Retired)

Fun note: the surname Slabonik means "Free Man." Bill now signs his e-mail updates to me as Free Man

Read Bill's continuing adventure in Inspirational Update from Bill
And how the Lieutenant became the Captain in Reader Successes Endure - Next Update From Bill.

Read success stories of these methods and send your own.
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Photo of Bill and neighbor

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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.