The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Prevent Pain From Returning - Readers Successes

Readers have sent in their success stories on understanding how some of the most common musculoskeletal pain occurs so that they can keep it from coming back.

Here are just four letters of success:

1. From Monica in Montana last November:
"Hi Dr. Bookpan,
"I've been reading your articles again. It seems reminders were in need. My back seems well (thanks to you!) but when I started having pain on both sides of my hips, I realized I was returning to walking with duck feet to a certain extent - an old habit. It's just enough to cause me problems. I'm working at watching this very much and it is better.

"I thought I was using all of the good bending to pick things up rather than using my back. When (my) knees gave me some issues, I came back to re-read your knee article too. I'm found that I was so tight that I can't get my heels to stay on the floor when I bend, so I wasn't doing good bending. I am getting a plan together of your stretching and strengthening exercises. I'll probably end up with all of your books, with not only now in mind : ). Your information makes me up lifted when it comes to aging, not that I'm old, 43. I spent so much of my youth in pain, so now I try hard to take care of myself in healthy ways and stay out of pain.
"Thank You!
Monica "
I wrote back with things to do and Monica replied:
"Dear Dr. Bookspan,
"Thank you for the reply.
"I received your book. I've been taking it in and implementing the methods. I can say it's only been a couple of days and my hip is improving. With this experience of really helping myself I knew I would no longer rely on other people solely for help and thank you for making available tools to very common obviously misunderstood health issues. What you are doing is making a difference. Please do not concern yourself with a reply. I know you will read this and that is good enough for me. Warmest Regards,
Monica (Montana)
In April, Monica sent this follow-up:
"I hope you are doing well! With your help I have lost 8 1/2 pounds! For years I've wanted to lose at least 10 minimum. I'm almost there and it's been so easy I have a feeling all that can go, will go. I use to be heavily into bodybuilding. It set up a mentality about getting enough protein. As I grew older and did not work out like I use to I still kept up the protein. Due to reading your book Health & Fitness in Plain English, it put my fears of dwindling muscle due to not enough protein to rest and put them in reality.

The consumption of grains and protein took a dramatic decrease. I have a lot of energy and my body is getting leaner and leaner. Life is so much easier. My back is still doing great. When I hurt my back I looked at all the things that may have contributed to the injury. I am humbly grateful for being able to see (all this)…I am better. I am sleeping again. "

2. Laraine first wrote that her same pain had returned. I replied and asked her to check if she had gone back to the same habits that caused the first pain, and gave her ways to check.
Laraine replied:
"Good Morning Dr. Bookspan:
"I e-mailed you several times regarding the extrusion in my lower spine (L1 S1) & you were kind enough to respond to each & every e-mail. I know you are busy & you still took the time to answer. I am practicing the body mechanics daily & doing the exercises & I am improving - thank you so much again for your support....

"You replied back asking if I was not just doing the exercises but using them to live and move correctly. Sometimes I didn't. I try to do them exactly the way the book has instructed --- and as you said not to do them as a regiment but incorporate them in daily life.

"I wanted to let you know that I did do the wall test at home yesterday & I noticed that my shoulders were slouching. I guess for the past couple of weeks after I was making progress I went back into the habit of bending forward a little with my shoulders & didn't realize it. Yesterday, you mentioned to check your posture with the wall after the three extension exercises, I concentrated on neutral spine & noticed the pain subsided & I was much better.

"Thank you again for the reinforcement - sometimes after using poor body mechanics for so long, it takes time to change that - we simply find it easy to go back to the old habits of poor posture without realizing & can get discouraged thinking we are not going to get better. I really believe in your book & if I keep doing things the correct way & maintain that, I will eventually heal.

"As I said in my previous e-mails last month, this is the most logical & sensible way to maintain a healthy back. I know it will take time - but as long as I make progress, I will be patient. I guess I lost my moral yesterday & thought I was going backwards. Keep up the good work - you are wonderful... You are an inspiration to all that have pain. Also, thank you for your persistence in making sure that I am doing the stretches & exercise correctly...."

"This back injury had sure been challenging for me. Now I'm better. I'm glad that I found your website."
Laraine P"

3. Our own Inspirational Ivy from New Zealand made gains:
"It is now four years since I discovered your website. With your help and advice I was able to overcome debilitating sciatica in my right leg plus foot drop. Since then I have carried on using your methods to keep free of pain.

"In the early hours of Friday morning, I awoke to excruciating sciatic pain down my left leg. I asked myself as to why this has happened, telling myself that I had not been doing any bad bending or similar. OR so I thought. Yes, these past few days I have been rushing here and rushing there which has resulted in me being lax about my movements, in particular, standing at he bench while cooking etc. I always put my spine into the neutral position. Always!!!!!!! I am asking myself. It would appear - not so.

"Yesterday and today, I have stopped rushing about and telling myself every time I move "Think Ivy, think before you do anything." I seem to remember using those very same words four years ago."
I wrote back, to Ivy that I hoped it took more than "a little rushing" to cause such pain. It may sound odd, but I hope it took a lot of bad bending and standing. No one should have so little margin - you need the strength for leeway for unexpected events and still not cause pain. No one should need to live "on eggshells" or reduce activities to prevent pain.
Ivy replied:

"Thank you for you kind words. I have now fully recovered thanks to your help and advice. I could not understand as to why I was not recovering as I THOUGHT I was doing everything correctly. I referred to your book "Fix Your Own Pain Without Drugs or Surgery" and the penny dropped - because I was experiencing pain, I was leaning forward as I walked. Once I rectified my posture, the pain went immediately. Silly me, I was aware of the pain but not of my posture.

"Yesterday, I was watching one of the residents here watering her garden. She is experiencing a severe attack of sciatica. I noted that she not only bent to the side she was also leaning forward. Her back was arched so her butt stuck out. I made a few suggestions in the nicest possible way and this was her reply. Mind you, you have probably heard this one before "It sounds like too much work to me." Needless to say, I walked away.)

"I am now free of pain thanks to your wonderful advice. Thank you Dr Jolie, what would I do without you.
"Love and hugs
Ivy wrote with several follow-ups that all continued fine. She went on to use good bending after her cataract surgery where bending over is harmful to the recovering surgical site (as well as the back).

4. A special e-mail came in from JayaKrishna (Kris):
"Dear Dr. Jolee ( I am the Indian guy from Jersey who attended one of your seminars in person).

"It has been almost 5 years since I first read your article in the December of 2004.

"After 5 pain free years, it is was only last week when I suddenly felt my lower back tightening up again for the first time. Almost predictably I started feeling severe shoulder pain. But this time I was fully prepared. I went back to the basics. Whom else to seek for help other than St.Jude of the Joints. I pulled all the articles written by you and read them one by one. Thanks to your principles, I then did some deep soul searching and found out that cause was violating of the golden principles outlined by you due to the pressure of work or the strange feeling of invincibility that comes from enjoying good health.

"It is very strange that when we recover and start enjoying life again, we sometime forget and start thinking ourselves to be invincible. Bad habits creep in again.

"As an atonement for my violations I ordered two more books by you from Amazon: which is Healthy Martial Arts, and Stretching Smarter. I took my new year resolution to be always mindful of these golden principles from you. I promised myself a one day sabbatical every year when I would re read your articles and reiterate these golden points.

"I once got this little nugget of wisdom in a party (Most unlikely place). Nursing drinks in our hands, we were all discussing on the secrets success and happiness when one of the drunks said the most profound statement: The one who is punished the most in a particular endeavor or area and is still standing will have the secret to success and knowledge.

"Looking at your life, your education, experiences it is no wonder that you have been chosen to share your treasure trove of knowledge on healthy living. I cant tell you how much I am grateful for your acquaintance.
Kris Jayakrishnan"

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About the Author


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