Client gets rapid relief from back pain 

Lorraine is an active professional in her 60s who exercised in the past but experienced a disruption in her routine when work and health challenges got in the way. Then she wasn’t sure how to get started again under her new circumstances.

Diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (an irregular, rapid heartbeat), she underwent two surgeries to install a pacemaker. She also survived breast cancer with a left-side mastectomy. In addition to tiring easily with activity, Lorraine had constant back pain that she attributed to sitting for many hours a day while working as a therapist, plus even more hours commuting by car and train.

Even though exercise was not her favorite activity, Lorraine had a sense that it would help her feel better. Plus, she was motivated to improve her health since both her parents died young from heart disease and cancer.

Within two fitness training sessions, Lorraine’s back was feeling better than it had in years. She was also walking more easily without getting out of breath, and she actually looked forward to our exercise sessions because of how good she felt afterward.

During the first couple of weeks we used very little equipment, performing mostly floor exercises to engage her core muscles and develop some stability in her lower back. It was enough to eliminate her pain! We progressed to using small dumbbells, resistance bands, a stability ball, and a foam roller. All of the equipment fit in a corner of her living room.

We continue working together the same way we began. During our weekly appointments I make sure Lorraine’s technique is on track with the prior week’s exercises, and then I offer some new challenges for the coming week. Meanwhile, Lorraine finds one or two other days to do the exercises on her own, and she even does her floor exercises on vacation!

“My back doesn’t hurt anymore. I walk easier. So working with Susan is the one thing I don’t want to miss in my week.”

Lorraine, 66, Kensington

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