I first met Donna late in 2006. It happened that I was having acupuncture from an associate of hers for an injury to my foot. I mentioned that I had been having chronic problems with my lower back for the last ten years. Often these problems kept me out of work for several days. I was frustrated by the fact that as I exercised to lose weight and get into shape I only succeeded in hurting other parts of my body. It was suggested that I have a consultation with Donna.
At our first meeting Donna examined my posture, flexibility and mobility. She suggested that I start an exercise program to strengthen my core support muscles. We also spoke of what and when I eat. Donna made suggestions for couple of changes in my diet. Donna is very knowledgeable of body chemistry and the musculoskeletal structure and can go into great depth in her explanation of how the muscles work together to support the spinal structure. She is a sponge for knowledge. Being an engineer, I like to hear the "facts". I probably drove her crazy with my questions!
I began a series of simple exercises. Donna carefully monitored my movements to make sure each exercise was being done properly. She constantly asked questions about what you are experiencing to make sure you don't injure yourself further. Further sessions brought newer exercises and further monitoring. Several times she changed the exercises due to my responses. Mainly the directive was to stretch certain tight muscles and strengthen weaker muscles and to correct imbalances between opposing groups. Being a typical guy, I had always focused on the larger muscle groups. Donna showed me how to address the inner core muscles.
Many of you might say "but, I hate exercise, I don't want an exercise program". Let me tell you right now, these exercises, done on a rug or mat in your home, are in fact natural and don't involve lots of weights and huge numbers of sets and reps. You build up the reps and sets when you are able to do more. Donna also gave me suggestions of what other strength exercises I should do or should avoid at the gym. I also did cardio on my own. Donna made suggestions as to the intensity and recovery, as well as little things like the inclination of the treadmill. After just a few weeks I felt so much better.
It has now been three years since that first session. I do a few of the core exercises every day, trying to keep from doing just my favorites. I also go to a local gym 4 to 5 days a week. I have not had even one debilitating back issue since concluding that exercise training. I've learned to listen to my body and if I feel even the slightest tenderness I re-evaluate what exercises I have or have not been doing. I'm now a grandfather, almost 63 years of age and my back feels better than it did when I was 50. I never stop recommending Donna. And to those of you who say " but my insurance will pay if my Doctor sends me to PT, I say, been there, done that and like I said to my co-worker, who happens to be still experiencing pain after 26 PT visits and a wasted half year..."wow, your insurance co-pays cost you more than the few months I paid to learn how to really solve the problem". Find out "why" you have the problem. Don't think NSAIDS and drugs will fix the issues, they only mask them at best, while destroying your stomach. Thanks Donna, from all of us you have helped.
North Andover, MA