Fiona’s battle with back pain started on her 30th birthday in 1997. She assumed it was simple muscle strain but at one point the
pain became so intense she had to go to the emergency room at a local hospital. The doctors thought the pain was related to a
bladder infection and prescribed antibiotics but the back pain continued and she returned to the doctor who ordered an MRI that
showed Fiona had a herniated disc. She underwent emergency surgery in which part of the fractured disc was shaved off and the
fragments removed. Fiona thought she was on her way to a pain-free life.

A year later the back pain returned with numbness and tingling in her legs. Another MRI showed that the same disc in her spine
had re-herniated and Fiona went back into surgery to repair the disc. Unlike the first operation, the doctors suggested some mild,
short-term physical therapy. Once again, Fiona left the hospital thinking she was on the road to recovery.

Dissatisfied with the light physical therapy, Fiona went to another local hospital known for its intensive physical therapy program
that included weight training, stretching and flexibility, and cardiovascular workouts.

But in 2003 the symptoms – back pain, tingling in her legs and sharp pain her thighs – returned. Imaging revealed another
herniated disc so Fiona was back in surgery for the third time in six years. Realizing that the weight training physical therapy hadn’t
done her much good, Fiona began searching for another kind of therapy to help prevent a fourth surgery and help with lingering
numbness in her legs and feet.

A friend told her about Muscle Activation Therapy and put her in touch with me.

Fiona’s situation is not unique.  There was no trauma, car accident, fall or any identifiable incident that set her symptoms in motion;
they just started one day.  When this happens we almost always associate the cause with the last thing we remember doing before
the pain started.  Getting out of the car, bending over to take the clothes out of the dryer, sitting in a chair for a long time, the
previous day’s routine workout.  This really makes exactly the same sense as assuming that a cavity in a tooth was caused by the
dessert we had the night before the toothache started or the soda we drank on the way to the dentist.  Long before we have tooth
pain, the process of deterioration is underway and we understand this, yet when it comes to muscular issues, we lose all sense of
logic.  In all likelihood, Fiona had been experiencing undetected, asymptomatic muscular dysfunction for some time leading up to
the ruptured disc.  The surgery would address the damaged tissue but not the muscular dysfunction that caused it.  If the underlying
problem is a deficit in communication, the issues won’t be resolved until communication is restored.  This is one possible
explanation why she continued to reinjure the area and physical therapy and exercise didn’t help.  Using MAT to identify and
correct her neuro-muscular weaknesses combined with reinforcement exercises designed specifically to incrementally challenge
the muscular system to gradually increase her body’s limits and tolerances, we were able to reduce her symptoms and improve
her performance.  
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