Discover how Melanie helps her clients alleviate back pain, re-discover their strength & get their life back on track.

Melanie’s Story

“Because you were built for more.”

You probably wouldn’t know that I have 2 titanium rods in my back from looking at me. But, in fact, I do.

For a long time, I felt invincible to my scoliosis. Despite the rods, I managed to go to the gym, run, spin, hike, swim and do basically anything I wanted. In fact, when I first started personal training I became involved in high-intensity interval training, as that was (and still is) all the rage.

Frequently Asked Questions About Back Pain Personal Training

Why does your program work (vs. standard approaches, PT, etc.)?

I’ve answered this question for you right here – click here to read why my program helps people get rid of their pain for life, so they never have to worry about twisting the wrong way, or wondering if they are one step away from hurting themselves.

Why Work With Melanie/Testimonials?

I enlisted some help for this one – I asked some of my clients to help summarize what truly differentiates me and my service 🙂

Read some powerful testimonials from my clients here!

Is it safe to exercise if I have low back pain? I’m scared of getting hurt again.

Absolutely. It is so important to learn how to exercise properly, if you have back pain, rather than avoiding exercise & movement. Our body loves movement, and if we feed it the right movements, pain will often resolve itself.

Nonetheless, you should always get consent from your physician prior to beginning a new exercise program, particularly if you have a bone or joint problem, or have had surgery recently.

I encourage your physician to explore my videos, as they are extremely low-impact, low-risk exercises. My programs were designed by myself when I could barely move my body without pain, so these are designed with a vulnerable body in mind.

Most of the exercises target individual joints and muscles. They are meant to retrain your body how to these joints & muscles in their most simplest forms. Only after your pain has subsidized and we deem it safe (including your physician) will we progress to larger, more complex movements.

Why do I have back pain?

Back pain, due to advances in neuroscience, we are realizing is much more complex than a simple musculoskeletal injury.

Check out a couple of my most popular posts that will help answer the question of where back pain comes from, and how my holistic and integrative approach will help finally treat the root cause of your pain, so you never have to deal with months and months of laying on the couch in pain again!

 

7 Things You Need To Know About Your Back Pain

“The Reset Method” For Alleviating Back Pain

What are the best stretches to ease back pain?

Many back pain programs, corrective exercise programs, and personal training/fitness programs in general assume that every movement is good for every body. This can be dangerous.

For instance, in my circumstance, my spine is already held in a very upright (extension) position (due to my rods), while most other people experience a more rounded, forward shoulder position. For most people, working on spinal extension stretches are great, but for me, I actually need to work on bringing more rounding (flexion) to my spine.

In general, most people (again, not always correct for everyone) will benefit from stretches that address tight hips, immobile shoulders, excessive low back activity, an unstable pelvis, an immobile neck, an underactive core, and lack of mid/upper spine mobility.

Check out my YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram for plenty of FREE VIDEOS to get you started!

What are the best exercises to alleviate & prevent back pain?

The same goes for exercises. Not every exercise is good for every person and can in fact cause further harm. That is why an appropriate evaluation is necessary.

However, the majority of back pain conditions are exacerbated by similar lifestyle factors. Thus, exercises that address underactive glutes, unstable shoulders, excessive low back activity, unstable ankles, weak foot muscles, an unstable pelvis, an immobile neck, an underactive core, and lack of mid/upper spine mobility are a safe bet.

Check out my YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram for plenty of FREE VIDEOS to get you started!

Is it possible to alleviate chronic back pain with exercise?

Short answer: yes.

Long answer: If we don’t use it, we lose it. Thus, however long the pain and subsequent lack of activity has been going on for will influence the period of time that it will take to alleviate your pain.

Chronic pain also has been demonstrated to have a high correlation with the brain and stress. Treating chronic pain not only is a physical issue, but it also involves tapping into the brain-body connection. It is most certainly possible, but those who seriously dedicate themselves to their entirety of their training program (physical,  mental, sleep, stress, nutrition, mindset, etc.) will experience the greatest pain relief.

I have heard that sometimes pain is “in the brain”. What does this mean and is it true?

Pain is a real, physical sensation. However, when we look at the body from a neurological perspective, pain is a part of our nervous system, and thus, our brain.

So, pain also has a mental component. Our nervous system can become “overactive” – think of a fire alarm that just won’t turn off because it kept being aggravated by smoke. Our pain system is similar – if our body had some triggering event that caused pain, this becomes a memory. It begins to associate pain with any movement that slightly resembles that triggering event. If it goes unaddressed, the pain system keeps on firing its alarm, even if the actual cause of pain is no longer there.

In order to treat this chronic pain, we need to slowly retrain the body to understand that the movements it has come to associate with pain, are not actually a threat to the body. That is why my program begins with micro-movements that are designed to retrain the body how to use each individual joint & muscle, without pain.

Should I get my doctor’s consent before starting this program?

Yes, as stated above, I always require my clients to receive consent from their physician.

Again, I encourage your physician to explore my videos, as they are extremely low-impact, low-risk exercises. My programs were designed by myself when I could barely move my body without pain, so these are designed with a vulnerable body in mind. Most of the exercises target individual joints and muscles. They are meant to retrain your body how to use these joints & muscles in their most simplest forms.

Only after your pain has subsidized and we deem it safe (including your physician) will we progress to larger, more complex movements.

I have scoliosis - would exercise help me get rid of my back pain?

Absolutely! I was diagnosed with scoliosis as a teenager and had spinal fusion surgery and 2 titanium rods placed in my back at age 13.

There are many different exercise programs out there that are designed to help people with scoliosis restore balance to their spine and prevent back pain. I have taken bits and pieces of these programs and crafted a safe program that will restore the asymmetries in the body that scoliosis correlates with.

This typically includes identifying which muscles in your back are overactive, and which muscles are underactive. This creates additional tension on your spine, so if we can restore that balance, we can alleviate that torque on your spine, bring you back into alignment, alleviate pain and increase your overall strength/fitness.

Be careful of programs that include a set flow of exercises/poses, such as yoga. I love yoga, but certain poses place too much additional pressure on the spine and force it into further rotation. Through learning the hard way, my program avoids these unsafe and dangerous positions.

I have a disc condition (herniated disc, bulging disc, pinched nerve, sciatica, degenerative disc disease, etc.) - is it safe to exercise and would it help my pain?

Yes, it is safe to exercise with a disc condition, and yes exercise can help your pain. In fact, staying sedentary is the worst thing you could do for your back pain and movement/exercise is the best thing you could do for your back pain!

However, like anyone with back pain, we will find the greatest amount (in the beginning, this could simply be an inch of movement!) of movement that will cause the least amount of discomfort.

The exercises, stretches and movements in my programs are micro-movements that are designed to retrain your body how to move at each individual joint and muscle. We perform them in an extremely incremental manner (reduced range of motion, reduced tempo, seated/lying positions, etc.), to reintroduce movement to your body without pain. We will be in constant communication regarding your levels of comfort during your exercises in order to ensure that the exercises are causing absolutely no pain.

I have had many back surgeries/operations - will I get hurt if I start to exercise?

My exercise programs are designed for the patient who is experiencing extreme back pain and is afraid of getting hurt, because I was in the same exact position. I understand the fear of hurting yourself further, and I understand the fear of feeling discomfort during exercise. That is why I was able to develop exercises that are extremely gentle but extremely effective.

The program begins with micro-movements that are designed to retrain your body how to move at each individual joint and muscle. We perform them in an extremely incremental manner (reduced range of motion, reduced tempo, seated/lying positions, etc.), to reintroduce movement to your body without pain. We will be in constant communication regarding your levels of comfort during your exercises in order to ensure that the exercises are causing absolutely no pain, and most certainly no further harm.

You may experience discomfort, but discomfort, unlike pain, is something you can breathe through and work through. Discomfort, unlike pain, is not a threat to your body. As long as you exercise extreme caution and dedication to performing the movements with precision and focus, you should not experience pain or injury.