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Musculoskeletal pain is NOT caused by activity, age or genetics. What causes musculoskeletal pain is…

Posted Jan 14 2010 12:00am

I’m sure many of you saw the article ( Treat Me, but No Tricks Please ) in the New York Times about Physical Therapy this week. The author talks about how many of the treatments don’t seem to work or only offer short term relief. The article also talks about how there are many “voodoo” treatments offered now that have not been proven in studies to be effective and many insurance companies are choosing not to cover the cost. Whether you have plantar fasciitis, IT band pain, back spasms, or a bum shoulder many of the treatments like ice, heat, massage, and ultrasound are only trying to effect the symptom – not the cause of the symptom. And all too often the cause is blamed on activity, age, or genetics. If you know anything about Egoscue, then you know those all are myths. The activity is never to blame. Your age is never the cause. And genetics gave you red hair or blue eyes, but not a bad back.

The problem is the beliefs we have coming in are not allowing us to find the true cause because they are blinding us of the truth. If your doctor or physical therapist believes running is “hard on the body” and has “too much impact for your joints” then you are going to conclude running just isn’t good for you and you should stop running if you want to save your knees. But what happens when you quit running? Your knees might feel better for a couple months or years but later on in life they start hurting worse. You (and all your doctors, physical therapists, etc.) blame this on the running you used to do and finally you decide to get your knees replaced. Everyone involved in this scenario had the same belief coming in that running is “hard on the body” and has “too much impact for your joints.” This belief never allowed you to open your eyes to what was really causing the pain and thus you never found an answer to your pain (and we all know the knee replacement didn’t fix the problem because you are still limited in what you can do with your new knees).

But what if you came into the situation with a different belief? What if you thought running was for the body? I mean before your knee starting hurting you had 15 years where running felt awesome! After a run you had more energy, better concentration, were happier, felt strong, slept better, and we always looked forward to your daily run. And you were able to run for 15 years with no problems! So, you are thinking, “running has to be good for me because it has always felt so good, meaning there must be something else that is causing my knee to hurt.”

Now you are looking for people/health experts with the same belief, that “running is good for the body,” and will ask them for advice and help when you find them. (And when you run into those who believe “running is hard on the body” you will smile, say “thank you”, and walk away).

Here are a couple stories from people who had the belief that activity, age and genetics were the cause of their pain, it had to be something else. And when they found Egoscue, they found a group of people with the same beliefs and discovered they could become pain free. Enjoy.

I have struggled with Achilles tendon pain and swelling for almost 2 years now. In addition to this, I have periodically suffered SI joint pain, hip pain and stiffness in my upper and lower back. The main complaint was really always my Achilles though as it remained constantly painful and was affecting my running. The bursitis was red and swollen all the time and I could not wait to get my shoe off after a run. Even the sock laying on the tendon was excruciating.

I sought care from Rolfers, chiropractors, massage therapist, special socks to hold my foot flexed, stretching devises, lifts in my shoes, anti-inflammatory creams and was going to get a cortisone shot to get through my next marathon. All these treatments felt like trying to put a band-aid on a greater problem. By luck, I posted a question on a local running club’s website and had a response from John Elder about Egoscue. I liked that Egoscue dealt with whole body imbalances. It made foundational sense to me that the whole body is connected. Naturally, I was skeptical…things did not happen overnight…then it happened. On the Thursday of my 7th week, I did a threshold run (which) usually tear up my Achilles tendon. I was suprised that it didn’t really hurt very much. The next day I ran an easy 4 miles as a recovery run. I was shocked that there was no pain at all. On Saturday I ran 20 miles for my marathon training. Again, I had no pain.

I have not run pain free for almost 2 years. Each run since has been pain free and my shoe resting on the Achilles does not cause discomfort. Egoscue has brought balance to my body and I am functioning symbiotically with all my joints. My running is back to pain free. I can’t tell you what a miracle this seems to be. I had resigned that this was a part of aging and am thrilled it is not so. - DP

My running has been suffering severely for about 2 months from an unknown cause. I went to a massage therapist, chiropractor, and my doctor and no one really seems to know what was wrong with me. (I) was recommended to visit a nearby Egoscue clinic. Two weeks later I’m back running and slowly building up my mileage again. I recommend an Egoscue clinic to anyone that is suffering from running injuries. – DT

I have a new back because of Egoscue. Back pain had been mounting for six years and my ability to sit at a computer for an hour or stand for more than 5 minutes at a time had become monumental tasks. Long periods were spent resting on my back. In denial, I only grew worse. One day my Pastor heard my groaning. “You need to see Doctor E!” he said with a big grin. After figuring out he meant Pete Egoscue I…drove to an Egoscue clinic and signed up for 8 sessions and met a trainer named Mackie. He checked me over and put me through a set of stretches that was to become my first of eight menus. Rather than protesting, my 6′4″ frame actually felt better immediately! Against the advice of my well-meaning Chiropractor, Mackie predicted I’d soon be jogging again. “Absurd,” I thought.

This morning I just completed my 30-minute jog which I now do 3 to 4 times a week because my back loves it! Take my advice. Put aside the medical “experts,” surgeons, gimmicks, and your own lazy desire for a “fast food fix.” It’s not going to happen. If you begin listening to your back and quit trying to “fix” it, you too can have a new back. Thank you! – BH

At the peak of my running career, my dreams of a competitive marathoner began to drift further and further away. In February 2005, my right leg (hamstring) started to “go dead” 40 minutes into any run (fast or slow). Although I was introduced to some amazing modalities and therapists (acupuncture, chiropractic (several therapists), deep tissue massage, cranio-sacral, active release therapy, Rolfing (full series), prolo-therapy), NONE worked. For three plus years, I knew something was missing but could not find the missing piece. Thankfully my friend convinced me to give Egoscue a chance. What a relief, someone who…REALLY focused on my body as a whole. During my first week of e-cises, I could actually feel my pelvis shift. After the second week, I was running for over 50 minutes without deadness, and then after 3 weeks – NO deadness. I am so thankful for Egoscue. - CG

I hadn’t been able to run for 5 months because of plantar fasciitis – I could barely walk (after running with the injury for a year, I thought I’d permanently hurt my foot). I’d gained 25 pounds, hitting 191 on the scale, and was about to call off any attempt at helping my team at this years race. Then I was given a copy of Pete (Egoscue)’s book. Within a week, the plantar fasciitis was no longer a problem. Not only that, other injuries that had always plagued me – calf tenderness, low back spasms, hamstring tightness – also disappeared.

I introduced the book to several of my teammates, who were also struggling with various chronic injuries and they found similar success. Well, less than four months later – last Saturday – we ran the National Club Cross-Country Championships in Rochesster, NY. And we won our third straight National Masters Championship, eeking out the win by 4 points – a win that would never have occurred without Pete’s e-cises.

As for me, 25 pounds lighter and feeling more fit and pain free than I have since my 20’s, I won the individual National Championship, beating a former National Champion and an Olympic marathoner in a sprint to the finish of the 10k race. Thanks! – PM

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