Busy professional eliminates back pain and moves easier

Submitted by: Susan Silver

Lorraine's Success Story

Lorraine is an active professional in her 60s who had exercised in the past, but her routine was interrupted by work and health challenges, and she wasn’t sure how to get started again under her new circumstances.

She had been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (an irregular, rapid heartbeat) and had undergone two surgeries to install a pacemaker. She was also a breast cancer survivor with a left-side mastectomy. In addition to tiring easily with activity, she had constant back pain, which she attributed to being seated for so many hours of the day during her work as a therapist, and even more hours commuting by car and train.

Exercise was not Lorraine’s favorite activity, but she had a sense it would help her feel better. Plus, she was motivated to improve her heart health in an effort to avoid the early deaths that both her parents encountered in their 50s – one from heart disease and the other from cancer.

Within two sessions, Lorraine reported her back was feeling better than it had in years. She also felt she was walking more easily, not so out of breath and actually looking forward to our exercise sessions because of how good she felt afterward.

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

We continue to work 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 I offer some new challenges for the coming week. Lorraine finds one or two other days to do the exercises on her own. She even does the original floor exercises while on vacation!

Lorraine's words:
"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."