Walking Again

Submitted by: Deb Preachuk

Tom K.'s Success Story

When I first started working with Deb Preachuk I was a 52 year old formerly active and somewhat athletic male who had spent years dealing with steadily increasing hip and groin pain. This steadily increasing hip and groin pain increased such that about three years ago I found myself nearly bedridden and began having to hobble about with a cane.

I had been hit by a car and suffered compound fractures of my left leg at age 12, and as a result my gait was always a bit off center, but that had never prevented me from being very active, playing football, broomball, volleyball, tennis, softball, distance running, working out etc.

At age 45 I first began experiencing discomfort while exercising on an elliptical machine and it slowly got worse and worse. When I consulted a general practitioner at my HMO, he ran some x-rays, said it looked like I had some inflammation, perhaps the onset of arthritis and wanted to prescribe industrial strength ibuprofen and inactivity until I was ready to go in for hip replacements.

I wasn’t interested in replacements, or in blocking pain with drugs, but I decided to try inactivity by keeping weight off my legs as much as possible (I became a couch potato-the absolute wrong thing to do).

I planned my activities to minimize any walking, and recovering from just going to the grocery store and back became like recovering from a marathon. I just kept getting stiffer and weaker.
My inactivity contributed to a hefty (nearly three digit) weight gain over the next year as well.

When I eventually went back to the health club months later I was unable to lift my legs enough to use any machines or cycles. Just standing for more than a few minutes caused excruciating pain and fatigue, necessitating me to sit for several minutes to rest and recover. I decided that I was under-whelmed with the traditional advice I had been given and set out on my own.

Over the course of the next few years, I fasted, tried many different supplements, underwent acupuncture, prolotherapy and chiropractic. All f these therapies helped in small increments, but I was still in constant pain, weak, overweight, discouraged and frustrated. I tried to do exercises on my own but had very limited range of motion and strength.

Then I read about Pete Egoscue on the internet. His story sounded like mine. After running into a figurative wall in asking traditional allopathic doctors for help with his nagging hip injury/pain, Pete developed his own methodology to heal and retrain muscles and joints. His proclamation that “bones and joints do what muscles tell them to do” made perfect sense to me.

Billed as "the world leader in non-medical pain relief" the Egoscue Method sounded like just what I needed- someone to help me re-educate my muscles to tell my bones and joints what to do.

That’s how I found Deb on the internet. Not just an approved Egoscue Posture Alignment Specialist, she also seemed very knowledgeable about Pilates and other exercise/therapy methods. She listens carefully, and is very straightforward.

I had deteriorated so much and I had such stiffness and weakness that I was not looking at any magic bullet solution, it would take months to correct, but she could help. I had an aggressive hip flexor disparity coupled with outwardly rotated thighs (femurs) which was only two of several other musculo-skeletal abnormalities. My posture was so out of alignment and I was in such pain and feeling so bad that she didn’t take before photos, as she didn’t want them to discourage me!

Three months later, after meeting twice a month and prescribing on average 45 minutes to an hour of daily exercise and stretching done at home, Deb has indeed helped me. My gait, while not quite normal, is getting very close. I’ve lost considerable weight. My strength and flexibility are greatly improved, and my chronic pain is gone-replaced with the normal amount of post exercise/stretching soreness that goes away as my conditioning improves and we move on to more advanced exercises. I can actually stand and move about in the kitchen long enough to prepare meals for the first time in years. My realistic and attainable goal now is to exhibit a normalized gait, and to become cane-free within two more months and to be normally active again in three to four months.

Three months ago I would have thought that sounded impossible-but now it’s an ironclad expectation. Deb is very positive and supportive while also being direct and realistic.

If we have taken months or years to get to a certain injured state-it cannot be healed overnight, but if it can be healed, I believe that Deb is the person to show you the way. She’s definitely been a blessing to me. The most impressive factor is that after listening carefully and conducting an initial analysis/diagnosis, she adjusts her prescription of posture alignment exercises/stretching therapy to the individual. No computer program spits out a cookie cutter menu, each exercise is customized to my unique situation/requirements, and adjusted accordingly as I continue to improve and heal..

To me that makes the difference.

Tom K.