CASE STUDY: How Brad Overcame Sciatica and Got Back to His Active Lifestyle

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At 55 years old, Brad was struggling with back spasms, sciatica pain, having 30+ lbs. of extra weight, and was unable to hike and ski as often as he wanted to (or without pain). 

He knew he had to do something different, not only because the things he loved to do were at risk, but even more importantly, everyday life was limited by how his body felt.

When Brad came into Mint, we jumped right into our 4-Step Rejuvenation Process to help him become his best self. 

Step 1: Clarify Your Goals and Plan

First, we sat down with him and learned just how important it was for him to get his active life back. We could tell that he was committed to taking action and improving his life, so we knew that we could help. 

 Step 2: The 21-Point Fitness Evaluation 

 Once we had a clear concept of his goals and motivations, we took him through our evaluation to identify his “baseline” fitness level, what movements hurt, what muscles were working (and which were not!).

 We quickly learned exactly what was going on: 

 

  1. His hips were super tight, meaning that his low back was compensating A LOT.
  2. His core was turned off and could not help in protecting his back.
  3. His sciatica flared up when he bent over or sat for too long, meaning that his tight hips were tied into this as well.

 

Step 3: Design Your Program

 

With a clear understanding of what was going on, we went to work developing a plan to loosen up his hips, strength his core, and relieve the pressure on his sciatic nerve. 

 

To do this, we started loosening up his muscles by using a foam roller on his hips to relieve pressure on his sciatica. 

 

Next, we stretched his hip flexors and upper back to relieve pressure on the lower back. 

 

Brad didn’t lift one single weight during his first 4 weeks, and yet by the end of the first month, he was feeling better than he had in years!

 

Step 4: Implement and Review

 

Once he was moving better, had much less sciatic pain, and was no longer experiencing back spasms, we decided that it was time to ramp up his training to help him build strength and lose weight.

 

We started to challenge his core by including plank variations with a leg or arm lift.

 

We worked on improving hamstring power so that his hips would not have to tighten up to compensate.

 

This gave us a foundation of strength that we could build on to help him reach his ultimate goal: get back to skiing and hiking again!

 

To do this we had three key focuses:

 

  1. Build leg strength - used various squat movements to make sure he had the strength needed to climb up any hill or hiking trail. 
  2. Improve cardiovascular endurance - used cardio to help make sure he didn’t burn out too quickly on the slopes.
  3. Maintain hip flexibility and core strength - we continued to work these areas so that he did not backslide!

 

Now, over a year later, Brad is free of sciatic pain, has no back spasms, has lost over 34 lbs, and is hiking and skiing whenever he wants!

 

He is participating in at least four 5K runs this year and has even added stretching and push ups on hiking trails. 

 

His biggest accomplishments? Here is what he has to say:

 

“Being able to climb the ruins in Greece with ease and taking a snowshoeing adventure while having the strength and endurance to make the most of our beautiful trip.”

 

What made this all possible? Brad took action! 

 

So, if you are ready to make a commitment to yourself and become your best self just like Brad, get out of pain, and get back to doing the things you love?

Download our Body Fix Guide and learn the exact steps you need to take to start getting results now. This will include:

  • How to prevent morning stiffness
  • Key exercises to help your sore back 
  • 10 exercise you need to STOP doing
  • How to get out of knee pain
  • BONUS: Nail your nutrition to help reduce aches and pains

Have a question? Please post your questions on our Facebook Page.

Mint Condition Fitness is the leading personal training studio in Los Gatos for purpose-driven men and women to lose weight, get out of pain, and do more of the things that make life meaningful.

 

 

 

 

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