Kristen F.

kristen-headshot_downsize2At 26 years old, I was a marketing manager at a high tech company in Silicon valley. I had to travel a lot and work long hours at a desk, sometimes sitting/standing anywhere from 9-14 hours in a day (not including commute time!). I had maintained an active lifestyle my whole life until I joined corporate America. Exercise became low priority.

One day I started experiencing really bad low back pain that wouldn’t go away. I got a stand up desk and that made things worse. Then I started having hip pain in both my hips. I saw 9 different back and hip specialists across the country and I was diagnosed with bi-lateral labral tears, impingement, psoas inflammation, and delamination and bursitis in my both hips in addition to a back herniation, arthritis and degeneration in my L5.

I sounded like a 80 yr old war vet, but I was only 26! I couldn’t sit at all without pain nor stand for longer than 5 min. My 64-year-old mother had to help me walk around the block. I had to take a leave of absence from work after 10 months of trying to tough it out. I couldn’t go to movies or even dinner with friends because of the pain. To get anywhere, I had to lie down in the backseat while my mom or someone drove me. I couldn’t even stand long enough to cook or do dishes or lean over the sink to brush my teeth without pain.

Some doctors said I would eventually need a spinal fusion, some wanted to burn the facet nerve off in my spine, other doctors said I would need a double hip surgery for the FAI and labral tears. I tried everything from yoga, to injections, to chiropractic, to acupuncture. I tried months and months of therapy with 8 different physical therapists. 3 out of the 9 back/hip specialists I saw told me not to let anyone cut me open.

They explained how there are numerous studies that have been conducted on people living with labral tears and FAI and experience no pain. I was actually already scheduled for hip surgery until I told the orthopedic surgeon about the second opinion I got; he then changed his mind about doing the surgery. Pretty scary how close I was to getting that surgery!

I realized that surgical procedures and generic physical therapy treatment were not going to solve my problems, so I kept looking. After 2 years of searching for answers, I found Matt Hsu at Upright health through a referral from someone else who had worked with him.

I’m so glad I didn’t give up my search, otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting her able to type this. We created a stretching and strength training protocol specific to my individual needs targeting muscles that were too tight or too weak causing hip/back pain. After only the first month of working with Matt, the results were impressive and it confirmed that surgery was NOT the answer to getting out of back and hip pain. The progress I made with Matt was all the proof I needed. I went from 2 years of barely being able to walk, sit or stand, to now waking up every morning pain free. Thanks to Matt’s help, I am happy to report I am hip pain free and able to lift weights, do hill runs, and even sit through a long car ride for a weekend getaway again!

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