Testimonials Archive

Bill V.

bill V 1Just wanted to let you know that I’ve just started using your basic program (Track 1) and was blown away to realize immediate improvement.

A Little Back Story…

I first started noticing pain in my left hip probably almost two years ago.  Actually started as groin pain and I went to the doctor to get that check out, but other than confirming I didn’t have a hernia, no real diagnosis.  At the time I had recently completed a trail marathon and was still doing a fair amount of cross training with an eye towards doing a long course triathlon.  I signed up for the Louisville Ironman in the Fall of 2015, continued cross training through the winter, then started a formal ironman training program in the Spring of 2016.  Throughout the training, my hip bothered me, but as long as I trained at an easy pace running, and adjusted my saddle up and forward on the bike I was able to keep pain while exercising minimal.  After long runs, I’d have a deep ache in the hip at night, but the condition didn’t necessarily seem to be getting any worse.  I tried stretching (only seemed to aggravate it more), some pain meds (mainly ibuprofen after long runs), ice and ointments like Ben Gay.  Nothing really seemed to help much.  Worst pain of day was ironically putting my socks and shoes on.

After completing the Ironman, I ramped my training way down and largely stopped running.  Hip didn’t seem to improve much if at all.  Finally had x-rays taken and went to an orthopedic practice in January.  Was informed by the doctor (then got a second opinion from another with same diagnosis) that I had osteoarthritis in my left hip joint and that I should stop all high impact activities (running).  Okay to swim and cycle moderately.

After almost two months of completely ceasing running, the hip didn’t seem to be doing any better (putting on socks and shoes was just as painful).  I stumbled on your website after attempting to surf a couple weeks ago, but largely having to throw in the towel because it was just too painful to try to quickly go from prone to standing on the board.

Results With The FAI Fix

Although I was pretty skeptical due to my previous experience with stretching and long past experimenting with foam rolling (wasn’t doing it for hip pain at the time, just didn’t notice any benefit from it), I followed the troubleshooting guide and determined that I’m definitely the Course 1 (poor flexibility).  Had to work a little to find exercises and stretches that didn’t hurt too much, but was able to and started a basic tissue work, stretching and muscle activation program last week that takes me a little over an hour each morning.

After the first workout, I noticed that putting my sock and shoe on after a swim that afternoon didn’t really hurt (previous week it had been very painful).  Thought it might be coincidence, but for the next few days, the lack of pain continued.  I’m still very early in program (completed seventh workout this AM), but I’m definitely noticing that my flexibility with my hip seems to be continuing to incrementally improve.  I was able to cross my left leg over my right while sitting the other day – which sounds silly, but that’s literally the first time I’d been able to do that for a long time.

Thanks for your program!  I’m very hopeful that continued effort and experimentation will eventually get me back to full range of motion with the ability to continue in endurance sports for years to come,  but if I never progress beyond where I am right now, the improvement and pain relief I’ve already experienced will have been worth the cost of the program.

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Tony L.

TonyLuccaWebinarShotAll right, here goes with the testimonial. I wish I could say at the end that I’m fully healed, but I think it might be a while before I can say that and I’d like to share something for now. Maybe I can do an update down the road…

I’ve always been a very active person. I’ve played every sport imaginable but really focused on baseball and hockey. I was a catcher in baseball and a goalie in hockey, which is likely where some of my hip issues began.

After college, I stopped playing hockey after moving to a new city but I remained very active playing other sports, going to the gym, doing yoga, etc, and never had any major injuries. Somehow ten years went by before I finally snapped out of it and started to play hockey again. At that point I was in my early 30s and had lost much of the flexibility and mobility I’d had when I was younger so I knew in order to remain healthy I would need to focus more of my off-ice activity on training in goalie-specific ways.

A year or so into playing again, I started to experience a lot of pain in my left hip and groin. It was a creaky, achy pain accompanied by lots of popping and cracking, unlike anything I’d experienced before. As I was slowly getting more flexible through my off ice work, hip and groin injuries started to reveal themselves up until the entire left side of the joint froze. Almost all of the pain was in my upper groin but everything else felt extremely tight. My right side felt fine, but my left side began resisting all of my stretching and mobility work. My right side had always been more open than my left, but this was something different.

I started going to a PT who specialized in dry needling. We worked together for a few months trying to loosen up areas of my left hip that were completely frozen. The results were unremarkable so he referred me to a regenerative orthopedist who specialized in non-surgical approaches to issues like mine.

My time with him might be my biggest regret in that it was excessively expensive and yielded no results. I received multiple ultrasounds, injections, and other treatments with zero improvement. He recommended I get a MRI arthrogram and x-rays to confirm FAI. I did both and the conclusion was moderate FAI and a torn labrum. The recommendation from there was to jump up to the next level of injections (platelet rich plasma), which were going to be $1,000 a pop and not covered by insurance.

My frustration and helplessness at this point was overwhelming. I went home from that appointment and hopped back online looking for more options. That was when I found Matt and Shane.

Matt’s history as a hockey goalie resonated with me right away as did Shane’s past struggle with hip pain and how he improved his mobility so much that he’s able to do the splits (the dream of every hockey goalie). I bought the program and started in.

I tend to be overly organized so I created a spreadsheet with every exercise in their program. From there I created a series of three different programs each populated with different soft tissue, stretching, and reactivation exercises. I did each program for 4-6 weeks so I could become intimately familiar with each and learn the nuances of every exercise. I took notes after doing each program a few times and notes again after the 4-6 week period to track progress. After completing each of the three programs, I went back to identify the most effective exercises of each, and from there I created a series of three daily routines through which I now rotate.

I ended up taking six months off from hockey to really focus on my programs. I’d honestly say that during that time I was over treating myself, working out too often, and not listening to my body. The lack of progress became very frustrating and rather than back off, I pushed harder. I’d really banked on those six months being my healing period yet there wasn’t a whole lot to show for it by the end.

As the frustration grew, I continued to communicate with Matt and Shane, and they could not have been more supportive. I also read Stretching Scientifically, which helped guide me with how to stretch (dynamically, statically, and isometrically) and how to sequence the various other workouts I was doing throughout the week. It was during this time that I also began to really listen more closely to what my body was telling me rather than try to force it to heal. Shane and Matt have always been huge proponents of that, but I didn’t listen to that part in my early eagerness to expedite my healing.

Matt and Shane have continued to provide incredible guidance throughout the process, and they are there for all the small victories and frustrations. It’s easy to convince yourself that you’ll never fully heal especially when you have setbacks after making gains, but they are always there to adjust your trajectory and help troubleshoot.

I am coming up on the one year mark of doing the program and feel as though I am finally making some real progress. I started playing hockey again a few months ago and have noticed significant improvements on and off the ice, especially in my recovery time. It has been a slow road for me, and I likely slowed my recovery by pushing too hard and trying to force my recovery early on, but I do believe I’ll be pain free one day. My hip and groin still freeze up if I push too hard, but those times during which they feel more open than they have in years, tell me I’m on the right path.

My takeaway after a year is that this program really works if you are willing to put in the time, listen to your body, and are patient with yourself. I’ve gotta think that many of us in the FAI community have serious dysfunction and injuries that have led us to this point, so we need to accept that it can take a while to regain full functionality and unwind those old issues. The comforting thing to me is that the guidance we get from Matt and Shane is coming from two people who have worked their way through this themselves and have likely encountered all the issues we’ll ever be able to throw their way. I cannot thank them both enough for all of the time and guidance they’ve given me along the way, and I really look forward to updating this testimonial when I’m fully healed!

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Jeff P.

img_20170109_125110207The beginnings :

Before I found the FAI fix, I was facing surgery to shave down my CAM lesions. This seemed to be the last resort after an unsuccessful round of PT and just feeling helpless.

img_20170109_130255169I first began noticing the pain at age 23 after about a year of intro rock climbing. But at the time I thought it would just go away if I rest it and avoid irritating it. But it would only grow worse. At age 28 I tore my ACL in my left knee while skiing. The recovery from surgery was frustrating. My knee never seemed to quite heal properly and my hips were getting worse still.

My athleticism and enjoyment of sport was suffering due to the pain and discomfort in my hips, and it was killing me. I somehow lost tons hip function and it kept getting worse. Swinging a golf club (my first love) was becoming irritating, and I could no longer climb challenging bouldering problems without pain or feeling like I was making things worse. I wanted to get a stronger but exercise was irritating. And the aches were even showing up in daily life and seemed to be spreading to other joints like my low back. Walking didn’t feel right anymore and my pace was getting slower and slower.

I felt like I was falling apart quickly.
I felt like a 60 year old man at the age of 30.
I felt like anyone could easily knock me off balance by giving me a pat on the back.
I remember one time I was attempting to jump over a puddle, but then I had to bail just and go around it for fear of hurting myself. How depressing.

What I tried :

I intuitively felt like all my pains were connected and that I would slowly get worse and worse especially now that I had an injured knee. I saw some doctors and did a bit of online research. I was eventually diagnosed with FAI and offered what was considered “a relatively new surgery” to shave down my CAM lesions and fix any damaged cartilage. But luckily I was severely disenchanted with surgery in general seeing how poorly my ACL recovery was going. So I opted to try PT and to see what happens.

I tried physical therapy for about 6 weeks but I felt only minor relief from the program.
At one point I tried taking Meloxicam for a month in hopes it would break the cycle of inflammation. It didn’t work either. I felt really stuck and was close to considering surgery.

How I started recovering :

My recovery probably began when I found Matt and Shane’s videos on youtube. Their explanations of what is most likely going on with FAI clicked with me. But it took a bit of tinkering before I was able to truly convince myself their approach would work.

When I first started with the FAI fix, warrior positions in yoga were painful, the frog stretch was excruciating, the Cossack stretch was impossible. I couldn’t squat without falling over backwards. In fact almost all the exercises in the FAI fix were painful, uncomfortable or frustrating at first. But luckily the program has as great method of progressing, and with a diligent, daily, mindful, playful, practice, I slowly got better.

I discovered some stretches I could do at my standup desk at work. I took stretch and massage breaks during the day, and worked through a customized routine in the evenings. The FAI Fix program really helped me devise an evolving practice that fit my ever changing needs.

I really took to studying the art of human movement and treating recovery as a mastery of skill rather than a list of prescriptive exercises to follow.

How I feel today :

9 months after starting the FAI fix, I feel a ton better. I don’t even think about my hip aches anymore in daily life. I may not be a gymnast or expert level yogi yet, but now I can do things that shouldn’t be possible if a CAM impingement was the cause of my pain. For instance, I can work the frog stretch and the Cossack stretch now. I can even sit in Lotus now after a good round of hip openers.

I regularly deadlift and squat heavy now, and can almost do a proper pistol squat. I have no more pain during the golf swing and my swing speed has increased dramatically. My climbing has improved and I just feel like I am finally getting stronger, suppler, and more flexible. I no longer feel doomed from my bony circumstances. More importantly, I have a new love for movement and conditioning and feel confident I have the tools to maintain a strong mobile body deep into old age.

Thank you FAI Fix for bringing a unique evidence-based perspective on joint problems, and for discovering and creating solutions!

My opinions and keys to success :

-Only you can heal yourself. Treat everyone else as a consultant. Luckily Matt and Shane are best consultants I have ever found in any field. They have been amazing at answering my emails, providing motivation, and even helping me though some sticking points.
-Keep a journal.
-Awareness is key. Be mindful and focused, but also playful.
-Don’t rely on patience to see progress. Patience will inevitably wear off. Instead, focus on fun. Fun never wears off.
-Focus on the forest and the trees.
-When an exercise feels frustratingly hard, remember that you won’t feel the progress of today’s workout until tomorrow’s workout.
-You are practicing a skill instead of “busting out a workout.”
-Try to find ways to incorporate movement and exercises into your daily routines. For example, practice eating on the floor or checking your emails in pigeon pose. Get creative. “Always be mobilizing.”
-Think like a hunter-gatherer and get more movement, even study their movement. Get more outdoor time, better sleep, better nutrition, etc. (i.e. The basics).
-Never give up.

Favorite quotes:

“Don’t go into the pain cave” Kelly Starrett

“Before I learned the art, a punch was just a punch, and a kick, just a kick.
After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick, no longer a kick.
Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick.” Bruce Lee

“It’s a lovely journey that just gets deeper as you go along!” Shane Dowd

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John H.

john-cyclist-fai-hip-painHappy new year! I’ve been wanting to send you an e-mail thanking you for all of the work you and Shane put into the FAI Fix program. The program helped me get my life back together.

My story: I’m an avid cyclist and cycling is an integral part of my life. In April 2014, I was making a (too) aggressive right-hand turn and lost it in some gravel. It was the first serious cycling accident of my life. Post-accident, my right hip did not feel right. It was painful to walk. I rested it for about a month and went to an orthopedist when it did not get better. He recommended PT. The PT was cookie-cutter with no root-cause analysis. In retrospect, some of the exercises the PT gave me were really counterproductive and made me feel worse. More time went by and I went to a chiropractor/sports rehabilitation specialist. He quickly recognized glute shutdown on the injured side. That was a good call, but the exercises he gave me seemed overly aggressive. After some plyometrics, I spiraled down into serious pain that interrupted sleep and led to a pain medication prescription from my primary care physician. The pain was so bad that I agreed to have an MRI arthrogram on my injured hip. I was stunned, quite frankly, when the results came in negative – no labral pathology. The orthopedist discussed “exploratory surgery” which scared the heck out of me. When I balked at that (and a guided cortisone injection), he recommended another PT. The last PT was certainly not cookie cutter. He tried many reasoned approaches, and I improved a bit, but I was certainly not ready to return to cycling.

Around Christmas of last year (2015), I discovered your web site. I really liked the detailed research that you brought to the table. It was also very reassuring to hear that you and Shane actually had serious hip issues and recovered well. You experienced these problems directly unlike a lot of the therapists that worked with me. At that point in my injury, I decided to give the FAI Fix program a shot. So last December, I purchased the program as my Christmas present. I had been periodically trying to get back on my indoor bike for exploratory rides, but the pain was still present. So I decided to stop forcing the issue with the bike and focus on the FAI Fix. I performed the exercises every day without fail for about three months before trying the bike again.

Throughout that time I saw slow improvement. In the beginning, to be perfectly honest, it was hard to see improvement. But gradually, week after week, I felt better. In early April of last year, I got back on the indoor bike and was encouraged. I gradually increased time on the indoor bike and tried some outdoor rides in the latter part of May. I could not believe that I was back on the road again. The thought of outdoor riding was completely out of the question earlier in the year. My goal then was simply to get out of pain. This last cycling season (2016), after the lost season of 2015, I was able to log 2850 miles on the road. I still can’t believe it.

When I speak to others about the FAI Fix program, I tell them how effective it is, and also tell them that it has given me tools that I continue to use daily. For me, the FAI Fix is not a one-time program to “get up and running” again. It is an integral part of my fitness regimen.

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Roo H.

rooaiki1-2I teach and practice Aikido, a martial art that involves rolling, falling, and knee-walking.

Beginning in 2010 (when I was living in Japan and practicing Shotokan karate as well as Aikido and Japanese swordsmanship) I was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in my left hip that eventually resulted in bone spurs and constant debilitating pain. I tried acupuncture, physical therapy, massage, Feldenkrais, and even excruciatingly painful prolotherapy, but it just didn’t get better, and I had the hip resurfaced in 2014.

Within 6 months of the surgery I started getting the same symptoms in my right side–the same way the left side had started to break down, including super tight hip flexors, painful impingement on outer hip rotation, and muscle pain/tightness in my quads. This time, though, I started rolling daily and doing stretches I found in the FAI fix.

In the summer of 2015, just after starting the FAI fix, I did a week-long Aikido camp. After four days of training, I couldn’t walk without limping and I had to stop taking falls. But I was, amazingly, able to recover within a week with rolling and stretching. I kept teaching Aikido and going to the boxing gym over the following fall, winter, and spring, and found that I could stay pretty mobile and pain-free as long as I was faithful about rolling and stretching every day.

At the week-long Aikido camp in 2016 I was able to train nearly every class for the whole camp, and didn’t even limp afterward. And then I took off on my international travels. I have managed to survive four months of car travel around the US, followed by nearly four months of travel around the globe. I did Aikido in most every place I stopped (from Tokyo to China to Mongolia, across Russia and into Europe, as far north as Oslo and as far south as Prague–it was a crazy trip), sometimes teaching seminars and training daily for several consecutive days, and I walked more than I thought possible. Thanks largely, I believe, to my thirty-minute daily stretching routine and rolling as much as possible, I have stayed mobile, if not pain-free.

I should add, I guess, that I think that my diet also helps me stay out of pain–I generally stay away from refined sugar and flour and eat whole foods. I notice that when I stray, I really feel it in my body–both a drop in my energy levels (which are vital for keeping up with stretching, rolling, etc) and increased joint pain. Not to complicate the picture too much, but I feel it’s worth a mention.

Thank you for putting together this program and for all your help!

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Skye D.

skye-fai-hip-painWhen I found out that I had FAI and was given surgery as my only option to fix my hips, I looked for an alternative. I found the FAI Fix. After following the program for about two to three weeks, my hip mobility increased while my crunchy hip pain steadily went down.

The FAI Fix program really opened my eyes to how important strengthening the muscles around the hip joint is, specifically the glutes! Strengthening the glutes has been every bit magical for minimizing my hip pain.

My problems were the classic pinching feeling on the front of my hips when I flexed. It hurt to stretch in a pike position, and I couldn’t sit comfortably in yoga child’s pose with my knees together without a lot of pain. I was told that I needed surgery. The doctor told me that it wasn’t an immediate need, but that it was inevitable as the pain would only get worse and inhibit me from doing all the wonderful active things that I wanted to do.

My hips are holding up pretty well, and we’re 8 months since I was told everything was just going to get worse and that I’d need surgery. Now I can sit in a pike stretch comfortably and even child’s pose with knees together. I no longer have pinching in my left hip during flexion. I get slight pinching in the right, but the pain is far less than what it used to be. It is fantastic. I still can get discomfort, but it’s not anything that really deters my activity level. Because of less hip pain, I have been able to focus better on my flexibility and have definitely seen a wonderful increase in it. I just need to do things to maintain my hip health!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Skye D. – Pole Dancer
Instagram: @skyepearls

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Kim W.

studio-828-photography-sarah-kim-9170Dear Matt and Shane,

Thank you both for YOUR help and support.

With your program and your kind responses to my emails, I have been able to turn my hip issues completely around, and no longer live in fear of future surgery, increased immobility, or any further harm to my quality of life.

In the past I tried some strengthening exercises from a PT, a little tissue work with a ball, I tried stretching exercises, I tried dry needling and sports tape, and I spoke with a Medical Medium who gave me all manner of supplements. I went to multiple doctors, I tried massage, I tried rest, I tried more exercise. But until your program gave me the right tools in the right combinations, I was unable to prevent a worsening of my condition.

After two short weeks of one, maybe two sessions a day, I was able to go up stairs once again, and get out of a car without limping for the first time in over a year. I could hardly even believe how quickly I started noticing positive results- right around day three!

I even slacked off doing the program so frequently and just went down to doing it when I could feel tightness or stiffness creeping back in, and was able to maintain my results pretty consistently.

Now that I have proven to myself that this program is truly the miracle fix I’d been searching for, I am going to up my game a bit and go up to a 4x week schedule, to see if I can work the last kinks out, and continue to get stronger. Amazing that just a few months ago I thought I’d never be able to really exercise again. You two have given me so much- not just a lack of pain, but hope for a bright future.

I can’t thank you enough.

So here are the three things I’m grateful for today: Matt, Shane, and the fact that I found you both and your program from all the way over here in NC. Lucky me!

 

Read Kim's Full Story

About eight years ago, in the midst of the very emotionally, mentally and physically draining process of separating from my husband, I awoke with some pain in my right hip. It wasn’t excruciating, just noticeable, and it made getting around a little more challenging than usual. I thought it must be a pulled muscle or something and waited for it to get better. It didn’t.

Three days later I limped into my General Practitioner’s office, and could barely lie back on her table without crying out in pain. She sent me for a CT with contrast to see what was going on. The CT didn’t show anything incredibly definitive, so they told me it could possibly be a slight avulsion fracture (from what, we have no idea) and to just rest it for a few weeks. I got crutches and was sent home.

A few weeks later it had definitely improved, and I went back to my normal life. But it still wasn’t quite right. In hindsight, it seems likely that at that time I began compensating for the residual pain in ways that would ultimately mess up many other aspects of my musculature, without me having any idea of how to reverse the pattern.

Four years went by where things were OK, but not great. When I exercised the way I always had- long walks, some work at the gym, an occasional yoga class, I could feel twinges of pain again in that hip, as if it just couldn’t really keep up. I tried pushing harder, but that seemed to make things worse. Rest was helpful, but only until I started exercising again.

I went to a bone and joint specialist who said it could be any number of things- snapping hip syndrome, impingement, a labral tear… he took Xrays and did an exam. He said my hips looked fine on the Xray and sent me to a PT. He clearly was of the “I have no idea, but let’s try everything one thing at a time” school. He said that if PT was unsuccessful, we could try steroid shots.

The PT gave me some exercises- clamshell, bridges, crab walks, leg lifts. I did them for a few weeks and noticed the pain getting worse. I was back to limping slightly. I took a break for a few weeks, felt a bit better, and then tried them again to the same effect. I went back and explained what was happening. She modified the exercises and added one more, and I tried again. Same issues.

I quit PT. But I didn’t want the next step- steroid shots- after reading about how they eventually degrade the situation even if they initially help with pain. So I didn’t return to the bone and joint doc. I rested again until things started to improve a bit. But they always seemed to reach a plateau that wasn’t quite where I needed to be.

Around this time I also developed a frozen shoulder, which made me do even less physical activity, gave me greater imbalances in my body, and took a long time to resolve.

I knew the PT had felt that my problems were caused by weakness, so when I was able, I resolved to do things to get stronger that didn’t hurt like the PT exercises had. I tried to get back to my regular yoga classes, but every time I did a class with lunges (which was most of them, naturally), I would feel worse in my hip afterwards. At that time, a close friend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and wanted me to be her weekly hiking buddy through the chemo ordeal, so I stopped doing yoga and went walking with her instead.

We walked every week for two years, and over that time, my right hip got worse and worse. Uphills began to make me grimace in pain. I tried squeezing my butt and thigh muscles to make them work harder and get stronger, but this seemed to backfire. By the time we got back to the cars at the end of our hikes, my hip was so tight and painful I could barely lower myself into the car. It would take me three or four days to stop limping again. But I wanted to be a good friend, so I kept going.

During this time, I decided it must be mental. After all, my father had died suddenly 8 years prior, my marriage had failed, the man I then loved was not emotionally available to me, my friend had cancer, I was a single mom raising two difficult boys- it made sense that I would have stored some rough emotions in my body. So I bought a book which taught EFT tapping and listened to the complimentary program. I tried to tap the pain away. Some days it did make it feel better, but it would always regress. After half a year, I gave up hoping for permanent relief.

My sister, who had some neck issues that were resolved by a woman doing cranio-sacral work, sent me to her practitioner. She was nice and I cried a lot, and I actually felt better for a few days after each treatment, but after a week, the pain was always back, sometimes worse than before.

I could no longer exercise much at this point, and had to tell my friend that I could only join her for the very end of her walks, on flat ground, and slow. Her warm-downs. And even that hurt quite a bit.

I was on the internet constantly, reading in chat rooms and following comment threads about people with hip pain- every day I Googled: hurts to drive, hurts to stand from sitting, hurts to get out of a car, hurts to go uphill. But it was hard to settle on a diagnosis- one day my pain would match the symptoms of trochanteric bursitis, the next, impingement or IT band issues, the next, labral tears, TFL pain or hip flexor issues. I went around and around, self-diagnosing one condition, then another. This was due to the fact that my most painful spots did not seem to stay consistent, but moved (or compounded) over weeks or months from one place to another and back again. This was aggravated by the fact that the internet was far from consistent in diagnosing one kind of pain as just one type of problem.

And whatever the diagnosis would have been, the stories on the internet were not hopeful. There were no sure fixes to be found. Most people had been through the cascade of doctor interventions with little success, most were just suffering every day like I was. Very occasionally someone would feel like they were diagnosed correctly, and get some kind of help that worked, but it was rare that the help was a permanent solution. Many more had awful experiences being guinea pigs and ended up with even more pain and dysfunction. It was scary.

At one point I was directed to a website with a product which was a heat wrap you plugged in and wrapped around your hip, with some kind of extra magnetic thing inside. It had a money-back guarantee, so I tried it. Three times a day I spent 30 minutes to an hour with this thing. No change. I asked for my money back. They said I probably needed to do it less, so I tried that. No change. They said I should try to do it more, and alternate with ice. I tried that. No change. Eventually I was able to get my money back, but my spirit was not buoyed by the experience.

I went to a chiropractor. My neck felt a bit better, but my hip did not respond as kindly.

I got a standing desk. I tried an exercise ball for a chair. I tried working on the laptop from my bed. I tried various stretches and home remedies. Nothing helped.

All this time, people I spoke to about it (friends, doctors, chiropractors, pilates and yoga instructors) were busy diagnosing me with everything under the sun, but no one had any great ideas about how to prove any specific diagnosis, or how to effectively treat me. I felt that if I could just put my finger on the actual problem, I might have a better chance at solving it. But who could help with a correct diagnosis?

I heard about a medical intuitive who could do phone consultations, so I made an appointment. He told me that my hip pain was caused by an undiagnosable (by medical doctors) low-grade case of shingles, and gave me many herbs and vitamins to help my body rid itself of the virus. I took them for 6 months. I stopped eating meat, eggs, corn, and a host of other things (I already don’t eat gluten or dairy), and while some days I felt it was helping, there was no lasting relief. I called back and was told that because of my stress level, it would probably take another year to clear. Yeah, well, when you can’t exercise or live your life normally, stress is kind of hard to get rid of, but I started meditating, which was nice.

I began to feel again like I had to find something to help me strengthen, as my legs were looking worse and worse, especially that right side butt. I joined a gym and started swimming gently, and doing some elliptical machine work. Everything felt a little better, except that hip. Eventually I was back to limping after each workout, so I stopped.

I decided I just needed to rest it and it would get better. Rest and meditation on healing. It did help me stop limping, but as soon as I started trying to be active again, the pain would return. And now it was affecting my sleep as well. I couldn’t lie on my right side anymore, and lying on my left still put a strain on my right. I bought a knee pillow, and began sleeping like that. It seemed to help for a week, and then not as much.

I tried some other natural remedies that promised instant relief from joint pain, but the only one that seemed to help at all was turmeric. I do still use that on occasion, because it has only ever felt helpful, but it still didn’t resolve the issue. I had to do more.

I found a stretching program that involved contracting while stretching, which was recommended by Oprah and promised to speedily resolve issues like mine. I did it for a few weeks, but did not feel it was helpful. Only that it was at least giving the rest of my body something healthy to do. But my frustration grew and grew that I could not use my lower body the way I wanted to without worsening things, and had to modify everything. Nothing was helping my hip at all.

Dating was miserable, because after sitting for the length of a meal, I’d have to get up slowly and just stand there for a minute, pretending to stretch or slowly putting on a jacket, to disguise the fact that I could no longer just stand up and start walking immediately. Getting out of a car, I’d have to gentle my right leg over to the doorway, and then pull myself up using only my left leg and my arms, stand there for a minute while I let the muscles in my hip joints straighten out and get their bearings, and then finally I could begin to limp toward my destination. Going up stairs required a handrail, and eventually, only using my left leg for the step up.

At one point I had to drive to a conference about 7 hours away. It was so painful I could barely walk after driving, and then I had to drive home after two days, another 7 hours. I stayed in bed for two days after that, just trying to get back to a normal level of limp. This was untenable. I was not ready for a walker at 48, but it was starting to look really helpful.

I decided to give conventional doctors another try. After all, I reasoned, they saw hundreds of people every year just like me, so they must know how to make things better by now. Or at least tell me what’s really going on.I started with another visit to my GP. She said it sounds like it could be a labral tear and suggested an MRI with contrast. From all my research, I already knew I wasn’t interested in going the surgical route at this point, so I questioned her about the use of doing that very expensive test, and whether it could even possibly lead to any other healing option than surgery. She wasn’t able to offer much hope or encouragement in that direction, or even much information about people getting better from these sorts of things, so I declined the test.

I questioned my OB/GYN about it at my next check up. I know she deals with a lot of stuff in the pelvic region, has a lot of anatomical knowledge about how things work there, so I was hopeful she could shed some light on the subject. She said, “Could be osteonecrosis- we should keep an eye on things”. That was the first I’d heard of that horrible condition, and after a bit of Googling, I decided to try to put that one out of my mind.

Next I went to an orthopedic doc who did some light manipulations, reviewed my CT from all those years before, and asked a few questions. He offered shots to help determine where the pain was coming from, but I declined. He decided that it was probably FAI of some kind, and sent me to a friend of his who was in the business of helping runners with injuries, and who knew a lot about hips.

She was great. She did some deep massage and trigger point therapy, which was very painful but seemed to help. When the help wasn’t lasting, she said we ought to try dry needling. The first time she did it, it was like a miracle. I walked out of there with no pain at all in my hip. I got into my car, drove a few miles and got out with no pain. I jumped a few times, to see if I could locate the twinge, but it was nowhere. I was so happy. It was the first day without pain I’d had in 7 years.

The next day I felt a slight twinge. The day after, more. And so on, and so on. But she and I felt we were onto something. This was proof to me and to her (who described the feeling of the tendons and muscles in that hip as “ropey”, and suggested it felt something like a shoulder feels when it’s frozen), that it was a muscular issue, and not a bone issue/labral issue requiring surgery. I was so hopeful, because it was the first time I had a sense of direction.

We did a few more sessions of dry needling, but it was never again quite as effective and the positive effects never held for long, and it hurt a lot, so eventually we just went back to tissue massage. Sports tape. A few PT exercises and a rubber ball. And things were OK. But again, the plateau, and I was reaching a financial issue as well after all these years of dumping money into the problem. My insurance didn’t help with her at all, so I eventually stopped going. And got worse again. It was very frustrating to have found something that helped a little, but that would require a constant stream of money and time to continue.

But she had helped me understand much more about the complex anatomy of the hip, and had given me a few extra tools for my future internet searches. I began to Google the things we’d talked about the most- TFL, glute medius, hip flexors, and I came across the amazing and talented Matt on a Youtube video talking about the Nasty Bastard TFL. I began learning more about his ideas, his philosophy and his solutions, and something just clicked for me. I bought the program.

I printed out the required booklet, put it in a binder, and followed it to the letter. The first day was a little painful. I’d had a questionable relationship with my foam roller in the past, but being more careful about listening to good pain signals and bad pain signals from my body, I proceeded to work through the tissue work and the stretching exercises. That was all I could manage the first two days, and then I added some glute reactivation. And things began to shift by the third day. By the end of the week I could raise my right leg up to put my sock on without contortions. By the end of the next week, I could raise my right leg and place it on a stair going up without wincing. These things had been impossible before. I followed the program for two weeks solidly, then moved to doing it mostly just in the morning, but often adding the tissue work alone in the evening if I felt like it was necessary. And the change was remarkable. It all made sense to me- the years of over- and under-compensation from all those many muscles and structures in my hips and back. The way the program let me find the areas I needed to address to get things working together normally again. What a huge mental and physical strain was relieved for me by doing this work and seeing the results. I finally felt hope again.

I decided to test things out and see if the pain all came back if I stopped doing such a long version every morning. It didn’t. I was gleeful. I started gentle walks with my friend again, and found that as long as I did at least the tissue work when I returned or felt things begin to tighten, I’d be fine.

Months later, not even being particularly diligent with my practice, just using it as needed, I walk with no limp, I get out of the car with no problems, I can walk uphill with my friend again, I can sleep, and I can do stairs almost as well as before the whole problem started. My life is mine again. But I realize that I need to stay conscious of activating my glutes and using the right muscles for the right jobs. And I have much more work to do to get as strong as I was before this whole thing began. To regain balance in both sides of my body. But now I have my confidence back about my ability to heal, and I’m ready. And this time, I’ll be even better, because even though I had tried some of the elements in this program separately before with only sporadic success, the combination of tissue work, stretching and reactivation in the right order and on the right areas is what made this recovery possible, and I feel sure it is what will serve me well for the rest of my very active days.

Thank you Matt and Shane, for the gift of returning me to a healthy, active life.

With deepest gratitude,

Kim Wilde

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Jacqueline Y.


jacqueline-hip-pain-225x300I was born with congenital hip dysplasia and walked around with a completely dislocated hip until 2 years old when I had major pelvic surgery (osteotomy) to reshape the right hip joint. I was very active throughout childhood and as an adult- cheerleading, running, skiing, what I now know was excessive yoga, mountain biking/ spin classes. I was pain free until age 25 when I was (mis)diagnosed with a “right gluteal strain” after skiing in Colorado in March 2016.

After zero results with physical therapy and worsening pain, I got an MRI arthrogram in July and was diagnosed with a combination of pincer and cam impingement and labral tears in both hips. Around that time I started experiencing lower back pain and pain on the left hip as well as the right. I was in pain all day at work, home, weekends and it seemed totally random- unrelated to sitting, standing, activity, taking medication, lidocaine patches, injections- nothing worked! My initial orthopedist recommended hip arthroscopy and I got a second opinion with a sports medicine doctor who recommended the same thing and I scheduled my surgery for November.

Working in healthcare, I’ve seen the results of jumping into surgery and the research I found was not compelling that hip arthroscopy would even work. I was so stressed about taking off so much time from work for surgery and being in pain I traveled to get a 3rd opinion. He was more conservative and suggested holding off until I eventually needed a hip replacement and continuing to strengthen the muscles around the hip to stabilize the joint via strength training (this surgeon did his fellowship with Dr. Phillipon in Vale- basically the inventor of hip arthroscopy).

After losing faith in physical therapy, I had begun doing a program I had found online called the FAI Fix since mid May (2 months after injury). I was desperate and followed the program diligently. The tissue work portion helped a ton with the tightness, and I always felt better after exercises but I was still in pain/ a slave to my foam roller. I saw that Matt, one of the authors of the FAI Fix, offered Skype sessions. I started seeing him truly as a last ditch effort before committing to surgery mid August and he instantly added A LOT of weight to my program. It turns out I had been doing a lot of the right things but I had gotten stronger, so what I was doing was not enough to stabilize the joint without weight.

Literally the first week of doing the new exercises my back and left hip stopped popping. I have now been 90% out of hip pain for 4 weeks and 100% out of back pain for 6 weeks after constant suffering for 5 months! I have the occasional twinge but now I know some exercises to help stabilize my hip during the day. I have a very active job as a pediatric speech pathologist so I am always running around, sitting on the floor, etc. all without pain. I even went horseback riding and mountain biking!

This has not been a linear recovery at all and I have suffered a couple setbacks but Matt has always helped me trouble shoot and figure it out. He includes videos with every exercise so I can review and make sure I’m doing every thing correctly. I will post another update on my recovery status as more time passes!

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Dan B.

THANK YOU x 1,000,000. I have my life back.

Started the program the beginning of January and today I’m pain free. These last few weeks have been nothing short of a gift. I’d like to give you guys everything I’ve found useful and impeded progress.

First things first…be persistent, be consistent. I came into this program with the mindset this was either going to work or nothing was. All in or nothing. Everyday, woke up 45 mins early to do my “problem areas”. Glutes, Hams and the illio psoas. Did the deep tissue and stretches only in those areas in the morning.

As I said, I’m up and down ladders all day so I did what I could without making it worse. After work, I’d do everything from start to finish. I did that 5 to 7 days a week all the way up till mid april. At that point I just felt human again. Could stand straight up comfortably, There was no more clicking and popping going up stairs. Just wonderful. At that point, I cut out the morning routine and would do 1/2 the exercises, tissue, and stretches one day, and do the remainder the following day. Today, I feel great and just rotate through different things on and off as need be. and at least 2x a week I try to cycle through everything and really take my time with each stretch; really take my time.

So what has helped?

PROPER POSTURE
Without a doubt this has been the numero uno thing to keep conscious of every second of the day. One thing I highly recommend would be for people to get a full body mirror. Something they can stand in front of and observe their entire posture. From the front, left side, right side. See how ankles, knees, hips and shoulders all line up. I was shocked when I saw how out of line everything was.Then I literally shifted everything into alignment while I stood in front of the mirror. Tried my best to emulate that posture throughout the day. No more slouching. Sit up straight.

In the beginning I’d constantly catch myself slouching or leaned way back into the couch. So everyday I forced my self to sit up. In the car while driving, eating at the table, sitting on the couch. everything. Once I incorporated popper posture, the whole fai fix routine became much easier and the pain was drastically less every day. I’ll be honest when I say in the beginning, good posture felt crooked to me, I felt different muscles and tendons in my leg on my “problem side…. That was just proof to me I was seriously out balance. Day by day good posture just became the norm. I’ve had a few people tell me that I look more confident….crazy what standing up straight will do to someone.

HYDRATION
Hydration IS huge while trying to stretch, relax, etc.  I’ll admit that I was someone who didn’t drink enough water. As I said, I’d come home from work and try to do the routine before I relaxed and muscles would stiffen up. When I’m dehydrated, I found my muscles did not want to stretch, would stay tight and tense, and would not want to relax while in the stretch. One day, had a nice big glass of water before hand and the results were undeniable. My toughest stretch is without a doubt, the glute one where you put a foot up on the wall, cross over the other leg and lower into the stretch. Sometimes I’d just have to keep backing away from the wall until I could lower down enough, and work my way back in. So drink water. It’s common knowledge so I won’t get into details about the importance of hydration, just that being hydrated will help this process.

KNOW YOUR MUSCLES
I took your advice and researched the locations, functions, and attachment points of everything I was working on. Once I knew what and where muscles were, I’d literally picture what I was working on, the direction of the muscle fibers, and working areas differently. Sounds silly but I never really considered muscles pulling from both attachment points and many of those attach at the spine! Was very profound learning back pain can be rooted back to something so simple a child could understand.

CALM MUSIC
I concentrate very carefully on the area I’m working on. Again, picturing the muscles. The more I focused on that specific area, often the faster and easier the tissue work would go. So I clearly found my self distracted by TV or rock music. However, I found Pink Floyd and the softer side of Buckeheads music very calming. Often certain stretches or tissue work would be tough. Having something soothing to listen to really helped redirect my attention from it hurting or burning and allowed the focus to return back to the muscle relaxing. But that’s just from my experience. I also didn’t like to be bothered. I’d find a nice quiet space in the house where there’s no TV or lawn mowers outside going on. No distractions, this is business.

I like to do my research so upon this journey I did supplement other things into this whole experience. First thing is, for my birthday, my girlfriend bought me an inversion table so I could hang upside down. We did find it helped both of us really get our core muscles stretched out. Also feels great taking the weight off my hips, shoulders and placing it in the opposite direction. Not something I say go run out and get now but hey, I don’t have anything bad to say about it.

NUTRITION
Given I work out of town, I’d often eat out for lunch. Fast food. I  found to hinder my progress. Soda, sweets, fried food…all of it. Maybe it was a mental thing but when I had my weeks of eating good, routine went good. If I had an off week and ate out, I literally found myself not motivated to stretch, sluggish, whole 9 yards. I did supplement myself with a phenomenal multivitamin,  powerful anti inflammatory product, and great probiotic. In the beginning, my muscles weren’t working with me. Could barely do any of the routine without some pain or even successfully with good posture. So without a doubt, good nutrition and hydration have been a good cornerstone to my story. Muscles need fuel and you can’t feed them garbage.

Thanks for everything!

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