It All Started With A 49-Year Old Bus Driver Who Came To Me As His Last Resort. His Pain Was Unbearable…
(Warning: What’s described below is NOT for the squeamish)
At 49, Jim walked like a feeble, old man. Hunched forward, hand on his back, every step an effort.
“Can you help me, Ian?” he asked.
When he first stepped foot into my fitness studio, Jim was a bus driver getting close to retirement and his well-deserved pension.
Only one problem. He was in EXCRUCIATING pain.
I dare not ask Jim to touch his toes or do some other type of exercise to gauge his condition.
I immediately had him gently position himself on the floor, put a pillow under his head and guided him through the 1st of 8 healing, pain-relieving, 2-minute movements…
Like most service industries and professions, bus drivers are put in an incredibly difficult situation. Forced to sit uncomfortably all day for years, stressed out from traffic and customers, the job more often than not, results in the slow motion demolition of their spine.
(All the while they’re in pain, they’re told to smile.)
To make matters worse, as they get closer and closer to their retirement, their company does something rather devious. They look for every reason to lay the drivers off, rather than have to pay their future pension and healthcare.
Imagine Jim’s anger when he was told he would lose everything he worked so hard for.
It’s a SHAMEFUL way to treat a loyal employee at the end of their career. But the truth is? It’s not uncommon.
So when bus drivers aren’t able to do the job, hard working people like Jim, who gave their adult lives to the company, serving their local community, are often denied their rightful pension as well as healthcare.
They get old and they thrown out. Like garbage. It’s incredibly sad. It’s not his fault. But such was the predicament Jim found himself in. He was desperate.
Jim simply HAD TO WORK till retirement. He had no choice but to prove to the company he was able to drive a bus, so he could ultimately collect his pension.
Jim’s pain had started a couple years earlier, when electrical shooting pains, called sciatica, developed in his right leg.
He continued to work, but the shooting pains persisted. Then one day after work, the pain was unbearable. He went to the emergency room.
The news was not good.
An MRI scan showed a noticeable rupture of a disk below the fifth lumbar vertebra.
You see, disks—the spine’s shock absorbers—are sheathed in a fibrous casing called the annulus, which protects their gelatinous core. When a disk ruptures, bits of it break through the casing.
The MRI scan showed that the protruding edge of Jim’s ruptured disk was pressing up against the right nerve root as it exited the spine.
Unfortunately, the MRI showed something else disturbing. Some narrowing of the disk immediately above—an early sign of “degeneration.”
Jim was given different pain medications at different times, including Vicodin, Percocet and Darvon which he could only use when he wasn’t driving. Instead, he occasionally received epidural steroid injections. But his pain persisted.
Then, about nine months after Jim injured himself, an orthopedic surgeon performed a procedure called a discectomy, where a fragment of the ruptured disk is removed.
For 75% of patients with sciatica who undergo discectomy, the procedure helps relieve pain. In Jim’s case, his sciatica went away, but the pain in his lower back INCREASED.
Yet another MRI showed that the disk the surgeon had operated on had started protruding AGAIN. This time pressing up against both the right and the left nerve roots.
The surgeon told Jim that the next step would be TO FUSE his lower vertebrae together, which supposedly had become “unstable.”
The surgeon’s new plan was to remove Jim’s degenerated disk or disks that were causing the pain and mechanically brace the spine with metal rods and bone grafts.
First however, the surgeon wanted Jim to undergo an incredibly painful procedure called a discography–an invasive process that determines how much of his pain was coming from the lower protruding disk and how much from the upper, narrowed one.
This information would help the surgeon decide if one or two disks should be completely removed.
Regardless, the discography was performed at the hospital. Jim was asked to lie on a long metal table with his lower back exposed.
To Jim, what was about to happen next was nothing short of… MEDIEVAL TORTURE.
A radiologist trained in the technique, explained that he would be applying increasing amounts of pressure to his injured disks. Jim’s job was to try to discern whether the pain he felt during the procedure was “familiar,” or “different” from his current pain.
First, the radiologist administered an anesthetic just under the skin, so he could insert a needle called a “trocar” into Jim’s lower back.
Following his progress on a device called a fluoroscope monitor, he slowly advanced the trocar until it reached the edge of the disk, just above the ruptured one.
Then, the doctor inserted a fine-gauge needle into the trocar and pushed it slowly into the disk.
Initially, Jim let out what could only be called a primal scream. “There are lots of nerve fibres in the annulus,” the doctor said. “I’m really sorry.”
It gets worse.
The radiologist took out an instrument resembling a huge syringe and fastened it to the fine-gauge needle, and began pressing on the plunger into Jim’s degenerating spine.
“Now, tell me if you feel any pain,” the radiologist said. “And whether the pain you’re feeling is the familiar pain you are suffering from.”
Can you imagine the anguish this surgeon planned on putting Jim through?
If Jim didn’t feel his familiar pain, this disk would serve as a control. A series of red neon digits raced across the monitor—20, 25, 28, then 30—representing the pounds per square inch of pressure that he was applying within the disk.
Jim gritted, screaming through his teeth, with each new increment. At 100, the doctor withdrew the trocar, while the technician recorded his reaction.
The doctor THE REPEATED the procedure an inch or so down Jim’s spine on the adjacent disk that was protruding into his spinal cord.
This time, when the pressure hit 30 pounds per square inch on the monitor…
Jim cried in pain… “Oh, God! Oh, God! Stop!”
”Is that your familiar pain?” the doctor asked.
Jim said the pain was like his lower spine was being crushed in vice. He also felt taser-like electric shocks into his butt and his thighs. At 49, Jim sobbing at this point, said his was familiar pain.
”Ok, you can relax, we’re done” the doctor said as he exhaled. He told Jim that he had done very well.
But to Jim? He really WAS done. After that ordeal, there was NO WAY he was going through with fusion surgery.
Especially when he learned the stated odds of success were merely 50/50… and that it could also leave him permanently disabled.
Leaving the hospital, the futility of it all set in.
And now today, Jim was in my fitness studio. Looking for hope. In order to get out of pain, keep his bus driving job and collect his pension, Jim needed nothing short of a miracle.
Relieving Jim’s back pain, especially after years of abuse, injury, and medication was a tall order…
Could I help him?
I have to admit, Jim was in pretty bad shape.
He came to me because I’d been recommended. Jim heard about the incredible results I’d produced with a couple of his bus driving buddies, adding years to their driving days.
So if he believed in me and my unusual method, I was willing to try.
Because not only had my method helped his colleagues… but years ago, I had experienced similar back trauma playing basketball. And I would have given ANYTHING to get out of pain.
From that day on, pain haunted me every single day. Doctors suggested I give up exercise–something I’d grown to love.
Over the years, in an effort to find relief, I tried just about every available therapy and treatment there was. Including…
- Massage therapy…
- Pain medication…
- Electric stimulation (TENS)…
- The “sheets of exercises” from physical therapists…
- A stress relief therapy called alphabiotics…
- And even Kinesis Myofascial Integration (offered at a whopping $125 per session)
I drew the line at surgery.
Then one day, after almost 10 years dealing with pain on a daily basis, I met a brilliant man that would forever change my life.
His name was Bojan. He was from Serbia.
One day, Bojan saw me hobbling and asked me what was wrong. I told him my story.
After asking a few general questions, he said in his best broken English…
“I have beautiful program to fix back pain and prevent it from happening again. You will like.”
That’s when he pulled me aside and guided me through 8 simple movements that amazingly, relieved my back pain. In less than 16 minutes, my pain was gone–doing for me what years of treatments and thousands of dollars could not do.
And I’ve run thirty miles a week ever since and have never experienced back pain again.
Where Did Bojan Get This Pain Relief Information From?
Most people have no idea where Serbia is, let alone the fact it’s produced a very long list of Olympic athletes.
Bojan (pronounced Boh-yan) possesses impressive training and credentials…
- He studied under the very same professors responsible for coaching those world class athletes.
- At the University of Belgrade, (considered by many the “Harvard” for his area of study,) he finished at the top of his class and ultimately graduated with a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science.
- Upon graduation, he was recruited to join the University faculty as well as become part of the coaching staff of the Serbian National Soccer Team.
The most important part of Bojan’s story, however, is his unique discovery during his time at the University.
His discovery was so revolutionary, it won him the prestigious “golden seal of approval” at his university.
The Real Cause Of Back Pain
Bojan’s discovery requires an understanding of biomechanics, anatomy and physiology at a level most healthcare professionals simply don’t have. At least, not yet.
Which makes this method rather controversial.
Well-meaning doctors and other healthcare practitioners may be able to identify muscles and bones by name… they may have years of education and experience treating your pain with drugs, injections and invasive surgery… but they don’t understand how pain is truly created in the body.2
More importantly, they don’t know how to trigger the body’s natural healing mechanisms that eliminate that pain.
With Bojan’s specialized training, he acquired a very unique understanding of the back–how it is affected by movement and especially NON-MOVEMENT.
Help Your Body Unlearn Your Pain
There’s a reason that things like acupuncture, chiropractors and massage and even surgery don’t provide lasting relief for your back pain.
Those things help to address the symptoms, not the true cause.
Bojan’s message was that in the overwhelming majority of cases, back pain is a symptom created by “muscle imbalance.”
In order to remove the pain, you must restore balance to the muscles.
You see, muscle imbalances occur when one side of your body is overworked while the opposite side is under-worked.
For instance: if you sit at a desk hunched over for long stretches, the muscles on the front of your body (like your abs, lats and pecs) become tight…
…and the muscles on your back that support your spine become weak.
Sitting hunched creates a tug of war effect that puts unnecessary stress on the joints, ligaments and tendons around your pelvis, hips and spine.
The result? Stress builds up in your lower back.
After months or years of your body in this position, this imbalance grows into major issues…
- Muscle imbalances shut off blood flow, preventing oxygen and other vital nutrients from reaching your back… and also contorts your spine over time3…
- Injuries you may not remember or you don’t even know are happening spring up throughout the affected area…
- Repetitive work, aggravated by the absence of movement and proper nutrients, creates a severe neuromuscular disconnect, slowly shutting down normal motor control.