We are back at it with our second edition of ‘In the Spotlight!’ This month I have a recent client who’s diligence and attention to detail has been the best I’ve seen. And, it’s really no surprise she saw great results.
After the first session/evaluation, each one of my clients receive specific instructions on exercises and drills to perform daily. This is an area many of them could be more consistent to see better results. That was not the case with Brooke.
Brooke was always eager to learn and apply the strategies I recommended on a daily basis. This allowed her to see great improvements with her lower back/hip pain and begin slowly returning back to the activities which she loved so dearly.
Without further ado, let’s shine the spotlight on…
Q: First, tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from?
A: “I am from Chattanooga, TN and have lived in Nashville with my family for four years. My husband, Ryan, and I have three children who are 9, 5, and 3. I am a full time mom and have loved the gift of staying home with them while also being involved in fitness, church activities and volunteering in the community.”
Q: If you could live anywhere in the world where would that be? Why?
A: “This is a very difficult question because I love to travel and would be very happy living in many places. I was fortunate to travel abroad several times in high school and college and each trip I felt like it only increased my desire to live abroad for longer periods of time. One of my favorite spots was Edinburgh, Scotland. The history, rural and coastal beauty and cultural dances and music were all amazing.”
Q: Other the years, what forms of exercise have you been into?
A: “Early on I participated in gymnastics, diving, track, soccer, running and modern dance. Since having children, I have mostly enjoyed running longer distances and then I started doing CrossFit four years ago.”
Q: What are the top reasons you enjoy CrossFit and staying active?
A: “CrossFit was the perfect combination of gymnastic movements, running, introducing barbell movements (which was new for me) and the sheer competitive drive that I missed from organized sports. Plus I could compare my results to my husband. We are both competitive and push each other to improve as we age. I want to stay active to enjoy activities with my husband and children for as long as possible. Physical activity is my stress release, my creative outlet and my time to recharge in nature.”
Q: When you first started working with Garrett, what were the goals you wanted to achieve?
A: “I researched Active Release Therapy (ART) and wanted to know if Garrett could address sciatic nerve pain with ART that physical therapy had not improved. I didn’t want to lose hope that I could be asymptomatic from a herniated disc, but I was starting to accept that maybe I would never fully recover. I didn’t know what goals to have other than moving without pain.”
Q: What was the catalyst that made you reach out to Garrett in the first place?
A: “I had been working with a massage therapist for several months and she recommended Garrett to me. She has been a fantastic resource so I trusted her judgment and she was hopeful that Garrett could address my problems better than past physical therapists had. And most of all I had prayed daily for God to order my steps and direct me to the next step in my treatment. I am thankful God knows what He’s doing!”
Q: What are the some of the improvements you’ve seen so far?
A: “I have seen countless improvements in my activities of daily living as a mom. I can pick up my 3 year old son without pain. He used to say, “hug me up” which means pick him up and hug him. I couldn’t do that without pain and it broke my heart. I can now bend down to tie my shoes, change clothes, get in and out of a car, carry groceries, race my children and participate in pilates/yoga classes that I thought would never be possible.”
Q: An individualized corrective exercise program that includes mobility, activation, strength, and movement was a big part of your success… Why do you think this was the case?
A: “I had to train my body to awaken and activate certain muscles that were not responding properly and therefore were putting undue stress on smaller muscle groups. As a gymnast and runner, I had always taken my endurance, strength, and flexibility for granted, but none of that mattered anymore if my muscle imbalance and poor activation sequences were putting me at risk for injury.”
Q: Do you think you would’ve seen positive results without the corrective program or if you only completed your exercises sparingly?
A: “I do not think I would have improved had I not trusted Garrett’s expertise and followed the corrective program as it was prescribed. Before meeting Garrett, I had been in physical therapy for 6 months under several different therapists, and did not see the improvement I hoped for. After working on Garrett’s program, I saw significant improvement. The specific movements and sequences made all the difference!”
Q: What is that one thing you dislike the most but continue to work on because you know it will help?
A: “I dislike the restriction on movements that I know will lead to sciatic nerve pain. I wish I could resume all of the activities I once enjoyed, like running, but I know being patient and following Garrett’s guidance on which movements to avoid until my muscle balance and mobility have improved will be worth it.”
Q: Do you have any advice for others who are going through the same situation as you?
A: “The daily commitment to follow through on exercises at home will be the small and steady steps that eventually lead to long-term gains. Some nights the last thing I feel like doing is my stretches, but it is worth it.”
Q: How do you feel Garrett’s services may differ from other professionals in his field?
A: “I knew immediately that Garrett’s initial, thorough evaluation of my condition and attention to detail of my medical history, current pain levels, etc. showed his commitment to getting the proper diagnosis and corrective exercise program. Knowing that he expected me to do my part and was confident that I could improve gave me the hope and encouragement that change was possible.”
Q: Looking ahead, do you have any new goals you are working towards?
A: “I want to pursue swimming and potentially resume running. My favorite activity with my 9 year old daughter was racing 5Ks, so I must keep improving in my corrective exercises in order to run without pain. But I trust that is possible with Garrett’s help!”
Thank you for reading the ‘In the Spotlight’ segment. And, a big shout out to Brooke Kocher!! Please feel free to comment below with any questions or feedback.
Tagged: active release nashville, active release techniques, brooke kocher, corrective exercise, crossfit nashville, garrett mclaughlin, herniated disk, hip pain, In the Spotlight, lower back pain, nashville, pain, runner, running, sciatic nerve entrapment