It’s been a few months since Claire Smith first shared her story about the back pain that led her to start a rehab programme with Shane. And it’s a story that many can relate to. Her pain had reached the point where she was avoiding certain movements and feeling considerably older than her 50 years. With her pain getting steadily worse, Claire realised it was time to do something about it.

After an initial assessment with Shane, he planned a programme of corrective exercises that would help activate, strengthen, and stabilise muscles that were currently underperforming. In this blog, Claire shares some of the promising progress she’s made already.

Lower Back Pain


“Last night I lifted a roasting dish out of the oven without help. It might not sound like a big deal, but for me, it was a tangible sign of solid progress,” says Claire. “It’s one of those ‘everyday’ movements I have really struggled with for a long time.”

Claire explains that until recently, picking up any sort of weight that involved bending was painful to the point of being impossible. “It was getting to the point where I had to avoid doing anything that involved bending down.”



On top of her restricted movement, Claire was experiencing sharp, sometimes excruciating ‘stabbing’ pain in her lower back almost daily. “It would come out of nowhere – sometimes I’d just be standing or walking and it would hit me,” she says.

Targeted techniques

Shane’s programme for Claire involves twice-weekly sessions for around 45-60 minutes each. Each session starts by ‘checking in’ on the muscles that showed low performance in her initial assessment. This involves using tools like a foam roller and massage ball to pinpoint troublesome areas and help ‘wake up’ the muscle and surrounding tissue. It also provides the opportunity to use techniques that ‘dial down’ persistent pain messages. From there, Shane takes Claire through a regime of targeted corrective strengthening exercises which include neuromuscular, muscle activators, and 3D movement.

Claire also works at home with a curated selection of exercises that Shane has put together for her. Taking only 10-15 minutes a day, these daily exercises are designed to build on the work done in the sessions and help offset the tension caused by sitting at a computer for much of the day.

Gaining strengthBack Pain

Claire says not only has she started to see a notable reduction in her back pain, but she’s also enjoying a newfound sense of strength.

“I feel physically stronger in my core and around my lower back. And that gives me a lot of confidence. Shane has also shown me how to protect my back as I do day-to-day activities, so I’m not so scared I’m going to do something to trigger severe pain.

Shane says Claire’s improvements were also reflected in her recent re-testing. “Claire showed a marked increase in core communication and core strength, along with increased stability and endurance in the deep stabilises of the lower back,” he says.


Persistence pays off

Lower Back Pain


But that’s not to say there haven’t been setbacks. Claire explains there have been moments that tested her resolve. “There were times when the pain flared up, and I started to feel a bit defeated,” she says. “Other times, I felt like I wasn’t making progress as quickly as I wanted to.

“But pushing through and trusting in the process was better than the alternative. Before long I began to notice that a bad day would be followed by a relatively good day.

Then I started having good days that were really good – sometimes completely pain-free. And on those days I felt like a totally different person. You don’t realise how much pain affects your life until you have a day without it.”

Lower Back Pain CausesAnd those days are starting to become more frequent for Claire. “Right now, the good days are outweighing the bad. Although I do notice that if I have to miss a session for any reason, or I skip my exercises at home, the pain starts to creep back up again pretty quickly.”

Best of all, those sudden stabbing pains are fewer and further apart. “It’s very promising to see that Claire is having less incidence of the triggers that cause acute pain,” says Shane. “And with an increased awareness of optimal movement patterns for day-to-day activities, I fully expect to see her progress rapidly increase.”

With Claire’s range of movement vastly improved, the next steps for her programme involve ramping up the strengthening exercises that will help reduce her pain even further. “My ultimate goal, apart from being out of pain, is to begin building some lean muscle and improving my fitness. I feel like that’s not too far away now.”