Natasha came to us after suffering with long term back, shoulder and neck pain, and now after training at Strength House in the City of London, is pain free.
This blog post has been kindly written and documented by our client Natasha.
I began training at Strength House at the beginning of October 2021, following a very tearful Sunday afternoon, knowing I was going into another week of pain, I had to make the change, NOW!
I have been suffering with back pain on and off for years and that pain comes in a few forms. Let me tell you about them.
About 5 times a year I get a recurring trapped nerve in my right shoulder blade which usually lasts for a minimum of two weeks. For the first 5 days I tend to not be able to move my neck without very strong pain and I usually resort to a bath every evening and back to back pain killers to help reduce pain!
I have unfortunately been knocked off my bike a couple of times in London in the past 8 years, thankfully I am ok, but each time I have landed on my right side, hitting down hard on my hip area. I really struggle with back pain in the middle of my back and across the back on both sides. By the end of a long working day at my desk or a day out when I am on my feet for long periods of time; I tend to end up bending in all sorts of positions and cracking my back to ease the pain.
I also have always struggled with lower back pain at the point my spine meets my glutes. Again, just a situation I have always tried to make better through massage, hot baths and pain killers.
All in all, I got to a point where I was simply sick and tired of living with pain. It makes me irritable and often upset. It makes me feel lethargic and tired. I simply must make changes to help me. Surely, in my early thirties, I should not be feeling this way.
To give a bit of context into my lifestyle and training history; I am the founder owner of a digital marketing agency in Bermondsey, London and my job entails me to split my time between hours sat at a desk and on a production site where myself and my team are on our feet for long hours. I cycle as my form of transport around London, so I am quite active day to day. I have done yoga for a few years which I always thought would help me; it has not in the physical sense.
I have not been in a gym environment for the best part of a decade except for the odd session in a spin class. Growing up I was a sprinter and hurdler therefore I have put my body through a lot of impact through training and weights; my body has an understanding of working out and keeping fit. I lack confidence in a gym environment and therefore beginning my strength journey with Greg at Strength House already feels life changing, only six weeks in!
I lacked confidence and knowledge with every aspect of what I was doing. Greg was guiding me step by step through every exercise. My shoulders were clicking and crunching with every move.
I was immediately taken aback by the service, utilising only specific machines to help me on my personal journey focussing on my targeted areas of pain.
After the first week, with 3 sessions, I felt pretty emotional, before starting at Strength House my level of pain 10/10 and after 3 sessions at Strength House I was already down to about 50% of that – 5/10 pain, it felt overwhelming!
Eager to get to my session, excited to reduce the pain! I wanted that same feeling I felt the week before.
Greg tested to see the movement range in my spine, he monitors my every move, guiding and assessing each muscle. It’s really fascinating to work with such precision and targeting muscle groups I have neglected for so many years.
Every session Greg checked in with my pain levels before and after the session. This week I left feeling 3/10 pain – (down from an excruciating 10/10 when I first came in).
What we worked on:
Activating a new group of muscles, this time in and around my glutes and the bottom of my spine.
We concentrated on stability around my shoulder blades, focussing around the area I get my trapped nerve.
This week was a big one for me. We worked on side bends and these were a challenge!! I managed 4 reps on both sides – this exercise targeted muscles I have been severely struggling with for years.
Greg began this week with range testing on my legs, hips, trunk etc through a series of movements, ones he came back to for testing after different exercises to figure out which ones had the biggest improvement. Following activation there were definitely some improvements.
We attacked the side bends again and this week I did 7 reps on 1 side and 10 on the other. A huge improvement. The worst and best exercise I feel I have ever done because it helped me so much!
I hit a PB on the cable pull today, considering 4 weeks ago my shoulders and (chicken wings as I call them) were clicking and cracking on every move, I am getting stronger and stronger, smoother and smoother.
I am feeling very excited!
This week was all about testing my strength with a scale. Following 5 weeks of training and becoming less and less in pain on a daily basis, it was time for Greg to get some data!
I found this such an interesting aspect to the service at Strength House. Now that we have actual data, we can begin working on the results which showed my left side is much weaker than my right side.
Following the testing the session began with side bends again and I absolutely smashed my PB with 25 reps on my right side. 15 on my left. I can’t quite believe the progress from week 1 not even being able to do 4 without excruciating pain!
I am so excited and happy to be on this journey to strength with the Strength house team, it is a real honour to be in the hands of such passionate experts. They are helping me inside and outside of the gym and I am currently waking up each morning with 0 pain on a daily basis and now into the stages of building strength and moving further and further away from that pain.
I will update you all with a Part 2!
Thank you Natasha for writing a review of your journey so far! – SH