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Is Egoscue the Cure for Chronic Pain?

by Brian Patterson » on Apr 06, 2011 62

Disclaimer: This is a very long post about chronic pain relief in general, and the Egoscue method specifically. Grab a drink and a snack, give it a read, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

knee pain patellar tendonitis

Sporting a knee brace to keep my knee warm and 'restricted' during sports.

For the last 16 months, I’ve embarked on a part-time medical voyage to battle some nagging patellar (knee) tendonitis that just won’t go away.  I haven’t actually traveled out of the local area, but I have visited more specialists and done more research than I would have ever thought possible of myself.  The fact of the matter is, I just don’t think surgery is necessary to heal this up, so I’m making sure no stone is unturned in my search for a surgery-alternative relief.

A while back my knee started flaring up during a softball game.   I didn’t think much of it at the time, but the inflammation didn’t let up the next day, or the next week, so I made an appointment with my family doctor.  He checked to make sure it wasn’t something major, and eventually honed in on it being patellar tendonitis.  He assigned some exercises to help alleviate the pain and left it at that.  In short, the exercises and stretches didn’t work, and I went to an orthopedist to take a more detailed look.  After x-rays and an MRI, this new doctor verified that the family doctor was correct.  He then laid out a solution path, advancing forward only if the previous treatment failed.  In order, they were:

  1. Physical Therapy – Failed after 8 weeks, 3x’s per week
  2. Cortisone Injections – Failed
  3. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) – Ongoing?
  4. Surgery – No Thanks

I went through his first two recommendations without success.  During this time, I started thinking about other options that he may not be recommending.  After some research, I discovered Iontophoresis, Prolotherapy, Cissus (courtesy of the 4 Hour Body), and a number of other alternatives.  None of these did the trick for me, per se, but I did have some temporary relief with Iontophoresis and I’ve had one treatment of PRP that I believe may have provided some slight improvement (I was told to do three full treatments, but I wanted to test some other things out before doing the next two).

During this search, I came across something else that seemed almost too good to be true:  Egoscue.  I read of how it cured people of sore hips, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, knee pain, back pain, and the list goes on and on.  Egoscue is, according to their official website:

A unique and very effective program designed to treat musculoskeletal pain without drugs, surgery, or manipulation.  Egoscue is a process which involves a series of stretches and gentle egoscuecises (“e-cises”) designed specifically for each client. This process strengthens specific muscles and brings the body back to its proper alignment and functioning the way it was designed—pain free.

egoscueI’ve done some peripheral research on Egoscue, and I also did a 45 minute consultation over Skype with John Elder or Egoscue Tennessee.  During this consultation he took a look at me, my posture, and my knee, and we went through a few “e-cises” so that I could see how appointments would generally go. I was impressed with the analysis and I’ve decided that I’m going to proceed with Egoscue.  To move forward, you have 2 options:  You can either read the best-selling Egoscue book and go along at your own pace, or you can sign-up for a plan and visit a local Egoscue clinic (or have appointments over Skype).  While I would love to visit a clinic as I like to have visual instruction, the price-point at this time is a bit much for me considering how much money I’ve already spent on physical therapy, prolotherapy, PRP, etc with no pay-off (my wife probably won’t go for another “crazy” treatment!).  So, I’m going to buy the book, put it to use in my life, and hopefully get better and improve my body overall – we’ll see!  (I’ll post my progress, thoughts, and results right here on MyFiveFingers.com over the next few weeks and months.)

Does this have anything to do with FiveFingers or Minimalist running?  Yes, stay with me.  When I met with John, we talked extensively about FiveFingers.  He wears them everyday and recommends them to all of his clients.  Egoscue is about posture and ensuring your body is properly aligned:  two things that we all know FiveFingers helps with.  After talking a lot with John about Egoscue, his patients, FiveFingers, treatment, and everything else, I asked if he could obtain a few testimonials for me to share with all of the readers here.  He reached out to some of his patients, particularly those who are now VFF wearers, and provided me with contact information for those who were willing to share their stories.  Without further ado, I’d like to share the stories they sent to me.  If you have a story about Egoscue or any other “alternative” methods for pain relief, please share the details in the comments at the bottom of this post.

My Egoscue Experience by Sabrina

Sabrina Sonner, Egoscue Patient

Sabrina in the "Arnold Amateur 2011" Competition

Egoscue has made it possible for me to be able to continue what I love to do. I am currently into my 28th year of my body building/figure amateur career. What seemed to be the way to health and fitness, or at least looking physically fit, was slowly robbing me of my flexibility and mobility. I am currently at the 1 1/2 year mark of working with John Elder at Nashville Egoscue and can’t imagine where I would be now if I had not been introduced to Pete Egoscue’s “Pain Free” book. I had already tried many other conventional methods of pain or symptom relief for my spondylolisthesis L5-S1, with no success.

John of the Nashville Egoscue Clinic helped me to see that it was my postural dysfunctions that were causing my health issues of pain, numbness, tightness, and general discomfort. Since using Egoscue, my cardio and training are less of a chore. My body doesn’t have to labor as hard to move anymore.

On one of my visits to the clinic, my husband and I decided to go shopping and possibly purchase a pair of those funny looking shoes that I kept finding John wearing. We went and bought our 1st pair of Vibram FiveFingers and I haven’t trained in anything but FiveFingers since. I like my clothing outfits to match my shoes so I now have all three Bikilas, two pairs of TrekSpots and one pair of Classics. I’ve also recently been looking at the new Komodos.

Between Egoscue and wearing FiveFingers, I can honestly say that I sometimes feel like I’m walking on air. These two items seem to work together.  Being postural balanced is now one of my goals. And I’m hoping that with restoring correct functional posture, I will be able to better improve my physique.

I am also getting the added benefit of looking younger while feeling younger.  I truly feel blessed by God to have found Egoscue. I have been patiently working through my menus and feel so fortunate to be able to improve my health.

Relieving Back & Leg Pain with Egoscue by Kristen

Egoscue-pain-relief-kristen

Kristen doing the 3-postion toe raises from her current e-cises menu (in VFFs).

In March of 2008, I was in the middle of training for my third half marathon, and as usual, the peak mileage brought with it some pain. I had previously attempted to fight off foot and shin problems during this point in the training by changing shoes, adding support, etc., but this time I began experiencing pain in my calves that, as I continued to train, seemed to travel up my legs to my lower back. Even the most supportive shoe wasn’t helping. Eventually, I had back/leg pain all the time, and quit training 2 weeks before the race.

The following year became a long and tedious quest for pain relief. I feel like I exhausted every medical option available, including two chiropractors, an orthopedic surgeon, a doctor of osteopathic medicine, and a sports medicine doctor. I was passed back and forth among these individuals and had several diagnostic tests that only revealed a slight disk bulge in my lower back. I tried two rounds of physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, active release and graston techniques, core strengthening exercises and had several types of pills thrown at me by doctors, which was very frustrating because it seemed to me that medicating myself would just be masking an underlying problem and not fixing anything.

Nothing helped, and the health care professionals that were trying to help me were stumped. I was also told to stop running and exercising, because as the doctor’s saw it, running caused my injury, so resting would heal it. As the months went on, my pain actually got worse and I began to cut more and more activities out that seemed to bother my back/legs. Months into this injury, I would come home every night from work and lay on the couch with an icepack on my back, hoping that the more I rested, at some point this pain would go away. As the spring racing season approached, I couldn’t believe what I had become in the past year.

In March of 2009, I had one last option to try and get out of pain. My husband’s boss struggled with back pain and gave me a book to read that helped him tremendously – “Pain Free” by Pete Egoscue. I read it from cover to cover, and the Egoscue Method made a lot of sense. I tried some of the e-cises from the book but felt that I needed a little more direction and encouragement if I was really going to commit to trying this. So I made a three hour trip to Nashville to see John Elder at the Egoscue Clinic.

The first visit was really eye-opening. John assessed my posture and showed me how many deviations I had from what a functional body should look like. I went through my first menu of e-cises and felt a lot of muscles “wake up”; it was great just to be moving again. While I didn’t leave my first visit pain free, I could tell something was different – we walked around Nashville for hours and my back felt a lot stronger than it had in months. Over the following months, I did most of my Egoscue appointments online via Skype instead of making the three hour drive to the clinic, which worked out really well. During the first few weeks, my lower back pain decreased tremendously and I started walking regularly. Soon I had the confidence to add more movement into my day, and, if anything, moving helped my pain. It was not the running and the movement that caused my pain initially, rather it was trying to move using a dysfunctional body. Months of trying to get out of pain by minimizing my movement as much as possible actually contributed to my deterioration.

Now that the e-cises were training my muscles to function properly, moving was a way of giving them a chance to be used as they were meant to be used. I slowly began introducing running back into my routine, and what amazed me was how efficient my stride was and how much faster it seemed I could run with less effort before trying Egoscue. I quickly found that my feet were fighting my overly supportive shoes, and I gave my body a chance to utilize my muscles/feet/arches by switching to a shoe with minimal support. Seven months after my first visit, I ran my first road race, and it felt amazing. While it took me a while to see improvement in my leg pain, and I even felt increased pain during some weeks as my body adjusted and changed, John never gave up on me like those who had in the past. It was great to finally figure out the underlying cause of my pain and to address it appropriately.

A little over a year after starting my journey with Egoscue, I decided it was time to give Vibram FiveFingers a try, as John was raving about them. If running in shoes with minimal support was helping me be pain free and keeping my body functional, then VFFs seemed to be an even better option. I was about 7 months pregnant at the time of purchase, so I wasn’t really doing much running, but I did a lot of walking in them and wore them to work regularly where I was on my feet frequently (editors note:  See our article on FiveFingers as comfortable pregnancy shoes here). I still vividly remember breaking out my VFFs for a walk shortly after having my baby – my back was aching from so much sitting around with a newborn. We had friends in town and I walked around all weekend in my VFFs, and helped my back pain tremendously.

As my Egoscue ecises teach my body proper muscle function and alignment, my VFFs then help me to maximize their effect by allowing my feet to do their job, thereby allowing the rest of my body to be more functional. Currently, I am back to walking in my VFF Sprints now that the weather is warm, and they are once again providing a great enhancement to the effectiveness of my Egoscue ecises. I have returned to running after having a baby and am in the process of restoring my body after childbirth, which I couldn’t imagine doing without Egoscue. Once again, Egoscue has proven to be my reliable approach to being pain free as I recently pushed through knee pain and am now pain free. I don’t fear pain anymore because I truly believe I have found the approach to address the underlying cause of my musculoskeletal pain.

Healing Plantar Fasciitis with Egoscue by Kathryn

Before visiting the Egoscue Clinic and John Elder in Franklin, TN, I had suffered from plantar fasciitis in my left foot for about 13 years. I had tried literally every pain relief option out there from physical therapy, custom orthotics, cortisone shots, wearing a boot to sleep in, wearing special shoes, avoiding walking barefoot, and even orthotripsy (high levels of ultrasound admitted while under general anethesia). I had resigned myself to living with the pain and not being able to walk around barefoot or in shoes without some sort of arch support. After having had a successful college tennis career, I was very discouraged to be unable to play tennis or go for a run without pain.

To say that I was skeptical of finding an answer at Egoscue is an understatement. When I first met John, he asked me if I thought that my shoulder issues ( I had rotator cuff surgery after college) and my foot pain were related. I kind of laughed at him and said no because the two had happened at different times in my life under different circumstances. He went on to prove me wrong. John explained the Egoscue concept of pain and injuries occurring when the muscles in our body are not functioning properly together. One of the first things that John had me do while in the clinic that day was to walk across the floor barefoot with my hands clasped behind my head. I was amazed to find that while walking in that position, my foot did not hurt at all! I was intrigued at that point and decided to give it a shot.

John gave me a series of excerises (e-cises) to do at home which would bring the body and muscles back into proper functioning position. I was to do the e-cises daily for a week and then return for a new set the following week. During this process, I also began wearing the Vibram Five Fingers which John had recommended to me as well. They helped to strengthen my foot which had become weak from so many years of wearing orthotics. I wore them at home for several weeks and then as my foot got stronger I was able to begin trail running in them.

I am now happy to report that the Egoscue daily e-cises together with wearing the Vibram Five Finger shoes has resulted in the total healing of my plantar fascitis. I no longer need orthotics, I can walk barefoot without pain, and I am back to running on regular basis. It took a few months of faithfully doing the e-cises for me to see results but the results did come and now, a year and a half later, I am still pain free. I would highly recommend Egoscue and the VFF shoes to anyone who is struggling with chronic foot pain or any other chronic pain. I know that I am just one of many who have found success with this method.

What are your thoughts on Egoscue?  Have you had success in finding relief for a chronic injury using something other than surgery? Please share your experience, questions, and thoughts in the comments below.


62 Comments

  1. Dan G.

    April 10th, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Hello,

    I’ve just recently begun working with an Egoscue therapist over the internet. Let me first give a little background information on my situation.

    In 2009, I had an injury to my ankle while running. The injury healed within a few days, but it apparently threw my alignment off. After the injury healed, I attempted to go on a long walk, but after 30-45 minutes, my knee started having excruciating sharp pains. I stopped the walk, but there was inflammation for about a week afterwards. Eventually it calmed down, and I assumed all was well. But as it turned out, this problem returned every time I tried to walk. I eventually went to a doctor, but this was of no help. I tried resting for almost 3 months, but when I went back to walking, the problem was still there, and this time I somehow tweaked the injury when it was still in an irritated state.

    At this point, instead of returning to normal after a week, it continued to get worse. Eventually, after a couple of months, the inflammation became unbearable. I finally figured out that if I walked like I was 105 years old, it would slowly improve. Unfortunately, it took about 3 months. When I thought my problem might finally be over, it turns out that the inflammation obliterated the cartilage in my knee. Within a couple of months, I found myself unable to walk again and this time with no prospect of it improving with rest. I went to a doctor, a graduate of Harvard Medical School in fact, at one of the best orthopedic hospitals in the US. He told me that nothing could be done and I was instructed to go to a pain clinic. At the age of 26, I found myself facing profound disability for years or perhaps the rest of my life.

    After I found out about Egoscue, I first tried some E-cises in the book, and eventually got a therapist online. It has taken a while, but I believe that I am finally getting into better alignment. Amazingly, today, I am now able to walk with only occasional twinges of pain. My knee is very sore and stiff, and I don’t suspect that this will change much any time soon, but remember, I couldn’t walk at all without crutches before this. So far, all the claims made about this method have been true. Can cartilage regenerate? I don’t know the answer to that for sure, but I’m going to find out over the next 12-18 months. I believe that it must for me to be fully pain free. But what this has already done for me is remarkable.

    If your problem is with your knees, ask your therapist to put the Progressive Supine Groin (The Tower) with towels on your menu. I believe that this has been the most important E-cise so far.

    I’m not expecting this to be panacea, but given the preliminary results, I’m willing to invest a lot more time into this. I may never be the same again, but having been given no other hope, this is my best shot right now of reclaiming something of my former self.

    Good luck to you with your own recovery and I’ll be following your blog!

    Reply

  2. ron

    May 17th, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Calling Egoscue a ‘cure’ is probably not a wise idea. I am sure it has its uses, which I am looking at for my own set of pains, especially plantar fasciitis. I think the Egoscuens would be wise to not claim too much too quickly about the therapy’s success. Next thing you know some people will be claiming that it saved their marriage, it improved their IQ and it solved the problems of the universe. Cult like adoration for something should be avoided.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that motion therapies like Pilates or Tai Chi or Yoga could bring the body back into alignment (if that’s what needs to be done), albeit at a much slower pace. But that pace might just have a more solid foundation.

    The Egoscue method seems like a short-cut to a pain-free existence, which would please me, or any sensible person, just fine. But I plan on following it up with other motion therapies.

    I’m crossing my fingers at the moment. I’ll get back here and share my story; either way that it might turn out you’ll hear from me.

    Ron.

    Reply

    • heather

      October 02nd, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      I have come to the Egoscue Method after a twenty five year yoga and pilates practice. The brilliant piece that Egoscue recognizes and addresses is how compensation patterns distort the body’s structure and cause pain. You can stretch or strengthen till the cows come home and it will not change these patterns. Only a systematic and individually applied set of movements will help the body correct it’s dysfunctional firing patterns.

      Reply

    • Dfurm

      May 13th, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      I think you need to give the method a try before you criticize, something you obviously don’t know anything about.

      Reply

  3. Jason

    January 11th, 2012 at 10:42 am

    What your thoughts on basketball shoes?

    Reply

  4. Byron

    February 29th, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Five months ago I started working with the folks at Egoscue in San Francisco for back pain caused by stenosis and disc problems. I was impressed by the enthuiastic reviews online and the fact that nobody seemed disappointed by their results.
    Unfortunately, I haven’t found the success that others describe. My pain is definitely better, by about 30 % . But it hasn’t gone away and remains the most negative influence in my life. I can’t afford another $1300 set of consults, so I’ll continue on my own and also look for other help. My advice is (1) don’t expect to always get the miracle progress that some people report and (2) be sure that the individual practioner really knows his/her stuff. I changed people midway through my training and it made a big difference. I wonder where the unspectacular stories about Egoscue are, and if everyone else out there has reached Nirvana with Egoscue.

    Reply

    • John

      August 22nd, 2012 at 1:14 am

      Curious who you ended up working with in the SF clinic that made such a difference. I was considering going to the SF clinic to meet with Dave Smith.

      Reply

      • Byron

        August 22nd, 2012 at 1:33 pm

        Definitely work with David. I made an appointment to see him and they scheduled me with his assistant instead, so you may have to confirm it is him you are seeing.

        Reply

  5. Andy Stewart

    March 18th, 2012 at 7:52 am

    I started reading “Pain Free” a few weeks ago in the hope that it might help me to reduce the chronic pain from hip arthritis. I really want to avoid a hip replacement if possible and the anecdote about Jack Nicklaus was very encouraging. I’ve been doing the e-cises prescribed for hip problems for two weeks, but the results have not been particularly encouraging. I get only the slightest and briefest lessening of pain after the exercises (far less than Byron’s 30% above), and get far better results from my daily swimming routine of 400-500 metres. obviously I don’t expect instant success, but I’d hoped for some indication that it would be worthwhile continuing with the exercises, especially in the light of some of the anecdotes in the book where remarkable improvement has been achieved in only 1-3 hours.

    I have to confess that I ‘ve had to abandon one of the hip exercises, the “supine groin stretch” because it is induces excruciating pain radiating down the entire length of the leg. There’s nothing in the description of the exercise to suggest it might be painful or what to do if it is.

    All that Pete Egoscue writes about joint alignment makes sense, but I don’t see how I can achieve proper alignment however many exercises I do, be cause the limiting factor is in the range of movement in my joints. For instance, since I damaged my left knee by stressing it too much two years ago (causing meniscus damage) I cannot completely straighten my left leg. If I sit on the floor with legs outstretched the left knee sits high, and if I press it downwards it refuses to move, though it’s not painful.

    On the right side, my leg will lie straight until I lie outstretched on my back, when the degenerated hip joint forces the leg to arch up at the knee and the small of the back to arch up. This appears to be why the “supine groin stretch is so painful”.

    I will carry on with the Egoscue method for a while, but I’ve yet to be convinced that it’s the answer for someone with serious joint degeneration. In fact so far none of the positive testimonials I’ve read on the internet include any cases where someone has avoided hip surgery through the Egoscue method.

    Reply

    • Dave Raftery

      November 07th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

      Andy,
      I have an arthritic hip. I did the hip exercises in Pain Free and while I got some relief, the problem wasn’t improving. I ended up contacting an Egoscue specialist, sent them pictures of myself and they created special menus for me. I have done this twice and now have 3 sets of exercises which I alternate each day. I have recently bought a Tower for the Supine Groin Progressive Stretch. I believe this is helping my condition. You can read more about my experiences on my blog. Good Luck! Dave

      Reply

    • Peter Larrieu

      November 13th, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      Read the testamonials from real people with full names. This stuff really works if properly applied

      Reply

    • Jill

      November 03rd, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      To be honest, if I hadn’t have been to a class with a trained teacher (an adult evening class billed as “Posture Alignment” ) I shouldn’t be waxing lyrical about this method. Just doing it using the book is way more difficult, I have found, now that I have moved away and no longer have access to the old class. The trained teacher would adjust postures so that they weren’t painful – in fact, I’m sure someone here will confirm that if they are painful, stop! I’d really advocate trying to get some real personal help as trying to do it on your own when you have no observer to see if your posture is correct, or advising alternatives is almost impossible and you won’t see the results that I saw from doing my class. I started when I was 60 and felt and moved like 100! (arthritic lower spine, arthritic left hip and knee, plantar fasciitis and a bent upper back with a jutting chin). I really believe it works – so long as you get help to do it properly!

      Reply

    • Cindy Mulvey

      February 04th, 2018 at 12:29 am

      I am working with Egocue and Feldenkreis.
      My hubands back was helped with Petes books, but, for me I not sure yet.

      I have felt more ease of use in my body, but, still have dicomfort, i am stillwork in process.
      I have been left with more questions then answers.

      Reply

    • Greg

      June 12th, 2018 at 4:57 pm

      Hi, well I tried doing the excersices on,my own and the value of having a therapist is that they can,tell you exactly what exersices are going to,help you and which ones to stay away from until later.
      I also experience pain after doing the exercises but also feel
      better the day after.

      Reply

    • Nancy s

      August 28th, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      How are you now

      Reply

  6. Ron

    March 30th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Andy Stewart
    I’m so sorry to hear about your problems. I am not too sure that the alignment therapy of the Egoscue method is right for you. I am sure the most logical approach to it is to do the Egoscue Method before you get into such troubles. I am afraid that it’s probably not going to solve problems of your magnitude, IMHO. Nevertheless, if I were you I would not do anything without proper medical advice, only because you obviously are in such a severe state.
    One thing that the book doesn’t get into well enough (at all?) is the fact that you are supposed to change the e-cise routine (menu) every week as your muscles (body) are affected by the routine. Also, that it’s not easy to pick the e-cise in the right order. They have Egoscue Centers in many parts of the world, especially America. Maybe you can look them up and ask for some advice. The cost is usually around $1,500 for 8 menus that last 8 weeks. You can even be treated over Skype.
    Many Egoscue centers have people who are well trained in other therapies and they go to an Egoscue School to learn the art and science of the method. This last bit of information suggests that the book is only a generalized recommendation for a possible therapy routine and part of the book is obviously an advertisement that Egoscue exists.
    As for me I have forgone getting treated with Egoscue at the moment. Right now I am practicing Tai Chi (Taijiquan) and it has helped me immensely. Since my last writing my body has gone downhill a bit more than expected. Tai Chi is well known for its curative powers and it has proven no less true for me.
    If you read my last comment I told people I’d write back and mention my progress, and this is part of it. I was sure I was going to do the Egoscue Method but it proved too expensive for my meager budget. Maybe someday I’ll try it even if I’m feeling very healthy. I even see ‘masters’ of the art with alignment problems.

    Good Luck
    Ron
    (same ron who replied above on May 17, 2011 )

    Reply

    • Tim

      August 02nd, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      I have gotten really good results from the Alexander technique. I have been taking lessons from a teacher for about 8 years now. I loved it so much, that I continue to take lessons and practice in my daily life. Its hard for me to explain what it is, but it teaches you to use your mind and body together to think and move with ease and comfort, it has been around now for over 100 years. This of course, has a lot to do with body alignment and proper functioning of the joints that you have been discussing about with the egoscue method. I hope this maybe be of interest to someone else. There is a lot of information about it on the internet and youtube. Peace.

      Reply

  7. Andy Stewart

    April 03rd, 2012 at 5:18 am

    Ron, thanks very much for your comments. You may well be right that the Egoscue methods are unsuitable for me, though several of the case studies in ‘Pain Free’ lead one to think that the techniques are suitable whatever the condition of one’s spine or joints.

    I have stopped doing the exercises in the package presented in the ‘menus’ because something there was exacerbating the nerve pain in my leg. When I stopped, the intensity and frequency of the nerve pains diminished. However I have found certain individual exercises beneficial, particularly any that involve stretching.

    Incidentally, in case anyone should be considering it, I’ve found that acupuncture is remarkably effective. I live in Thailand, where there are plenty of good practitioners and its relatively cheap at $16 a session. It’s not a cure for chronic problems, but the pain relief is substantial.

    Reply

    • Ron

      April 27th, 2012 at 9:28 am

      Andy

      Reply

  8. Ron

    April 27th, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Andy, I am afraid you fell for the idea that one therapy could be suitable for all physical problems. Books tend to over-state their importance. I figure it’s a matter of sales rather than the underlying reality of the practicality of success in self help therapies. In order to get the book onto the shelves it must include in it a treatment for a wide variety of ailments. The game for us mortals is to figure which ones are somewhat real and which ones are totally bogus.

    That’s why it took me so long to discover Egoscue as I did my due diligence reading all I could on the internet. There’s a lot of positives about it, except it’s a bit disingenuous as to the potential of expert therapeutic instruction, let alone just what you can get out of the book.

    Reply

  9. Misty

    May 26th, 2012 at 1:05 am

    Hi, i am wonderingif egoscue could be useful for a limp left leg due to impingment ? i was a runner and my left leg dosnt fire…
    it seems for chronic injuries that maybe this isnt the go to method?

    Reply

  10. Nancy

    May 30th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I am training to be an Egoscue therapist because it has really improved the quality of my life. However, I do have a troublesome ache that has recurred at the base of my skull for which I am going to pursue prolotherapy. I am very hopeful because I had a prolotherapy treatment 6 years ago that gave me complete relief of this pain, a pain which has returned a few weeks ago. I have continued the Egoscue all these years as it helps me with occasional low back challenges. I love Egoscue! However, I am curious how many prolotherapy treatments Brian had before giving up on it. Strenghtening the ligaments and healing damaged soft tissue could really help many of us. As we continue to work with aligning our postures with Egoscue to prevent such “inujuries”, I am hopeful that prolotherapy could be a good ally in times of need.

    Reply

    • Brian Patterson

      May 30th, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      Hi Nancy, thanks for your comment. I had 2 prolotherapy treatments before moving onto PRP. The doctor I was seeing said that if I didn’t have any improvement after the 2 prolo treatments, it didn’t make sense to keep doing them.

      I only did 1 PRP treatment, but he recommended 3. I just didn’t feel comfortable with it, and thought that there were better solutions.

      Fortunately I recently found the cure I had been searching for for so long, and it is surprisingly simple. I wrote up the details here: http://myfivefingers.wpengine.com/knee-exercise/

      Thanks!
      Brian

      Reply

  11. A ghani

    June 29th, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    I had a very severe knee injury due to a motorbike accident. My ACL was ruptured my MCL was torn, my meniscus was damaged, my PCL and LCL were stretched and I fractured my Femur. In the 9 months since the accident to my current state, I had no operations or pain relief medication, I had my leg in a brace for 10 weeks. Once I felt the knee had healed to the point I could walk without crutches, I used a Thai masseur to get rid off the scar tissue, muscle tightness and knots, I started doing eg squats and running to regain strength & mobility. I reached a point of recovery then stalled, I just felt there was something not quite right no matter how many hours of rehab I did. That something was alignment! A work collegue old me about Egoscue and I bought the book Pain Free. It was the missing piece of the jigsaw, my knee injury had caused my leg through immobility to tighten the muscles and even drastically shrink and cease using important quad muscles, my hip had tightened up and my groin was over compensating causing further misalignment. Running on a misaligned leg was further compounding the problem, but I couldnt work it out till I read pain free. I decided to try the knee menu, the supine groin stretch was interesting to me as I felt it exactly targeted my problem. After about 10 days, it has made a difference using it along with the air bench e-cise has forced my Quads to engage and taken the load of my knee, my leg feels lighter and the knee has no strain. I also have terrible slumping shoulders, for which I am using more Egoscue exercises and they too are making a difference. I am really thrilled that after such a short time I am seeing results, I work completely normally, before Egoscue, if I had been as for a long time at my desk at work and got up, my knee would feel weak and had a clicky sensation, as my kneecap was not tracking properly due to my misaligned leg, now that sensation is virtually gone after only 10 days. I am going to continue with the e-cisse for at least a further 6 weeks, once I am satisfied I have proper alignment I will begin strengthening and running again. In short try Egoscue it’s working for me…tip..It may seem easy but to do these e-cises daily does take around an hour for me so make time and stick with them, they WILL make a difference, after I finish a set of e-cises I feel almost weightless when I work, best money I’ve spent on a book…ever!

    Reply

  12. Jill

    October 31st, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I’ve been working in England with an Egoscue trained therapist (who advertises as Posture and Body Alignment) and can safely say it has brought me back my future. I thought, at 63, I was consigned to losing my balance easily, suffering from both lower and upper back pain, a very dodgy right hip, putting up with agony in my left knee and continual re-occurrance of plantar faciitis. Not any more! I can move easily, go up and down stairs one step at a time, instead of two feet to one step like a toddler like I used to do, and a whole new ‘younger’ look. I’m so evangalistic I’m seriously thinking of spending a lot of money to train as a therapist in order that I can bring such relief to many more people. Thank you,Pete Egoscue!

    Reply

    • Nancy s

      August 28th, 2018 at 9:30 pm

      How are you now?

      Reply

  13. Kirsten

    November 03rd, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I am training to become an Egoscue therapist myself since the method has greatly improved my lower back and neck pain as well as my overall posture. I am by no means someone who falls for every new method and hype but the results I could see on my own body have convinced me that I want to know everything possible about the method and eventually help others with similar problems.

    What I read between the lines in a lot of the above posts is that many of you expect the Egoscue method to be a quick fix. It is not. You don’t read a book and cure all your pain symptoms, it’s not an easy fix like a pill you take. The Egoscue method is a slow process and you have to do the ecises every day. If your body has been out of alignment for most of your life why would you expect it to get back to perfect posture immediately? For me, my symptoms were mitigated right away and I felt better so I kept going and adding more ecises to my routine. With the help of the therapists at Egoscue Chicago I have made great progress. I have been doing the ecises for five months now and the way it makes me feel has inspired me to work out a lot more and differently and more effective than I did before. It’s just a great feeling to notice “Wait this doesn’t hurt” when before it used to. Not having to sit down whenever possible due to back pain is huge.

    Reading the book and doing the ecises on your own is a good start but you will see better results if you consult with a therapist since they can generate a menu of ecises specifically for your condition. The first visit is usually free and you get a posture evaluation and a few ecises. I’d say don’t judge until you have spent quite some time doing the ecises daily. If they cause pain or make your symptoms worse talk to an Egoscue therapist and they can modify or substitute the ecises for you.

    Reply

    • Nancy s

      August 28th, 2018 at 9:35 pm

      Are you still a Egoscue therapist?

      Reply

  14. Randy Kochis

    February 20th, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    I have used (and still use to a degree) the Egoscue program. I found it to be to passive for my condition. Instead I use a yoga/isometric program from Australia. If you interested I could upload the cd.

    Reply

    • John

      February 20th, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Yes, please do

      Reply

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  16. Haiku

    June 21st, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I started Egoscue about 4 months ago for chronic back issues and had very positive results – I had previously been to PT & it had actually made things worse. I have no idea why this has worked better since many of the Egoscue exercises are based on standard PT exercises (also yoga, calisthenics, etc). It may be that you do a set that works the whole body (e.g., not just “let’s strengthen the hip adductors”); the exercises are also for the most part more gentle than the PT or yoga I had experience with. Yoga had helped but at a certain point my problems (linked to a desk job) were too much to make it through a yoga class, & the yoga classes in practice weren’t usually balanced (as they should be in theory). Seeing a therapist was key to me rather than just reading the book, both in terms of giving me tailored exercises & motivation. Some caveats – one, I have basically purely muscular/postural issues, not structural issues or trauma, which probably responds very well to this kind treatment – previously had done well with yoga, massage, exercises. Second, my therapist was also a massage therapist and I am sure his knowledge of the body from that area carried over into this. I am not sure the cookie-cutter menu from the book or from an inexperienced therapist would work so well. I never got more than one menu every 4-6 weeks, actually it was completely up to me to decide when I was ready for a new one – even though I’ve paid about $500 ove the course of 4-5 months I have saved more than that on massage, which I used to need every 2-3 weeks. I would be very skeptical about being pressured to get a treatment every 1-2 weeks or sign up for a series of treatments. And also about being pressured to continue if you’re not seeing some positive results if you do the exercises for 1-2 weeks. And – in Egoscue – you are asked never to do an exercise if it hurts, causes strain, or makes you feel worse afterwards…

    Reply

  17. Robert

    July 31st, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I have had terrible chronic back pain for 2 years, tried everything, lost all hope, the exercises from “Pain Free” were the first therapy that helped. After 1 month I’m not pain free yet, but good enough to forget my condition most of the time. Little effort, huge reward.

    Reply

  18. Amos

    November 04th, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I’m so jealous of all the people explaining how much the exercises helped them so tremendously. Because I played too much computer games when I was little I’ve had daily pain in my lower back for the past three years. I came across this book, and I really liked it. I had great hopes in it, finding the arguments logical and true.

    Not that I don’t doubt it helped others, however, it still hasn’t helped me anything. I did the back exercises each day, 30-60 minutes a day, for about one month, with no results at all.

    Anyone who’s sitting in the same boat?

    Reply

  19. Paul Walker

    March 29th, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    I used the Egoscue Method from the book Pain Free to help with arthritic hips. I did the hip exercises on the “block” for about 30 minutes and felt as if I just had a chiropractic adjustment. I see a real live Egoscue practitioner next week for the first time.

    Here are some other things I’ve tried for Pain Control:

    Wobenzyme: proteolytic enzymes that can quell pain caused by inflammation. I was able to give up prescription pain killers by using Wobenzyme.

    Inversion Table: Enabled me to complete a stress echocardiogram painlessly in spite of arthritic hips.

    Bones for Life: A Feldenkrais based program of movement explorations designed to increase bone health without impact. I did an intro course including about 5 hours of actual movement instruction in a 24 hour period and had a profound experience of pain free ease of movement the next day.

    Strain/Counterstrain Soft Tissue Manipulation: my first experience of being in alignment.

    Neuromuscular Massage Therapy: great for pain mitigation

    My interest in Egoscue is that most methods quell pain temporarily. I’m looking for something that can preserve those gains and build on them.

    Reply

  20. Geoff

    May 22nd, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    A great, economical way to explore Egoscue is through their 2-pack DVD (beginner and advanced). I got mine on Amazon. I’ve been to an Egoscue trainer, too, but I do my own combo routine from the 2 DVD’s nearly every day.

    Reply

  21. Audrey

    June 11th, 2014 at 8:13 am

    I have been suffering from back pain since I was a teenager and one day when I was 26 I injured my back badly and a disc slipped in my lower back. I had a hernia and from then on I would get some excruciating shooting pains in my lower back and my legs so much so that I once fainted and hit my head on the window sill, I would also lose all feeling in my legs and felt down. I have always been into sports and I tried everything, musculation, yoga, pilates. I also spent a huge amount of money on physiotherapists, ostheopaths and pain killers with only temporary relief. Deep tissue massage worked best but again only for a few weeks but I decided to investigate more into it and I started studying it as I was studying anatomy I realised that my posture was the problem and my injuries. I had sprained one ankle on many occasions and I had also broke my shoulder blade. I started looking at posture corrective techniques and I came across Egoscue, I bought the book Health through motion and it all made perfect sense. As I thought I had nothing to lose I decided to do the exercises for all the conditions starting with condition 2 as it is recommended, I am now through my 6 months of the exercises and for the first time in 15 years I haven’t taken one pain killer since I started and my posture is really changing so much so that I can now cycle again and even wear heels from time to time (I know it’s bad but I am woman after all). I just wished Egoscue was translated in French my mother tongue so that I could share it with all my relatives who also suffer from back problems. I am now contemplating studying the method myself so that I can help people become pain free.

    Reply

    • Kirsten

      June 11th, 2014 at 9:29 am

      Audrey, that is so great! I studied the Egoscue Method and it is one of the best things I have learned in my life. I can highly recommend it. Best of luck to you!

      Reply

    • Nancy s

      August 28th, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      How are you now

      Reply

  22. Donna

    October 03rd, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    I have a question. I just read pain free. I pretty much have most of the problems mentioned. But I also have a herniated disc. L5. S1. What exercise do I do? All of them and which first? Ty

    Reply

  23. Kirsten

    October 03rd, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Best would be to meet with an Egoscue therapist to look at your posture and get ecises to address your specific problems. If you do not have that options, doing the ecises for lower back out of the Pain Free book is a good start. Trying some ecises from the other chapters can also be helpful but always listen to your body and if you experience pain during any of the ecises stop and move to the next one. You can see some pretty good results just working with the book but meeting with a therapist is invaluable. Hope this helps!

    Reply

    • Steve

      October 06th, 2014 at 6:21 am

      Kirsten, Hello my name is steve and i am seeking the way to be a Egoscue therapist, I live in Spain and i wonder if could contact you privetly by email. Thank You

      Reply

      • Kirsten

        October 07th, 2014 at 4:37 pm

        Steve,
        Of course. Use Kornblume77 at gmail dot com.

        Talks soon,

        Kirsten

        Reply

  24. Gary

    May 25th, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    I have just been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis and spinal stenosis. I have been reading great things about Egoscue, but am wondering if the exercises will help with my diagnosis. Also, I live in St. Louis, MO and do not have access to one of your clinics. Do you have any way for personal classes for me. Thank you for any help.,

    Reply

  25. robin

    July 21st, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    I have severe chronic pain most areas of my body. I never look for a quick fix — I am happy with whatever pain relief I can get. I downloaded every egoscue video on youtube that I could find and I do them all. it takes time and dedication. I found them very effective for relaxation, which is also effective for pain. I actually do my yoga breathing and meditation while lying in many of the egscue positions. very cool and it hasn’t cost me a dime.

    Reply

    • Dana Good

      July 29th, 2015 at 12:29 am

      What a great idea – I think I will try that too!

      Reply

  26. supriya

    November 02nd, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Hello! I have just been diagnosed with FAI, pincer type. I do not want surgery. I have been doing the four hip exercises from PAIN FREE for about two weeks. I have tangible relief but still much pain everyday.
    Couple questions: I have inflammation and the Dr told me to rest for one month. No sitting, squatting, yoga, stairs and flexion of hip of any sort. Only laying and standing is ok. There is flexion in the hip e-cises. Is this ok?
    Is it really ok to be so still just to reduce inflammation?
    I am living in India and can not come to an Egoscue clinic.
    Do you know if it is possible to heal from FAI without surgery using e-cises and postural therapy?
    Thank you for your time and service.
    Namaste

    Reply

    • Kirsten

      November 04th, 2015 at 5:39 am

      Sorry to hear about your problems. I cannot recommend anything against your doctor’s advice.
      If any of the e-cises cause you pain, don’t do them.
      The Method has helped me a lot but I also agree that working with a therapist is invaluable. They have options to do Skype appoinemtents if you do not have a clinic near you. I have worked with Egoscue Chicago a lot before and think they are great. You could send them an e-mail and see if they can do a Skype appointment. http://www.egoscue.com/chicago-il
      Good luck. Hope you feel better.

      Reply

  27. Brian

    March 15th, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    I’ve had cervical dystonia/torti collis for about 20 years. My neck twists laterally and rotational to the left. I’ve recently read the first book that Pete Egosque wrote. I’ve started doing exercises and have no problem doing them everyday. I feel lost with my exercises though, not sure if they’re the right ones for my condition.
    Has anyone heard of the egosque method working for cervical dystonia/torti collis? Please respond.

    Reply

  28. Brian

    March 15th, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    Cervical dystonia/torti collis post

    Reply

  29. turbo

    September 22nd, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    i read the pain free book and did the chapter on back pain and had major results over night. half a life time of back issues helped so quick, amazing. thank you pete. as i read more about the method i realized a clinic was next door in jupiter florida. i on the road to success. egosque forever. amen.

    Reply

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  31. Gate Holloman

    December 05th, 2016 at 4:28 am

    i read the pain free book and did the chapter on back pain and had major results over night. half a life time of back issues helped so quick, amazing. thank you pete. as i read more about the method i realized a clinic was next door in jupiter florida.

    Reply

  32. Rhonda Daly

    May 07th, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    My 21 yr old grandson complains of lower back pain. The xray showed a slight curve to the right. I don’t feel he gets sufficient exercise aka physical joint and body movement. He stays in his room, says he is weight lifting. He eats in his room, says he has acid reflux. We tell him if he is laying down eating or shortly after he has eaten, the food with go upward to his throat. I think he is creating his own physical and mental sickness. We don’t know anything and don’t know what we are talking about. I wish Dr. Egoscue were close enough for me to take him for a consultation. Mental and physical illness runs rampant on his mother’s side of his family. At my wits end because the doctors know nothing according to my grandson!
    HELP please and thanks

    Reply

    • Kirina

      May 07th, 2017 at 10:52 pm

      Rhonda, I am sorry to hear about your grandson. A visit at an Egoscue clinic might help him with his back pain if he adheres to the daily exercises but it sounds like he is lacking motivation in general. I hope you can find a way to get through to him.
      It’s a difficult age and I hope he can find a way to be more active and go outside more. That’s where I would start. See if you can spark his interest in an activity that involves movement.
      I think that would be a good first step. Best of luck to you.

      Reply

  33. Rhonda Daly

    May 07th, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    PS we live in Southern California

    Reply

  34. Georgette Gallup

    August 27th, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    I have a popping hip. Every step that I take my hip pops and makes a popping sound. I have been doing the books exercises for a month. I feel great but the pop is still there. I will always stretch, it makes you feel great….

    Reply

  35. Donna Hudson

    November 25th, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    My sister is a PT and showed me The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion. I bought a copy and it sat around for several years. I’d had a number of falls, and it got to where my R shoulder was subluxing every weekend from garden work, and I’d have to have someone set it. I started doing 2 of his shoulder exercises every day, and the problem stopped. I call them “The Desk Job Exercises” and teach them to people I think could benefit.

    Reply

  36. Neal

    January 04th, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    I have been doing egoscue since May for a total of 8 months. This was for excruciating low back pain and sciatica. For a long time I thought the method was not working but I have started to feel different. Pain is less, not gone but I can live with it for now. It is a long slow process. It took me years to get in this position and it might take a couple to get out. You must do the program at least 5 days per week at a minimum You just have to make it part of your daily routine. I go to Egoscue Chicago and it is a great place. I suffer from spondylolisthesis of the lower back.

    Reply

    • Kirsten

      January 04th, 2018 at 11:58 pm

      You are in good hands at Egoscue Chicago! Brandon is great. You are right, it is a long process but worth it. Little by little every day. Best of luck to you!

      Reply

    • Nancy s

      August 28th, 2018 at 9:33 pm

      Can you give me an update? I have that and a herniated disc. Pain is in my calf.

      Reply

  37. Brad

    January 20th, 2018 at 2:57 am

    I just finished reading the book by Egoscue that you introduced. It is interesting and informative in explaining how & why pain is experienced in the body. Most significant is what we can do to correct the underlying problem. The method is so basic and necessary to develop and retrain our posture to hold our body erect and working.

    Reply

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