August 16, 2022
Kiley S.

I am an (getting back to being) active 47 year old and have had low back pain for 5 years. There was no known cause or injury at the time and I had never had back issues before. For all of those years, my back hurt almost all of the time, to varying degrees, depending upon the day.
I have done yoga for years – sometimes that helped. I ran – that did not help but I didn’t want to give it up. I tried a couple of back pain programs I found online – no luck. I have seen chiropractors (“Sounds like degenerative disk disease? Well, you’re over 40, so ….” Shoulder shrug.), my MD (“Take ibuprofen and Tylenol.” For 40 more years? Ummmm….No. Plus meds only took the edge off.), and a local physical therapist (who really, really tried), all with no relief.
Last spring, at the end of about 6 months of PT, I knew I wasn’t really getting anywhere. I saw a Facebook ad for Next Level PT, and half-heartedly asked for more information. (Seriously? Facebook? Yup.) I talked to Dr Ben on the phone who discussed my issues and previous treatments. He actually screened me to see if I was someone they could help. It was with nothing more than a hope and a prayer that I jumped in to yet another program. But this one was different. Enter Dr Artem into my living room (via laptop).
The program is, and must be, individualized. It involves getting into SPECIFIC positions that are awkward and, oftentimes, difficult at first. And then you breathe. It works. Over time, things shift, exercises advance, and you work on getting stable and then stronger. I couldn’t do some of the exercises at first and many had to be broken down or modified. It was difficult for me to determine if I was doing them properly because my body was so used to being out of alignment and had weak areas. But, always, Dr Artem had a patience, and a plan with clear direction, and encouragement. No lie, it takes time and effort. There have been some not-so-great weeks. There were a couple SOS calls to Dr Artem between appointments for adjustments. It’s not magic. (Except for one foam roller release that resolved over 10 years of worsening side pain within a few sessions. That was beyond.) These guys are knowledgeable and organized. There are videos on each and every prescribed exercise.
I now have had days without ANY pain. Sometimes, I do something new or stupid and I hurt again. BUT, not anywhere to the degree that I used to. Plus, it resolves very quickly now. I stand differently. I move differently. I have a solid base to build the rest of my body on now.
I live in Wisconsin. This PT group is in Pennsylvania. ALL appointments have been via telehealth appointments, in my home, with a minimal amount of equipment. (chairs, doors, tables, walls, pillows or towels, a couple of weights, foam roller, resistance bands) They are remarkably good at telehealth consults and direction/explanations. The cost is very comparable to my out-of-pocket cost for local PT.
I have things I need to do – vacuum the house, mow the lawn, pick up a cat or a kid, sleep all night. I have things I want to do – a full Tough Mudder and hiking Half-Dome in Yosemite. To do the most basic activities of daily living without pain is such a relief. It makes me a much better person with so much more patience and energy, and subsequently, a bigger and more enjoyable life. I mean, that’s the goal, right?
LADIES: This was an unexpected bonus: I don’t pee when I run anymore. The realignment of my pelvis and the strengthening of all of those pelvic muscles (through exercises for my back) have made a tremendous difference. I haven’t completely mastered sneezing with a full bladder yet, but this is pretty fantastic!