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Improved Body Mechanics, Strengthened Core Eliminate Fitness Together® Potomac Client's Back Pain*

Sometimes a life-changing event can come down to being at the right place at the right time. For Laura Kircher, the right place was her chiropractor’s office and the right time was 2½ years ago when she was leaving her appointment and saw a Fitness Together® trainer working out with a client in the parking lot of the newly opened Potomac studio. The one-on-one fitness environment she saw at Fitness Together® piqued her interest and encouraged her to seek out personal training to help find relief from constantly bothersome back pain.

After battling lower back pain for more than eight years and not finding any relief from pain medications, chiropractors and acupuncturists, Laura felt like she was out of options. Her average pain rate on a scale of 1-10 was typically a 6 and when she would throw her back out she would be laid out flat with a pain rate of 10.

Laura hobbled when she walked and she woke up feeling stiff with limited mobility almost every morning. Being in pain 24x7 wasn’t just affecting her day-to-day lifestyle, but it also was limiting her ability to do the activities she loved. One of the hardest adjustments she made during this time was giving up horseback riding, which was a love of hers since she was a little girl.

“I’ve been horseback riding since I was 5 years old and you can get kind of beat up from jumping and falling throughout the years,” explains Laura. “My doctors kept telling me that I needed to give up the horses because of my back pain. So when my daughters grew out of them and it was time to downsize, we got rid of the horses. I was fine with it then, but within the last couple of months I’m kicking myself now because I think I would be OK riding horses today.”

Shortly after she saw the Fitness Together® Potomac studio when leaving her chiropractor’s office, Laura started training three times a week at the studio. After only a few workouts, she quickly realized that it wasn’t horseback riding that was causing her back pain. It was a weak core. The trainers at Fitness Together® Potomac — and specifically her current trainer of 1½ years, Francis Llave — geared a lot of her workouts to strength and resistance functional training.

“I focus a lot on proper body mechanics with Laura and keeping her more in motion,” explains Francis. “In the beginning, I told her to look at her activities throughout the day and to be aware of how she finds herself standing, sitting, moving and walking. I also tried to change her mind set by pushing her out of her comfort zone.”

Francis also has coached Laura to engage her core during workouts and daily activities, as well as be conscious of her posture throughout all of her daily movements. Laura is now up to training at Fitness Together® four times a week.

“Since going to training, I’m a new person,” explains Laura. “I can bend, I am more agile and I can do everything I need to now. I have no back pain whatsoever. I can’t even tell you the last time I took an aspirin.

"Fitness Together® has been great for me. It took me so long to realize that I should have started this a long time ago. I probably would still be riding, if I had.”

When Francis started working with Laura, he found her apprehensive and worried about injuring her back further. To overcome Laura’s apprehension, he worked on gaining her trust first and then geared her workouts to support the daily activities she enjoyed doing.

Francis worked on fine-tuning her body mechanics by strengthening Laura’s legs, back, core and arms, all in an effort to help reduce her back pain and eventually eliminate it.

“Physically, Laura is a lot stronger now and I’ve seen her body become more toned,” reflects Francis. “She definitely walks straighter, too. And I’ve seen her more confident since I started training with her.”

Laura enjoys the one-on-one training she receives at Fitness Together® and likes that Francis changes up the program each time she works out with him so her muscles don’t get used to the same movements over and over again. The 100 percent pain-free results that Laura has experienced have changed her life and are beyond anything she could have ever imagined.

“I walk around with no pain now. And when I get out of bed in the mornings I’m pain-free then, too,” shares Laura. “I feel so much better physically. Before, I felt like I was a 70- or 80-year-old person. Now, I feel like I’m 50 even though I’m really almost 60 years old.”

What’s next for Laura now that she has a new beginning to life? After her husband retires in two years they plan to move into an Orlando home they’re building near the water. Laura looks forward to taking up aquatic sports such as water skiing and fishing, while continuing her more youthful active lifestyle that she’s gotten used to over the past two years.

“I’m just so thankful for Fitness Together®,” says Laura. “My husband is so happy and surprised in the changes he’s seen in me too. He can’t believe how great the training has worked for my pain. I would highly recommend FT to anyone, but especially those with back pain.”