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TJ Rinker

TJ Rinker

TJ RINKER

MY STORY

In the Fall of 1998, during high school football practice, I had a future NCAA Division I university teammate jump up to catch a pass and come crashing down directly on top of my shoulder when I foolishly tried to tackle our team’s best player. My back was aligned perpendicular with the direction he was moving toward me in such a way that I absorbed the full weight of him compress directly down my spine, sending excruciatingly sharp pains through my lower back. It was at this point that I became a teenager who required physical therapy for a lower back injury, but because of the wonders of youth, it wasn’t long before I had healed up and was back out there playing football again, unaware and oblivious to the fact that this injury will one day come back with a vengeance to haunt me later in life.

Fast forward through my roaring 20’s when I was in great shape and rarely experienced lower back pain, I’m now in my late 30’s with a desk job of over 15 years and a largely diminished active lifestyle. Add in my aging body and 20 extra pounds and I had myself a 20-year-old lower back injury that came screaming back with all the fires of hell.

For the past seven years since turning 30, my back was a constant problem. Really, my entire world revolved around it. Instead of enjoying life, I’d been protecting myself from it. I wasn’t able to do hardly anything physical at all. It wasn’t just lifting things and jogging, this included things as simple as playing catch with my kids. I would literally have to ice my back after tossing a baseball for 10 minutes! My wife grew tired of my habitual complaints, and even though I tried to prevent the pain, it was something I just couldn’t get away from. Back pain made family trips to Sea World, the Zoo and Disneyland almost unbearable. It ruined a camping trip when I lifted the ice chest into my truck on the first day and put me in pain for the rest of the trip. It put me on my living room floor for 48 straight hours just from mowing my front yard. I was even the guy at parties who would have to go sit down after 10 minutes of standing because I was in too much pain. In an effort to minimize these experiences, I got an MRI to diagnose the problem more accurately, I tried a chiropractor, I bought a new bed, an expensive office chair, and even new living room furniture, but I was still in pain every day. So, at 37 years old, I decided it was finally time to try physical therapy and my family physician referred me to Coury & Buehler.

I had tried exercising many times before, but my lack of knowledge hindered my recovery from pain, so going through CBPT’s program has been a life changer for me this year. My pain has been dramatically reduced and some days I even experience no pain at all! I’ve learned so much about what muscles to focus on and how everything around my lower back is connected, and I’ve been able to apply that to my exercising at home. Jordan was my PT when I had my appointments. She was amazing and I loved getting my back worked on. Even though I had a lower back injury, she also worked on my upper back and my hips since they’re all connected, and as a result, my back has felt better and my range of motion has increased a lot. I’ve learned how to be smarter with exercising, but also with taking care of myself to prevent pain from happening in the first place. It hasn’t totally gone away, and I’m not sure if it ever completely will, but I’ve been able to enjoy most things pain-free that caused me pain before… and my wife has been telling other people how happy she is to not hear me complain anymore!

Coury & Buehler has not only been life-changing, but also a wonderful place to come to. Jordan is great and I loved talking with Jann, June, Doug and Vanessa. Everyone was very professional and friendly and I really enjoyed spending time talking and laughing while I received treatment. Coury & Buehler is top-notch and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend someone else in pain to them. I plan on coming back for checkups or whenever I’m experiencing a lot of pain because I know I’ll get the treatment I need. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone at Coury & Buehler!

“I’ve learned how to be smarter with exercising, but also with taking care of myself to prevent pain from happening in the first place.”

– TJ Rinker