Thursday, January 21, 2010

Egoscue: A Best Kept Secret for Pain Relief?

Cover of "Pain Free: A Revolutionary Meth...Cover via Amazon

Every once in awhile I do some Internet research with the goal of finding new approaches to pain management that I haven't tried yet. It feels like I have tried all the mainstream and alternative approaches to pain relief in the past five years. So I was surprised when I recently found an approach to pain relief that I had not tried yet called The Egoscue Method.

So what is the The Egoscue Method? Perhaps the best answer comes from Peter Egoscue himself, from his first book The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion: Revolutionary Program That Lets You Rediscover the Body's Power to Rejuvenate It:
“When we stop using a function it goes into a dormant state much like hibernation. Fortunately for us, the dysfunctional muscle doesn’t slumber forever. It just waits patiently to be awakened and reminded of what it’s really supposed to be doing. And that’s The Egoscue Method’s objective. We give the body a wake-up call in order to reacquaint it with its dormant functions. With a regular series of exercises, we say to the muscles ‘No, not that way – this way.’ In very short order, the body remembers, and function is restored.”

The root problem that The Egoscue Method addresses is poor posture or body mechanics. The premise in this approach is that pain is caused by muscles not working the way they were intended to work.

Looking for more information about The Egoscue Method and fibromyalgia lead me to the article Straightening Out FM from the Autumn 2009 edition of Fibromyalgia AWARE magazine published by the National Fibromyalgia Association. The article was written by Tim George, the director and owner of the downtown San Diego Egoscue Clinic. In his article, he tells the story of client Rachel Lerner who was able to use The Egoscue Method to combat her fibromyalgia symptoms. After three months of clinic visits, she says, "My pain started to move around and eventually dissipate."

The conclusion of the article states:
Is posture correction the answer to FM? It is definitely a step in the right direction, but diet, stress response and coping strategies, and controlling environmental influences should all play a part in managing your FM symptoms.
After reading this article, I admit I want to try The Egoscue Method myself. My only hesitation is the cost for clinic visits. From their website, "The Egoscue Method of postural therapy is non-medical. We do not accept insurance." This is problematic for me, however, I am investigating if this service might be covered under the Medical Flexible Spending Account (FSA) offered through my husband's employer, which might help make in-person clinic visits at the Santa Monica location affordable for me.

In the meantime, I plan to purchase one of the four books written by Peter Egoscue (see below). Based on suggestions from reviewers at Amazon.com, I am going to start with his second book, Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain. At the very least, I hope reading this book will help me gain more insight into the benefits of adding posture correction to my arsenal of coping techniques for living with fibromyalgia.

Did I get you thinking about trying The Egoscue Method too? In addition to checking out the Fibromyalgia AWARE article, don't forget to visit the Egoscue website for more information, including details on all the products and services they offer, including online therapy programs and videos: Online Pain Management.

Dear Reader: Have you tried The Egoscue Method for your fibromyalgia symptoms? Please leave a comment and let us know how it worked for you.

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orachel said...

Hi there! I have SEVERE and completely disabling fibro, myofascial pain, and chronic fatigue. Been basically flat on my back for the past 6+ years, since i was 29 years old. Horrible! I recently discovered 'Pain Free' book by Egoscue. Another thing i found, which would help you significantly with your issue of high cost of clinic visits, is the 2 DVD set 'Pain Free Workout Series' by Egoscue. It was very inexpensive... about $20 at amazon. I'm just getting started, but noticing a bit of a difference already. Good luck! Cool blog, btw! I look forward to following!

Wishing you pain free days!
Rachel Verdi

Kelli said...

Just found out about Egoscue. I've had fibro & chronic fatigue for 16 years. Was housebound until I had a pain mgmt regime with pain meds, but still can't work FT, which is my dream.

I started kettlebell exercises a few weeks ago with a very light weight (5 lbs): it requires you to work your core thru stabilization with proper posture. From the few weeks of KB work, I already feel stronger and less pain while doing daily chores, so I'm hoping the Egoscue work will help improve me to almost normal.

I can't believe the online personalized exercises from his clinic is only $99...that's what I would spend in 2 visits to the chiropracter (which I need often to fix pain caused by misaligned neck/back/hips) - but it only lasts a few days, I guess because, as Egoscue points out - the underlying mechanics aren't correct. My hope is that by fixing the underlying issues, the chiro visits will lasts months, and I can get a FT job.

While it might not help all with fibro (only because fibro is a catch-all diagnosis, encompassing many ailments), I have high hopes that the "E-sizes" will help some of us fibro folks, hopefully me included.

Thanks for the links and the info!!!