Ryan P. - Google Engineer - Upright Health

Ryan P. – Google Engineer

I’ve had running pain and injuries for over 10 years now, starting in high school with shin splints and a doctor telling me I had a stress fracture. I took time off and tried again, but the issue kept popping up. I was told it was the structure of the bones in my legs and feet, and was prescribed some custom orthotics. They seemed to help, but after a year or so the problems came back.

Pain on the inner part of my right shin was a reoccurring issue, but over the years I also developed heel pain, outer knee pain, lower knee pain, IT band pain, hip flexor pain, femur pain, and ball of the foot pain. It wasn’t everything at once, but there was always something going on. Doctors would tell me to follow the R.I.C.E. principle, which only helped temporarily, at best.

I went through physical therapy and had some improvement, but still nothing lasted more than a few months. It was very rare I could go on a run without some sort of pain. Although it was often just dull pain, it was enough to make me think I needed to rest it, and when I didn’t, it just got worse until the point where I was forced to stop running. I would take off a couple weeks or months, get some temporary relief, and start back up, but then that same issue or a new one would pop up, and I’d eventually be taking time off again.

This cycle continued for many years.

I also started getting low back pain many years ago. It started by pulling my back one day, and never fully got better. For the past several years I would have off-and-on low back pain. Sitting for a while would often get very uncomfortable, and it made me dread having go on long car or plane rides, worried about being in pain. Similar to the running issues, I saw a general doctor and physical therapist, neither of which provided lasting relief.

In addition to applying R.I.C.E. and a few exercises from the physical therapist, I started looking into additional options. Like many runners, I read Born To Run and was intrigued by the idea of barefoot running. It took a few years to really learn it, but I still do some of my running barefoot, and I use it as an exercise to learn to run with less impact. Overall it has helped me have less pain, but didn’t solve everything, as I was still having to take time off from injuries, just a little less often.

I came in to Upright Health pretty open-minded and hopeful, as I usually get excited about any new possible solution, despite having tried so many things that haven’t panned out.

I saw Matt’s talk at Google where he explained how those of us with desk jobs need to reverse the effects of sitting and typing all day. I liked how the approach seemed to be towards getting people out of pain, getting their body to function well, and really getting at the root of the issues.

In my experience, primary doctors would only treat the short term symptoms. Physical therapists would get a little closer to the cause, but still only a medium-term solution. Upright Health really cares about getting to the root cause and fixing from the source of the issue, which is so important for those of us with long-term chronic issues.

My experience at Upright Health has been great! The trainers have been knowledgeable and able to figure out exactly what I need to get better, so that I know what my body needs to stay healthy and out of pain. With any long-term issue, the solution takes time, but I’m thrilled to say that at this point, I’m running virtually pain-free all the time, and my back rarely has any pain either.

On the seldom occasion when some minor pain comes up, I now have the tools to know how to handle it, and feel largely confident in my ability to take care of it myself, before it turns into a bigger issue. Getting to this state has been a huge accomplishment, and I’m so happy to be out of the cycle of injuries that plagued me for years. Thank you, Upright Health!

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