“A few of the exercises I had never tried before and they were really tight the first time rolling them.”
I really appreciated the Roll and Release program. I have been using a foam roller and tennis ball to release tight spots for years but was looking for a more detailed guide to self myofacial release. A few of the exercises I had never tried before and they were really tight the first time rolling them. Thank you for providing this course for free, and continue the good work!
“If you have exhausted other options and are frustrated - Matt is your guy.”
I crawled into see Matt about 3 months ago when I had grown terribly frustrated with how poorly my body was moving as I recently passed the big 50 and had knee surgery about 12 months prior. The reviews here are what made me encouraged to see Matt and explore his help. From the very start of our sessions I found Matt wonderful to work with - he listened carefully, he worked tirelessly and continually to narrow and refine the real issues and develop exercises and techniques to help me improve. He pushed me - which I needed and had me doing exercises I have never seen before. Matt was great at helping me build a comprehensive plan of stretching, strength and workouts at his facility and at home to get me on the path. I found his ability to work out some of the knots in my shoulder very effective too and thus I continue to be in his care as I work my road to recovery. I loved what Matt told me early on - "Sounds like you don't want to just heal you want to be Awesome!" If you have exhausted other options and are frustrated - Matt is your guy. He personally has faced physical pain and issues and frustrations in his life which led him to dedicate himself to first help himself and now many others. He practices what he preaches and is a super guy. Go Matt! Big fan.
“As an avid motocross rider, I immediately noticed the improvements in stamina, precision and control.”
My journey started with 2 weeks of severe pains in my neck and between my shoulder blades. This then lead to pains in my left arm and increasing numbness in my pointer and middle finger. Things were getting worse and I needed to figure out what was wrong. Many doctor visits, pain medications, and an MRI later, I was told I had degenerative disc disease and 2 herniated discs that were causing my problems. After trying a few weeks of in-house physical therapy, neck surgery was the next recommended course of action.
My wife initially found Upright Health to work on pains she was having in her right hip. She had suffered a fall and was told that the only way to repair the damage was through surgery. She did some research and found Upright Health. She gave it a try and was amazed by the results she achieved after her first few visits. She finally convinced me to give it a try to see if anything could be done to fix my problems naturally.
I have to admit, I was very skeptical that stretching and exercise could fix the injury that I thought I had suffered. Matt looked at how I was moving, listened to my thoughts about what aggravated it, and then started helping me stretch and strengthen the muscles all over my body. He wasn’t focused on just the painful spots; he was looking for ways to improve my entire body.
I have always reminded Matt that I literally crawled into his office and walked out. Within two weeks, my problems were almost entirely gone. Within about a month, the right foot and leg pain, caused by my excessive driving for work, was also greatly improved.
I’ve been training regularly with Matt and Josh for over a year now, and the results have been fantastic and well worth the weekly commitment. On a daily basis, I feel like my legs and hips are so strong I levitate out of seats and in and out of my car. As an avid motocross rider, I immediately noticed the improvements in stamina, precision and control.
My neck, shoulder, and hand don’t bother me at all so I can focus on my work and my life. I am amazed with what my body is now capable of and knowing I can do everything pain free. As I have gotten older, I began to feel that aches and pains were just par for the course. Now I actually look forward to a little soreness after squatting 180 lbs or deadlifting over 300 lbs, things I’ve never even thought of attempting before!
“The outcome of the treatment I received on January 18th amazed me.”
I am visiting from the Netherlands. My caring daughter made me an appointment to come see Matt. I must confess I was skeptical but cooperative. The outcome of the treatment I received on January 18th amazed me. After Matt patiently listened to my story, he immediately took action with the result that he solved several problems with my painful right shoulder and neck.
Living with a shoulder that irritates day and night gets very frustrating. After 15 years of all kinds of medical investigations and treatments, I had given up hope that someone or something could relieve me from that awful and nagging pain which also included an electric sensation from my neck to my shoulder and down to my fingertips
My newly working shoulder gives me renewed energy and desire to pick up sports after such a long time of being unable to be active. Above all, I enjoy having a good night’s rest. Thanks so much!
No more pain!
Frank von Harenberg
65 years of age
“These guys are the real deal because they approach fitness from a broad perspective – from pro athletes to older folks (no joke) – and they know how to program routines for everyone.”
I’ve been lifting weights for about a year now, flipping from program to program without truly understanding midline stabilization or motor control. I found Josh’s channel by accident and immediately started implementing his cues, and I saw a significant difference in all my movements and also saw where my mobility restrictions were.
These guys are the real deal because they approach fitness from a broad perspective – from pro athletes to older folks (no joke) – and they know how to program routines for everyone. If you want to be the most efficient you can, look no further! These guys talk about very complex issues and can break them down for you in easy to understand terms!
“Audrey beats her headaches”
Following scoliosis surgery, Audrey developed debilitating headaches. Massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic didn’t seem to help. After learning how realign her body and work hidden tightness out of her body, she beat the headaches and got back to playing guitar and enjoying her life.
I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have found Matt and Upright Health. Seriously.
I had a severe case of scoliosis and in 2001 went through a major surgery to fix it, complete with some screws and two metal rods. However, around 2007 I developed chronic tension headaches that I couldn’t get rid of. I tried acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, and while sometimes they helped minimally, none of those things had lasting effects. I resorted to taking painkillers more often than I wanted to, and sometimes even those didn’t help.
My headaches were completely affecting my quality of life. I couldn’t think straight and wasn’t able to do much. After years of headaches, that dazed state of being became normal to me. My husband begged me to keep searching for a solution since my headaches were affecting both of our lives, but I felt so defeated from years of trying all of the treatments I mentioned above, and I had really lost all hope that I would ever be free from headaches.
Eventually in 2012 my husband convinced me to try physical therapy, so I searched online for recommendations. As I read how many of the treatments were localized to the problem area something about that just didn’t feel compelling. Somehow I stumbled onto Upright Health, caught by the words “postural alignment therapy.” I knew that was exactly what I needed to try. Something in my gut told me that my tension headaches were more than just tension in my shoulder, and that my entire body was connected to it.
Though I was hesitant because the other treatments I had tried didn’t work, my husband convinced me to go for it. After all, I was just going in for a free consultation. I told Matt about my scoliosis and my headaches and he said he could help. He showed me pictures of how poorly aligned my body was–and it’s not just about posture the way we tend to think of it. It’s about everything–your whole body–being in proper alignment. (Go see Matt and figure out what I’m really talking about.) My body had been compensating improperly from my scoliosis surgery, but also simply from ways I sat or stood or slept during the day, causing the wrong muscles to carry the wrong loads and pulling my body out of alignment. But I was still skeptical, so I looked him in the eye and said, “Look, I know you need to say this stuff works because this is your business, but tell me honestly, how confident are you that this is going to help me?” He looked me back dead in the eye and said, “I’m extremely confident.” And to my slight embarrassment I cried right there in his office. Haha!
Anyway, I’m overjoyed to say that after just a few times with Matt my chronic headaches were NOT a problem! I had months more of treatments to go with Matt to work on my alignment because my body was so jacked up, but even today, over a year after my first appointment with Matt, I’m STILL not plagued by chronic tension headaches!
Through rolfing (painful, but honestly it feels awesome), stretches, and very, very, very simple exercises that Matt gave me to do my body feels so much better! Postural alignment therapy hasn’t just taken care of my headaches, but it’s taken care of my entire body! And the best thing is that I can do these by myself to maintain my alignment. I don’t have to keep paying for chiropractic treatment, massages, or acupuncture.
So often my friends tell me about slight pain in their backs or in their feet or hips. They might not have scoliosis or have had a major surgery or have chronic tension headaches and a chronic cloudy state of being, but they’ve definitely settled thinking “Ehh, I’m just getting older, that’s all,” and not doing anything about it. I KNOW postural alignment therapy and Upright Health would improve their quality of life SO MUCH.
Matt is awesome! Do NOT hesitate to meet with him! Take a chance. The only thing you have to lose is your pain. 🙂
“In just 3 days I've noticed a spring in my step, with less pain in normal everyday tasks like putting away the dishes, bending over to pick something up, and I feel like I'm making some real progress.”
It's only been 3 days...
Hi Matt and Josh, I found your videos about 3-4 months ago. I've been struggling with daily chronic pain since 2010. I was in a car accident that flipped my car in 2008. Then another accident in 2010. I had herniated discs and commuted for 3 hours a day during that time. I used to be very active; taekwondo, volleyball, basketball. Then from about 2012 til now I've had multiple times of healing a bit, trying to go back to sports and working out then I'd be injured again. This yo-yo was often disheartening and made sedentary and immobile. With your videos I was able to gain understanding of my daily routine that was putting me back into injury and be more aware of my hips.
Following your youtube, I first built an understanding that no other book, tutorial or doctor could do. I had to understand how to sit and walk again. I had no idea! Right now since truly understanding my issues ie. anterior pelvic tilt (which I think I've had since I was a child) I've gone off your videos to work on my core strength: 100 dead bugs, 90 dog birds, 50 glute bridges, 30 side leg lifts, and 40 goblet squats.
In just 3 days I've noticed a spring in my step, with less pain in normal everyday tasks like putting away the dishes, bending over to pick something up, and I feel like I'm making some real progress.
I think it's very important to also note that I found your videos some time ago, but I only started to take real action now. I tried one exercise here and there, but didn't make the connection between my mind and my body until recently.
I think what changed was that I made a real agreement with myself to actually write down what I planned to do and have the goal to playing the sports I love but could never maintain: martial arts and climbing. I was tired of missing out on things that I used to do. I think I had given up a little bit. I think I was depressed about it and never addressed it.
Now with real results in such a short amount of time and being in pain for so long. It feels like a fragile joy. But I'm going to keep going; it's so much better than sulking in pain.
Thank you so much:)
Meg Le Vu
“These programs and people gave me my life back.”
I was diagnosed with labral tears in both my hips. I stopped doing yoga, could hardly do my job, and spent all my money on co-pays for specialist visits.
Initially, I injured my back. It was honestly the worst pain I've ever experienced. I went to a chiropractor, which helped my back feeling better. But then, my SI joint started to hurt every time I took a yoga class. I could hardly walk after. This landed me back at the chiropractor, where they continually cracked my SI joint back into place. I was going every other day for about a month when I realized that these visits we probably exacerbating my issue.
The SI joint pain took over my daily life. I went to an orthopedic specialist where I got my labral tear diagnosis, did some PT, and "rested." This ortho said my route was surgery, either now or 10 years from now. I changed orthos and met a great doctor that said we would try platelet injection. I think that helped. I had two in my right hip and one in my left.
This all took place over about two years. Then, after I was feeling less down about the situation, I started researching alternative ways to help labral tears and came across Upright Health! I started the FAI fix and the rest is history.
I used the FAI Fix to help me practice yoga again! It took about three weeks of consistently doing the most remedial exercises to notice I was feeling stronger. I really wanted a more individualized look into my issues, so I worked with Matt over Skype.
I was so inspired by the progress I made that I knew I had to learn from him. So, I attended the Healthy Hips workshop this past April. I started this journey doing bodyweight hip lifts, and now I can hip thrust 100 lbs and JUMP again!
These programs and people gave me my life back. Every day there's this moment when I remember how I felt so broken. I compare it to how strong I feel now and I'm so damn grateful.
I think the fact that they've been where I was and came out on the other side gives them a unique understanding of pain. From that understanding, they can help people better than anyone else. Also, their approach is very tailored to the specific person. The same injury can mean totally different things for different people.
“My biggest achievement between my first and second appointment was that I no longer needed to grab and lean on the railing to ease myself down the stairs to make coffee in the morning.”
After more than a dozen orthopedic surgeries during my high school, college, and NFL career I thought my days of dealing with injuries were behind me. Over the course of the last couple of years I noticed a burning pain in my right hip that steadily increased.
As the pain got worse I found myself sitting to rest my hip instead of living the active lifestyle I was used to. At first the sitting seemed to help calm the flaring pain. After a few months my right hip pain intensified and it felt as if even the sitting would make the pain worse. I tried my best to manage my hip issues by unsuccessfully balancing what I needed to do during the day while also trying to rest. Frequent visits to the chiropractor and massage therapists did little to help manage the pain that just kept getting worse. Soon I found myself spending too much time on the couch because being on my feet caused such extreme pain.
I struggled to sleep at night because of the intense burning sensation in my hip. I just couldn’t find a position that made me comfortable enough to sleep soundly. Even with little sleep I would rush to get out of bed in the morning because at least moving around would distract me from the pain I was enduring while lying in bed. My hip issue was quickly becoming intolerable.
I had no interest in adding to my already long list of surgeries and wanted to exhaust all of my options before consulting with an orthopedic surgeon. While searching the web I found a doctor who specialized in non-operative orthopedics for joint related pain. I immediately made an appointment. My pain was so intense that I was counting down the days to until I could see the doctor.
I went to the appointment hopeful that a doctor who spent more than 20 years practicing non-surgical methods of addressing orthopedic issues would help me put together a plan to reduce my pain, regain some activity, and avoid surgery. The doctor ordered x-rays of my hips when I first arrived for my appointment. When I met with the doctor she reviewed my films and immediately stated my right hip was too damaged to fix even through surgery. She did, however, write me a referral to see a hip surgeon for my pain-free left hip! The doctor promised me that my left hip would soon feel as bad as my right hip if I didn’t immediately have surgery. So much for non-operative orthopedics! I left the office discouraged and convinced I would need surgery.
I dreaded the thought of treating my current hip issues the way I managed injuries during my football career. I wanted to avoid pain medications, cortisone injections, and, most of all, surgery. The hip surgeon I was referred to was so busy that his soonest available appointment was two and half months away. (Apparently, a lot of people are told they need hip surgery!) Now I needed to find a way to cope with my pain for the next 75 days until I could finally see the surgeon.
Even though I reduced my level of activity, I now had a sore and cracking right knee to go along with my aching hip. My friends started to joke that it was impossible for me to sneak up on anyone because the loud cracking in my joints gave away my presence from 50 feet way.
I waited anxiously for my appointment with the surgeon and spent time looking online for tips on how I could manage my pain in the meantime. During one of my searches I stumbled across the Upright Health website. I watched a couple of videos that featured people describing their intense pain and the positive changes they experienced while working with Upright Health. I was skeptical about the drastic results the videos described but figured I had nothing to lose by making an appointment with Matt while waiting to see the surgeon.
During my first visit to Upright Health we did soft tissue work, stretching, and strengthening. I noticed a big change in my level of pain during that first appointment but wasn’t convinced that the positive results would last. The results I did get while working with Matt that first day served as motivation for me to continue the program he wrote for me on my own at home. Within a week I noticed that I was sleeping better. My biggest achievement between my first and second appointment was that I no longer needed to grab and lean on the railing to ease myself down the stairs to make coffee in the morning.
As I have continued to work with Upright Health I have become a believer in Matt’s philosophy and programming. Matt’s history in overcoming pain make him an ideal person to help others who are suffering from what he is all too familiar with. I know I still have work to do but I have progressed enough to confidently cancel my appointment with the surgeon. I look forward to working with Matt and Vincent and making continued process.
“Matt showed me how to keep extremely active by incorporating a well-thought-out flexibility routine to my training.”
If it were possible to give an establishment more than five stars, I would do it! When I saw Matt, I had already been to MANY other sports doctors and specialists to help me with a leg strain I had that would NOT go away, and I had spent countless hours to hear the same things again and again from them:
(1) We don't know what is wrong with you
(2) Just take time off. Six months or a year should do.
These were not good things to hear while trying to train for my first Ironman.
On the other hand, when I met Matt, he used a completely different approach. Instead of looking at my injury as something that was impossible to fix...he LISTENED to my particular situation, and took me on as a client that he would investigate, work WITH, and help! Just his positive attitude alone set my mind (and body) at ease. He never told me "You can't train," but he did help me to recover quickly and train smarter.
His plan was to set me up with a series of appointments and provide me with area-specific stretches to improve my posture and flexibility. As necessary, he also rolfed (think deep, concentrated massage) areas of body that needed extra attention.
In sum, you know that expression, "You give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day...but you teach a man HOW to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime?
This is exactly what I felt my experience was like. Matt showed me how to keep extremely active by incorporating a well-thought-out flexibility routine to my training.
I'm telling you...if doctors and specialists are not helping...GO SEE MATT!
“Huge improvements in strength, flexibility, range of motion, posture and balance.”
Upright Health gave me my life back. Sounds dramatic, but that’s what it feels like. But let me back up…
I first came to see Matt Hsu a little over a year ago, nursing a sore hamstring and desperate for some improvement because I was training to row in the Head of the Charles Regatta which was just a few weeks away. Matt listened. Matt probed. Matt got to the heart of the issue. With some tissue work, I left feeling better, but more importantly I was better educated about what was going on and I was armed with “homework” to improve the situation.
Fast forward to this spring, when our rowing training geared up again in preparation for autumn regattas. I wanted a strength coach, but not just a dime-a-dozen, one-size-fits-all trainer. I wanted someone who really understood body mechanics and could help me use my body more effectively. I immediately thought of Upright Health. I started training with Josh Hash in April, and oh, what a difference it’s made.
What have I achieved in six months of training with Josh? Huge improvements in strength, flexibility, range of motion, posture and balance. But more importantly, my outlook has completely turned around. No longer do I worry how I’ll survive our next 14K meter erg workout. I’m setting new erg PRs regularly. Instead, I’m enjoying being more active again. I’ve gone from thinking my running days were behind me to realizing that lots of great runs are still in my future.
Josh has patiently pushed me to do more than I thought I could and explained every step along the way. He trains me to do the things I want to do, but he also trains me “for life,” ensuring that I’m keeping different muscle groups in balance, even ones I’d rather ignore. No, my 50-something body is not what it used to be – in fact, it’s better than it’s been in ages! And how did my rowing team do this fall? We were “on the podium” at the Head of the Schuylkill, a nice improvement from our middle-of-the-pack performance last year. (And not bad for a team scattered all across the country which only practices together a handful of weekends each summer.) At this point, I feel like I’ll still be running and rowing in my 80s. Thanks to Upright Health, I’m psyched!
“I have noticed a HUGE change in the way I feel and move.”
In late 2011, at the age of 25, I was diagnosed with FAI and multiple labrum tears in my right hip. The following year I had an open surgery where my hip was completely dislocated from the socket. They resurfaced the femoral head and repaired the labrum tears. After the surgery, I was told that because I was young the only rehabilitation that I needed was to get on a stationary bike 10 minutes a day to have movement in the leg.
In the following years, what started with a hip problem turned into a whole body problem. I had pain in both knees, hips, shoulders, and back. I also had extreme neck pain. I lost hot/cold sensation in the fingers on my left hand. I would get tingling all throughout my face and neck, which was very scary. I also noticed that my right foot began to point outwards, and it became very difficult to walk.
I began to seek more medical attention as my symptoms were really becoming worrisome. One surgeon wanted to fix my rotated leg by breaking my shin in half and putting an external fixator in my leg for a year to correct the rotation. Another wanted to perform shoulder surgery to tighten the loose muscles in my shoulder. Some doctors were so puzzled that I was tested for Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Spinal Tumors.
Eventually, I met a physical therapist who was able to give me some relief. I saw her for a year, and although I was feeling better, I still had a significant amount of pain.
During this time, I began to do an extensive amount of research on my own. I came across Upright Health on YouTube and began watching their videos. After a few weeks of implementing what I had learned, I began to notice a positive difference. I was hesitant at first to go to Upright Health because it's an hour from where I live. I finally decided to make an appointment, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made!
In the 10 months that I have been coming to Upright Health, I have noticed a HUGE change in the way I feel and move. I have gone from daily chronic disabling pain to having only minor aches. My strength and flexibility have improved beyond what I thought was possible. I have had appointments with Matt, Josh, and Trevor. They're all very attentive and have provided me with the skills I need to keep improving. In addition, I have purchased their Shoulder Fix Program, Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt Program, and the Sitting Solution Book. These are very in-depth, yet easy to understand. I also attended their Healthy Hips workshop, which was so insightful and helped me immensely!
What sets Upright Health apart from everywhere else I tried is their commitment to not looking at me as another injured person, but as an individual with my own story. The amount of detail and care that goes into each session continues to blow me away. As I have got to know each of the trainers the thing that is the most inspiring to me is that they empower YOU to fix yourself. If you don’t put in the work you won’t get the changes.
Upright Health has guided me in the right direction and given me with the tools I need to live the way I want. I recommend them to anyone who is sick of being in pain and ready to make a change!
“Most health professionals take a narrow approach, whereas you take the time to test and see what’s working and what’s not, in order to isolate key weaknesses and dysfunction.”
Thanks again for the awesome session! Thinking back, it was helpful to meet in the gym to actually go through the exercises with weights. I had never met a physiotherapist/osteopath in an actual gym which actually is a bit bizarre.
The diagnostic testing you do is really key. Most health professionals take a narrow approach, whereas you take the time to test and see what’s working and what’s not, in order to isolate key weaknesses and dysfunction. I’m a really logical person and I’ve always felt like that was the missing piece. It seems like you’ve really got that part down, and that makes a huge difference.
Anyway, I have more confidence now to attack the problems in the right way so thanks for that. Take care.
“Josh always knows how to customize the workouts for my particular fitness, strength and endurance levels — all while maintaining a total fitness approach.”
Josh is truly a one of a kind coach and trainer. He’s passionate about strength training and fitness and is a genius at helping the ordinary person maximize his or her potential.
The best part about working with Josh is the results. Josh always knows how to customize the workouts for my particular fitness, strength and endurance levels — all while maintaining a total fitness approach. I’ve shed quite a few pounds while working with Josh but the surprising part is the amount of muscle and strength I’ve built. Josh’s instruction on form and sensitivity to my individual body composition allowed me to set new records on several lifts while improving my total strength and developing lean muscle.
Hands down Josh is the best trainer I’ve ever worked with.
“Avoiding femoroacetabular impingement surgery: Jonathon's story with the FAI Fix”
Jonathon was told he had femoroacetabular impingement and that he'd need surgery to cure his hip pain. He wanted an alternative to surgery for FAI and found the FAI. In this video, he shares his story of the femoroacetabular impingement diagnosis and his gradual recovery using the FAI Fix.
After several failed attempts to heal his hip pain with physios, surgery looked like his only option. He wasn't ready to undergo the surgery and stop doing breakdancing altogether for the rest of his life, and then he found the FAI Fix.
TL;DR: Jonathon had terrible hip pain that made it difficult to even walk at times. Doctors and physios told him to get surgery. Carefully working with his muscles has allowed him to get back to break dancing without surgery.
“Going to Upright Health to form good habits and correct movement patterns can save you a lot of time in discomfort.”
I found Upright Health, because after five years of CrossFit I started to experience pain while squatting in my IT band. It was hard to describe and didn’t happen all the time. It felt like my IT band was sliding or shifting whenever I would do a squat. I didn’t want it to get any worse, so I looked up possible solutions and Upright Health seemed to have all the answers to the questions I had.
I always wondered why my deadlift was so much higher than my squat, why my hips shifted slightly to the right when I squat or how to make my IT band feel better. Unlike most people that walk into Upright Health I was not in chronic or unbearable pain, I just noticed something and I didn’t want it to get worse.
I love CrossFit and I want to be able to CrossFit for as long as possible. Kristen helped me realize that in order to keep going at the rate I had been, I just need to supplement my training with additional accessory work and stretching/rolling out. She explained that some CrossFitters become “quad dominant” from the same repetition of movements and don’t use their glutes as much as they should. She helped me learn to turn my quad activation down by rolling them out and doing some booty strengthening exercises that are WAY harder than they look.
Kristen was extremely helpful and knowledgeable in identifying and correcting my muscle imbalances, in my hips and shoulders. She has an amazing ability to tell you what can be improved by just watching you walk for a couple steps. I urge everyone to not wait until you experience chronic pain. Going to Upright Health to form good habits and correct movement patterns can save you a lot of time in discomfort. Because of Kristen, I look forward to continuing to CrossFit pain-free!
“The exercises are some I've never known and seem to be very effective.”
When a couple of friends mentioned that they were seeing Matt and told me about his work, I went to visit him to see if he could give me some help and guidance on healing some lingering pains in my hips. These aches occurred usually after sitting but were not improving with time. I am a physically active woman in my 60's and wondered "Is this just ageing?' Matt showed me it wasn't.
I am so glad I did see him. He took pictures, analyzed my movements, showed me several exercises to do at home. The analysis and instruction were his; the homework, daily exercises, was mine. My hips improved ,and in the 3 months I have been seeing him my strength has increased, my posture and balance have improved, and my hip achiness and pains have gone away. He knows what he is doing.
Matt's manner is professional, yet warm. His analysis skills are impressive. The exercises are some I've never known and seem to be very effective. The long-term benefit from what I've learned about the importance of maintaining strength, flexibility, and postural integrity as I age will make a difference in my quality of life.
“I flew to Palo Alto from NYC and within the first session, I already noticed I was walking better.”
Upright Health was the best decision I ever made. I have been a very active person my entire life – from sports in school to spartan training over the past couple years. Six months ago I began developing low back pain and hip pain that just kept worsening each day.
It got to the point where sitting, standing, and walking just from the bed to the bathroom were painful. I’m an emergency room doctor, and going to work always left a pit in my stomach because I knew I’d be on my feet all day and have to deal with the pain. I went to three to four orthopedic doctors and had so much imaging that I basically glowed in the dark. I also went to two physical therapists. One didn’t give me a diagnosis; the other told me I had a weak core and needed to strengthen my transversus abdominis. Both PTs helped a little, but nothing was permanent.
Ultimately I was diagnosed with a labral tear via an arthrogram and was recommended surgery.
I had been watching Matt’s YouTube videos for awhile, and one night I saw Kristen’s story and realized it sounded just like mine, so I figured i’d give it a try.
I flew to Palo Alto from NYC and within the first session, I already noticed I was walking better. By the end of 4 sessions with Kristen (2 Skype and 2 live), I was able to hike the Grand Canyon with very little pain. After a couple more sessions in Redwood City two months later, I built up to deadlifting 120 pounds (more than my body weight), squatting with 50 pounds, and I am now easing back into doing burpees and other intense exercises I’ve missed for so long!
I can’t thank the team at Upright Health enough for giving me my life back!
“Matt and his team pointed me in the right direction and helped me avoid one of the worst decisions of my life – surgery. I owe them my…HIP!”
I met Matt over a year ago. As the typical FAI-Hip Impingement story goes, I was diagnosed via MRI, and like everyone else reading this, I was contemplating surgery to shave off a part of my femur. Upright Health was the first source of information that would potentially change the way I viewed not only my hip pain, but my body’s health in general.
I had Skype sessions with Matt a few times and he sent me some great workouts to follow. However, since I am nearly 3,000 miles away from the Upright Health office, I had to put it on myself to re-teach myself proper body mechanics.
As Matt says, “This diagnosis is not a bone problem, it’s a movement problem.” In fact, it’s much more than that even. Hip pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong but it does not mean that there is something terribly wrong at the location of the pain. This is what orthopedists will have you think, but performing surgery on this part of your body is just putting a Band-Aid on the real issue. Everyone’s body is different and therefore every body will have a different solution.
A year down the line, my hip feels much better. As you can see, I even dunked at the park the other day! However, the journey is not an easy one. My hip will still be stiff or painful from time to time but I now understand how my body works and I can foresee when the stiffness or pain will show its ugly head. My goal is to eventually be 100% pain free and I believe I will get there. For now, I use the discomfort and pain as a diagnostic tool for improvement. The worst thing you can do is get discouraged (which I’ve done plenty of times) – sometimes you have to take few steps back to go forward. The best advice I can give is to continue to learn and improve your body. Don’t dwell on the setbacks and instead, celebrate the improvements.
Matt and his team pointed me in the right direction and helped me avoid one of the worst decisions of my life – surgery. I owe them my…HIP! That being said, use them as the amazing tool they are but don’t forget that the only way to get better is to educate yourself and get off your butt!
“Since working with Upright Health I feel faster and stronger on the ice and more confident in my body.”
Before coming to Upright Health, I had two issues going on.
Firstly I had been struggling with flexibility regarding hip rotation, particularly external rotation. Both sides are equally rubbish but the right side had been painful and stiff ever since I suffered a hip flexor tear on that side about a year ago.
For this issue, I had tried stretching and rolling at home and also yoga.
The second issue is what has been suggested by my doctor as a potential pinched nerve in the hip area, although they have no idea really what it is.
I’ve had hip x-rays, some physical therapy, and a LOT of ibuprofen! It happens intermittently. If I’ve been sitting for a while on certain chairs or laying down, then when I get up I’m unable to stand up fully and I experience a weird sensation running down the front of my hip/thigh that prevents me from moving. It goes away usually if I sit down again and engage my core before I stand up (something I learned from Vincent).
I initially came to Upright Health to work on the flexibility issue, and getting help with the pinched nerve issue has been a bonus. I’d been using some of Upright Health’s goalie and stretching videos online, so I was over the moon to find that they were local to me.
I’d become increasingly frustrated by ‘professionals’ who were not athletes or sportspeople themselves – often I felt like I knew more about what I needed than they did.
I came to Upright Health because they ARE athletes and they all participate in some sporting activities. It’s evident that they all really understand how bodies work, and how an athlete’s body needs to work. And they’re really good at explaining things!
More importantly, working with Vincent has helped me to realize that my body mechanics are shocking – actually they WERE shocking. They improve every time I visit!
Normally when you go for physical therapy, they help you with a few exercises to ‘fix’ the current problem, but Upright Health is helping me see the long term path to making beneficial changes. I’m learning how to change my approach to training and also rewire my automatic movement patterns. How cool is that?!!
I really like how they all know me and my issues even though I work with just Vincent. I love how when I arrive Vincent is 100% prepared with a program for me to move to the next level and it’s all interconnected. And he does his research. He’s not a goalie but he clearly has taken time to read or has asked about what kind of mechanics are involved in hockey and how a goalie’s body performs.
The weird nerve thing is not gone yet but it’s improving and I have a better understanding of the body mechanics and tools to help release it when it does happen. Since working with Upright Health I feel faster and stronger on the ice and more confident in my body. And I can deadlift from the floor!!! =)
As an athlete, the most important result since I’ve been working with Upright Health is that I’ve had compliments (quite a lot) on how my game has improved. That’s the best result one can hope for.
“Since I started with the workout routine, my hip has been much better – no pain killers for the night to sleep.”
I had pain in my groin and hip on and off since I gave birth to my daughter 13 years ago. The pain was especially bad doing twisting movements such as when playing tennis or squash.
My problems were most severe when I tried to sleep. I had to lie flat on my stomach, with both legs straight, preferably with my feet outside the bed — or on my back with a couple of pillows under my knees. The outside of the hip hurt so much.
I started seeing different physiotherapists back then, but no one knew the reason to my pain. Finally I got painkillers and a cortisone shot and was told to start exercising. I found that I could cycle without getting into pain. So I did this for about 5-6 years, training for competitions where you cycle for 300 km in one go (13 hours roughly). Cycling is very time consuming, so I started jogging too, but I found I was unable to improve my jogging speed.
So I took a running course. I was told my technique was wrong. I was told to run more on the front of my foot. After the jogging course, my real problems started. I saw a PT for a couple of years, and we did crossfit-style workouts. In retrospect, I think this also caused problems in my hip.
I saw a lot of physiotherapists and a couple of orthopaedists who gave me a few cortisone shots in both my back and in my hip. I had an MRI of my back and my hip, but no one could explain or remove my pain. I got some connective tissue massage on my back, hip, and thigh, and that made my hips a little bit better.
I saw Matt on the Upright Health YouTube channel and a lot of what he said made sense to me. I was already planning a trip to San Francisco for vacation, so I scheduled to see him while I was there. In one hour we talked about everything I had gone through and what he thought I could do to help myself.
He showed me several exercises that he thought would be beneficial for me, including my new favorite – the Romanian deadlift. I started seeing noticeable improvement once I got back to Sweden and got into a regular routine of the exercises Matt suggested. After several months of training on my own back in Sweden, things were obviously much, much better.
Since I started with the workout routine, my hip has been much better – no pain killers for the night to sleep. Although I have had to neglect the routine since christmas (in favor of skiing training!). I have been skiing down hill and cross country for one week (winter holiday), and it feels so much better compared to last year.
One of my goals was to complete Tjejvasan, a cross country skiing race of 30 km. Attached is a picture of me crossing the finishing line after 3 hours 5 minutes. This was only a few months after my visit to Upright Health. I am very, very happy and so glad I met with Matt on my trip in October!
“Since working with Upright Health I feel faster and stronger on the ice and more confident in my body.”
As an athlete, the most important result since I’ve been working with Upright Health is that I’ve had compliments (quite a lot) on how my game has improved. That’s the best result one can hope for.
“I flew to Palo Alto from NYC and within the first session, I already noticed I was walking better.”
I flew to Palo Alto from NYC and within the first session, I already noticed I was walking better. By the end of 4 sessions with Kristen (2 Skype and 2 live), I was able to hike the Grand Canyon with very little pain. After a couple more sessions in Redwood City two months later, I built up to deadlifting 120 pounds (more than my body weight), squatting with 50 pounds, and I am now easing back into doing burpees and other intense exercises I’ve missed for so long!
I can’t thank the team at Upright Health enough for giving me my life back!
“Matt designed a clear and targeted exercise plan which I am seeing noticeable benefits from.”
I had an awesome training session with Matt. I underestimated how much we could actually achieve in just one session but Matt has a whole diagnostic testing approach that helped to pinpoint my weaknesses and dysfunction. Most other health professionals I've visited take a more narrow approach attacking the local pain, whereas Matt took the time to test and see what's working and what's not with a more holistic perspective.
Post-session, Matt designed a clear and targeted exercise plan which I am seeing noticeable benefits from. I highly recommend Matt and I can't wait to have him assess and design a plan for the rest of my loved ones (if he ever gets across the pond to London or down to LA ; )
“Literally the first week of doing the new exercises my back and left hip stopped popping.”
I was born with congenital hip dysplasia and walked around with a completely dislocated hip until 2 years old when I had major pelvic surgery (osteotomy) to reshape the right hip joint. I was very active throughout childhood and as an adult- cheerleading, running, skiing, what I now know was excessive yoga, mountain biking/ spin classes. I was pain free until age 25 when I was (mis)diagnosed with a “right gluteal strain” after skiing in Colorado in March 2016.
After zero results with physical therapy and worsening pain, I got an MRI arthrogram in July and was diagnosed with a combination of pincer and cam impingement and labral tears in both hips. Around that time I started experiencing lower back pain and pain on the left hip as well as the right. I was in pain all day at work, home, weekends and it seemed totally random- unrelated to sitting, standing, activity, taking medication, lidocaine patches, injections- nothing worked! My initial orthopedist recommended hip arthroscopy and I got a second opinion with a sports medicine doctor who recommended the same thing and I scheduled my surgery for November.
Working in healthcare, I’ve seen the results of jumping into surgery and the research I found was not compelling that hip arthroscopy would even work. I was so stressed about taking off so much time from work for surgery and being in pain I traveled to get a 3rd opinion. He was more conservative and suggested holding off until I eventually needed a hip replacement and continuing to strengthen the muscles around the hip to stabilize the joint via strength training (this surgeon did his fellowship with Dr. Phillipon in Vale- basically the inventor of hip arthroscopy).
After losing faith in physical therapy, I had begun doing a program I had found online called the FAI Fix since mid May (2 months after injury). I was desperate and followed the program diligently. The tissue work portion helped a ton with the tightness, and I always felt better after exercises but I was still in pain/ a slave to my foam roller. I saw that Matt, one of the authors of the FAI Fix, offered Skype sessions. I started seeing him truly as a last ditch effort before committing to surgery mid August and he instantly added A LOT of weight to my program. It turns out I had been doing a lot of the right things but I had gotten stronger, so what I was doing was not enough to stabilize the joint without weight.
Literally the first week of doing the new exercises my back and left hip stopped popping. I have now been 90% out of hip pain for 4 weeks and 100% out of back pain for 6 weeks after constant suffering for 5 months! I have the occasional twinge but now I know some exercises to help stabilize my hip during the day. I have a very active job as a pediatric speech pathologist so I am always running around, sitting on the floor, etc. all without pain. I even went horseback riding and mountain biking!
This has not been a linear recovery at all and I have suffered a couple setbacks but Matt has always helped me trouble shoot and figure it out. He includes videos with every exercise so I can review and make sure I’m doing every thing correctly. I will post another update on my recovery status as more time passes!
—Updated March 2017—
It has now been about 11 months post injury and I am doing really well. I still have to maintain strength with the exercises Matt gave me (which I know I HAVE to do because I cut my thumb really bad in December and slacked off for a few weeks resulting in regression, but I was able to bounce back quickly when I got back to working out). I knew I was recovered when I was able to go on a hiking trip to Colorado in October and hike up a mountain for 8 miles with no pain. Now I am back to all my old favorite activities- yoga, spin, etc and it feels great!!
I still have to listen to my body and be careful not to over do it as well as balancing fun workouts with hip exercises. It still takes a lot of hard work, self-monitoring, and consistency to maintain being totally out of pain but it is SO worth not having a risky surgery! THANK YOU MATT! : )
“Has helped greatly to reduce my daily pain and taught me a lot about what I need to work on to stay healthy and get stronger!”
I truly appreciate the time we spent together over the last year which has helped greatly to reduce my daily pain and taught me a lot about what I need to work on to stay healthy and get stronger!
“Jessica untwists and gets back to running”
With pain and discomfort from head to toe, Jessica couldn’t even train for marathons anymore. Her body was out of alignment, and rest, massage, and chiropractic provided no real help.
The improvements in flexibility, and, to my surprise, lower body strength have been dramatic. I am stronger, and more flexible, than I have ever been at any time in the last 30 years and more confident in my mobility.
...Truly one of the best investments I’ve ever made. Thank you, Matt, Trevor and Upright Health.
“He has experienced pain and injury himself, so I believe him when he tells me what he thinks will work for me.”
I have a job that is pretty sedentary, I'm 43 years old, not that athletic, have been in a whopping 6 car accidents in my life (mostly minor, mostly not my fault, thankyouverylittle), suffer from migraines, and I've got two young kids. Not surprisingly, I've struggled with back pain and shoulder tightness for some time - nothing truly debilitating, but not pleasant.
So, I started exercising, deciding it was time to pull myself together. Although that was helping some, one of the fitness classes I took must have pulled me way out of alignment - I had a headache for 3 days after that class.
After this experience, I decided I needed to see someone who could pay attention to my alignment in a close way, and I almost fell out of my chair when I read that Matt has both rolfing and Egoscue training. Brilliant!
I'm pleased to say that my time with Matt has been really wonderful... I'm seeing myself as stronger, and I'm interpreting my body's cues in a whole new way. Is Matt a wizard who waves a magic wand? Although that would be nice, the truth is that he isn't: my recovery is hard work. What I love about Matt, though, is that he can see misalignment well and has given me exercises to help address that. He is teaching me how to use correct form when I do my exercises, so I don't have any nasty rebound headaches. He also uses the Rolfing skills to help get the alignment just right. He has experienced pain and injury himself, so I believe him when he tells me what he thinks will work for me. He also understands that I'm busy, so my exercises are designed to be ruthlessly efficient.
Here's how my last session went: he was pushing me to dig deep and work hard (without being an asshat about it), and I was feeling pretty good about having learned how to bench press. He withstood my complaining when I had to follow that up with military presses. Then, when I was learning a hamstring exercise, I noticed a weird 'click' in my right hamstring that wasn't going away as the muscle warmed up. He got in there right away - poking around to find the source of that problem. Took a while, but he persisted and got it! A little Rolfing at the top of the calf (ouch!) and that weird shiz stopped clicking.
I don't know who else could have done this. Honestly - it's a unique set of skills, and my body is quirky enough to need someone with this broad set of skills to help set me on the path to be stronger and healthier. Well worth it.
“The results are quite amazing!”
I've been coming to Matt for almost a full year now. The results are quite amazing! When I first stepped through the door, I don't think I could even do a single chin-up and maybe a couple of push-ups. I do mountain bike regularly, at least twice a week, but was lacking the balance, flexibility and core strength to do real technical rides. Matt completely changed that situation and now I'm able to do practically any level trail, making my mountain biking so much more fun!
In the process, I not only gained strength and flexibility but also lost over 30 lbs. Matt is just pure fun to spend time with at the gym. He pushes me to new highs as nobody else can, and he is an incredible resource for tips on what you need to do to achieve and maintain a fit body and live a healthy lifestyle. Highly recommend the Matt fitness treatment to anyone who wants to be more active, take on new challenges and feel and look fitter.
“But even if you wait until your late 70s, as I did, it’s incredibly helpful!”
Working with Upright Health was, at my age, not something I’d ever consider except at the urging of my adult children. At age 79, I’ve been struggling with knee pain for decades. Fifteen years ago, with results from scans and x-rays, doctors told me it was arthritis and that there was little I could do to improve it. I was offered steroid shots but knew I didn’t want to be reliant on steroids for the rest of my life. So I have been adapting and putting up with my knee pain since then. And as the years have gone by, my own adjustments and compensations in movement to cover for the knee pain have compromised my agility in other areas, in addition to normal aging issues with balance and flexibility.
So when I came to Matt with all these issues, I thought for sure I was too old for him to help me. Not true. When I stepped into Upright Health, Matt was ready to tackle my problems head on and every session has continued to be helpful.
And now since working with Vincent, for the first time in many, many years, I am learning to move without pain in my knee–even at my advanced age! I had no idea that simple changes in how I move could relieve my knee pain this much. Vincent’s attention to detail is second to none. I never would have thought that by altering the position of my knee in such small ways as I sit down and stand up, by even just an inch, could make such a profound impact. I’m beginning to experience relief from knee pain for the first time in decades!
Vincent has been incredibly accommodating of my limitations while constantly pushing me to progress to the edge of my comfort zone. He always has a modification ready for when an exercise is too difficult or too easy. He makes sure I understand the purpose of what I’m doing and how that relates to my needs. And I can see much more clearly now the connection between how I move and how my body reacts.
I once bought into the view of myself as an extremely elderly, out of shape adult. Now I see that I’ve gained much more strength, at my age, than I even thought possible. Things that used to be hard, like walking up and down stairs, are getting easier and easier. My balance has noticeably improved.
My message: don’t wait until you are nearly 80 to begin working with Upright Health. It’s way better if you start much earlier. But even if you wait until your late 70s, as I did, it’s incredibly helpful! I’d encourage you, at any age, to go for it!
“I found that the exercises helped me IMMEDIATELY – after just one session!”
Hi, my name is Lauren and I am a 37-year-old mother from England. I wanted to write a little bit about my hip journey so far and thank Matt and Shane for developing the FAI Fix programme as I genuinely believe it is changing the course of my life…
I have always been generally active – sometimes a bit all or nothing since having children! – my background is mainly in Taekwon-Do, yoga, pilates, dancing and gym/circuit classes. Early in 2017 I decided to revisit running as a hobby (something I have never really enjoyed but something that costs nothing and I can do with my children) and I did quite a few 5km runs and a 10km ‘muddy’ obstacle race. It was shortly after this that I started experiencing pain and restriction in my right hip, which got worse and worse throughout the summer until by September I found myself in constant pain, limping and unable to participate in any of my usual activities. The pain was mainly in the front of my hip but also radiated right though into my glute. I wasn’t able to forward fold as it felt like something was blocking the way. I felt pinching pain and also a constant dull ache.
Driving was very painful and I felt tearful at the thought of walking across a car park or to the local shop. I work as a healthcare assistant at the hospital and so work was becoming difficult and I was having to take painkillers every day. The lack of physical activity and putting my life on hold started to make me feel very down and irritable. I was missing out on my usual active quality time with my children and step-children and the housework was also difficult.
I saw a physiotherapist who suspected labral damage but it took quite a while to see the hip specialist and to get my MRI arthrogram (free on the NHS but takes a while to be seen!). The arthrogram showed a labral tear and CAM impingement. The doctor wanted me to have a fluoroscopic injection and then see him 3 months later to see what he thought was best. This seemed like a very long path and I felt upset at having to delay all my life plans for even longer.
I am lucky enough to work in diagnostic imaging at the hospital so I was able to talk to a lot of colleagues about the diagnosis and treatment. I did a lot of research online and talked to friends who are personal trainers, bodyworkers, etc. There are a few people in my department who have had the arthroscopic surgery with this particular doctor and have found it to be “95% successful”. I was beginning to feel that this would be the only way for me to get my life back and pursue my future career as a paramedic.
Then, after my husband expressed his wish for me to avoid surgery if at all possible (as he was worried it would open up a whole load of other issues), I put in a slightly different search term into Google (sorry I can’t remember what!) and there was the FAI Fix! After a bit more research and thinking things through, I decided to go for it and invested in the programme…
It was late in the year by this point and I managed a week or so of committed time to the programme before Christmas and our big family’s needs took over for a while. However, I found that the exercises helped me IMMEDIATELY – after just one session! In fact, although I have seriously slacked off over the festive period, I have still found that my symptoms are less than they were and I have every faith that this is going to work for me. I have now restarted my training and am feeling better already. My range of motion has increased and the pinching feeling and restriction has decreased when I fold forward. I have a long way to go but every day is a step forward. I very rarely take any painkillers now and I am able to dance and walk almost pain-free.
Initially I blamed the running for my hip problem (as I don’t like doing it!) but looking back I think it was probably my moderate hypermobility and the martial arts and yoga that caused the problem and I allowed my glutes to get far too weak. I enjoy stretching but I realise I have probably over-stretched so I am learning to really embrace the strength training and reactivation of my neglected muscles. The programme makes complete sense to me on both physical and emotional levels. I love the fact that the FAI Fix has empowered me and I can explore ways to get my body pain-free and as strong as possible.
I have discharged myself from the hip doctor’s care and declined the fluoroscopic injection. As well as the FAI Fix I am also following Matt’s Shoulder Fix programme for some shoulder problems I am having after a niggly martial arts injury that has been bothering me for some time. I feel like I have found in Matt and Shane two professionals that I can trust to guide me through the minefield of advice about health and well-being and I am excited about what is going to be possible. I’m not happy with the idea of “95% success” – I want to be able to do anything I want to do and never have my body stop me from doing it!
I am starting 2018 with a commitment to my body and I am determined to carve out the time to do what I need to do to fix myself…
My ten-year-old daughter and I are planning to climb the Welsh mountain Snowden in March and I feel strong enough to be able to take on some shifts in my hospital’s Emergency Department, bringing me a step closer to achieving my career dream. I am able to dance out with our dance team (Pig Dyke Molly – a very strange British phenomenon!) and hopefully soon return to some (perhaps less leg-based) martial arts. I am feeling happier and hopeful about my future. I now really understand how keeping in good health and fitness is a lifelong pursuit but that the rewards are great.
Thank you Matt and Shane for your thorough research and commitment to helping people like me. For anyone considering buying this programme I would say absolutely go for it – it is the best investment in your health you could make. Yes it takes time, commitment and sheer hard work but the gains will be real and we will have earned them without the risks surgery can bring, and without compromising or settling for anything less than being able to do WHATEVER we want in life…
“I thought for sure my hips were not normal and I could never have good mobility. That has all changed.”
I was starting to develop chronic hip pain, something that had been building up over years. I finally went to a well respected hip surgeon at Stanford and she told me to STOP stretching in certain position because of the way my hips were shaped. She said stretching in this position would only grind my bones and cause arthritis over time. She said I could need surgery to shave my hip bones to avoid any more damage to the joint. She said If I didn’t, I could need a hip replacement in the future.
I started to look for other answers because I know the human body is an amazing thing, and it will most likely heal itself with a little attention. The question I didn’t have the answer to was what kind of attention did I need to give my body in order for it to fix itself? I had no idea.
I tried everything to fix the problem. I went to many, many physical therapists and trainers and none of them were able to improve my hip mobility. I even went to see Kelly Starett’s protege at San Francisco Crossfit, known for being mobility experts. All of the experts I saw had a one size fits all approach, except for Matt. He realizes that we’re all different AND not that different. Matt focuses in on your weakness and gives you the confidence that despite all of our structural differences, we all move like humans. Some of us just need a little more help than others, mainly due to past lifestyle choices. I have been an avid cyclist and swimmer my whole life and prided myself on my fitness and endurance and yet these sports did nothing to train basic functional human movement.
Matt helped me figure out what type of attention my body needed to heal itself. He had me start to turn on muscles that had been off. I have been seeing Matt for for about 6 months now and he has helped me begin to reclaim my mobility – my true mobility that was lost as a child, lost due to years of sitting at school, sitting in the car, sitting at dinner, sitting in front of the TV, sitting at work, sitting on my bike.
I thought for sure my hips were not normal and I could never have good mobility. That has all changed. I still have a long way to go, but I am doing things now that I never thought I would be able to do – pain free!
“Not only did my back pain clear up, but my whole body has felt healthier and better aligned.”
Matt Hsu has done a tremendous job helping me improve my body. I came to Upright Health with some lower back pain and Matt recognized that there were some foundational issues to be corrected. He gave me some easy-to-follow exercises to do on my own which have made a world of difference. Not only did my back pain clear up, but my whole body has felt healthier and better aligned. My elbow joint aches have gone away and even my circulation has improved so I don't get cold as easily. The best thing about Upright Health is that once you learn to do the exercises, you don't have to go back dozens of times like you would for a chiropractor or physical therapist. It's the best "bang for your buck" to improve your body I've ever seen.
“Performing a deep squat used to be impossible for me and now it’s effortless.”
Prior to starting with Vincent, I was concerned about being able to stay interested in training. I had tried a few trainers before, but none were able to keep my interest for long. It’s amazing that I have been coming to Vincent for almost two years now. Since then I have seen a significant increase in fitness levels, and the workouts are interesting, challenging and very addictive.
He has always focused on my weak areas and helped me work through them in a very systematic manner. For example, push-ups were a huge problem for me when I first started working out, and thanks to him I have progressed to doing weighted push ups almost every day. I also used to have intense hip pain and he came up with ways to fix it and gain more range of motion. Performing a deep squat used to be impossible for me and now it’s effortless. I can’t recommend Vincent enough.
Additionally, he started giving me nutrition tips 2-3 months back to help me lose more weight, and I have since lost almost 15 pounds. The only downside of working out with him is the constant shopping I have to do for new smaller clothes. Its a good problem to have! ?
“After each visit, I've come away with a renewed or newfound sense of awareness of my body that enhances both my athletic endeavors and my daily life.”
After a couple of sessions with Matt, I began to notice a profound difference in the fluidity of my movements. As a professionally trained dancer and martial artist (and a recreational yogini), I was able to (literally) bend over backwards with greater ease than ever before. After subsequent sessions on core bodywork, I felt much more centered and balanced. Like a 300-pound lineman charging down the football field, I felt I had the stability and strength to bulldoze anything in my path! After each visit, I've come away with a renewed or newfound sense of awareness of my body that enhances both my athletic endeavors and my daily life (i.e. walking and breathing more effectively). I would definitely recommend the experience to anyone!
“Your related FAI videos that show stretches, as well as isolation and activation of the glutes and hamstrings, had me moving and feeling better in less than a week.”
“I’m 42 years old, married with two teenagers, and I work in Information Technology. With those three qualities, you can see right away that first I’m at the age when my body starts to betray me with frightening regularity. Second, raising two kids has left me precious little time to focus on my own health. Lastly, since I work in IT, I SIT TOO MUCH in front of computers.
Let me list my activities from high school up until about age 37… football, Tang Soo Do, mountain biking, heavy weightlifting, flag football, volleyball, softball, basketball, Judo, and Jiu Jitsu. Through all of that, my body has been sound and had no major surgeries or injuries. I’ve dealt with rotator cuff problems in both shoulders in my 30’s, but a little therapy, rest, ice, and ibuprofen have helped me find balance and peace with my shoulders without surgery.
Hip problems started to bother me right at age 40. I’ve been at a job sitting A LOT for the last 15 years (including sitting to watch TV and computer games) but I don’t think sitting affected me until I basically went from fairly active to NOTHING starting at about age 37. I noticed a nagging pain deep in both inner/upper hip joint groin area and it really started to feel debilitating. I moved from sitting at my desk to a standing workstation and after two weeks I noticed a little improvement. After a while, I decided to start getting back in shape.
How do you get back in shape when your hips won’t let you open your legs to even stretch? Walking was almost all I could do. There were many times I would almost collapse just trying to bend over to tie my shoes or turning to reach for something. My range of motion was extremely limited for too long. What was I missing? I did rest and ibuprofen. I tried a variety of stretches and hip mobility exercises. I worked on some yoga. The pain in my hips did not allow me to effectively do anything to rehabilitate.
The length of time with no improvement and the nature of the deep, sharp pain in the joint only during certain motions had me doing internet searches and research on structural problems, tendon injuries, and labrum tears. I came across your channel and it clicked. You have several videos on FAI and hip joint pain. What I noticed in your videos that I don’t see a lot of in other related channels was that you focus on STRENGTHENING and ACTIVATING the right muscle groups to make the joint articulate correctly. I realized I had a problem with my glutes!
Now I’m not what I used to be, but my legs and glutes are pretty strong (I’m no stranger to heavy squats) and I’ve got a fair amount of muscle still on me. My problem is not strength, it’s ACTIVATION. All of the sitting I’ve done and lack of activity has turned those muscles off and they were not doing what they were supposed to when I was performing daily functional activity — bending over, or trying to stretch or just getting out of bed!
Your video, “FAI and physical therapy plus are you really tearing a labrum?” was the first one I watched and it spoke to me. It was everything I was feeling and fearing. Your related FAI videos that show stretches, as well as isolation and activation of the glutes and hamstrings, had me moving and feeling better in less than a week. I’m still not 100%, but that is probably because I’m not as consistent as I should be with what I’ve learned. I’ll get there. If I know anyone with chronic hip joint pain, I’m going to tell them to check out your channel immediately before they try anything else.”
“And now that I feel more confident with my hip, I also feel more confident about having that second baby!”
When I began with Upright Health about 10 months ago, I had a lot of pain in my right hip and right knee. I was told by doctors that I have a labral tear as well as FAI in my hip. They said that my knee pain was most likely due to my hip not functioning properly.
In addition, my husband and I were planning on having a second child. But with my hip so painful, I was worried I would not be physically able to handle the pregnancy, birth, or taking care of the baby after!
I’d pretty much given up exercising as I couldn’t exercise without pain. I’d gone through cortisone injections, physical therapy, PRP, and prolotherapy injections, and I was getting ready to schedule surgery since I didn’t feel relief for a significant amount of time after any of these treatments.
I was definitely hesitant during my first few sessions with Josh and Matt. I didn’t think it would be possible to get my hip healthy at this point, especially after everything I had gone through (not to mention I would be working with Josh via Skype since I live in Chicago). But after my first two sessions, I felt drastically better!
Josh was extremely thoughtful when putting my plan together, and he was always very patient with me. There were numerous times in the beginning where I would get nervous as I started to feel better and then hit a road bump with some pain returning. Josh was always very reassuring that this was normal, and he would help me tweak exercises so I could get back on my pain free journey.
These days, I can say that I’m almost pain free. When I do feel any amount of pain return, I feel confident that I can work through my exercise plan and get the pain to go away in a short amount of time. And now that I feel more confident with my hip, I also feel more confident about having that second baby!
If you’re experiencing any sort of hip pain, I’d highly recommend Upright Health, especially if you’re reaching the end of your rope! These guys know what they’re doing, and they can even work wonders via Skype sessions if you’re not able to meet in person.
“Whenever we have run into a new challenge, he has problem solved based on my body’s unique issues and not off a cookie cutter approach.”
I came to Matt to address several problems.
First, I sit a lot for work, and both hips felt incredibly tight all the time, but the right hip felt so restricted that I felt like I was rotated when walking. I suspected the right hip had something to do with the surgery I had on my right knee when I was younger, but that didn’t provide any proactive solution. Second, whenever I would fold forward to touch my toes, I’d get a burning sensation to the left of my tailbone that didn’t feel particularly healthy. Third, my right shoulder blade would grind, crunch, and clunk depending on how I moved it. All these things seemed to be in some way tied together, so I began searching for someone to help me unravel the mystery!
I’ve been training with Matt since the end of 2013, and in that time my hips have improved notably. Though long days of uninterrupted sitting can still make tightness and discomfort return, my hips in general feel much more mobile and healthy, which is really a welcome surprise given how long my hips have been stiff. The stretching, smashing, and strengthening we do has gradually made my previously wooden hip muscles much more pliable. My shoulder blade no longer clunks and grinds the way it did. When we are consistently training, and I’m consistent about my homework, my shoulder blade is very well aligned and positioned and my hips feel good.
What I value most in working with Matt is that he’s constantly looking to produce results. Whenever we have run into a new challenge, he has problem solved based on my body’s unique issues and not off a cookie cutter approach. He’s great at coming up with creative solutions that work for my body and my life, and that is invaluable to me.
“Honestly, you really should give Upright Health a try if you want to see a general improvement to your quality of life.”
I came looking for help after my back started to really get to me again. I’ve got two herniated discs in my lower spine that pinch my nerves painfully and limit my movement. My goal was to get my back in proper order before starting at the gym regularly.
I’d had a trainer for a while years ago who had helped with this, but I felt like I needed someone more specialized, someone who would be able to focus solely on this problem and nothing else. I found Upright Health–Matt Hsu specifically–via Yelp, same as you.
At first, I thought all the stellar reviews might be somehow hyperbolic, as it’s rare to see such universally positive feedback for these sorts of services. So I went to see him a couple of times on more of a trial basis. Turns out you should believe the hype! Aside from helping me with a couple of sessions of deep-tissue massage (very painful, yes, but also extremely effective at straightening me out) he began teaching me and running me through several exercises to help me get my core in shape and my spine supported. That, really, was the best part–the education.
I’ve had chiropractors, MDs, physical therapists, and a trainer. From all of them, I’d accumulated what I thought was a large repertoire of knowledge pertaining to spine and core health, but I learned more from Matt than I had from all of them combined. Everything from sitting habits to how the body responds to various movements and even some anatomy. Because of my work, I spend the majority of my day sat at my desk typing away. Matt has ingrained in me several habits pertaining to this that I’m working to develop. They are already helping me not only manage my back pain, but eliminate it and help create strong support for my spine.
Honestly, you really should give Upright Health a try if you want to see a general improvement to your quality of life. Finally, Matt is just a really nice guy. Funny, laid back, and understanding. Due to a combination of an autoimmune disorder and generally being out of shape for a long time, I found myself dreadfully dizzy and hyperventilating after a particular session. Normally I’d have felt embarrassed and mortified, but he put me at ease and was interested to learn about and work around my particularities. You really can’t do better than with this guy!
“But gradually, week after week, I felt better.”
Happy new year! I’ve been wanting to send you an e-mail thanking you for all of the work you and Shane put into the FAI Fix program. The program helped me get my life back together.
My story: I’m an avid cyclist and cycling is an integral part of my life. In April 2014, I was making a (too) aggressive right-hand turn and lost it in some gravel. It was the first serious cycling accident of my life. Post-accident, my right hip did not feel right. It was painful to walk. I rested it for about a month and went to an orthopedist when it did not get better. He recommended PT. The PT was cookie-cutter with no root-cause analysis. In retrospect, some of the exercises the PT gave me were really counterproductive and made me feel worse. More time went by and I went to a chiropractor/sports rehabilitation specialist. He quickly recognized glute shutdown on the injured side. That was a good call, but the exercises he gave me seemed overly aggressive. After some plyometrics, I spiraled down into serious pain that interrupted sleep and led to a pain medication prescription from my primary care physician. The pain was so bad that I agreed to have an MRI arthrogram on my injured hip. I was stunned, quite frankly, when the results came in negative – no labral pathology. The orthopedist discussed “exploratory surgery” which scared the heck out of me. When I balked at that (and a guided cortisone injection), he recommended another PT. The last PT was certainly not cookie cutter. He tried many reasoned approaches, and I improved a bit, but I was certainly not ready to return to cycling.
Around Christmas of last year (2015), I discovered your web site. I really liked the detailed research that you brought to the table. It was also very reassuring to hear that you and Shane actually had serious hip issues and recovered well. You experienced these problems directly unlike a lot of the therapists that worked with me. At that point in my injury, I decided to give the FAI Fix program a shot. So last December, I purchased the program as my Christmas present. I had been periodically trying to get back on my indoor bike for exploratory rides, but the pain was still present. So I decided to stop forcing the issue with the bike and focus on the FAI Fix. I performed the exercises every day without fail for about three months before trying the bike again.
Throughout that time I saw slow improvement. In the beginning, to be perfectly honest, it was hard to see improvement. But gradually, week after week, I felt better. In early April of last year, I got back on the indoor bike and was encouraged. I gradually increased time on the indoor bike and tried some outdoor rides in the latter part of May. I could not believe that I was back on the road again. The thought of outdoor riding was completely out of the question earlier in the year. My goal then was simply to get out of pain. This last cycling season (2016), after the lost season of 2015, I was able to log 2850 miles on the road. I still can’t believe it.
When I speak to others about the FAI Fix program, I tell them how effective it is, and also tell them that it has given me tools that I continue to use daily. For me, the FAI Fix is not a one-time program to “get up and running” again. It is an integral part of my fitness regimen.
“It’s been three months and I can say that I am pain free.”
I had severe back and sciatica pain for about 9 months. I spent thousands of dollars trying to get better. Physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, injections etc…. You name it and I tried it. It got to the point that my doctor said I would probably need surgery. I was desperate and just wanted the pain to go away…Matt was very knowledgeable and professional. After a set of pictures and some tests he determined that my upper body was out of alignment and that was causing my sciatica and lower back pain. He had me do an exercise to confirm his findings and magically my pain went away. If he could do this during my free consultation, imagine what he could do if you go through his program…It’s been three months and I can say that I am pain free. If you have pain and nothing has worked give Upright Health a call!
“I've gotten back my ability to sit cross legged!”
I originally sought out Matt looking for myofascial release training in Menlo Park. When I walked in, I felt totally comfortable explaining everything I wanted to fix (hips, ankle, upper arm), and Matt took it all in and integrated it with his own understanding, and the results have been nothing short of fabulous. As others have said, listening, personalization, encouragement, alignment, humor, and an all around good nature are his hallmarks.
After working with Matt, I am very close to being able to sit cross-legged, I can open doors with ease, and I've recently broken my own personal best record for a 10k.
Don't think you have to be athletic, young, or a budding bodybuilder to get help from Matt and his staff. You only have to be willing to say what you want to achieve, listen to their coaching, and be willing--as Matt encourages--to experiment and learn to know your own body.
Fortunately, I didn't suffer from years of pain before starting with Upright Health, but I also didn't realize just how weak and misaligned I was. Now that's all getting fixed, and I just have to be patient!
One final word--Matt is someone I trust absolutely. I look forward to watching his business develop so that more people can live life with their whole body!
—Updated April 2017—
Here's an update on April 2017. I've gotten back my ability to sit cross legged! So excited to be healed. I cannot recommend Matt enough, as well as the other trainers at Upright Health.
—Updated June 2017—
I wanted to add a shout out to Vincent Do at Upright Health. I worked with him while Matt was on a trip and was very pleased to have a few problems fixed--most specifically my squat. I found that having a fresh perspective was very good. Highly recommend him!
“Upright Health for a solution that helped him come back even stronger.”
Mark wanted to complete an Ironman, but constant tightness in his inner thigh and abdominals were hampering all his training efforts. After months of trying to rest the pain away, he came to Rolfer and functional trainer Matt Hsu at Upright Health for a solution that helped him come back even stronger.
“I am a better skater than ever.”
I woke up one morning in January 2016 with nagging anterior hip pain. 3 days later I couldn’t get out of bed or walk without crying in pain. 3 weeks later an MRI showed bilateral labral tears in both hips, but only one was inflamed in soft tissue and bone and there were bilateral tiny tiny bone spurs.
I was on Tylenol and Advil alternating around the clock and could barely function through a work day let alone keep up my usual activities (that included commuting by bike in the hills of San Francisco, swimming, yoga and ice hockey). I was diagnosed with FAI or hip impingement. I was told to rest. I was told I might need surgery but we would try PT first.
I was told if I went back to playing ice hockey (duh! Of course I was going to play again), that I would most definitely require surgery as if it was a matter of when, not if. Grim prospects but I was now able to walk places and walk up and down stairs some of the time with minimal discomfort.
My husband searched high and low for a physical therapist with ice hockey background and instead and luckily found Upright Health. I began rehabilitating with the idea that I had muscular imbalance with quad dominance and weak hamstrings and glutes. Progress was really slow and we focused on tissue releases, stretching, light weights (I was motivated to do more, because it was something active). I began sleeping at night without pain! Yes, at first I couldn’t sleep through the night without needing more Advil or Tylenol.
Fast forward 2 months and I was back on the ice! I spent a LOT of time stretching and continuing with tissue work. I was not yet confident and worried I was risking injury or worse, headed toward surgery. But there was no backslide. Things slowly got better. I worked with a trainer at upright who was available by email or text for questions about workouts and any pain I experienced. We had to make adjustments along the way because it’s a dynamic process. My OTHER hip then started having pain which really worried me but 6 weeks later we figured out it was a particular muscle that needed to stretch and have more concentrated tissue work. It was not something they had seen before but they listened to me and individualized the plan to my specific issues rather than using a cookie cutter program for everyone with FAI.
It is now 7 months since the day I could not even get out of bed without excruciating pain. I am playing ice hockey and feel stronger on my skates, and am less likely to fall when battling another player for the puck. I feel like everything is easier, swimming, skating, yoga. I am a better skater than ever. I also am better at pinpointing and troubleshooting my own hip issues. I put in my part and since this began I have not skipped my exercises to keep me healthy. But I wouldn’t be where I am without Upright Health.
“Within TWO WEEKS my right hip (the one that was bothering me for 8 years!) was under control.”
I first saw Matt in September 2016 for several pain and discomfort issues concerning both hips, my right shoulder and toe. It’s been five months since I started seeing him and my hips are much better, my shoulder issue is controlled, and even my toe has improved.
About 8 years ago, I started having discomfort in my right hip joint. It was a gradual worsening, to where in 2014 I couldn’t walk without feeling a clicking or snapping sensation while walking for even just a few steps. My orthopedist (Dr. Elly LaRoque) gave me an rx for PT, which I did for several months. The PT recommended I get a trainer to continue strengthening. In early 2016, I went back to the doctor because I found that the hip wasn’t any better after working with a trainer. It was actually worse, and my left frontal hip area was in pain whenever there was any kind of squatting motion. I was referred to a hip specialist, who ordered an MR arthrogram. The imaging didn’t show anything worrisome to the hip specialist, and he gave me another rx for PT. Dr. LaRoque suggested I get another opinion, so I did. That doctor reviewed the MR arthrogram and x-rays and recommended bilateral arthroscopy, because he felt that I had delaminated acetabular articular cartilage, which he would code as hip impingement. I only had x-rays of my left hip, but he said that he would do surgery on that one at the same time, because I likely had the same problem there. He also told me that I had “two different hips” and that there would be no way that I could improve with anything other than surgery. Bone would have to be shaved down, and cartilage would have to be sewn into place. Either do it soon, or do it later. Either way I would want to have it done, he said.
This didn’t feel right, but in the meantime I started seeing a PT at CPMC. I saw her a few times, with little improvement.
Finally, I saw a THIRD hip specialist at UCSF. His suggestions made no sense to me: A cortisone injection. If the injection improved it, surgery would be warranted. There was no evidence in inflammation, only discomfort and loss of functionality while walking. I’m not a surgeon, but this guy didn’t know what he was talking about or didn’t listen to what I said.
At this point, I was beyond confused and discouraged and did the only rational thing anyone would do: Search for help on YouTube! I found a video of Matt discussing hip impingement (FAI) in several videos, and saw that he had a special interest in this diagnosis. When I saw that Matt was local, I made an appointment.
Within TWO WEEKS my right hip (the one that was bothering me for 8 years!) was under control. I could walk for much longer distances without feeling any discomfort. I also felt like my posture and gait were improving.
My left hip area has been more difficult to fix. I started taking adult ballet classes last summer, and would feel pain ever time we would have to do a grand plié (a deep, turned out ballet squat). Well, last week I was able to do it for the first time without any pain.
I also have a long history with my right shoulder. In 2002 I woke up one morning in excruciating pain and I couldn’t lift my arm. The doctor I saw for it told me nothing would fix my bursitis and thought PT would be a waste of time. He injected it with cortisone, which helped. Over the next decade, my shoulder didn’t improve. Resting it completely didn’t make the pain stay away, and some exercises also seemed to aggravate it. Over the next few years, I saw FOUR PTs, many doctors, had another injection and did more x-rays and MRIs. While the last couple PTs made great strides, the pain would eventually come back. I couldn’t keep up with the exercises, which would take at least an hour a day to do. When I consulted Matt about my shoulder, he gave me a set of exercises for it that take less than 10 minutes a day. As long as I do the exercises, my shoulder stays happy.
Additionally, I have a stiff and sometimes painful MTP joint. I’ve also had plantar fasciitis two years ago. Matt gave me two simple stretches to improve it, and the hip work we have done makes me feel really confident that I will not get PF again. I also started wearing regular shoes without my orthotics in them, which is something I was afraid to do for the last couple years. My arches feel fine now–no more numbness when I get out of bed.
I really appreciate the simplicity and efficiency of Upright Health. Appointments and payment can be made online. Emails are quickly responded to. Appointments go straight into my calendar app. My updated exercise plans are emailed to me promptly with links to videos of Matt/Josh demonstrating and explaining the exercise. This is great, because every PT I’ve been to just gives a list and expects you to remember how to do them, or a really crappy set of pictures. Doing the exercises incorrectly wastes time or can even make the problem worse.
I hope this review will help someone. Don’t give up!
“The muscle I’ve built has also made cardio significantly easier.”
I have been training with Josh for almost 6 months now…I feel like Josh knows who I am and what I am looking for and responds to that in training. Training with Josh 3 days a week has held me accountable and pushed me to work out more on my own as well. The muscle I’ve built has also made cardio significantly easier.
Josh is a genuinely nice and friendly person while also being a smart trainer. If you show up and work hard, you will be pleased.
“Matt teaches you easy and effective methods to heal your body and relieve pain yourself.”
I have had ongoing pain in my shoulders and arms for approximately 8 years (since I was 16). I had tried EVERYTHING; lifting weights, physical therapy, acupuncture and massage therapy. I was just about to give up on the pain and accept that it was part of my life. Then a rolfer friend from San Francisco recommended Matt and posture alignment therapy.
Man, am I glad she did! What makes this different than other therapies is that Matt teaches you easy and effective methods to heal your body and relieve pain yourself.
“If I had not found them I think I would be in a wheelchair by now.”
I have had hip pain for years. Matt and the staff of Upright Health are the BEST. If I had not found them I think I would be in a wheelchair by now.
They are very attentive and quick with any concerns I have had by email. I tried everything before I bought their FAI Fix. Chiropractic, massage, injections everything under the sun. They are the only people who helped me.
I played ice hockey goalie my entire life from age 4 to 50. I'm also a cyclist. my right hip got so bad I had to give up hockey. Cycling is the only thing that makes it feel good. I thought I could "stretch" my way out of pain. Well stretching a weak muscle does you no good and may even do harm. Matt's program of tissue work, stretching AND strengthening really works.
I cannot recommend Upright Health enough. They are the BEST at what they do. If you have hip pain go here first. It will save you time, money and a lot of pain because "Pain SUCKS. Life shouldn't."
“Hip replacements, as any surgical intervention, have real risks during and long after procedures, not least because what is cut and what is replaced may not be as good or as specific to the individual as what nature made over time, and in younger patients new parts may not last.”
In the spring of 2013 my left gluteus felt like it tore while running. Next came plantar fasciitis. Before that for a year or so it felt like my left lower waist would ‘give out’ toward the rear when sitting. Getting out of a car was increasingly difficult, as getting out of my Aeron chair after working all day. My pelvis felt twisted, as well. Increasingly running, which I’ve done almost everyday for over 30 years, was getting difficult. Rather desperate, I checked on the internet for answers, as well as consulted with doctors and so received MRIs of my left hip and back.
The MRI of my hip said that I have moderate arthritis there, with a small tear in the labrum, and of my back, some degeneration. I saw three hip orthopedists that summer and fall: the most famous, it seems, told me to cut back on the running if it hurts, but otherwise do what I like to do because there is a genetic component to arthritis and no evidence that it is caused by ‘wear and tear.’ The second one told me to completely stop running or I would need a hip replacement in five years. The third, a specialist with FAI, said that the advice of the second was silly because there’s no way to predict the progression this surely, but he said that I did have FAI though he wouldn’t operate because of the arthritis, so he sent me to physical therapy.
For the next two years I went to many physical therapists, chiropractors, and active release specialists. These people were pretty hit or miss, I think, and mostly miss. It was costly, frustrating, and tiresome.
Since I work as a professor at a research university, I am fortunate to have a very good library, and since I was in pain much of the time I had a lot of incentive to look up a lot of research literature on hip pain and FAI and hip osteoarthritis and try to learn what I could. What has struck me from the research literature are four impressions: first, how poor much of the research seems to me to be; much of it is review literature of previous literature, and many primary research studies use very small groups or even case studies. Control groups are largely non-existent. Second, in terms of osteoarthritis, how little seems to be known about how pain occurs in this disease and about the disease’s progression, even though it has been known since antiquity. Third, though I wasn’t surprised, how much the literature follows without question the line of thought of previous literatures, despite the methodological dubiousness of the previous literature and sometimes the uncertainty or ambiguity of the findings. And fourth, in terms of FAI and hip labrum tear: my impression is that these are diagnosis that have, at best, uncertain clinical significance; my doubts arise because of the prevalence of labrum tears in cadaver studies, of hip pressure laboratory studies with cadaver pelvises (an outstanding University of Michigan study comes to mind with this), world-wide studies of FAI (a disease of “affluence” one study stated), and other factors.
In the spring of 2013 when I first began this odyssey, I accidently found Matt Hsu’s Upright Health videos on the Internet. Though the exercises in them have been valuable to me, Matt’s videos encouraged me to continually challenge what I was hearing from some of the doctors and other professionals. While I am still fighting this problem (with increasing success, I might add—it seems from what my current PT says that the problem is a lower back and waist issue—which I had at first suspected—from sitting too much in soft chairs and other such issues—it came on when I was writing a book…), I am also running still. This summer I had some near 70 mile weeks (I am 56 years old), and the past two days I’ve done two 11 milers straight. (I run anywhere from seven to 10 minutes per miles, depending on the terrain). I continue to run every day as I’ve done for more than 30 years. The one or two weeks I took off during the past few years just resulted in more pain, not less, than when I ran. For me, bicycling is actually much more painful, and when I sit too much in soft chairs. (Running itself is not really painful; the hip just feels stuck in the piriformis, medius gluteus area, etc.)
I think that Matt is very brave and very generous in engaging the FAI debate and in running Upright Health and in making his videos available to others. I am very grateful for his work. But also, I am writing this piece in order to tell others who may not have the literature I have benefited from to be cautious in making hasty decisions regarding the reasons for their condition. Hip replacements, as any surgical intervention, have real risks during and long after procedures, not least because what is cut and what is replaced may not be as good or as specific to the individual as what nature made over time, and in younger patients new parts may not last. A recent study just appeared which found that hip arthritis is often evident on MRIs with the absence of patient pain, and conversely, that hip pain is often present without hip arthritis. What I have learned is that the pelvis is extraordinarily complex in terms of muscles and tendons and nerves, so that pain from further up the abdomen can be felt in muscles in the leg. The interaction of all the parts of the pelvis, hips, and adjacent regions, and the pelvis’s bilateral nature and its junction position between the upper and lower parts of the body make diagnosis very difficult and more complex, it seems, than with joints such as the knee. I would also urge others not to give up on finding a solution to their pain: to keep seeking out literature and to use the Internet and others, including medical professionals of course, for advice. And most of all I would encourage others to keep exercising.
I would like to thank Matt for his interest in my case, and for all that he’s done. I admire what he’s done for his patients and for those of us in Internet land. Though I am not a medical professional, from my own ability to understand the literature and from my own experience with my physical issue I believe that he is on the right track with FAI. And I wish all those who are reading this the best of luck with their hip or other physical issues and I admire their desire to be fit and active in their life.
“The exercises he prescribes are simple and safe, but still challenging and effective!”
What I liked most about my experience with Matt was that he doesn’t apply a one-size-fits-all solution to his clients. He recognized me as an individual with individual problems, and took his time to assess, test, and confirm problems/solutions.
A little background. I’m a powerlifter. At 123lbs, I could deadlift 347lbs. But, I could not squat more than 225lbs. For those not familiar with powerlifting, this is a huge discrepancy. During the squat, I would experience a lateral (i.e. sideways) sway in my hips, so there was definitely some sort of left-right imbalance holding me back. On two occasions, this sway occurred so abruptly and violently that it decommissioned me from lifting for a week. I also had a brief endurance running kick. On high-mileage runs, I’d experience stress in my right hip-flexor, right glute, right quads, right knee, and left ankle. Lots of problems, and all of it happening only on ONE side at a time!
What Matt realized, and should have been obvious to me, was that my left glute was lagging in strength and connection. He had me do a couple different unilateral (one-sided) exercises, and we saw that I could almost always do more with the right than the left. By the way, the exercises he prescribes are simple and safe, but still challenging and effective!
Before, I had been told to just squat light and progress slowly, making sure I don’t sway. This didn’t work, because at lighter weights, my glutes could fire unevenly and still look balanced. I also had acupuncture done to release tension in the right side, which was nice, but I needed to be able to achieve tension on the left side. Chiropractic work addressed my spine a lot, but I have pretty good posture and hold my core nice and tight through everything. In the end, it came down to that left butt cheek, and Matt showed me how to connect with it again. Like an estranged child, ha!
“Literally, within a week, my back no longer hurt.”
I had extreme pain in my groin, inner thighs, hips, tailbone and SI joint area for five years straight on both sides of my body. My lower back was also extremely bad and would give out often. Later on, even my knees started giving out and having pain. It was never ending and got worse when sitting. I saw 8 or more doctors, including pain management doctors for several years. Every one of them said it might be something different.
During that time, I received numerous injections in every imaginable place from doctors and specialists. None of the treatments or shots or procedures seemed to do anything. Prior to working with Matt Hsu, I had also seen numerous physical therapists. I noted that myofascial release and stretching did help my symptoms. From that point on, I stretched and did trigger point release work religiously for another couple of years. However, while I did get immediate relief, I never ultimately got any long term relief. None of my symptoms got much better other than for 10-minute stints after stretching. I did try some strengthening shown by physical therapists but it was very little strengthening, and I did not see any results.
Eventually, I saw Matt Hsu online at a time when and my hips and back had gotten much worse. While I was optimistic given his descriptions of what he could do, I had been to so many other professionals in the past – many of whom had believed that they could help – that I was skeptical of anyone actually being able to do so.
However, online, Upright Health seemed to have approaches to the problem that were beyond the basic things I had already been attempting for years. I lucked out that Matt was even able to make a trip down to where I lived to meet with me since he was planning on visiting family in the area.
He listened to my issues and worked on me with (1) a few additional stretching techniques that I had never seen (even after years of research and physical therapists), and he helped me stretch areas I had never been able to reach. (2) More importantly, he then showed me a few brief and easy workouts to strengthen weak areas.
Literally, within a week, my back no longer hurt. My hips began to quickly get better as well by doing the strengthening that I had been missing. Then, my knees no longer gave out.
And my back has never given out since. I still have some inner thigh and groin problems but am now focusing on those as well and have started to notice progress there.
Would I recommend working with Matt? It is worth a shot. Working with him was practical, simple and very effective for me. Pain sucks, life shouldn’t.
“He gave me a routine to do and after a month there's no pain at all.”
I came in for some hip pain that's been bothering me off and on for some time. Matt was very methodical in trying different exercises and stretches to find which were most effective. He gave me a routine to do and after a month there's no pain at all. I'm still working with him to get my hips to a healthy and mobile state. I'm a big fan of his trying multiple approaches and seeing what works instead of just sticking to one modality.
“You will see incredible results!”
About two months ago, I first saw Matt Hsu of Upright Health. For years I have been having problems with both my feet. After consultations with a number of doctors, I was told surgery is the only solution to my difficulties. Plus, each foot had to be operated on separately, with a long recuperation period. Yikes! I am pretty active, and could not envision being sedentary for such long periods of time.
In search of a solution that did NOT require surgery, I found Matt Hsu. Currently, I'm in my sixth session with Matt, and am VERY optimistic that IF I follow his program customized for me, I will heal without surgery!! Matt is extremely knowledgeable about the ways the body and how everything is related. The exercise program he assigns me each week is extremely specific. He follows through with detailed photos and descriptions of how to do each exercise correctly. There is nothing left to chance.
Matt is clear in his instructions, and his explanations make perfect sense. I could not be more optimistic about my road to recovery, now that I'm working with Matt. Already, I have recommended Matt to several of my friends who have persistent problems, which keep them from being fully active in their lives.
---Updated September 2013---
This is my second Yelp review, almost a year later. I stand behind my original "5 Stars" review for Matt at Upright Health. Simply put, I would tell anyone (and I have!) to see Matt BEFORE you ever consider surgery to solve a problem of physical pain or limited movement due to a structural issue.
Matt is so knowledgeable of how the body works; his observation skills are amazing, and the exercises he devises to solve your issues are very effective!
Definitely worth the money, driving time, and commitment you make with Matt at Upright Health! You will see incredible results!
“After three months of seeing them, I have regained strength, improved flexibility, and relieved 90% of my pain.”
A year ago my leg/back pain was so bad I could barely sleep, sit, or walk for more than 15 mins without extreme discomfort. I tried it all. Months of physical therapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, osteopathic manipulation, acupuncture, fire cupping, bloodletting, and floatation tanks, either exacerbated the problem or lasted only temporarily. After four PRP/prolotherapy sessions, three cortisone injections, two MRI’s, EMG test, and a clinical study, my Stanford doctor gave me two options. Pain management (norco/seizure meds) or surgery.
Out of desperation, I scoured the internet for answers. I discovered Upright Health. After three months of seeing them, I have regained strength, improved flexibility, and relieved 90% of my pain.
If doctors and specialists are not helping, check out their Youtube channel or make an appointment in Redwood City.
Pain sucks. Life shouldn’t.
“For the first time in more than a decade – probably since my 20’s – I started to feel amazing, not just healthy.”
“Almost 3 years ago, I walked into Upright Health after exhausting countless other avenues in a quest to help me get my body back. I had just hit the big 50, my kids were spending more time at school, and I found myself in a place where I wanted to exercise more and enjoy being more active. Sadly, my body did not want to cooperate.
I could not understand why I was not able to do some simple things like jog without pain or simply move around a tennis court. I was facing so many things with my body I had not faced before, and all the things that had worked for me in the past to fix my physical issues were no longer working.
This was frustrating and scary. I was ready to simply chalk it up to being old and on the decline. Prior to this I had always been able to figure things out on my own through diet, stretching, or more intense exercise. During my quest to seek other help and relieve my frustrations I tried to work with a personal trainer, went to see a chiropractor, and explored several other things. While I saw some mild improvement here and there, nothing stuck and I became more and more frustrated.
I met Matt after a lengthy search on Yelp!. On my first visit to Upright, Matt spent a ton of time asking me questions and learning about my body – observing and checking my joints and pain points with his hands. Over the course of the next few weeks, Matt worked tirelessly with each visit to unravel the true causes of my ailments. We tried many things and compared and contrasted many exercises and stretches to really tune my therapy to address the necessary areas.
On a regular basis Matt would send me research and videos on topics we were trying to address with my body. I was beyond thrilled with my progress. After a few months I started to be able to move again on the tennis court and enjoy playing sports with my three boys. But it’s what happened next that really surprised me. I had sought out Matt to diminish my pains and allow me to enjoy being active. As the weeks wore on I started to get REALLY into our sessions, and we built muscles in places on my body I did not know existed. At first it was for fun – I was enjoying seeing progress and getting stronger.
Then, one day Matt and I were talking and I shared with him that I was starting to win some tennis matches and beat some guys who had beaten me the year prior, and that I felt I could progress more. So we amped up our sessions a bit more and I worked harder outside of them to improve my strength, stamina and endurance. For the first time in more than a decade – probably since my 20’s – I started to feel amazing, not just healthy. I felt great and capable of really competing at a high level.
Honestly, I had virtually given up being competitive, thinking my glory days were over. Yet Matt pushed me to aspire to not just heal, but to get to “awesome”. Matt asked me to consider setting my goals higher. I was not expecting that. So I did – and I got even more motivated.
Then the results started to come in. I entered a tennis tournament in SF (my first in a decade) and I won it! Then the following year both of my USTA League Tennis teams won the Northern California Championships at the 4.0 Level and went on to the USTA National Tournament. Even though on both teams I was by far the OLDEST guy playing singles at 52+, I was able to help both teams achieve this great milestone and even more importantly to me – I was loving being fit and competitive and alive in ways I had given up on long ago.
Today, Matt and Upright Health are an extremely important part of my life. While we fixed many of the issues I had with my body, at 50+ new ones show up from time to time, so keeping focused on a healthy body and mind is as necessary as breathing air and drinking water for me. I cannot recommend Matt, Josh and the Upright team enough.
Over the past year my friends have all remarked how healthy and vibrant I look – especially those I have not seen in a while. While “looking good” is a nice side benefit to all the work I have done with Matt, I think my experience can best be summed up in two sentences: I went in looking to get OK. I came away awesome. For that, I am an Upright Fan for Life.
“A few years back when I was dealing with debilitating chronic pain Matt helped me in ways that no other doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor had been able to.”
Matt is amazing. I had knee, ankle, and back problems for years and had seen every specialist out there, never with lasting results. Just before I started with Matt things got so bad that a simple walk around the neighborhood could end in knee and ankle pain. Going to the gym generally had to be followed by a chiropractor visit and taking medication to relieve back pain. I tried a different personal gym in Menlo Park which came recommended on Yelp but ended up with a hip injury after the second visit. Luckily decided to try one last time and that is when I found Matt. Matt was so quick to diagnose the source of my problems and come up with stretches, and strength training to alleviate the issues. I've been working out with Matt for several months and haven't seen a chiropractor for the last three months, and have stopped taking any kind of medication. I'm happy to say that I now go on extended hikes, and have even tried mountain biking with no issues. I feel happy, healthy and dare I say "young" again. Our whole family including my teenage son now works out with Matt.
—Updated March 2018—
I can't say enough great things about Upright Health. A few years back when I was dealing with debilitating chronic pain Matt helped me in ways that no other doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor had been able to. And then again about a year ago I went back this time with Vincent to work on my rounded back and shoulders (years of sitting in front of a monitor or Silicon Valleyitis). Vincent is patient, thoughtful and amazing at getting to the root of the problem and coming up with creative ways to stretch and strengthen muscles. Highly recommend Vincent.
“In three sessions, the pain in my right leg disappeared.”
Prior to working with Upright Health, I couldn’t sit properly for 30 minutes straight; I always had change positions. This meant I couldn’t drive for longer than 30 minutes. I even had to avoid stairs. It was very frustrating and depressing at times. The doctor suggested rest for 3 months.
So I tried stretching, physical therapy, gym trainers, and even total rest for several months. Nothing worked!
After several consultations a doctor confirmed there were ligament tears in my right leg and said I needed surgery to fix it since the tear was so large. I listened and got hip impingement surgery done on my right leg. Three months into post-surgery rehab, I felt much better but my right leg pain still lingered. Meanwhile my left leg started bothering me too. I didn’t want to get another surgery done on my left leg.
After spending close to 15 months in pain, I was skeptical that anyone could help me.
I came across Upright Health as I was researching more about FAI (hip impingement) and decided to give them a try. I scheduled an appointment with Josh and in three sessions, the pain in my right leg disappeared. Josh listened to my story and knew exactly what my problem was. I continued my appointments with Josh for several weeks and eventually solved the problems in both my legs. His training helped me continue being active and avoid having to compromise my daily activities.
Today I can bike 40 miles and run 2-3 miles with no issues. I’ve even driven for 8 hours straight. I would recommend Upright Health to anyone who needs help with recovering from injuries and avoiding surgeries. My only regret is not finding Upright earlier.
“After the first session things started to feel better, and now a few sessions into it my pain has begun to fade and my range of motion and flexibility have increased.”
After years of hockey and weight training I developed a pain/ache in my left soulder and neck area. After months of doctor visits (xrays, MRIs, chiropractic work) and bottles of pain killers, I looked into an alternative medicine. When most people hear that term they might be a little skeptical, as was I. I still decided to try it and im very glad I did. After the first session things started to feel better, and now a few sessions into it my pain has begun to fade and my range of motion and flexibility have increased. ROLFING to me seems very logical so I am not suprised it worked for me. Matt does great work and is also a very nice guy. He is very sympathetic to your needs as a peson unlike most doctors. For anyone considering ROLFING I would definitely suggest trying it. You have alot more to gain than you do to lose.
“The exercises started to have a noticeable impact in a few weeks.”
The work that Matt did with me changed my life, and this is no small statement. I came to Matt after a several year collection of knee surgeries, foot surgeries and other issues that had brought my ability to do the outdoor sports that I love to a painful screeching halt.
I love hiking for hours and miles in addition to all sorts of outdoor stuff, but it had gotten so painful that walking my dog sucked. I came to Matt without much in the way of expectations because the whole downhill ride had been littered with attempts to make my body feel better.
The exercises he gave me started to have a noticeable impact in a few weeks. After a couple of months I was at a place where I was (and am) able to do so much more than I had for a couple of years. This summer I enjoyed a 10-hour day of hiking in Sequoia National Park. I can’t say I wasn’t sore at all and I won’t say that I feel as good as I did when I was 20, but I am miles from where I was, and I couldn’t have done that hike a year ago without screaming pain. Thanks, Matt!
“I saw immediate, drastic improvements in my fitness.”
I have worked with many trainers over the years with little to no results, so I was reluctant to continue spending more money on trainers. Vincent came recommended to me, so I gave him a try and, to my surprise, I saw immediate, drastic improvements in my fitness.
As of this writing, I have been training with Vincent for over a year now and have found Vincent to be an extraordinary physical trainer of tremendous versatility, intelligence, and discipline. Vincent has great knowledge of body mechanics and is a deep thinker. He believes in making sure his clients understand the fundamentals of every exercise he teaches and the reasons for using them.
His pleasant and positive attitude is a great asset. He instills confidence and encouragement to make you want to work harder and apply yourself more diligently. I have been extremely happy in my association with Vincent, and would highly recommend him to anyone interested in improving their overall physical and mental well-being.
“I figured I had nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving their program a try.”
When I found Matt and the Upright Health team on the Internet a few months ago (mid-December), I didn’t realize how much of a positive impact it would have on my journey to recover from hip issues, that had been plaguing me for close to three years. I was an active athlete in many sports from childhood into my 40s. I would encounter the occasional pulled muscle, sore back or other injuries that I attributed to overuse.
However, looking back now, there were signs that I should not have ignored. In my mid-40s I suffered lower back disc problems that side lined me from all sports activity, and this was followed by worsening hip pain on both sides. I literally went from running road races, playing competitive sports, skiing and other activities to struggling to sit and walk without pain.
I tried conventional PT, saw doctors, received MRIs, xrays, injections and even considered PRP. Nothing seemed to work, and I was told to basically live with the pain and do what activities I could until I opted for arthroscopic surgery or other surgical interventions down the road.
I held out all hope that there were other options, so I continued to search and came across Matt’s informative videos on FAI and other hip issues. He is extremely knowledgeable in these areas and has done his research. He questions and challenges conventional medicine and “standard” treatments in a thoughtful, intelligent and practical manner.
After two months of working with Matt and Kristen I have much less pain, I’m much stronger in key areas, my range of motion is much improved, and I’m moving in a more efficient manner. I’ve also learned more about my hips than I could have expected. I now know that the way I was approaching my sports and other activities was not right for my body and may have resulted in the back and hip injuries and pain. I wasn’t developing and using the right muscles, nor was I strong enough in the right areas to withstand the forces I was putting my body under.
I also think a compelling aspect of working with Matt and Kristen is that both of them encountered the same or similar issues and had the courage and persistence to find lasting solutions through non-invasive means. I figured I had nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving their program a try. It has been well worth the effort.
I recently ventured back onto the ski slopes after a 3 year hiatus. I felt strong and was able to go through all the movements with control and comfort. It wasn’t that long ago that I doubted I would ski again. I look forward to continuing to train my way back to a more active lifestyle. As Matt says — Pain sucks, Life shouldn’t. Many thanks to Matt and Kristen for sharing their experiences and solutions in an effort to help others.
“My goal was to dance at my wedding, and that gave him two weeks.”
I tore a disc in my lumbar spine in December 2009 and had nerve blocks, epidurals, pain killers, PT, acupuncture, swimming, massage therapy and Pilates out in the DC area for seven months and still couldn’t be out of the house for more than two hours, sit for more than 30 minutes or even walk my dog.
I moved out to San Diego in August 2010 and found an excellent Pilates instructor who enabled me to be out of the house for several hours without using excessive pills. My instructor told me that I was so bound up that if I wanted fast results I needed to see a Rolfer who specialized in Egoscue to ensure that I would stay loose and properly aligned. She knew Matt b/c one of her other clients saw him, but I was a little skeptical at first because Egoscue seemed like a new age PT regime.
My goal when I saw Matt in late September 2010 was to dance at my wedding, and that gave him two weeks…He gave me plenty of exercises to do and I’ll be honest – at first I was doing every single one of them twice a day, but then I wanted more sleep, so I slacked off, BUT I did dance at my wedding!
If you want someone who will make you feel like you’re getting pampered, don’t see Matt; go to a spa. If, however, you want to get better and feel better, then please go see Matt.
“I never thought I would be able to do anything like this, but with Vince’s support and personalized programming and guidance, I truly look forward to each session, and I love seeing my strength increase.”
When I first started, I had not engaged in any activity or sport for well over 5 years. Needless to say I was very out of shape! I was terrified at my first session, but that feeling quickly went away…
Since then, I’ve dropped 40lbs and increased my strength and overall health dramatically. I never thought I would be able to do anything like this, but with Vince’s support and personalized programming and guidance, I truly look forward to each session, and I love seeing my strength increase.
Vince is truly exceptional – he is so welcoming and friendly, but also very, very knowledgeable. I felt instantly comfortable and trusted that he would ensure I was working out in a way that helped (not injured) my body, focusing always on correct form. Please do not have any hesitation about booking a session with him. You will not be disappointed!
“Upright Health is easily the best decision I’ve made for my physical health.”
When I started with Upright Health, I didn’t know much about the origin of my body’s tension, weakness, or pain. I just knew that I was uncomfortable and tense, and I didn’t have the knowledge or tools to get better.
Matt and Josh have answered all of my questions, spotted areas of weakness, and helped me learn where my body was unbalanced. I learned what causes tension and pain in specific areas, and how to target those areas with stretches and exercises. I started feeling significantly more in control of my body after just a session or two, and have now been going to Upright Health for over a year with increasingly better results.
Upright Health is easily the best decision I’ve made for my physical health. I notice the positive effects every day, multiple times a day. Lifting and moving furniture is easier. Going up and downstairs is easier. I can snowboard longer and feel in more control. I now have the skills to understand pain that arises in my body and craft a set of exercises to improve it. I’m stronger and healthier than I’ve ever been.
“I was, amazingly, able to recover within a week with rolling and stretching.”
I teach and practice Aikido, a martial art that involves rolling, falling, and knee-walking.
Beginning in 2010 (when I was living in Japan and practicing Shotokan karate as well as Aikido and Japanese swordsmanship) I was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in my left hip that eventually resulted in bone spurs and constant debilitating pain. I tried acupuncture, physical therapy, massage, Feldenkrais, and even excruciatingly painful prolotherapy, but it just didn’t get better, and I had the hip resurfaced in 2014.
Within 6 months of the surgery I started getting the same symptoms in my right side–the same way the left side had started to break down, including super tight hip flexors, painful impingement on outer hip rotation, and muscle pain/tightness in my quads. This time, though, I started rolling daily and doing stretches I found in the FAI fix.
In the summer of 2015, just after starting the FAI fix, I did a week-long Aikido camp. After four days of training, I couldn’t walk without limping and I had to stop taking falls. But I was, amazingly, able to recover within a week with rolling and stretching. I kept teaching Aikido and going to the boxing gym over the following fall, winter, and spring, and found that I could stay pretty mobile and pain-free as long as I was faithful about rolling and stretching every day.
At the week-long Aikido camp in 2016 I was able to train nearly every class for the whole camp, and didn’t even limp afterward. And then I took off on my international travels. I have managed to survive four months of car travel around the US, followed by nearly four months of travel around the globe. I did Aikido in most every place I stopped (from Tokyo to China to Mongolia, across Russia and into Europe, as far north as Oslo and as far south as Prague–it was a crazy trip), sometimes teaching seminars and training daily for several consecutive days, and I walked more than I thought possible. Thanks largely, I believe, to my thirty-minute daily stretching routine and rolling as much as possible, I have stayed mobile, if not pain-free.
I should add, I guess, that I think that my diet also helps me stay out of pain–I generally stay away from refined sugar and flour and eat whole foods. I notice that when I stray, I really feel it in my body–both a drop in my energy levels (which are vital for keeping up with stretching, rolling, etc) and increased joint pain. Not to complicate the picture too much, but I feel it’s worth a mention.
Thank you for putting together this program and for all your help!
“In an hour Matt taught me some great mobilizations and exercises, that I think will be the key to solving my specific issue.”
I've been to three different physical therapists in the bay area for past injuries, and none have impressed me the way Matt did today. He knows his stuff and has a keen eye for faulty biomechanics. I've been dealing with a hip issue the past 6 months and have not been able to get to the root of the dysfunction. I should also mention that I worked as an aide at a local PT clinic, and none of the three therapists there could give me any useful advice, other than rest from playing that sport and ice. In an hour Matt taught me some great mobilizations and exercises, that I think will be the key to solving my specific issue.
Instead of visiting a PT clinic,Upright Health is the place I will be visiting first next time I'm dealing with a chronic injury. Highly recommend this place.
“After a few sessions, I saw results and felt like I was headed in the right direction.”
I am not one to write testimonials, however, living in pain each day for over a year has motivated me to tell my story back to strength, wellness and movement.
When I was referred to Matt and Upright Health, it had been over a year since I had been able to sleep without pain, walk, run, ride a bike, sit at my desk, or play golf.
I was not hopeful when I met Matt, and really was not that convinced that strength building would alleviate the pain that I had endured for so long, as I had tried everything to mitigate my back problems, and nothing had helped.
Matt’s positive approach, his attitude, and expertise set me at ease my very first visit. I appreciated his calm and professional manner; he was thoughtful, listened to my concerns, and addressed them one by one.
After a few sessions, I saw results and felt like I was headed in the right direction.
Over the course of several months, my strength steadily increased and my pain decreased as a result. I appreciated Matt’s continued confidence in me, my workouts, and his unwavering confidence that I would get better, stronger and be free from pain.
When I began to wake up free from pain, I was ecstatic. This positive impact, drove me to work harder and commit fully to my training both with Matt and on my own. I have enjoyed almost 9 months pain free as a result of my work with Matt at Upright Health. I can do all the activities I enjoy and continue to gain strength each week as a result of my ongoing workouts and support from Matt.
“For the first time in more than a decade – probably since my 20’s – I started to feel amazing, not just healthy.”
Today, Matt and Upright Health are an extremely important part of my life. While we fixed many of the issues I had with my body, at 50+ new ones show up from time to time, so keeping focused on a healthy body and mind is as necessary as breathing air and drinking water for me. I cannot recommend Matt and the Upright team enough.
“I noticed immediately during the first session what an impact the stretches and exercises were having on my neck and shoulders.”
I've had a herniated disc in my neck for about a year and half now and have done everything from steroid injections, chiropractic and acupuncture and nothing has helped the pain and discomfort associated with this injury. Everyone would always say it was stress.
So, I came across the yelp reviews for Upright Health when looking at another PT place in San Diego and based on reading the reviews, thought I'd give the free initial consultation a try.
Matt was great about showing me where my posture was out of balance and explained the program and what would be best for me and my situation. I was able to start the first session after the consultation due to someone cancelling and was excited to give this a try.
I noticed immediately during the first session what an impact the stretches and exercises were having on my neck and shoulders. He spent the time to make sure I was completing them correctly and never felt rushed during the session (I'm not sure if there is even a set time for them).
After 1 week of doing the exercises from home, I was a different person when I went back for my second session. Even though the exercises were strenuous on my body, I could tell after about the 4th day of doing them that they were having a positive impact on my neck and with that improvement, came a better quality of life.
Just completed the 2nd session this week and the additional exercises he has put into my plan are even more in depth but really targeting the areas of pain.
I can't wait to update you all as I continue my sessions.
Those of us in pain and discomfort can't really put a price tag on us getting better and though initially, the costs of the sessions may be a deterrent, I highly recommend just going to the free consultation to meet Matt and discuss how he can help you. I would gladly have paid the amount of 8 sessions a year and a half ago if I knew it would work as well as it has only 2 weeks in. I probably spent triple the money on all the other treatments that were recommended to me since the injury.
Back to my exercises!
---Updated April 2013---
Apologies for the delay in getting my original review updated but the good news is, compared to where I was almost a year ago, it is amazing the results. I did the 8 sessions and was able to spread it out over the year and work with Matt on when my next appointment was based on how I was feeling with the current set of exercises. I really enjoy the fact that Matt listens to how I feel about the exercises and if they are working for me or not. He will then change them up based on my comments versus just saying to keep doing them. The exercises are easy to follow and emailed to you so you can always have a copy no matter where you may find yourself on vacation, business travel etc. There is no doubt that you must be committed to the exercises and the need to feel better because the one or two times where I lagged on doing my exercises, the difference was immediately felt.
Overall, still completely satisfied with Matt. I highly recommend anyone suffering from pain of any kind to at least go for the consultation. I've been trying to get my girlfriend to go for her foot but she's just stubborn but I'll keep trying!
“As a result I have been completely pain free in my hip and knees for over 2 months.”
“I initially sought out Matt for Rolfing services to help alleviate my hip, knee, shoulder and back pain. I suffered from chronic pain in these areas for over 10+ years. I’ve previously seen Orthopedic Surgeons, Physical Therapists, Acupuncturists, have received Chiropractic care along with massage therapy 3x/week for several consecutive years and while they gave me temporary relief, nothing ever seem to give me long term relief. After discussing my issues, Matt came up with a stretching and weight training program to help strengthen my muscles. As a result I have been completely pain free in my hip and knees for over 2 months. After having so much pain in my hip, it still amazes me that I go through my days with zero discomfort.
We are now working to strengthen my back and shoulders and I can certainly feel we are heading in the right direction. For the first time in over 10 years I am hopeful that one day soon I can be completely pain free.
I am an avid runner and he has given me priceless nuggets of advice to make my runs much more efficient with less impact on my knees. Now I feel like I float and I’m running on a bed of clouds.
Being in chronic pain sucks so much energy out of you. As a direct result of working with Matt, I now go through my days with so much more energy and a brighter, clearer perspective on life. Thanks Matt, for being such a great Therapist!
If you have any kind of pain I would highly recommend seeing Matt. He is so knowledgeable of the human anatomy and takes a genuine, vested interest in your well being. He is compassionate and a consummate professional. Seriously, he’s the best decision I’ve made in a long time. Call him now. Your body and spirit will thank you.”
“One session with Matt over Skype provided me the tailored methods to reduce the issue.”
I had been challenged by hip mobility for many years as the result of an inflammatory condition. Pain was just part of a typical day – which was incredibly draining.
One session with Matt over Skype provided me the tailored methods to reduce the issue. Following a relatively simple protocol, I received a step change of well-being almost immediately.
A few months later I also had a face-to-face session with Matt which provided me the tools to fix another legacy issue which relates to lower back pain. Even within the session itself I had a significant improvement in flexibility and reduction in pain, and the ongoing impact as I practice these moves is life changing. Can’t recommend Matt and Upright Health enough to anybody with similar hip and back related pain/mobility issues.
(Somewhere in the Middle East. 🙂 )
“In just a week, your videos have given me so much hope.”
I recently came across your channel and found many of your videos extremely relieving as well as beneficial.
I had been suffering from FAI for about a year now. I’ve had many low points due to this and have been slightly depressed for a while.
Prior to that I had about an 8 month long adductor strain. For both injuries I went to physical therapy. My adductor took about 2 months to feel good again and then after just 2 weeks another problem arose – FAI, of which at the time I was unaware. So, I went to physical therapy for that for about 3 months. Just like you said in your videos, I was given stretches and exercises that are theoretically supposed to work, but only helped to reduce the pain. Prior to all of this, I was a highschool powerlifter and now I was realizing I had a huge muscle imbalance. The exercises helped but didn’t get to the root of the problem at all, just kept it at bay.
After I hit a low point last Friday, I looked up new stretches for my affliction and came across your videos and couldn’t be any happier. I’ve followed the stretches for about a week now and am seeing significant improvement. I had lost a lot of hope as I am only 19 and haven’t been able to live my life to the fullest because of my FAI. I would cramp in my leg and glute and along the sides of them, and my back would hurt. I couldn’t jump, run, swim, or dance, or anything enjoyable without having severe to slight pain. I had an active job and I would be in pain during my shifts and on the drive to and from work.
But, in just a week, your videos have given me so much hope. I feel so much better and I’m going to continue for as long as I plan on lifting. So thank you very much for starting this channel, and I hope you keep making videos!
“After a month or two I was feeling very good and no longer suffered the distraction of pain and numbness during my busy workdays.”
In the first session with Matt, there was an obvious improvement in my hand and neck symptoms. After a month or two I was feeling very good and no longer suffered the distraction of pain and numbness during my busy workdays.
I’ve been training with Matt since 2015, and my neck and hand barely ever bother me anymore. This frees me to focus my mental energy on my work without worrying about whether my body is going to be the limiter in the productivity or enjoyment of any given day or week!
“As my body started to heal, I was able to hike, swim, and get out in the ocean to enjoy the water sports I missed so much.”
When I went in to see Matt, I hobbled into the room. During the intake interview, he asked “Where do you hurt?” My answer was not where do I hurt, but “where don’t I hurt!”
My body was a mess and I felt it with every movement.
I have scoliosis in the upper back, which affects other areas, including my right hip, left knee, and lower back. I was in such discomfort I couldn’t even do simple chores like vacuuming. I used to be an active hiker, skier, ocean swimmer, kayaker, and dancer and my life revolved around being physically active.
However, over time, because of progressing pain, my limitations became greater and greater. I lost hope and gave up many of the sports and activities that I loved. It even affected my relationships, because I was so limited in the types of activities I could join in with others.
I became very sad that my lifestyle had changed so drastically, due to something beyond my control. I even accepted that, because of scoliosis, I was destined to live in pain for the rest of my life. Finally, I decided that I had had enough and needed help and hopefully some relief. I went to traditional doctors, who prescribed me pain meds and suggested physical therapy exercises; however, this did not provide much help.
Matt quickly assessed my situation and was able to give me a series of exercises that, over a short period of time, started to alleviate the chronic pain I thought I was destined to live with. Under Matt’s recommendations, I slowly progressed from basic to more advanced exercises and began feeling better!
Over time, I was able to build up strength in a safe manner, as I retrained my body to correct the underlying muscular imbalances. With these changes came long lost abilities to enjoy recreational activities that I had been missing out on for so long. I also recovered a sense of hope—that I didn’t have to suffer physically as long as I spent the time to stick with the program.
As my body started to heal, I was able to hike, swim, and get out in the ocean to enjoy the water sports I missed so much. It was wonderful, and I wish I had found Matt sooner!
Matt is a true professional. He is very knowledgeable and extremely astute in assessing the muscular imbalances that were at the root of many of my chronic pain issues.
I recommend Matt to anyone who is in pain and ready to get their life back.
“I am virtually pain free and am almost entirely off of any pain medication.”
I came to Matt Hsu as a last effort to help me with my severe back pain. I have been hospitalized twice due to several blown discs in my lower back. I have tried physical therapy, chiropractors, acupuncture, and massage therapy and nothing helped me for longer than a day. I was on heavy medication several times a day including morphine and muscle relaxers which only took the edge off.
Matt found several postural issues that I had and identified weakness in my legs and ankles. After doing several exercises which Matt designed specifically for my issues and paying more attention to my posture and lifting techniques, I am virtually pain free and am almost entirely off of any pain medication. Matt has changed my life.
“I remember he asked me to keep the knee brace aside because I would no longer need it.”
I started seeing Matt almost a year ago thanks to the Internet, Yelp ratings, and the reviews. Those things really made my decision to go see Matt at Upright Health easier, and boy I’m thankful I did.
I had been suffering from musculoskeletal issues for close to 15 years. My problems ranged from misalignment in the pelvis and sacrum [the core of the problem] leading to pain in the lower back, neck/upper back, knees, foot, shoulder, elbow, hand pain and piriformis tightness. Looking back almost every part of my body was in pain. I would go to sleep in pain and wake up in pain. I felt like there was no hope at all.
I went from doctor to doctor thinking they that they could help, and an MRI was done on every part of my body possible. All they could say was, “Nothing is wrong with you”, since all results came negative on the MRI. Some people also started saying it was psychosomatic.
Only I knew what I was going through. So, I started doing physical therapy and I started going from one therapy place to another. Some physical therapy aggravated my pains, and some helped. Along with physical therapy I also tried all kinds of alternative medicines like Rolfing, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, ayurveda, and all kinds of injections for back pain. After all these therapies and treatments were done, I still felt like I was always going ‘1 step forward and 2 steps back’ with my progress.
Then I came across Matt. It was in my first session with him that I knew this was it, and I felt he would be able to help me. He gave me lot of hope and that brought me to tears. I went with a knee brace, which I used to wear for a long time, and I remember he asked me to keep the knee brace aside because I would no longer need it.
Just 3 months after I started working with Matt, my knee pain – along with my foot pain – went away. Now, I’m able to hike without much pain, which was impossible to do before. My hand and shoulder pain is much better, and I feel stronger as well. I am able to sleep on the side I was not able to sleep on for many years. My back feels stronger, and I am simply in much less pain now. I no longer wake up and go to bed in pain everyday. I still have some bad days now and then, but thanks to Matt, I have many more good days than bad!
Matt is really good at problem solving and adapting the training for your specific problems. That’s what I like about the Upright Health program. Its not ‘one size fits all.’
If you have been suffering from pain for many years and have tried many therapies and treatments to no avail, I highly recommend you to try this option and I am sure you will not regret it.
“Suddenly my shoulders and neck were in the correct position and I felt inches taller.”
I started seeing YouTube videos from Matt and thought he had a great approach to pain issues. I had been diagnosed with shoulder impingement. I couldn’t really raise my arms, and I had curtailed working almost to nothing. At that point I had tried orthopedic doctors, cortisone injections, PT, chiropractors, and another posture exercise program.
I was finally able to connect with Matt. He had me do several things including watching me walk, squat, and just stand while he observed. His diagnostic abilities are uncanny. He mentioned things that I had noticed (e.g. high right shoulder and hip also rotated hips) but no one else seemed to think it mattered.
Matt had me do a set of exercises to address my whole body not just my shoulder. Lo and behold, after two weeks I experienced some relief. With his guidance, after 10 weeks I was able to run a mile. I am 64 years old and had really never run in my life. I loved it. Suddenly my shoulders and neck were in the correct position and I felt inches taller. I could reach for anything without pain!
Yes, you have to do the exercises and put in the time, but it’s the best I have felt in years. You owe it to yourself to seek out Matt and his expertise. I’m very grateful I found Upright Health.
“After a month or two I was feeling very good and no longer suffered the distraction of pain and numbness during my busy workdays.”
A friend referred me to Upright Health because my left shoulder was in a constant spasm and the fingers of my left hand were going numb. MRIs had indicated I had cervical spine pathology, and three different doctors I consulted with expected that surgery would be the only solution and there was not much else I could do.
Matt listened to the information the doctors had given me, understood my concerns, and presented me with a very different perspective from what I had already heard. What was most notable was that he had clearly already considered the other perspectives on my issues and had very well-reasoned notions about why the traditional perspectives may have arisen and how they may be misleading.
In the first session with Matt, there was an obvious improvement in my hand and neck symptoms. After a month or two I was feeling very good and no longer suffered the distraction of pain and numbness during my busy workdays.
I’ve been training with Matt since 2015, and my neck and hand barely ever bother me anymore. This frees me to focus my mental energy on my work without worrying about whether my body is going to be the limiter in the productivity or enjoyment of any given day or week!
“I felt less pain than I have felt in two years!”
I am a practicing physical therapist, and I was diagnosed with FAI in my left hip in 2013. My MRI arthrogram showed a small posterior labral tear, but no arthritis. Two orthopedists told me that I should have surgery because I have retroverted hips with deep sockets and my acetabulum should be shaved down. This made no sense to me whatsoever because my right hip is shaped the exact same way and I have no pain at all on the right!
Since I have not seen good outcomes with hip surgery, I have opted to avoid it. I discovered Matt’s videos on Youtube and I was relieved to finally find a voice of reason amidst the hip arthroscopy craze. I followed his recommendations and changed up my exercises and within just one week, I felt less pain than I have felt in two years! I am running better and sleeping better and on a path to better living!
“I was a little skeptical, but after about two weeks of progressively retraining my body, the pain was completely gone.”
I have a job that requires me to sit in meetings and at a computer for long periods of time, and I ride horses in my off hours. I started suffering with debilitating pain shooting down the left side of my neck and shoulder that went all the way down to my hand in October of 2013. I went to my chiropractor and doctor and tried doing what they told me to do, but nothing seemed to help. I ended up finding Matt online and went to see him in December of 2013 to see if he could help massage out the problem.
He found some incredibly tender points on my shoulder (both shoulders, actually!) but they didn’t seem to relieve my issue. Unlike other massage practitioners, he didn’t just keep hammering away at it, but decided to take a different approach that involved some strengthening exercises to retrain muscles in my back, neck, and shoulders and made sure I understood how slouching and my posture in general was consistently irritating my neck, shoulder, and arm. I was a little skeptical, but after about two weeks of progressively retraining my body, the pain was completely gone.
One of the things I especially liked about Matt’s approach that was different from medical practitioners was that it was holistic; he took into account what I do during the day, my posture, my athletic activities, my time constraints, and things going on in other parts of my body before making decisions about what was best for me. Doctors seem to concentrate on the one body part that hurts without taking into account other factors.
Matt is personable, listens carefully to your explanations and needs, and devises a program that works for you. If you have a weakness, a problem that you haven’t been able to otherwise resolve, go see Matt. In fact, go see him first!
“I feel that I received a careful assessment, a customized series of stretches and exercises and some helpful followup and adjustments as I worked back to normal function of my shoulder.”
Last year I was struggling with a shoulder injury caused by exercise and my motion was significantly restricted. Jumping jacks, jumping into the pool, or putting on a jacket had the potential to cause pain and aggravate the problem if not done carefully.
This went on for months so I went for help. I was pleasantly surprised that I could work with Upright Health using Skype. A family member held the camera and gave Matt the angles he needed to see what I was doing. I feel that I received a careful assessment, a customized series of stretches and exercises and some helpful followup and adjustments as I worked back to normal function of my shoulder.
I wouldn’t hesitate to return to Upright Health for problems with mobility or pain.
“After the first visit, my pain decreased significantly.”
After herniating a disc in my neck, I spent a year trying massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic and physical therapy only to receive short term relief. The pain got so bad I couldn’t even sit down. After doing extensive searching on the internet I found Upright Health and it sounded promising. After the first visit with Matt, my pain decreased significantly. During my visits, Matt taught me everything that “I” could do at home to get rid of my pain. I no longer needed multiple appointments a week to receive minimal pain relief. Instead I could do it myself by following the exercises Matt set out for me. It is such a relief to know I can control my pain with a simple exercise routine.
“Lauren gets her hips ready to run”
Lauren talks about how massages, acupuncture treatments, and chiropractic adjustments weren’t helping keep post-running pain at bay. With the stretches and exercises she learned at Upright Health she was able to conquer the aches and pains and run the La Jolla half marathon without pain.
“After just 2 months, I was shocked to able to run long mileage without pain.”
When I was 30, I ran the NYC marathon. I finished it, smiling, but when I stopped, the pain in my right knee felt like I was being stabbed with a knife, and I almost fell to the ground. It took months to heal. Over the next few years, I had 2 kids, nourished a busy career, and tried to get back into running. Every time I did, I got silly but limiting injuries like shin splints or achilles tendonitis for which the cure was to stop running.
Now I’m about to turn 40 and decided to sign up for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco (a Tiffany necklace presented by a firefighter at the finish line served as motivation!). A friend of mine told me about Rolfing and how it had significantly improved her posture and her life. I found Matt Hsu online. I was hoping for a painful, yet passive “fix” to my ongoing knee and running problems.
Instead, Matt systematically considered the mechanics of my whole body and began recommending strengthening, stretching, and foam rolling exercises that targeted not only my knees, but seemingly distant muscle groups that ultimately had a direct impact on my pain. There were moments of discouragement when new problem spots seemed to appear out of nowhere, but Matt used these as clues which led to a more complete assessment of the underlying causes – and thereby correction – of my running pains. After just 2 months working with him, I was shocked to able to run long mileage without pain.
When I actually ran the half marathon, I cried for the last 3 miles because I knew I was going to finish after all. Now I know I can reincorporate running back into my life, injury-free. I really don’t think I could have finished the race or signed up for the next one without his advice.
“What a huge mental and physical strain was relieved for me by doing this work and seeing the results. I finally felt hope again.”
Here’s my story:
About eight years ago, in the midst of the very emotionally, mentally and physically draining process of separating from my husband, I awoke with some pain in my right hip. It wasn’t excruciating, just noticeable, and it made getting around a little more challenging than usual. I thought it must be a pulled muscle or something and waited for it to get better. It didn’t.
Three days later I limped into my General Practitioner’s office, and could barely lie back on her table without crying out in pain. She sent me for a CT with contrast to see what was going on. The CT didn’t show anything incredibly definitive, so they told me it could possibly be a slight avulsion fracture (from what, we have no idea) and to just rest it for a few weeks. I got crutches and was sent home.
A few weeks later it had definitely improved, and I went back to my normal life. But it still wasn’t quite right. In hindsight, it seems likely that at that time I began compensating for the residual pain in ways that would ultimately mess up many other aspects of my musculature, without me having any idea of how to reverse the pattern.
Four years went by where things were OK, but not great. When I exercised the way I always had- long walks, some work at the gym, an occasional yoga class, I could feel twinges of pain again in that hip, as if it just couldn’t really keep up. I tried pushing harder, but that seemed to make things worse. Rest was helpful, but only until I started exercising again.
I went to a bone and joint specialist who said it could be any number of things- snapping hip syndrome, impingement, a labral tear… he took Xrays and did an exam. He said my hips looked fine on the Xray and sent me to a PT. He clearly was of the “I have no idea, but let’s try everything one thing at a time” school. He said that if PT was unsuccessful, we could try steroid shots.
The PT gave me some exercises- clamshell, bridges, crab walks, leg lifts. I did them for a few weeks and noticed the pain getting worse. I was back to limping slightly. I took a break for a few weeks, felt a bit better, and then tried them again to the same effect. I went back and explained what was happening. She modified the exercises and added one more, and I tried again. Same issues.
I quit PT. But I didn’t want the next step- steroid shots- after reading about how they eventually degrade the situation even if they initially help with pain. So I didn’t return to the bone and joint doc. I rested again until things started to improve a bit. But they always seemed to reach a plateau that wasn’t quite where I needed to be.
Around this time I also developed a frozen shoulder, which made me do even less physical activity, gave me greater imbalances in my body, and took a long time to resolve.
I knew the PT had felt that my problems were caused by weakness, so when I was able, I resolved to do things to get stronger that didn’t hurt like the PT exercises had. I tried to get back to my regular yoga classes, but every time I did a class with lunges (which was most of them, naturally), I would feel worse in my hip afterwards. At that time, a close friend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and wanted me to be her weekly hiking buddy through the chemo ordeal, so I stopped doing yoga and went walking with her instead.
We walked every week for two years, and over that time, my right hip got worse and worse. Uphills began to make me grimace in pain. I tried squeezing my butt and thigh muscles to make them work harder and get stronger, but this seemed to backfire. By the time we got back to the cars at the end of our hikes, my hip was so tight and painful I could barely lower myself into the car. It would take me three or four days to stop limping again. But I wanted to be a good friend, so I kept going.
During this time, I decided it must be mental. After all, my father had died suddenly 8 years prior, my marriage had failed, the man I then loved was not emotionally available to me, my friend had cancer, I was a single mom raising two difficult boys- it made sense that I would have stored some rough emotions in my body. So I bought a book which taught EFT tapping and listened to the complimentary program. I tried to tap the pain away. Some days it did make it feel better, but it would always regress. After half a year, I gave up hoping for permanent relief.
My sister, who had some neck issues that were resolved by a woman doing cranio-sacral work, sent me to her practitioner. She was nice and I cried a lot, and I actually felt better for a few days after each treatment, but after a week, the pain was always back, sometimes worse than before.
I could no longer exercise much at this point, and had to tell my friend that I could only join her for the very end of her walks, on flat ground, and slow. Her warm-downs. And even that hurt quite a bit.
I was on the internet constantly, reading in chat rooms and following comment threads about people with hip pain- every day I Googled: hurts to drive, hurts to stand from sitting, hurts to get out of a car, hurts to go uphill. But it was hard to settle on a diagnosis- one day my pain would match the symptoms of trochanteric bursitis, the next, impingement or IT band issues, the next, labral tears, TFL pain or hip flexor issues. I went around and around, self-diagnosing one condition, then another. This was due to the fact that my most painful spots did not seem to stay consistent, but moved (or compounded) over weeks or months from one place to another and back again. This was aggravated by the fact that the internet was far from consistent in diagnosing one kind of pain as just one type of problem.
And whatever the diagnosis would have been, the stories on the internet were not hopeful. There were no sure fixes to be found. Most people had been through the cascade of doctor interventions with little success, most were just suffering every day like I was. Very occasionally someone would feel like they were diagnosed correctly, and get some kind of help that worked, but it was rare that the help was a permanent solution. Many more had awful experiences being guinea pigs and ended up with even more pain and dysfunction. It was scary.
At one point I was directed to a website with a product which was a heat wrap you plugged in and wrapped around your hip, with some kind of extra magnetic thing inside. It had a money-back guarantee, so I tried it. Three times a day I spent 30 minutes to an hour with this thing. No change. I asked for my money back. They said I probably needed to do it less, so I tried that. No change. They said I should try to do it more, and alternate with ice. I tried that. No change. Eventually I was able to get my money back, but my spirit was not buoyed by the experience.
I went to a chiropractor. My neck felt a bit better, but my hip did not respond as kindly.
I got a standing desk. I tried an exercise ball for a chair. I tried working on the laptop from my bed. I tried various stretches and home remedies. Nothing helped.
All this time, people I spoke to about it (friends, doctors, chiropractors, pilates and yoga instructors) were busy diagnosing me with everything under the sun, but no one had any great ideas about how to prove any specific diagnosis, or how to effectively treat me. I felt that if I could just put my finger on the actual problem, I might have a better chance at solving it. But who could help with a correct diagnosis?
I heard about a medical intuitive who could do phone consultations, so I made an appointment. He told me that my hip pain was caused by an undiagnosable (by medical doctors) low-grade case of shingles, and gave me many herbs and vitamins to help my body rid itself of the virus. I took them for 6 months. I stopped eating meat, eggs, corn, and a host of other things (I already don’t eat gluten or dairy), and while some days I felt it was helping, there was no lasting relief. I called back and was told that because of my stress level, it would probably take another year to clear. Yeah, well, when you can’t exercise or live your life normally, stress is kind of hard to get rid of, but I started meditating, which was nice.
I began to feel again like I had to find something to help me strengthen, as my legs were looking worse and worse, especially that right side butt. I joined a gym and started swimming gently, and doing some elliptical machine work. Everything felt a little better, except that hip. Eventually I was back to limping after each workout, so I stopped.
I decided I just needed to rest it and it would get better. Rest and meditation on healing. It did help me stop limping, but as soon as I started trying to be active again, the pain would return. And now it was affecting my sleep as well. I couldn’t lie on my right side anymore, and lying on my left still put a strain on my right. I bought a knee pillow, and began sleeping like that. It seemed to help for a week, and then not as much.
I tried some other natural remedies that promised instant relief from joint pain, but the only one that seemed to help at all was turmeric. I do still use that on occasion, because it has only ever felt helpful, but it still didn’t resolve the issue. I had to do more.
I found a stretching program that involved contracting while stretching, which was recommended by Oprah and promised to speedily resolve issues like mine. I did it for a few weeks, but did not feel it was helpful. Only that it was at least giving the rest of my body something healthy to do. But my frustration grew and grew that I could not use my lower body the way I wanted to without worsening things, and had to modify everything. Nothing was helping my hip at all.
Dating was miserable, because after sitting for the length of a meal, I’d have to get up slowly and just stand there for a minute, pretending to stretch or slowly putting on a jacket, to disguise the fact that I could no longer just stand up and start walking immediately. Getting out of a car, I’d have to gentle my right leg over to the doorway, and then pull myself up using only my left leg and my arms, stand there for a minute while I let the muscles in my hip joints straighten out and get their bearings, and then finally I could begin to limp toward my destination. Going up stairs required a handrail, and eventually, only using my left leg for the step up.
At one point I had to drive to a conference about 7 hours away. It was so painful I could barely walk after driving, and then I had to drive home after two days, another 7 hours. I stayed in bed for two days after that, just trying to get back to a normal level of limp. This was untenable. I was not ready for a walker at 48, but it was starting to look really helpful.
I decided to give conventional doctors another try. After all, I reasoned, they saw hundreds of people every year just like me, so they must know how to make things better by now. Or at least tell me what’s really going on.
I started with another visit to my GP. She said it sounds like it could be a labral tear and suggested an MRI with contrast. From all my research, I already knew I wasn’t interested in going the surgical route at this point, so I questioned her about the use of doing that very expensive test, and whether it could even possibly lead to any other healing option than surgery. She wasn’t able to offer much hope or encouragement in that direction, or even much information about people getting better from these sorts of things, so I declined the test.
I questioned my OB/GYN about it at my next check up. I know she deals with a lot of stuff in the pelvic region, has a lot of anatomical knowledge about how things work there, so I was hopeful she could shed some light on the subject. She said, “Could be osteonecrosis- we should keep an eye on things”. That was the first I’d heard of that horrible condition, and after a bit of Googling, I decided to try to put that one out of my mind.
Next I went to an orthopedic doc who did some light manipulations, reviewed my CT from all those years before, and asked a few questions. He offered shots to help determine where the pain was coming from, but I declined. He decided that it was probably FAI of some kind, and sent me to a friend of his who was in the business of helping runners with injuries, and who knew a lot about hips.
She was great. She did some deep massage and trigger point therapy, which was very painful but seemed to help. When the help wasn’t lasting, she said we ought to try dry needling. The first time she did it, it was like a miracle. I walked out of there with no pain at all in my hip. I got into my car, drove a few miles and got out with no pain. I jumped a few times, to see if I could locate the twinge, but it was nowhere. I was so happy. It was the first day without pain I’d had in 7 years.
The next day I felt a slight twinge. The day after, more. And so on, and so on. But she and I felt we were onto something. This was proof to me and to her (who described the feeling of the tendons and muscles in that hip as “ropey”, and suggested it felt something like a shoulder feels when it’s frozen), that it was a muscular issue, and not a bone issue/labral issue requiring surgery. I was so hopeful, because it was the first time I had a sense of direction.
We did a few more sessions of dry needling, but it was never again quite as effective and the positive effects never held for long, and it hurt a lot, so eventually we just went back to tissue massage. Sports tape. A few PT exercises and a rubber ball. And things were OK. But again, the plateau, and I was reaching a financial issue as well after all these years of dumping money into the problem. My insurance didn’t help with her at all, so I eventually stopped going. And got worse again. It was very frustrating to have found something that helped a little, but that would require a constant stream of money and time to continue.
But she had helped me understand much more about the complex anatomy of the hip, and had given me a few extra tools for my future internet searches. I began to Google the things we’d talked about the most- TFL, glute medius, hip flexors, and I came across the amazing and talented Matt on a Youtube video talking about the Nasty Bastard TFL. I began learning more about his ideas, his philosophy and his solutions, and something just clicked for me. I bought the FAI Fix program.
I printed out the required booklet, put it in a binder, and followed it to the letter. The first day was a little painful. I’d had a questionable relationship with my foam roller in the past, but being more careful about listening to good pain signals and bad pain signals from my body, I proceeded to work through the tissue work and the stretching exercises. That was all I could manage the first two days, and then I added some glute reactivation. And things began to shift by the third day. By the end of the week I could raise my right leg up to put my sock on without contortions. By the end of the next week, I could raise my right leg and place it on a stair going up without wincing. These things had been impossible before. I followed the program for two weeks solidly, then moved to doing it mostly just in the morning, but often adding the tissue work alone in the evening if I felt like it was necessary. And the change was remarkable. It all made sense to me- the years of over- and under-compensation from all those many muscles and structures in my hips and back. The way the program let me find the areas I needed to address to get things working together normally again. What a huge mental and physical strain was relieved for me by doing this work and seeing the results. I finally felt hope again.
I decided to test things out and see if the pain all came back if I stopped doing such a long version every morning. It didn’t. I was gleeful. I started gentle walks with my friend again, and found that as long as I did at least the tissue work when I returned or felt things begin to tighten, I’d be fine.
Months later, not even being particularly diligent with my practice, just using it as needed, I walk with no limp, I get out of the car with no problems, I can walk uphill with my friend again, I can sleep, and I can do stairs almost as well as before the whole problem started. My life is mine again. But I realize that I need to stay conscious of activating my glutes and using the right muscles for the right jobs. And I have much more work to do to get as strong as I was before this whole thing began. To regain balance in both sides of my body. But now I have my confidence back about my ability to heal, and I’m ready. And this time, I’ll be even better, because even though I had tried some of the elements in this program separately before with only sporadic success, the combination of tissue work, stretching and reactivation in the right order and on the right areas is what made this recovery possible, and I feel sure it is what will serve me well for the rest of my very active days.
“In just one hour, he totally changed my perception (yet again) and gave me a highly customized plan that I can already feel is helping my internal rotation.”
3 years ago I had developed (seemingly out of nowhere) a real weakness and pain in my right hip. Simple tasks like walking up hills were a challenge as I could barely put much of my weight onto my right-hand side. Things got even worse when riding the bumpy London subway, as my hip would give way I’d nearly fall onto the lap other passengers! Trying to train muay Thai became helpless task with the pain getting worse during and after each session, I could barely squat without leaning too far forward or worrying if my hip would give way at the top of each lift. Long story short: I was living life in second gear, and I was only 23.
Originally I reached out to a physio through the NHS who had no idea what my problem was. Then I reached out to a sports physiotherapist who told me I had symptoms akin to FAI, and that he could refer me to one of the best hip surgeons in Europe. However, getting my hip shaved at the age of 24 didn’t seem right to me so I cautiously backed off. I reached out to an old osteopath I worked with who noticed my pelvis was out of alignment. he gave me some basic exercises which helped a little. I knew I might be on to something, and I had been subtly following Matt’s videos until the launch of FAI Fix.
I decided to come to Upright Health after the FAI Fix allowed me to return to normality in my day-to-day life, as well as getting me squatting in the gym again. All my day-to-day pain from FAI had gone and my eyes were opened to a totally new way of addressing chronic pain.
I wanted to take things even further and try to work with Matt on a 1 to 1 basis so I could return to my Muay Thai training. In just one hour, he totally changed my perception (yet again) and gave me a highly customized plan that I can already feel is helping my internal rotation. I’m confident that through the FAI Fix, Matt’s guidance and perseverance on my part, I’ll be able to return to training out in Thailand and follow my passion!
All in all Matt has given me: An education, a new outlook, restored faith in myself and my body, flexibility, better balance and a second chance at following my passions. I’d thoroughly recommend him to anyone with chronic pain before they go under the knife and can’t wait to work with him again myself.
“We need to reject the idea that doctor’s always have a cure or that we have to live with a diagnosis that surgery is the only option.”
In working to recover from a broken femur after a nasty snowboard accident, I have first hand experience in dealing with the limiting mentality that I would have to accept living in chronic pain and that “I was broken”. Over the course of six years I started a journey of working with numerous orthopedic doctors, acupuncturist’s, massage therapists and physical therapists. I was often side tracked in thinking that I could find a quick fix or that someone could take away the pain with one doctor’s appointment or treatment. In my worst moments of pain I considered arthroscopic hip surgery and became frustrated with misguided exercises/physical therapy that aggravated my condition. However I had a strong intuitive feeling that there was some muscle weakness or biomechanical problem that was creating the ongoing pain. I began to take ownership that I could work to find the root cause of my pain and reject the idea that there was a quick fix to healing myself.
During this time I started to research my diagnosis of FAI and work to break through the self limiting story that only surgery could relieve the pain. I had the fortunate opportunity to find Matt Hsu’s videos on youtube that discussed hip pain and FAI. Matt’s videos helped me to further understand why I had such dysfunctional movement patterns and opened a new door of self awareness.
In working with Matt over several months I have had the good fortune of finding a supportive guide who has helped me to take ownership in healing my hip and leg pain. What is critical to understand is that this has required lots of hard work and discipline in building strength and conditioning. Matt has been dedicated to helping me gain a high level of knowledge related to the dysfunctional movement patterns that have created muscle imbalances leading to chronic pain.
I have experienced a huge improvement in functional strength and pain free movement. Matt’s dedication to understanding the root causes of chronic pain and taking a holistic approach to sharing his knowledge has helped me avoid an unnecessary surgery and greatly improve my quality of life.
In overcoming the chronic pain in my leg and hips I have now come to a better understanding that we must take responsibility for maintaining our health and healing ourselves. We need to reject the idea that doctor’s always have a cure or that we have to live with a diagnosis that surgery is the only option. Our bodies have an amazing capacity for self healing and recovery if we can get in touch with body awareness and dedicate ourselves to the hard work it takes to regain strength and functional movement.
“One of the biggest take homes for me was the empowerment of how much we can do ourselves for the health of our hips (and other joints) through training and strengthening based individually on how each of our bodies is working.”
I attended the workshop on hips with Matt and his crew. I have a torn hip labrum and cyst, and have had surgery suggested to me by my orthopedic following an MRI– to perform femoral head resurfacing, cyst removal and trimming the labral tear. I have also been told that I should look forward to an early hip replacement or even consider one now to avoid such a complicated initial (and potentially unsuccessful) surgery that is known to have a long recovery time and could lead to a hip replacement eventually anyway.
I have been working with Trevor for about a month for individual training. He is helping me improve the function of my hip through our training, and I was encouraged by our work together to sign up for the hip class. It was fantastic! One of the biggest take homes for me was the empowerment of how much we can do ourselves for the health of our hips (and other joints) through training and strengthening based individually on how each of our bodies is working. Matt helped us look at our movement, and explore in realtime exercises we can do to strengthen muscles that for each of us are weak or not activating fully. This class empowered me to understand my own body and how I can train different muscles that need it as well as work with others to support their healthy hips and posture.
“After the first session with Matt, I felt a noticeable difference.”
Three years ago, I started working at my first desk job as an engineer. Two years into the job, I started to experience a lot of neck, shoulder and hip pain. For months, I tried everything I could think of – ergonomic evaluations, multiple physical therapists, medications, chiropractor, acupuncture, deep tissue massages – but nothing helped alleviate the pain.
I was in constant pain, and my range of motion was severely limited. I had trouble driving, sleeping, and working. At one point, I seriously considered quitting my job and doing a complete career change which did not involve sitting or computers.
After nearly 10 months of trying everything, my friend recommended Upright Health, and after the first session with Matt, I felt a noticeable difference. The pain was not gone, but I felt better than I had in months.
Since then, I’ve been working with Upright Health once a week and it’s been life changing. I not only have had a steady improvement in my pain but have a much better understanding of how my body works and how to keep it healthy while working a desk job. After 4 months of training, the pain was 95% gone, and I have been able to continue working at my job with no problems. My life has drastically improved thanks to Upright Health.
“After the first visit with Matt, my pain decreased significantly.”
After herniating a disc in my neck, I spent a year trying massage therapy, Acupuncture, Chiropractic and physical therapy only to receive short term relief. The pain got so bad I couldn't even sit down. After doing extensive searching on the internet I found Upright Health and it sounded promising. After the first visit with Matt, my pain decreased significantly. During my visits, Matt taught me everything that "I" could do at home to get rid of my pain. I no longer needed multiple appointments a week to receive minimal pain relief. Instead I could do it myself by following the exercises Matt set out for me. It is such a relief to know I can control my pain with a simple exercise routine.
“Whenever we have run into a new challenge, he has problem solved based on my body’s unique issues and not off a cookie cutter approach.”
I’ve been training with Matt since the end of 2013, and in that time my hips have improved notably. Though long days of uninterrupted sitting can still make tightness and discomfort return, my hips in general feel much more mobile and healthy, which is really a welcome surprise given how long my hips have been stiff.
“I can tell you that from my inside view of western medicine, we don’t have all the answers.”
I trained as an osteopathic medical doctor. As osteopathic physicians, we take a holistic view of the body. We see the body and mind as interconnected, and we try to avoid the tendency to want to put band-aids over singular, isolated problems. Instead, we try to focus on the relationships of multiple systems in the whole body so that we can help the body restore itself to a healthier state.
As a pediatric anesthesiologist, I work in tense surgical situations. I need to be extremely detail-oriented without losing sight of the bigger picture for my patients. That’s something I need to do well, and it’s a skill I recognize in others.
I have known Matt since we were freshmen at UCLA together. Matt has always had a profound curiosity for how and why things work, and he has always had the capacity to maintain a big-picture perspective on the problems he tries to solve.
Although Matt does not have formal medical training as a physician, I do. And I can tell you that from my inside view of western medicine, we don’t have all the answers. We have some great answers and some great technologies, but what we do in the medical world is not always the end-all-be-all for everything that ails us as human beings.
Matt’s personal and frustrating experience with his own injuries and rehabilitation fueled him to find alternative ways of dealing with chronic muscle and joint pain than what he encountered with the status quo. I’ve seen him go from popping painkillers and wearing analgesic patches to playing hockey and traveling the world. I know he’s found something that can work for people who are struggling.
He’s taken his experience and has turned it into something that can help others. He’s committed to showing people that there are very promising exercise alternatives to surgery for their hip pain (and other parts of their bodies). That wouldn’t be an easy task for a physician, and it’s certainly not easy as an outsider.
I believe in what Matt is trying to accomplish – promoting a perspective that helps others heal in a safe and holistic way. I give Matt my highest recommendation as a man of character and compassion, and I support his mission without reservation.
“Within just 1 session, I immediately began to see improvements in my squat and hip mobility.”
Wow! That pretty much sums up my experience thus far at Upright Health. There’s few times in my life where I would feel this excited to write a review, but I guess there’s a first time for everything :).
I do olympic lifting and I was having a hard time going all the way down into my squat. For some reason, I just couldn’t go below 90 degrees. If I did, I would have groin pain and have a hard time squatting days later. I went to a chiropractor for physical therapy and adjustments. It kind of worked, but it wouldn’t “stick”. After about 5 sessions, the chiropractor became worried and ordered an MRI with contrast. From that, I was diagnosed with having a double labral tear in both hips. Recommendations: arthroscopic surgery to return to full activity. Went to several very prominent hip doctors in Los Angeles, all said the same thing. The cost: At least $20K with insurance . . .
Before I continue, I do want to preface and say that I think most doctors mean well. Some probably don’t have the best of intentions, but most I’ve met take there own advice and treatment recommendations. From that standpoint, I realized after this experience, doctors don’t know everything. In fact, by the nature of their profession, they need to speak with confidence regardless if they know the best solution because 1) it would freak patients out and 2) they would lose business.
With that said, I really didn’t want to get surgery. The amount of time it could take to recover, plus the lack of guarantee that it would fix my problem made it impossible to accept. So I started looking for alternative solutions and came across Upright Health’s FAI fix online. I tried the program and scheduled a couple of sessions with Matt. Within just 1 session, I immediately began to see improvements in my squat and hip mobility. I scheduled a few sessions in person (that’s right, I flew up to the bay area for the sessions) and wow! I can go all the way down in my squat again! Bear in mind that outside of the sessions, Matt gave homework to do on my own. I did the homework and thus, saw pretty close to miraculous results.
The total cost? About 1/25th of surgery with no downtime. That’s simply amazing . . .
To anyone who is reading. If you have a problem with hip impingement, and the doctors are saying “you need surgery”, I highly recommend you see Matt. Matt is one of the few practitioners that not only know what they are doing, but has suffered from the same problems and overcame on his own. That’s very powerful. He’s there to help so even if the diagnosis seems grim, I would stop by Upright Health and see if there is anything that can be done.
“I soon cancelled my surgery and now, after eleven sessions over about three months, I can sit, walk, bike and pretty much do any normal activity with the confidence that I have a plan to help myself if any hip pain comes back.”
Five stars to Matt and his team at Upright Health for all the help I got in dealing with femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). Just before starting with Matt and Kristen, I was walking with a limp and I couldn’t sit without feeling a constant pain in my right hip. I was waiting for my scheduled FAI surgery when I decided to give Upright Health a try. I soon cancelled my surgery and now, after eleven sessions over about three months, I can sit, walk, bike and pretty much do any normal activity with the confidence that I have a plan to help myself if any hip pain comes back.
The thing that stands out the most to me is Upright Health’s unique approach to addressing FAI. They understand that each person’s hip pain is different and so it takes time to figure out the weakness or deficiency that is causing the pain and the right way to balance that out. Sessions with Upright Health are completely dedicated to you, which gives them time to carefully monitor your progress, adjust your at-home exercises/stretches/tissue work and provide you an opportunity to learn as much as you can from what they know. On top of this, both Matt and Kristen have dealt with their own hip pain, and so not only did they have a personal connection to my hip issues, but they also gave me confidence that I could work through my issues without resorting to surgery.
For those that are going through this process, I think it’s important to mention that one weekend I drove for 5-6 hours in a cramped position and the level of my hip pain at the end of the weekend was so high that I was ready to throw in the towel and reschedule the FAI surgery. At that time I had made significant progress, but I wasn’t to the point where I really understood what was causing my hip pain. I’m glad I didn’t do that because within a few weeks I had a session with Kristen that ended up being the last piece that helped everything else fall into place. I think what helped me make the decision to stick with the program was knowing that others were able to break through their FAI pain, and so hopefully this helps you as well.
“The whole program was customized for me and tweaked every week at my workouts.”
I came to Upright Health with chronic pain in my upper back, neck, and shoulders from years of slumping in front of computers. I had been to physical therapy multiple times, tried acupuncture and a chiropractor, and spent lots of time with a massage therapist. A couple of the physical therapists were really good and got the pain to stop – but then they would pronounce me “done” – and a month or two later the pain would return. Clearly, I needed to make long term changes to what I was doing to my body.
Josh listened to my description of what hurt and what my goals were (I was signed up for a marathon walk in three months). He carefully observed how I stood and moved. Then he devised a program that included strength training, stretching, targeted massage and body rolling that had me seeing improvement almost immediately. The whole program was customized for me and tweaked every week at my workouts. I walked the marathon with no problem.
It’s now been a year and I still work out every other week with Josh. I am so much stronger everywhere, especially in my upper back, and I can dead lift 150 pounds. My shoulders are no longer stuck in a forward slump and they move like they’re supposed to.
Most importantly though, Josh gave me the tools to help myself. When my body starts to hurt, I can identify what I’ve done to bring it on and what to do on my own to fix it. And if I can’t, I know that Josh and Matt will work together with me to figure it out.
Thanks, Upright Health, for giving me my life back!
“I feel solid and strong and am so happy I started working with Matt.”
Years ago I ran five Triathlons, 3 sprints and 2 olympic size ones. It was a fun thing to do as my forties started, and I figured a great way to get in shape. However, it took it’s toll on my aging body and things started to hurt all over. Two years ago, my back started to hurt just going on fun rides for an hour from the house. My foot and knee were hurting on one leg, which kept me from running, and I had constant neck pain. I had been getting massages, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, but nothing was really solving the underlying problems.
Then I booked an appointment with Matt and things got much better.
His theory is to build muscle mass exactly where you need it, which is mainly in the glutes for exercising, and stretch out what is blocking your limbs from moving properly. It’s not a revolutionary idea, but Matt is a healer and knows how to diagnose what exercises and stretches you need to get stronger and healthier. Three months after I started following his weight lifting and stretching regime regularly at home (about 45-60 minutes 5X a week), my lower back and neck pain were gone, and riding my bike became fun again.
It took another 3 months, but now finally my knee and foot pain are gone, and I can run without pain. I feel solid and strong, and am so happy I started working with Matt. At first you meet frequently, so he can adjust your exercises rapidly. Now, I meet once a month and fine tune the strategy. I had to make my car garage a workout room, but it was either buy weights for my home or join a gym. I dislike gyms, they are more expensive and not convenient, so the home gym was a good idea. Matt is a great guy, fun to talk to, and the hour long sessions are enjoyable. He really knows how to zero in on your needs, and has a huge rotisserie of stretches and exercises that he tries on you until one fits.
If you want to do more with your body than it will let you, then invest in Matt’s therapy and do the work every day. You will feel better, quick.
“He finally went to see Matt, and has been pain-free since his first appointment.”
Every good thing that has been said about Matt Hsu is absolutely true and probably even understated. Matt is nothing short of phenomenal at his job and he's just a darn nice guy too.
I first saw Matt in 2011 after suffering with intermittent low back pain for 10 years from a herniated disk. I would range from okay to agonizing. I also had shoulder pain and some postural misalignment. Matt helped me work through all of my problems. Yes, I had to do the work, but Matt is a master-listener. He really strives to understand what is driving the dysfunction so he can help you correct it. I feel like he gave me my life back. After 10 years, I had begun to see back pain as part of my identity. There were so many things I felt I could never do again. But Matt showed me the path out of pain and helped to have a very different and more holistic mindset. I have been able to resume all of my previous activities.
Last year, my husband began having low back pain that was not alleviated by anything. He was certain we just needed a new mattress, but even that did not help. He finally went to see Matt, and has been pain-free since his first appointment. He's joined the "Matt Hsu fan club", and often tells our friends how incredible his experience with Matt has been.
I had low back pain. My husband had low back pain. Did we get the same set of exercises from Matt? No! Our problems were totally different, and Matt was able to figure out how to help in each case. I'm just sad he has moved out of San Diego. Menlo Park, you are lucky! Treat him well! He's a treasure!
“Matt adds a very functional element for pain management and strength.”
(I'm reviewing Matt for his amazing pain management/training.)
- Me: 2 bunionectomies (one on each foot), 1 PCL/ACL tear, 1 knee scope.
- My workout routine: 5x a week on my own
- My training: In the past 6 years, I've had about 10 physical therapists across New York, Atlanta and California and probably 5 trainers. NO one has been able to get immediate results like Matt has.
- Muscle knowledge, especially how it all works together -- functionally, and individually (knowing that each person's muscle/nerves/etc. are unique)
- Specific trial and error to find which exercises help/are neutral for your pain
- Targeted muscle work/exercises
- Exercises you can bring home and do on your own
- Realistic goals/needs
PT helped, but Matt adds a very functional element for pain management and strength. I recently went back for a maintenance session and while he's a bit more expensive - I can't emphasize enough, "you get what you pay for" and Matt's cream of the crop.
“I have evolved my fitness routine, while being almost completely pain free!”
I have had MRI’s, tests and visited with several PT’s for several years to find a solution for my neck and back pain.
I have done hours of research trying to find a solution and the right place, were they are not your “typical” PT telling you to go home and do all the “typical” exercises! I never even imagined that I could lift heavy weights, but with Matt’s guidance, I have evolved my fitness routine, while being almost completely pain free!
Upright Health and Matt have been amazing, helping me understand my body better and guide me in the right direction! If you are looking to get rid of your pain AND get strong, then go see Matt!
“Brian found that Rolfing® SI helped him restore mobility and fix the aches and pains that come with a heavy training schedule.”
Brian’s site for MMA training, self-defense training, and health consulting: http://www.sawsystemssd.com/
After 25 years of continuous mixed martial arts training and 3 knee surgeries, Brian found that Rolfing® SI helped him restore mobility and fix the aches and pains that come with a heavy training schedule.
“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.”
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!
“I was surprised to find how much better I felt and how much better I was moving after our session.”
I'm in my last year of physical therapy school at UCSF/SFSU and recently learned about myofascial release and deep functional massage techniques, or "Rolfing" or "bodywork" as it is often referred to as. I heard about Matt through his website and having just gone snowboarding for the third time in my life (i.e. in pain everywhere) I thought it would be a good time to go in for a demo.
I'm not one to get bodywork done (I wouldn't call it a massage), and I've never even had a regular massage so seeing Matt was quite an experience. I was surprised to see how similar his initial examination skills were to a physical therapist's. Matt's got a skillful eye when it comes to movement deviations. I was also surprised by how much it hurts when you're actually having the body work done. You definitely have to be a believer in the "no pain, no gain" adage to have rolfing work for you. Finally I was surprised to find how much better I felt and how much better I was moving after our session.
For those of you skeptical of the whole Rolfing movement take it from me, a (soon-to-be) physical therapist, it is definitely worth a try. And if you want your first session to be with a skillful and knowledgeable practitioner then Matt is your man.
BTW I'm saying all this now before I actually start practicing PT and realize Matt is taking all my business.
“Great progress and no pain in my lower back!”
I have a herniated disk in my lower back, and I could see I was losing strength and muscle, so I decided to seek out a trainer. I was partnered with Vincent and he was great. We discussed my goals and talked a lot about what movements strain my lower back, and from there he developed a plan.
Working with Vincent I became stronger and put on a lot of muscle. He was always checking in with me to see if any movements caused discomfort in my lower back and was overall very conscientious of my issue and easy to work with. I started with a goblet squat of 10 lbs and by the time I had to move out of state for work, I was doing 45 lb goblet squats. Great progress and no pain in my lower back!
I greatly enjoyed my experience with Vincent and miss it. He is very knowledgeable, motivating, and aware of his clients’ needs. I recommend him! If you want to improve mobility and movement, or change your body, get going!
“I understand my body a lot better and have made more progress in the last 2 months than I had in the last 5 years.”
Matt is, by far, the best trainer/physical therapist/person who can help you fix whatever is wrong with your body I have encountered, and I have encountered far too many (over 20). I have had problems with my hip, back, and shoulder for over 5 years and have been told that I have FAI, a labral tear in my hip, loose joints, bursitis, sprains, etc. and that I need surgery.
Matt is unique in that he truly listens to what is going on with YOU and then works with you to individualize the program to what works for you. You try an exercise, you see together whether it is doing what it is supposed to, and if it isn’t, then he tries something else. He is thoughtful, dedicated and knowledgeable, and respects your experience and understanding of your own body, using all of this to work together to find a solution. Thanks to him, I understand my body a lot better and have made more progress in the last 2 months than I had in the last 5 years.
“Terry nixes the back pain and gets his golf swing back”
After years of constant pain, four sessions of Rolfing® Structural Integration and a few months of consistent adherence to a corrective exercise program reprogrammed Terry’s muscles for more efficient movement patterns and made a huge difference in the power of his golf drives.
“When I can do the tissue work, stretches, and exercises regularly from the Shoulder Fix, I am fine!”
So, briefly about myself, I am a 60 year old physician, and if I can’t fix myself with non acute musculoskeletal issues, I don’t usually go to the doctor. I’ve been lucky enough to have sought out massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, and have gotten involved on my own with yoga, Alexander technique, and the Egoscue method.
My X-ray shows calcium deposits in my right shoulder, and I probably have tendinitis/ bursitis from an allopathic doctor’s point of view, but what I do with the position of my joints – taking care of relationships of joints and muscles and fascia – is what gives me the most benefit. When I mention “fascia,” my colleagues look at me cross eyed.
In the Shoulder Fix, I find the bent over arm circles to be very beneficial. And in starting the recalibration/ strengthening section, I am starting with no weight/ resistance, just to get used to the movements and do with correct form, and not hurt anything. ( Has happened in the past with other exercises!). Unfortunately like a lot of others, I am “too busy,” sit too much, am on the computer for eight hours a day at work…
But, in summary, when I can do the tissue work, stretches, and exercises regularly from the Shoulder Fix, I am fine! Thanks for the program you have created!
“With proper personalized training and self-care techniques, she learned how to prepare her body for a happy, healthy life.”
Joan was suffering with debilitating hip pain. She was walking with a cane. She had already seen her doctor and tried physical therapy but nothing relieved the pain or restored her mobility. By relieving tension in her muscle and connective tissue she gained mobility. With proper personalized training and self-care techniques, she learned how to prepare her body for a happy, healthy life.
“What’s important is that I can walk and stand pain free today!”
I’m 37 and have played pool/billiards for over 20 years, sometimes 10 hours a day. I took up golf 2 years ago and noticed when checking my setup in the mirror, that my right hip and torso was kind of elevated and turned to the right. I tried everything to fix it. I decided to go to a chiropractor where I was told my spine was crooked and one leg was shorter than the other. She pushed on my back real hard and charged me 80 bucks. Then I paid a guy 100 bucks online who did a skype session with me and gave me some exercises to do. I did these exercises for 3 weeks with no luck.
Last night I saw your rotated torso video and did the stretch with one foot on the wall and I almost cried because it hurt so bad. This morning, however, I did hamstring stretches and looked in the mirror and found that my belly button looked a bit more centered. I thought it was an elevated right hip, but I’m not so sure anymore.
What’s important is that I can walk and stand pain free today! I just wanted to say thanks, and I love your videos. You have a great sense of humor.
“I walked away feeling better and confident in what to do next.”
In an hour, Matt was able to identify and, through stretches and massage, correct a back issue that had been bothering me for months. Previous doctors and chiropractors weren't able to make this much progress, if at all. I mentioned that I was a beginner weightlifter and he helped guide me in proper technique and a specific set of exercises to prevent my back issue from returning. I walked away feeling better and confident in what to do next. Definitely worth your visit.
“You will truly find out what pain relief and getting your life back is all about.”
Matt knows more about releasing pain and improving the quality of life than most physicians will ever know. I hadn’t been able to see Matt for the four years he was in San Diego and I was really suffering. I mean really suffering to the point of having to use serious medications. He came by on his first day back in the Bay Area and worked on my pectoral muscles which were a major source of my back pain. He also rearranged my workstation and I have been feeling FANTASTIC since his visit. He is moving back to the Bay Area and this is great news for anyone dealing with physical pain on any level. This guy knows more, much more, than most physicians and physical therapists will ever know about healing the body naturally. There isn’t a chiropractor, physical therapist, exercise physiologist or so called pain specialist that knows more than Matt does about dramatically improving pain levels.
Forget what you think pain relief should look like. Make an appointment to see this guy. You will truly find out what pain relief and getting your life back is all about.
“I had virtually NO pain, and full range of motion.”
I went to see Matt hoping that he might help with a nagging shoulder injury that was interfering with my workouts and getting painful enough to keep me awake at night. But I was doubtful. WOW - was I ever wrong. He accessed my alignment with photos, (ugh!!!) and had me do about 15 to 20 minutes of exercises, and at the end I was amazed! I had virtually NO pain, and full range of motion. The pain has not returned. Now I'm looking forward to my exercises, for continued posture alignment, and soon I'll be completely pain free in my entire body! And he's very attentive and a really nice guy too! P.S. I'm 61 and a competitive athlete, so pain free is a miracle.... expect miracles! Thanks Matt!!!!
“After only a few weeks of some very light but consistent exercises, I noticed a big difference in the level of stiffness and soreness in my neck.”
Before I started working with Matt I’d lived with chronic, constant but variable neck and shoulder pain for several years. I’d been out for a leisurely stroll with my dog when I turned my head slightly to one side and something in my neck went suddenly and catastrophically wrong. I went to a chiropractor my husband had seen for some time and he was able to fix the immediate problem and gradually, over a course of several months, reduce the frequency with which my neck pain would become totally debilitating. Besides chiropractic adjustments, I also began doing stretching exercises meant to loose up muscles that had over-tightened due to repetitive strain (read: working on the computer, in my job as a web designer). But chiropractic care and stretching alone was never able to bring the level of pain, soreness and stiffness down to what I considered an acceptable level, and I was still prone to the sudden onset of severe pain, locked joints, and muscles spasms.
I spent one year trying Vinyasa yoga before deciding that yoga actually left me worse off than before. I flirted, albeit briefly, with massage and acupuncture. After several years of simply living with more or less constant pain and soreness, I decided to look into Rolfing and it was at this point that I came across Upright Health. In this context, what I had expected was a lot of deep tissue massage, with some stretches and maybe a few exercise pointers. What I ended up with was the exact opposite: a lot of weight training, some stretching, and a little bit of deep tissue work. And it really works! Matt’s hypothesis was that my neck pain was at least partly caused by attempts to compensate for weakness in my shoulders, and we started a schedule of weight and resistance training to increase strength in my back and shoulders (and everywhere else just for good measure. I warn you, no matter what you come in for, your glutes are going to get a workout).
It was about seven months ago that I first came to Upright Health. I’ve had only one serious crick in my neck since we began, and that was during just our second session (again, a simple turn of the head was all it took). After only a few weeks of some very light but consistent exercises, I noticed a big difference in the level of stiffness and soreness in my neck. Since then I’ve greatly increased my overall strength as evidenced both by the improvement in pain levels and the fact that I’m lifting several times the weight I started out with. The average level of pain in my neck and shoulders is greatly reduced, and the frequency of flare ups is way down. After just a couple of months spent working with Matt, my husband noted that “it must be making a big difference, I haven’t heard you complain about your neck in weeks!” Also, I can open my own pickle jars now.
I am not a health nut, and I don’t like to exercise. But Matt is so engaging and entertaining that I do look forward to our weekly sessions and enjoy the time we spend on them. You’ve got to like a guy who can hear the phrase “The two sweetest words in the English language!” and immediately come up with, “De-fault!” (it’s from a Simpsons episode). Any man who, given the chance to take one DVD to Europe with him, chooses a collection of Sealab 2020, is okay in my book.
His enthusiasm and belief that *you* can get stronger are infectious and almost make you forget that he’s making you do so, so many push-ups, and his empathy for those of us who are starting out not-so-strong is tremendous. I would strongly recommend Upright Health to anyone who’s perhaps been a bit too sedentary and has suffered chronic pain as a result. I would also recommend Matt to anyone who just wants to strengthen and maintain themselves in the absence of any pain at all.
“Over the course of the first few months, I learned how to make my SI joint more stable, how to properly massage my own body to release the muscle tightness causing me so many problems in my leg, and how to properly structure my workout routines so I wasn’t hurting myself by overdoing it.”
I came to Upright Health because my low back and left S.I. joint would not stop aching and hurting, and I was sick of it.
I’m in my 50’s, and I pride myself on being healthy and fit. I was doing regular yoga and cardio as well. Despite my best efforts, my left knee was giving me severe, sharp pains off and on and my feet would tingle and go numb within 10-20 minutes on a treadmill. I was getting regular chiropractic adjustments that were helpful, but my body would just get tweaked again and again on a regular basis no matter how many adjustments I got. On top of all this, I have had a long fight with debilitating migraines for the last 10 years.
In training with Matt at Upright Health, I learned a lot about my own body and what all these problems meant, and my body is so much happier than it was. Over the course of the first few months, I learned how to make my SI joint more stable, how to properly massage my own body to release the muscle tightness causing me so many problems in my leg, and how to properly structure my workout routines so I wasn’t hurting myself by overdoing it. I also learned that the right kind of exercise actually helps prevent the start of a migraine from blowing up into a full blown episode!
After a year and a half training at Upright Health, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. I can do a full chin up, I’ve trained my S.I. joint to be stable, I know how to stretch in case my back or hip ever start to bother me, and my knee and feet no longer cause me problems. I’ve learned how to move better – and in the right amount – to keep my body fit and healthy.
If you want to get stronger and learn how to take better care of yourself – no matter your age – go to Upright Health.
“My time at Upright Health has brought me levels of comfort and mobility that I have not had in years.”
As a former college athlete and current overstressed CEO of a construction company, my shoulders and hips were so out of whack that normal day to day activities were a challenge. My feet did not point in the same direction and I could barely pull my seat belt down in my car because my shoulder was so knotted up. Running was out of the question and my right shoulder would not let me do a number of overhead lifts. However, with no glaring acute injuries, I was prescribed mild physical therapy to address my issues.
Matt and the Upright Health team worked with me to identify where my body was unbalanced and out of line and then developed a custom plan of therapeutic massage, stretching and strength training that targeted my exact needs.
My time at Upright Health has brought me levels of comfort and mobility that I have not had in years. I can’t thank Matt and his team enough.
“As soon as I started with the exercises, I noticed a great improvement.”
When I first met Matt, I was suffering from neck and lower back pain. I had bulging discs in my back and neck and really wanted to avoid surgery. I had several steroid injections in my neck with some relief, but the pain always came back. Anti-inflammatories made me crazy.
I was really desperate for some type of improvement. As soon as I started with the exercises Matt gave me, I noticed a great improvement. This was a testament to Matt’s expertise of understanding the human body and his patience working with me. My quality of life has greatly improved, and I have Matt to thank for it. I continue to do my exercises, and I am feeling great. Thanks Matt for all you have done for me!