Name: Chris MacLachlan, 47

Health condition: Severe back and sciatic pain after falling down stairs.

Health goal: Find ways to function and manage the pain better.

How I feel now: The class and the inversion table have changed my life. I’ve learned there isn’t one thing that will make your life better or easier, it’s many things. Pacing myself is a huge thing. You may not be able to do everything, but you can still do lots of things — and that’s huge for your mental well-being. I’ve changed my internal dialogue, and I celebrate my accomplishments. I haven’t missed any work. I tell myself that I can go for a walk. It may only be for half an hour, but I can do it.

Working together: We saw a metamorphosis in Chris (pictured here on her inversion table, which she uses daily to improve her back pain), from the first session to the followup. It was encouraging to see how well she grasped the content. We helped her understand her pain, and that she has many tools to help manage it. She works with her pain now as opposed to battling it. She realized that her pain shouldn’t be minimized by anyone, including herself. She has taken her life back.

— Katie Krenz, kinesiologist and active living coordinator, South Calgary PCN

Back 2 Health is a five-week program offering self-management tools for people with back pain.

by Jacqueline Louie
Photo by George Webber

This story appears in the latest issue of Health Matters magazine. Read the full issue here.