Case study: Wayne Gavin

Meet Wayne, a 54-year-old builder of 38 years. Originally from Whangārei, Wayne moved to Christchurch in 2013 for work opportunities. In his spare time, he referee’s Futsal at a top level in New Zealand, including competitions in the North and South Island.

In the beginning of 2021 Wayne fell backwards, hitting his head on a trailer leaving him with concussion and nerve damage to his neck and lower back. Wayne had surgery fusing his C4/5 vertebrae (neck) and spent 6 months rehabilitating to get back to work part-time. This accident left Wayne with constant pain in the neck and back (lower and mid back), which has made working on a building site very difficult. Wayne could no longer run, which has had an impact on refereeing futsal. His goal was to be pain free for work and return to running for Futsal.

Wayne tried various health specialists and medications, but he was still struggling to see change. When he found out about Corrective Movement he thought “why not try it out?”.

That’s when Wayne and I got together over video chat to assess his situation. Wayne learnt that he had muscle imbalances throughout his body, particularly at his pelvis and shoulders. This was causing the low back and neck to take excessive loading, pain and hindering recovery.

The plan was to have Wayne retrain his body to move correctly again, particularly in activities such as walking, stair climbing, squatting, bending, and lifting. We discovered early on that it wouldn’t just be a matter of asking his body to move differently – there was simply too much tension restricting his body from being able to do so without pain. Wayne first had to release the excess tension, before retraining the brain and tissue to move correctly again. Once mobility improved, he began building strength and habit to activate the strongest muscles for the job, to take pressure out of the back, neck, and hands, and help keep his body balanced and comfortable.

Wayne incorporated his corrective training into his pre-existing day-to-day activities – (work, hobbies, his Physio’s strength program) – with a busy lifestyle and a spine that fatigued easily, keeping efficient in how Wayne trained was important. Furthermore, Wayne learnt that by “training on the job” (stretching onsite and applying his corrective concepts), he could not only build habit and strength, but relieve and reduce pain.

Over a series of ten sessions (predominantly via video meetings) Wayne has made significant progress. He can stand for longer periods of time, walk easier upstairs, has friends and family noticing how much more upright he is with his posture and how he is moving better, and is in less pain.

“Since beginning Corrective Movement, I have gained the knowledge of how certain parts of the body operate and what I had to do to correct my movements from day to day. I basically learnt to walk again (correctly), use different muscles, identify areas I need to strengthen“

While it will take some time for his learned habits to become his new “normal”, Wayne is now at a place where can prevent and relieve pain to give him greater quality of life.“ I still need to be careful with the intensity of my day to day living until my new posture and movements become habit and don’t have to think about it.” This is Wayne’s next step in his journey. The next goal is to build the running up for Futsal, which he is so close to achieving.

Wayne has really enjoyed the process and found great benefit that he believes will help him not just for the short term but for life. His advice to other people who may facing similar challenges to him is: “Trust the advice and program that has been designed for you and do the exercises regularly. It may take a while but is totally worth it. You will start to feel more positive about life and get back to normality. Give yourself a break, it won’t get better overnight but you will get there.”

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