Maggie Lucas Success Story

Categories: Stories Aug 30, 2017

Our friend and OS Certified Clinician Maggie Lucas shared her own Success Story with us...

In July 2001, I broke my back while working on a ropes course. I had surgery a week later to fuse my second and third lumbar vertebrae using a graft from my hip. Due to my active lifestyle and future career in Outdoor Education, doctors chose to install two titanium rods from T10-L5 for extra stability. I had nerve damage in my lumbar spine and right leg and needed a walker. With any weight, my leg buckled sending a shock through my whole body. They didn’t know if I would ever regain full use and sensation. I was 22, devastated and 3 years into my B.A. in Adventure Education with no idea what I would do with my life if I couldn't be active.

I had PT three days a week for 4-5 months and when discharged was nowhere near 100% and felt deconditioned and stiff.  I limited myself to classroom courses and continued to rehab at the local YMCA.

A year after my fall, I took my first field based course camping in the City of Rocks National Monument building trails and doing a lot of rock climbing. I was nervous to climb again, not trusting myself or the equipment. I fatigued quickly on hikes and my low back hurt with the hard labor building trails.  I mountaineered in the Sierra Nevada, hiked in Death Valley, and climbed in Joshua Tree. My legs didn't feel like my own. They tired so quickly and my breathing became labored quickly. Formerly one of the strongest and fastest I was now the slowest. I suffered from Achilles tendonitis and had to sit out the "peak bagging". My body just couldn't handle the load like before.

A year later I got my first job in wilderness therapy. We hiked slowly but my back hurt all the time. I moved into more managerial roles, still struggling with nerve damage in my right leg, numbness and chronic hip pain. One day I went for a run and the hip pain went away!  I learned the more active I was, the better I felt. Soon I was running 50 miles a week, winning races, and developing knee pain. The ortho MD said I should stop running so I rehabbed on my own and became interested in physical therapy. I did stop running, but only until the pain subsided. I started yoga, Tai Chi, and stretching classes (for seniors) and realized how limited my mobility was. My knee pain went away.

I graduated with my AAS as a Physical Therapist Assistant in 2014 and learned about OS the following year. I went to a Rocktape course, taught by Shante Cofield (the Movement Maestro), and my whole life changed. She exposed me to OS and diaphragmatic breathing to decrease the chronic tension in my hamstrings (I've been stretching and foam rolling and lacrosse balling my HS for the last 7 years after a bout of sciatica with no long-term gains). That morning my standing toe touch went from mid-thigh to mid-shin just like that. Soon I was breathing and rolling daily and seeing amazing gains in mobility. I gave up crossfitting and went back to running. I incorporated OS resets a couple times a week and do not have any of the stiffness I have felt since 2001. I have a core! My hamstrings now retain their length and no stretching is needed. I can now touch the floor!

After attending an OS Pressing Reset course, followed by the Pro course a few months later, I am hooked. I use OS with such a broad range of patients in my clinic and see amazing results. I do resets first thing in the morning and feel so good all day. Finding OS changed my course for life. I believe my quality of life as I age is going to be much improved. I've always worried about mobility decreasing as I age and what will happen to the discs above and below my rods. I now know that I am in complete control of my body. It's no longer a waiting game.

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