Pete Egoscue, having suffered a debilitating hip injury while in the Marine Corps, was told by doctors there was nothing to be done for his pain. A defiant Egoscue took to the exploration of movement to heal his injury. He then began to train others.
While his methods enjoy tremendous popularity, his claims are not backed by clinical trial evidence and are unconventional. Egoscue had undergraduate training in athletics, along with a degree in Political Science.
Although Mr. Egoscue states otherwise, it is best to get checked by your doctor before starting this or any exercise program to address chronic pain.
What is the Egoscue Method?
I read the book and tried the exercises via their DVD. (The book also describes the exercises.) The book gives background on how and why this system of exercise works, and is very a interesting read. If you do not have an understanding of posture or anatomy, some of the material in the book might be challenging. But it is certainly worth it to try to get through the explanations, as they offer a profound yet simple approach to getting out of pain. The good news is that Egoscue's writer Roger Gittines has conveyed much of the information about common conditions using patient stories, and those parts of the book are very engaging. Along with the use of illustrations, there are also boxes on almost every page with easy-to-understand descriptions of common issues associated with chronic musculoskeletal pain.
Does the Egoscue Method Work?
One important note, when you do the exercises, pay attention to the details that come with the instructions, for example, keeping your foot straight, i.e. not turned outward, when lifting your leg. These nuances are what makes the system of E-cises effective at relieving pain.
The Book - PainFree
There is also a chapter for athletes in which Egoscue gives exercise programs relevant to quite a few different sports, from soccer to walking and running to golf and more. The final chapter is about maintaining freedom from pain once you have achieved it. In this chapter, Egoscue offers some interesting suggestions, such as keeping a motion diary in your daily life to track patterns and decide which E-cises exercises will help you stay painfree.
The DVDs - Egoscue PainFree Workout Series
The DVDs offer a few different ways to view the exercises. After completing the "Functional Tests", I recommend you start with the "Complete Workout" until you are sure of the how the E-cises go. There is an option for exercises with music, and in the advanced version, with explanations for professionals. Again, unless you have a background in anatomy and/or postural education, you may become confused with these explanations. The beginner DVD has a "lighter" version of the explanations inherent in the way the instructions are given, and technical terminology used here, as well. However, if you listen to the instructions repeatedly, as you might if you do the E-cises everyday, some of the explanations may begin to make sense. The explanations are another great way to understand how the method works to reverse chronic pain.