I haven’t worked out since I got pregnant with Rex — that’s more than 2 years ago. As a result, many of my muscles have fallen asleep. I didn’t realize this until I met David Reavy. He’s a physical therapist who founded React Physical Therapy in Chicago, and he has a new approach to treating injuries that works.

I schlep my sons (25 pounds and 17 pounds) everywhere. I carry them on my hip up and down and contort my body in such positions that I work my arms so hard, they shake from fatigue. I walk around feeling as though my shoulders are touching my ears, my lower back has a lingering soreness and my body alignment is now cockeyed. To my fellow moms, you know what I’m talking about.

In traditional physical therapy, the therapist would work on the areas that are having pain. In this case, my shoulders and lower back. However, David went straight to my hip flexor. He realized after a quick assessment that the cause of my discomfort was a tight, lazy hip flexor. His philosophy is that because all of our muscles are connected, the focus should be on the area that’s causing the back to hurt, not the back itself. This theory helps to get to the root of the pain so you can solve the problem for the longterm. You’ll see in the “before” photo how I could only lift my leg a couple of inches off the mat. My hip flexor was so weak that other muscles were overcompensating. As soon as David activated, or as he says, “woke up the muscle,” I was able to lift my leg to the sky (see “after” photo). Most important, the minute I stood up to walk around, I felt like bricks had dropped off my shoulders.

In the past, I relied on massage to sort out the knots. While it’s extremely relaxing, and I’ll never turn down a good massage, the relief was fleeting. All it took was 30 minutes with David for me to feel lighter and longer than I have since having kids. I wouldn’t say that one session has completely put me back together. But it’s made the biggest impact.

David has four physical therapy locations in Illinois, and the studios also offer group fitness classes and massage treatments driven by the same principles.

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