In a NY Daily News article on the long term health consequences of playing American Football, Phil Simms the former NY Giants quarterback reflects on his experience and how Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) reduced his pain and changed his life.
An extract from the article.
Simms has not played golf in eight years. His back was killing him. A few years ago, he had surgery for spinal stenosis. Six months later, he felt like his back was always tight. He would stretch, work with foam rollers, try to work out a little bit, and that would give him a little relief. Then the pain would return 20 minutes later.
He went to a Giants preseason game in the summer of 2015 to speak with team doctors. He was desperate for a solution.
“I was so miserable, I didn’t know what I was going to do,” Simms said.
The Giants doctors asked him, “Can you exercise? Can you touch your toes?”
“Yes,” Simms told them. “I’m flexible as hell.
‘Surgery had just shut my body down.’
He didn’t stay for the game. He went back home and curled up in a ball on the floor of his living room.
“It was brutal. The surgery had just shut my body down so bad,” Simms said. “When muscles shut down, it causes pain.”
Simms looked comfortable on television, but inside he was being tortured by the pain. He was miserable. He walked through airports and stopped every 20 feet to wipe the sweat off his forehead. He would act like his shoes were untied and bend down trying to relieve the pain. The years of twisting his back throwing a football had taken its toll on his body.
The 2014 season was never-ending. He was doing games for CBS on Sunday and Thursday and the pain was unbearable. That led to his visit with the Giants doctors. He called his son Chris, who lost his spleen playing for the Bucs in 2006. Chris lost control of his body following surgery and kept looking for answers. It led him to Greg Roskopf, the founder of Muscle Activation Techniques based in Denver.
‘I did a lot better.’
Dad wanted to avoid another back surgery. “If I went to an orthopedic surgeon, they would have operated on me,” Phil said.
Chris told him to go see Roskopf. The following Saturday night, Simms did a preseason game and then stopped in Denver on his way home to New Jersey. He stayed in Denver for three days. “I did a lot better,” he said.
He made pit stops in Denver throughout the season. He was sold. “(Roskopf) knows how the body works,” Simms said. “If your left arm hurts, maybe it’s because your right shoulder was tight. To say I feel different is the biggest understatement in the world. I feel great. Playing takes so much out of you. It’s the contact and the training. It’s just so intense.”
Roskopf changed his life. “I went maybe once this season,” Simms said. “I know how to fix myself if I do feel a little pain.”
No more golf. No more tennis. “I’m 61,” Simms said. “I’ve had enough athletic thrills. I’m in total preservation mode. I watch everything I eat. I listen to everything. I read everything. I believe in the new way of athletic training and taking care of yourself. I’m not talking about stretching and all that stuff. It’s much more advanced.”