What it means to conquer pain.
Powerlifting ninja, Army veteran, and ER nurse Mekel injured her hip while sumo deadlifting and it affected her ability to work, play with her kids, and lift. After trying rest, meds, injections, physical therapy, and chiro with little to no results, the doctors finally told her all that was left was to stop lifting and get surgery… at 27. But there was something she hadn’t tried: Ninja Physio. Being athletes ourselves, we understand the requirements of higher-level performance in a way that most places can’t. We provide injury rehab, prevention, and next-level performance training that gets athletes back to sport quickly and stronger than before.
A life-long and U.S. top-ranked judoka, MSHQ Sensei Hector tore a hamstring during his 2021 Lone Star Classic tournament. Weeks later, his hamstring was doing better, but his knee started hurting so much that he couldn’t practice “real judo.” With the 2021 Lisbon World Championships Veterans tournament only months away, he needed to recover, fast! Knowing that the “normal route” would be lengthy and likely ineffective, he decided to give Ninja Physio a shot. With Ninja Physio’s methods and Hector’s hard work, he was tournament-ready just weeks later, and he represented MSHQ, Killeen, and the U.S. at Lisbon, Portugal, earning the silver medal. He was also able to start running again, something he had avoided for eight years. For Hector, conquering pain and having Ninja Physio in his arsenal is about freedom; freedom to try new things and keep challenging himself knowing that, should an injury happen, he can jump back in quickly. With such an advantage, what are the limits? There are none.
An avid runner and powerlifter, Rita was signed up to do a marathon and a powerlifting competition in late 2021. She was working on getting her mileage and lifting volume up, when her hip started hurting after a heavy sumo deadlift sesh. As with previous injuries, she figured that some rest and cryo would do the trick, but the pain was getting worse, to the point that it would hurt to just walk. She was limping around at work, and doing anything with her energetic twins was definitely out.
Rita considered getting treatment, but her insurance was requiring her to make an appointment with her primary doctor, who would then refer her to physical therapy, which she would have to wait for. She didn’t want to be jumping through those annoying hoops, nor did she have time for that; her events were a few months away, her mileage and weight load were not where they needed to be, and the pain only kept getting worse.
The final straw came three months in, when what was supposed to be an easy deadlift session turned out to be very hard and painful. By this point, the pain was making everything harder and miserable. But as luck would have it, she saw a friend’s post on Facebook about Ninja Physio and decided to give us a call. She was set for an appointment the same week, and began her athletic rehab program immediately. No wait, no bs. Rita was able to resume her training quickly, and just a few weeks later, ran the 10k version of the race in Hawaii and competed in her powerlifting meet.
During the year since completing her program, Rita has deadlifted the heaviest she’s ever done, ran her fastest 5K, and completed the arduous Murph Challenge (with a vest)… all with no pain. She also regularly runs, and places, in the Centex Race Series (with the support of her husband, who pushes their twins uphill both ways), and serves the community through the City of Killeen and Team RWB Fort Hood.
What’s next for Rita? More powerlifting meets, two half marathons, a strong(wo)man competition, and a sub-22 minute 5K. I guess she’s just taking it easy for now.
Being 20 years in the Army, Lou was used to jumping out of airplanes and arduous workouts. He injured his back over a decade ago, and got surgery in 2012. Three years later, the back pain was back. He tried multiple rounds of physical therapy, the chiropractor, massages, and injections, but none provided long term relief. He also tried cryotherapy, and it helped reduce the pain, but his left leg still felt much weaker than his right. He could hardly do calf raises or walk up stairs. A doctor told Lou that he had nerve damage and would need surgery to possibly fix it. Otherwise, he’d just have to live with it the rest of his life. Having exhausted his options and not wanting another surgery, Lou figured that his athletic days were over and limited his workouts to upper body lifts. In 2022, Lou heard about Ninja Physio through his wife and decided to give it a shot. In only a few months, he’s regained significant strength in his leg, even doing single leg box jumps!
Tammy had already had two ACL repair surgeries on her right knee when it started hurting again and locking up. After taking an MRI, the doctor told her that she had a torn ACL and meniscus and that she’d need another surgery. Otherwise, she’d have to stop running and drastically reduce her activity levels the rest of her life. Like any athlete and active mom, this was unacceptable. She tried chiro, massage, and physical therapy with temporary or no results. She heard of Ninja Physio through her friend’s social media posts, and rather than get another surgery, she decided to give us a call. After a few months of diligently following her program, Tammy avoided ACL surgery, can play tennis with her kids, and run again!
In 2012, Jarrod was in a motorcycle accident where he injured his back, neck, knee, and shoulder which required surgery. The doctors told him that he was lucky to walk and would be very limited in his physical abilities the rest of his life. Nonetheless, he tried being as active as he could, participating in 5Ks in the Centex Race Series and being active with Team Red, White & Blue (RWB). Jarrod heard about Ninja Physio through a friend in RWB and signed up. In just a few months, he’s the strongest and fittest he’s been in a decade! He goes to CrossFit Bluestone 5X a week and is consistently lowering his 5K times, which he runs with his son. One of his goals for 2023 is to win 1st place in his age group!
Years of shoulder pain were preventing Missy from progressing with her upper body workouts. She was told that her shoulder pain was due to scoliosis and that there was nothing that could be done about it. She was also dealing with months of hip pain that was keeping her up at night and causing her to compensate with squatting and running.
But now, Missy has been crushing her workouts at CrossFit Bluestone, got her first pull up, dominated the Spring Festivus Games competition, and completed her first Spartan race!
After experiencing hip pain in 2020, Matthew Pelillo went to get an MRI. It showed that there was no cartilage in his hips, and Matt was told by 7 doctors that he would need a hip replacement… at 40 years old. He knew that the rehab process would take years, after which he wouldn’t be able to be active again, so surgery was out of the question. Matt tried many other options to reduce pain, including a chiropractor, massages, physical therapy, and acupuncture. He was making little progress with these options, and to make matters worse, he started having sciatic pain in 2021. Matt was unable to sleep or even use the bathroom for a week because the pain was so intense. But as luck would have it, he bumped into Ninja Physio at TruFit Killeen. Glad to find someone who thinks outside the box, Matt signed up, and within three months of diligently following his program, he was sciatica free AND avoided hip surgery! Matt has been back to lifting weights, playing soccer at Gametime Indoor Soccer, skiing, and has even added competitive ballroom dancing into the mix. He also coaches several kid’s soccer teams and is happy to be able to demonstrate the soccer moves because it helps them learn it better. He’s also working on mastering Guile’s somersault kick, which has its uses in soccer, too.
Lisa really enjoys being active, so when her shoulder started hurting over ten years ago, it was a problem. Physical therapy helped reduce the pain, but it still hurt to do pushups and lift weight overhead. Then in 2019, her hip started starting hurting, too, and she had to stop running. Lisa got an MRI and the doctor said that she had a labral tear and needed surgery. She stopped going to her favorite group fitness classes and tried doing her own modified workouts at her garage gym. Some friends encouraged her to try CrossFit in 2021, and she loved it, but had to modify many of the workouts since movements like squatting, snatching, pushups, dips, and running were still painful. Even getting in and out of her car and sleeping hurt. Lisa met Dr. Lily at an event at CrossFit Centex and signed up for her own program. Within a few weeks both her shoulder and hip were pain free, and instead of holding back for the rest of her life and getting a risky surgery that mostly likely wouldn’t have fixed the problem, she is now running 5Ks, 10Ks, and enjoying CrossFit more than ever!