The Performance Matrix

Breaking the Pain Cycle and Riding to the World Champs

14th November 2016

Sometimes how we do what we love gets in the way of actually doing it. Take Johan Jacobs. Johan likes cycling. A lot. One day, whilst sprinting for the finish line, he hurt his back. One year, and various treatment and rehab protocols later little had changed apart from his performance, which was starting to dip. Cycling still hurt. Arriving at our TPM Pro clinic, Johan clearly fitted the pain to performance model; he has pain, he wants performance.

Testing times

Following an x-ray, indicating a grade 1 spondylolisthesis (L5/S1) and some outcome measures assessments, as detailed below…

…he was tested with Kinetic Control movement control tests - on these, he failed most of the lumbar extension control tests; poor ability to prevent the low back arching, even when made aware its was happening and even when given a few attempts.


Choices, choices…

At this stage Johan could have followed a fairly traditional rehab plan. Manage the pain and then say ‘good luck’ and ‘goodbye’. However, being a TPM Pro clinic gives us and our clients a few more options.

Above and beyond low back pain

Post assessment, and during conversation, it became clear his goals were all about pain-free cycling. The thing he loves. Pain was usually happening after the 70Km mark. We decided now was the perfect time to talk about TPM Active. As a TPM Pro clinic we ensure the absence of pain is not the end of the road for our clients’ journey, in fact we introduce TPM Active as a first step. Employing TPM ( The Performance Matrix ) assessment and movement retraining system Johan was now TPM Active: working towards pain free cycling and what that would mean for his performance. Post TPM assessment, his current symptoms were linked to issues in his movement. These connections were discussed and a plan of movement focused training agreed. Further supporting his exercise plan, focus was also placed on his standing alignment. Often, Johan would like to sway his hips forward, resting his body on the front of his hips, a positioning placing his low back in an extended position for large amounts of time. In addition to placing more awareness on his standing posture, a highly specific exercise plan was followed, focusing on the abdominal and gluteal muscles.


What a difference a (little bit of exercise each) day makes

Within two weeks he reported positive changes to his symptoms and was now well beyond 70 km without pain. At the twelve week mark he was pain free and training was in full swing.

Now that pain was history, bigger and brighter things were on the horizon in the very near future. Johan qualified for the amateur world cycling championships in Australia, representing South Africa in the 30-40 years’ age bracket. Seems TPM Active was just the ticket to help him book his place.


Get out of pain, get into performance



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