“I had to modify my lifestyle with avoidance behavior so that I could be pain free”

Mark Jans is the owner of Workstrong Physiotherapy clinic in Melbourne, Australia. After suffering a back injury which resulted in spondylolisthesis and severe disc desiccation, Mark spent several years avoiding situations which would cause pressure and pain to his spine. That all changed when Mark began utilizing the DAVID Spine Concept.

I have been the owner of WorkStrong Physiotherapy since 2002.

I remember first injuring my back in 1989 when I was only 18.  I was lifting a girl out of a swimming pool.  I didn’t bend my knees as I thought it would be an easy lift.  I felt my back “Go”. Since that incident my back was never the same.

I subsequently studied Physiotherapy and the long hours studying did not help.  Scans revealed a grade 2 spondylolisthesis L5/S1 with severe disc desiccation.

Workstrong physiotherapy clinic in AustraliaMark Jans at the Workstrong Physiotherapy clinic in Melbourne


How avoidance behavior can be reconditioned

Over the next 25 years, I self-managed with gym and Pilates-based exercise which kept me relatively pain free.   I was never able to get my back to the point where I was comfortable standing still or sitting more than 20-30 minutes.  I would always look for restaurants / cafes with good seating.  Going to movies or waiting in queues was never fun.  I essentially had to modify my lifestyle with avoidance behavior so that I could be pain free.


I was finally able to pinpoint the areas I needed to work on. 


I first heard of the David Spine system in 2016 from a brochure that was sent to my Physiotherapy Practice.  I remember reading the brochure and knowing that I had to try it.  Fortunately, there was a clinic not far from home in Melbourne which had just introduced the system into Australia.

My initial assessment showed significant weakness (<53%) in the lumbar extensors, rotator and lateral flexor musculature and an above average strength in my abdominal flexors (+30%).  This imbalance and weakness in my spine were the key to improving my condition because I was able to pinpoint the areas I needed to work on (see spine profile).

spine rehabilitation with mobility and isometric strength reporting Mark’s spine profile (personal information has been hidden)


I performed the program twice weekly for 3 months and noticed a significant improvement in my sitting and standing tolerance.  I did have one little setback in the middle of the program but new I had to persist, and it paid off.

After completing a further 2 months, totalling 5 months of device-based therapy, I no longer wriggled in chairs and avoided trendy cafes with bad chairs.  I had never felt better and was so impressed by the system that I decided to install it in my practice at WorkStrong Physiotherapy.


How the Spine Concept transforms recovery outcomes

The thing I love about the DAVID Spine Concept is that the technology provides both clinician and patient with an accurate assessment of the strength, range of motion, and endurance of the entire spine (including neck & low back) in all directions.  If you have or want to prevent a back or neck injury, the spine musculature has to be strong, well-controlled, and balanced to protect the joint structures.  Most injuries occur from accumulative and repetitive strains which in time unevenly overload the spine, resulting in breakdown of the discs, associated joint structures. This causes pain and further weakness and disability. The DAVID Spine Concept very safely and accurately addresses and targets these imbalances and areas of muscle weakness.


The DAVID Spine Concept safely and accurately targets imbalances and areas of muscle weakness.


Device-based training on the David spine devices is a high tech, extremely safe and controlled way to target and strengthen the spine.  The devices are designed to provide an optimal load curve to maximise your spinal strength gains in a pain free manner.  The resistance provided by the devices feels extremely smooth and controlled which makes your back feel safe. This allows you to exert maximum force.

Computer algorithms calculate the initial loads based on your initial assessment and increase loading based on your results after each session.  This enables you to progress at a safe and effective level.

The years of training in the gym and Pilates, while beneficial, never enabled me to achieve the results I obtained from the David spine devices in only 5 months.  The avoidance behavior that I once relied on was now unnecessary.

The Automated data collection afforded by the EVE software and visual guidance on the devices provide you with continuous feedback while training.  Being able to compare your personal strength values with a pain free normative database matched by gender, age and body weight gives you a great reference point.  Your progress can be re-assessed regularly during the program which provides you with real motivation and a level of objectivity that is unmatched by any other training method.

For more information visit the Workstrong Physiotherapy clinic webpage!

workstrong clinic for physiotherapy and pain management