Physical therapist / trainer recommendation?

Hi BPN - I herniated a disc in my lower back several years ago which has caused sciatica and other issues. I've been told by doctors not to do any activities that involve weights or twisting (yoga), so I've been walking as my only form of exercise. When I initially injured myself, I saw a PT covered by insurance, but that office only did brief sessions and mostly gave instructions on at-home exercises. To be honest, I've been anxious to exercise on my own since I could easily re-aggravate my injury with a wrong move.

Are there any physical therapists out there who do longer, training-style sessions? Basically, I'd like to find a PT who could safely supervise a workout to improve my core strength, more in the style of a personal trainer. Berkeley / Albany / El Cerrito would be the most convenient. Thanks!

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My husband and I both work with Jeff Laynes. He’s a professional athlete and personal trainer who is great with people who have had a history of multiple injuries (like my husband) and medical issues such as arthritis (like me). He listens to our concerns and customizes the work outs to focus on our individual needs. You can reach him at ‭(510) 301-1391‬.

Hi there. I'm so sorry about your injury. I've worked with the wonderful and talented Liz Duncanson, of Body Temple PT after my bilateral hip replacement. She's very good at looking at the whole body in relation to the injury and giving very specific strengthening exercises.

Sandra Stringer is an exceptional rehab Pilates instructor that does exactly what you are looking for. I highly recommend you schedule a session with her as I have seen great results with myself and all of my clients I have sent to her. She has an office in west berkeley and an office in north oakland.

Sandra Stringer 510-910-7733

Hi, I was in a very similar situation to yours. I spent years in pain, not being able to bend down at all (or pick up my young kids). I tried everything -- physical therapy, chiropractors, Pilates, Gyrotonic, Feldenkrais, etc. Pilates was the most effective. However, I went through several Pilates instructors before I found one who was able to totally fix the problem (and get me in great shape in the process). Her name is Leanne Lempinen, and she is the best of the best. You can contact her at 510.313.3686 or inannaho [at] She specializes in women with injuries, and gets a lot of her clients from doctor referrals. She teaches out of two studios in Berkeley. Good luck!

I would also like to recommend a Jeff Laynes. He trained my husband and did wonders for him.