Spine & Rehab Specialists - January 2023

Take a look at our January newsletter!


6358 EDGEMERE BLVD. EL PASO, TEXAS 79925 915-562-8525

11855 PHYSICIANS DR. EL PASO, TEXAS 79936 915-855-6466

Feeling Weak, Dizzy, or Off-Balance? THESE PT TECHNIQUES COULD HELP

There are a lot of frustrating medical problems out there, but one of the worst is unexplained vertigo. A while back, I treated a patient with that exact issue. She went to bed one night as usual, and when she woke up, the room was spinning and her eyes were twitching uncontrollably. Scary, right? This woman was only in her mid-40s, so the sudden change was alarming. She rushed to her doctor, who sent her to Spine & Rehab Specialists for help. As soon as I examined her, I knew exactly what was causing her dizziness: benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

several sessions, moving her head in precise motions to guide the crystal back into position. Within three weeks, the crystals were back in place and her balance issues were gone! BPPV is very different from the other vestibular problem we treat, central deficit. However, because they both cause balance issues, we can use similar tools to help patients in both groups. Aquatic therapy is one of my favorite options. It’s great for treating balance issues, and it can also help solve dozens of other musculoskeletal problems by strengthening weak muscles and reducing pain and tension. Pretty much every patient we see at Spine & Rehab Specialists can benefit from aquatic therapy — it’s that versatile. When you step into the pool at our location on Physician’s Drive, you enter an entirely different treatment environment. The water alleviates tension on your joints, easing the tension in your muscles and making it less painful to move your limbs efficiently. You can strengthen your muscles by pushing against the water’s resistance and trust it to catch you if you fall. After working in the water, it’s much easier to move properly on land, especially when you incorporate tools like floating dumbbells and wobble boards. If you have pain anywhere on your body, literally from head to toe, you could benefit from aquatic therapy — especially if you feel weak or dizzy, I’d highly recommend visiting your doctor and asking for a referral to Spine & Rehab Specialists or come see us for a free consult. Our team can check for vestibular issues, recommend the appropriate treatment, and help get your life back on track. Call your doctor today, or recommend us to your friends and family so that they can start 2023 on the right foot. –John Moreno, PT, DPT, Cert. MDT

BPPV is a peripheral vestibular issue, and it can happen to anyone! It’s one of two vestibular problems we treat at Spine & Rehab Specialists. (The other is called central deficit, which happens when there is an issue in the connection between the nerves and the brain. We actually have to retrain the brain to treat it.) The name BPPV sounds more complicated than it is. But to understand how BPPV works, you need to understand the ear. Your ear has three canals in it, and those canals are filled with fluid. The fluid helps you

sense which direction your head is turning and locate yourself in space. All three canals are connected by a central hub. That hub holds tiny crystals that help with your hearing. If you twist your head the wrong way while you sleep or sustain a blow to the head (ex., in a car accident or while playing sports), you can jar one of the crystals loose and shake it into a canal. When that happens, the fluid in the canal can slosh in one direction while the crystal moves in another. This sends mixed signals to your brain, causing BPPV! When I realized the woman I was examining had BPPV, I knew exactly what to do. I started a training process with her called Epley’s Maneuver. First, I guided her through twisting her head from side to side until I could figure out which ear canal was causing the problem. From there, I continued the training over

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While working with your physical therapist in person is a crucial part of recovery, the maintenance you do at home matters just as much. However, most people find sticking with their at-home therapy routine harder than expected. Sometimes we’re exhausted after a long day, have other plans, or simply forget to perform home therapy. It makes sense why so many people can easily fall behind on their healing. We’d like to help — so if you’re feeling unmotivated, try these four easy hacks. Educating Yourself The most straightforward way to ensure you follow through with your at-home therapy is to understand the benefits you’re receiving from it. If you feel it’s pointless to exercise at home — and you plan on just waiting to see your therapist — you will lose the motivation to accomplish what you should be doing to properly heal.

you’re getting from those at-home exercises. That way, when deciding whether to do them, you’ll know precisely how you may harm yourself by failing to follow through.

be, find these pockets of time and set an alarm as a reminder to do your physical therapy. Starting Earlier If you don’t want to use your lunch break or relaxation time for physical therapy, start your day earlier to fit it in. Set your morning alarm to go off only 10–15 minutes before it normally would — and get those exercises in! This way, you’ll feel more awake by moving your body first thing in the morning. Plus, you won’t have to feel anxious about completing your routine later in the day. Multitasking You don’t need to do your physical therapy alone in a silent room. If you like to watch TV in the evenings, complete your therapy while watching and exercising simultaneously. If your dinner has to bake for 30 minutes, use that time to do your PT. Before you know it, you’ll have completed your therapy, and you can be proud of how hard you’ve worked to improve your health.

Using an Alarm Once your at-home therapy is

prescribed, figure out when it best fits into your schedule. Maybe you have free time after dinner or during your lunch break. Whatever the case may

Next time you see your physical therapist, ask them about the benefits

Volunteer to Keep Your Body and Mind Active! Sharing Your Time Can Become Your Favorite Exercise

Staying active is increasingly vital to our health as we age. But pain, injury, or the lack of an exercise location can limit how we keep fit. But luckily, there is an easy way to have an active lifestyle without lifting weights or joining a gym: volunteer! Here are three reasons volunteering can be your new favorite exercise if you’re looking to flex some physical, mental, or social “muscle.” It moves you. Volunteering offers different ways to move your body! Even small things like strolling through a park to pick up litter, navigating around a soup kitchen, or directing visitors at your local donation center keep you active. Most organizations are happy to modify more strenuous activities (like lifting heavy boxes or walking up a steep hill) to fit your abilities. So, even if you’re just beginning an exercise habit, volunteering is a perfect initial step in your fitness journey. Your brain expands. When you volunteer with others, you usually have a common goal, like feeding the community, cleaning up a park, or planting

a garden. Joining others to accomplish a task provides a significant brain boost, and studies show camaraderie increases positive thoughts and feelings.

On top of feeling better, volunteering keeps your mind agile. By working hard to solve a problem, you’re using more neural pathways, which helps keep mental decline at bay. You form connections. As we mentioned earlier, when you show up to volunteer, others usually attend for the same reason. Socializing with the group can help you feel less isolated and more connected to others, and some of these people may even become friends when the job is complete. If you want to get active but don’t know of volunteer opportunities in your area, visit VolunteerMatch.org and enter your zip code to find local in-person options. Help yourself and others by making volunteer work your go-to exercise!

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the body fight against inflammatory diseases. Their abundant antioxidants fight free radicals that can damage our cells and contain very low cholesterol levels. To top it off, they have minimal carbs and sodium too. Incorporating More Dark Greens Into Your Diet Unlike some people might think, you don’t need to eat a kale salad every night or Popeye your way through a can of spinach to consume a healthy amount of greens. Even if you’re in a rush, there are many simple ways to sneak some dark greens into your meals. • Wrap your favorite protein in a tortilla and add spinach, arugula, or kale. Whether it’s tuna salad or chicken breast, rolling it together with some dark greens and light sauce is an easy way to eat healthy while on the go. • Stir-fry your veggies with some chicken or tofu. Toss in greens like spinach, bok choy, or broccoli with garlic, onion, ginger, and soy sauce for an effortless weeknight meal. • Soften your greens in a soup. Even if you’re quickly making a can of Campbell's or ramen noodles, tossing your dark greens into the broth right before it’s done can help soften them. Just make sure to chop them so they’re small enough to slurp up from your spoon. Any way you prepare them, darker greens are better for your health. Try to incorporate them into at least one meal daily to receive the excellent benefits they provide.


After a long day of work, sometimes we want nothing more than to come home and relax, unburdened by the worry of whether or not our dinner is healthy. Unfortunately, these days add up, and the longer these unhealthy meals continue, the worse it can be for you. So how can you still eat a balanced diet even when you’re exhausted or busy? The answer is to add dark leafy greens to your diet. While any vegetable is better than a burger or a cookie, darker greens — like spinach, kale, bok choy, and mustard greens — provide many impressive health benefits. Because of their rich color, these greens have higher folate levels, a B vitamin responsible for promoting heart health and preventing cancer.

Along with B vitamins, dark leafy greens have tons of vitamin K. This protects bones from osteoporosis and helps

Air Fryer Roasted Salmon With Sautéed Balsamic Spinach


Inspired by FeastingAtHome.com



• 3 tsp olive oil, divided • 4 salmon fillets (6 oz each) • 1 1/2 tsp reduced- sodium seafood seasoning • 1/4 tsp pepper • 1 garlic clove, sliced • Dash of crushed red pepper flakes • 10 cups fresh baby spinach (about 10 oz) • 6 small tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat air fryer to 450 F. Rub 1 tsp oil over both sides of salmon, then sprinkle with seafood seasoning and pepper. In a greased air fryer basket, place salmon. 2. Cook about 10–12 minutes until fish flakes easily. 3. In a 6-qt stockpot, place remaining oil, garlic, and pepper flakes. Heat over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Stir in tomatoes; heat through. 4. In a small saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil. Cook until vinegar is reduced by half, then remove from heat. 5. Arrange spinach on serving dish. Place salmon over spinach mixture and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

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915-562-8525 | www.SpineRehab.net 6358 Edgemere Blvd. El Paso, Texas 79925

1. John’s Solutions for Weakness and Vertigo 2. Hacks for At-Home PT Volunteer to Stay Active 3. Why Dark Leafy Greens Are Better for You Air Fryer Roasted Salmon With Sautéed Balsamic Spinach INSIDE THIS ISSUE

4. 3 Easy Ways to Exercise


According to the Hope for Depression Research Foundation, depression affects 10% of Americans annually. And since the disorder doesn't pick favorites, anyone can suffer from its melancholy grasp. But there are things people can do to help. In fact, exercise has been known to help, but what if people are limited on time or motivation? New research by JAMA Psychiatry shows that completing just half of your recommended daily exercise (only 11 minutes!) can lower your risk of experiencing depression. So, when battling the blues, some exercise is always better than none. Here's how to squeeze that movement into your schedule. Increased Walking Time If you’re not exercising already, you don’t need to start running a 5K tomorrow. Take it slow before building on the activity that’s already in your routine. The easiest way to hit that exercise mark is by slowly increasing the time you spend walking each day. If you work from home and never leave the couch, consider taking a lap around your house every 30 minutes. If you need to go grocery shopping, make yourself walk through every aisle or park your car farther away so you have a longer distance to walk.

Get those steps in however you feel comfortable, but the goal is to walk for at least 11 minutes a day.

Workout Videos When you’re depressed or feeling down, following a peppy exercise influencer in a 35-minute YouTube video is probably the last thing you want to do. But remember, you only need to start with 11 minutes a day. Simply choose a video and plan to only complete a portion of it. You can even choose to follow the easy parts, but set your timer for 11 minutes and follow along the best you can. Once your alarm goes off, reward yourself for getting that movement in! The Benefits of Dancing Any movement counts, even dancing. And you don’t need to be good at it to participate, either. To meet your 11 minutes, simply put on four of your favorite dance songs and bust a move! Even if it takes months to get there, moving your body a little each day will help. So, push that cart, pop on that video, or pull out your best dance moves to fight depression.

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