Spine & Rehab Specialists Physical Therapy - September 2021


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

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


It’s a running joke in our house that “I only married Bonnie so I could be on the sidelines of every UTEP football game.” Of course, that’s not true — Bonnie’s great qualities go far beyond football! — but it definitely is a perk. Thanks to her, I’ve attended almost every UTEP game since 2000 as an on- call physical therapist. I’ve also traveled with the team to away games for the last 10 years to help the players stay limber before, during, and after the game. Growing up in Holland, American football wasn’t on my radar, but I got the full rundown when I went to work for a local orthopedic group associated with UTEP. Bonnie worked there, too, and as you read last month, she was deep into football culture and friends with the team’s head trainer. Through her, I slowly got more involved with the sport and learned the rules. Then, in 2000, the PT working with UTEP’s football team was struggling to help a particular player recover from a back injury. Bonnie suggested they call me because of my specialization with back and neck problems. They did, and I helped that player return to the field! After that, I became the go-to PT for difficult patients, and before long, the players started asking whether I could always be on the sidelines. Today, I travel with the team to every away game. At those games, I help the players stretch, and I’m there just in case someone is injured on the field. You never know when those injuries will happen, and having a PT right there can make all the difference when it comes to getting a player back in the game. I’m proud to say that more than once, my PT skills have helped UTEP secure a win! If you’re a UTEP

fan, you’ve probably seen me working with players either in person or on TV. Sometimes Bonnie and I also bring a few members of our team along for the games, or send one of them to an away game if I can’t make it. Having them there gives the players the comfort of a professional safety net. All of the work my team and I do for UTEP is volunteer-based. Helping our home team succeed is enough compensation for us, and we have a lot of fun watching the games up close and traveling with the team. Plus, sports injuries are a vital part of what we do here at Spine & Rehab Specialists, and working with UTEP helps us stay sharp. Over the years, I’ve treated people with injuries from every sport from football to rifle, cheer, soccer, volleyball, and golf. We also treat athletes of all ages, not just college players! Right now with school starting up again, we’re particularly focused on helping high school athletes, including cheerleaders! Many of these kids are at higher risk of injury after taking a year off from athletics. Concussions, sprains, strains, and bone fractures are all common high school sports injuries, so we offer a few services to help with them, including complimentary baseline testing for concussions. This is an important test for your kids to take now if they’re planning to participate in contact sports. It records their baseline balance and cognitive skills so you can tell when they’re back to “normal” after a concussion. If you want to set your student-athlete up for success this year, you can’t go wrong with the official PTs of the UTEP football program! Call us to schedule a free baseline concussion test for your child or a free consultation to evaluate their injury risk. –Harry Koster Do you know a high school athlete? Send them to us for a complimentary Baseline Concussion Test before it’s too late! This quick, easy, free test will establish their baseline cognitive skills, and if they get a concussion this season, doctors can use it to identify when they’re fully recovered.

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participants who cried while watching a sad movie and compared their tears to participants who cried because of a cut onion. Frey said the emotional tears were not only unique to humans but that they’re also a “unique kind of tear.” Their unique chemical makeup has both a detoxifying and stress- reducing effect. Emotional tears have higher levels of ACTH, a stress hormone released by crying. They also have higher levels of endorphins and oxytocin, which are known to reduce both stress and pain.

Ronda Rousey is tough. She was the first American woman to earn a medal in the Olympics for judo, and she was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame to commemorate her six titles. Rousey is noted for her physical and mental toughness, so it might surprise you to learn that she loves a good cry.

“I really cry all the time … Everything [makes me cry]. Especially during fight week,” she told the Huffington Post.

While crying is more often associated with weakness than strength, the science of the tears we shed when we’re emotional — including feelings of anger, sadness, and stress — shows that crying actually makes us healthier.

Crying and Your Health

The benefits of crying have been explored by everyone from ancient philosophers to modern-day scientists. While philosophers noted the cathartic effects of crying, scientists have filled in the knowledge gaps about why crying feels good and how it’s actually good for us.

More Than Just Water

Before you cry, you may feel a welling up of tears in your eyes that makes them appear watery. While tears of all types are mainly made up of water, scientists say that they are distinguished by their chemical makeup. Biochemist Dr. William H. Frey produced foundational scientific research on the science of crying. He collected tears from research

The stress-reducing benefits of crying don’t just feel good in the moment. There are several secondary benefits such as:

• Lower blood pressure, which keeps your heart healthy and helps you avoid stroke, heart failure, and dementia

• Lower manganese levels, which helps decrease anxiety, irritability, and aggression

• Decreased risk of ulcers and other digestive issues

• Decreased risk of tension headaches and migraines

Finally, crying serves an important social role. Tears elicit sympathy, signal that something is wrong, and facilitate connection during hard times. If you find yourself having chronic or uncontrollable bouts of tears, something else may be going on and you should seek professional help. But if you find yourself crying when stressed, angry, or sad, embrace your tears, knowing they’re helping make you healthier both mentally and physically.

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5-Minute Honey Mustard Sauce To avoid hearing “chicken again?!” add this honey mustard sauce from PinchOfYum.com to your repertoire. Simply whisk together 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup mayo, 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp white vinegar, and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper for a delicious topper for all meats.

One upside to spending more than a year at home was that many people donned their aprons, learned new recipes and techniques, and began cooking meals regularly in their own kitchens. Even as restaurants reopen, over 70% of Americans say they'll keep their new habit of cooking at home because it's healthier and cheaper. That said, the average American can only whip up about five meals without a recipe at hand, and many people cook and eat the same types of protein and vegetables over and over. One easy way to avoid boredom is to keep your main staples but diversify your sauce routine! When in doubt, learn one creamy sauce and one herb- or citrus-based sauce. Here are a few examples that work particularly well for chicken, America’s favorite animal protein. These can be used with your other favorite meats and your favorite vegetable preparations, as well!

Simple Lemon Herb Sauce Want a lighter, healthier option? Go for an oil-and-herb sauce like FoodNetwork.com’s “Chicken With a Lemon Herb Sauce.” In a blender

or food processor, add 1 peeled clove of garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 cup freshly chopped herbs of your choice (they recommend a mix of parsley and mint), 1 1/2 tsp ground pepper, the zest and juice of 1 lemon, and 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Pulse all ingredients together until well mixed and the herbs and garlic are coarsely chopped. Quick Miso Maple Sauce This umami-filled sauce from Kitchn.com brings a lot of flavor with just three simple ingredients: 1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce, 1/2 cup maple syrup, and 1/4 cup miso paste. That's it! Whisk the ingredients together and pour over oven-roasted, pan- seared, or grilled chicken and serve. These three sauces are a great place to start, but if you find yourself uninspired in the kitchen, just look up “simple sauces” online and the protein or vegetable you’re preparing. The internet will come to the rescue every time!

ONE-PAN APPLE CIDER CHICKEN Inspired by WellPlated.com


• 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs • 1 tsp salt, divided • 1/2 tsp black pepper, divided • 1/2 cup apple cider • 2 tsp Dijon mustard • 4 tsp olive oil, divided • 3 sweet apples, cut into 1/2-inch slices • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped, plus more for garnish INGREDIENTS


1. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Set aside. 2. In a small bowl, combine apple cider and mustard. Set aside. 3. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 2 tsp olive oil. When shimmering, add chicken thighs top-side down. Cook for 4 minutes, then flip and cook for 4 more minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil. Wipe the skillet clean. 4. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet, then add sliced apples, remaining salt and pepper, and rosemary. Cook for 5 minutes. 5. Return the chicken to the skillet and add apple cider-mustard mixture. Cook for 5 minutes, then serve sprinkled with rosemary!

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



• Cognitive: You focus more easily, remember better, and learn quicker when you’re well rested.

From bank accounts to emotions, couples share a lot of things in their lives. But one thing couples have long shared is being called into question: a bedroom. You may have heard about this trend of sleeping apart from a friend or from celebrities like David and Victoria Beckham, who took it to an extreme by building “his and hers” wings in their home. You may not have an extra wing in your home, but if you have a spare bedroom, you might consider joining the estimated 25% of American couples who are sleeping separately in an effort to sleep better. Why sleep separately? While the stereotype holds that couples who don’t share a bed are in a fight or unhealthy relationship, more and more evidence shows that sleeping alone may simply be the best way to get a

• Mood: Insomniacs are five times more likely to develop depression. Though that’s an extreme, if you’ve ever had a poor night’s sleep, you’ve probably experienced the grumpiness or short temper that can go with it. • Heart health: Blood pressure decreases during rest, which helps keep your heart healthy. Chronically poor sleepers are more at risk of heart disease. Aren’t there negative consequences for couples? One of the most common concerns couples have about sleeping in separate rooms is that it will lead to less intimacy

in their partnership. However, sleeping apart often means sleeping more and better, and studies show that well-rested couples are more likely to share intimacy. Plus, sleeping arrangements are highly cultural and change over time. There’s nothing that says that sleeping together is a must for a happy relationship! As more couples are learning, sometimes it’s just the opposite.

good night’s rest. And as more research comes out about the importance of sleep for physical and mental health, some couples can’t figure out how to improve their sleep while sharing a bed with a snoring spouse or one who has a completely different schedule.

If you need a reminder about the myriad benefits of sleep, here are just a few:

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