Spine & Rehab Specialists - November 2020

NOVEMBER 2020

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

1779 N. ZARAGOZA ST., SUITE A EL PASO, TEXAS 79936 915-855-6466

CHIPS AND QUESO, HERE WE COME! A THANKSGIVING MESSAGE FROM BONNIE

Have you ever heard the phrase “a fish out of water”? That’s what Harry was like on his first-ever Thanksgiving with my family years and years ago. Every time November rolls around, I can’t help but giggle at the memory. As you know, Harry is from Holland, so they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving over there. The first time he spent the holiday with my family here in El Paso, it was kind of a trial by fire! I come from a very large, typical Hispanic family, and I think the sheer number of people and the quantity of food on Thanksgiving blew Harry away. He handled the surprise really well, though, and now we both enjoy going to either my aunt’s house or my cousin’s house every year. We have the usual Thanksgiving spread of turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole, but as El Pasoans, we have to have hot chile con queso, too! If there aren’t chips right there alongside the biscuits, it’s not really Thanksgiving in my book. Apart from all of the family stuff, Harry and I also have our own little Thanksgiving tradition. Every year when we first wake up, we tell each other what we’re thankful for. This year, I want to give you a little preview of my list (don’t tell Harry!).

my life every morning. Our team makes fun of me for my addiction, but I just can’t make it at home the way they do! • I’m thankful that I get to work with my husband every day. Not everyone can make a business partnership work when they’re married, but we’ve managed it for 23 years now. Ever since Harry opened the clinic on November 1, 1997. I think that says a lot about where we’re at in our marriage and as friends, and I’ll never take it for granted. • I’m thankful that our clinic is in a position to help all of the patients who need us. Recently, our team got a call from a local high school athletic trainer with a student who needed medical care but didn’t have insurance, and we were able to make it happen. Being able to do that is a real blessing. On top of those highlights, there are a few things I know Harry and I are both thankful for this year. As Harry mentioned last month, we’re incredibly grateful that our clinics have survived COVID-19. We were declared essential and never had to fully shut down, and that saved a lot of jobs and a lot of heartache! We’re not as busy as we used to be, but

more and more people are venturing in every day, which is something to be grateful for. Speaking of that, I know we’re both really thankful for the support of our patients. Because of people like you, we were able to move into our new clinic, and it’s doing really well despite the pandemic. It means SO MUCH to both of us that you keep coming in, and that you trust us to keep you safe and give you the help you need. As we head into the holiday season, we’ll be here with our doors open any time you need us. We are very thankful for our wonderful employees who give such high-quality physical therapy and love what they do. From our little family to yours, happy Thanksgiving! I’ll definitely raise a chip to you. – Bonnie Koster

• I’m thankful for Starbucks because their coffee saves

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HOW YOUR PHYSICAL THERAPIST CAN HELP COVID-19 AND CHRONIC PAIN

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, around 116 million Americans suffer from chronic pain each year. Unfortunately, with the coronavirus pandemic still going strong in the United States, chronic pain sufferers might be at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. Dr. Samer Narouze of Western Reserve Hospital says that’s because “there is a complex relationship between chronic pain and the immune system.” Narouze adds that chronic pain patients “can be considered immunocompromised, mainly because so many are elderly and have multiple comorbidities.” On top of that, people who contract COVID-19 may be at risk of developing chronic pain after the rest of the symptoms abate. Older adults are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 — especially if they have preexisting conditions. Additionally, some older adults develop chronic pain after contracting COVID-19, due to the disease itself and its treatment. For example, patients who have been treated in an intensive care unit and have spent prolonged periods being immobile and reliant on ventilators might experience chronic pain as a result. This is especially true for those who don’t do rehabilitation following their hospital stay. Additionally, patients who are socially isolated during their hospital stay, and following their discharge, can experience a psychological burden, which makes them more susceptible to chronic pain.

If you contracted COVID-19 and are now recovering from the symptoms, look out for signs of chronic pain, like body stiffness during activities, decreased circulation, or weight gain. You may also notice that other conditions are worsening or you’re relying more on pain medications. If you think you might be experiencing chronic pain in the wake of the COVID-19, talk to a health care professional about your symptoms and ask if physical therapy can help. Physical therapists help their patients alleviate chronic pain through strength training and flexibility exercises, as well as through developing greater awareness of body mechanics. Don’t wait to talk to a physical therapist about your chronic pain — contact us today!

WHAT IS FAMILY BURNOUT

AND HOW DO I PREVENT IT FROM AFFECTING MY FAMILY?

According to one study from 2018, over half of all parents surveyed were experiencing some form of burnout (i.e., exhaustion, cynicism, lack of professional satisfaction, etc.) — and that was before the pandemic. Now, as the world enters the eighth month of the coronavirus pandemic, many parents are working from home or dealing with unemployment, and many children are doing school online. Families are spending a lot of time together at home, balancing new routines — and that’s led to family burnout. When you experience “family burnout,” the kind of exhaustion that comes from spending too much time with family, it manifests itself as physical and emotional exhaustion, an inability to handle usual tasks, and increased irritability. The more demanding your work and home responsibilities are, the more susceptible you are to family burnout. Single parents are especially susceptible, but burnout can drastically affect romantic relationships and even children. Most people are not used to spending so much time together at home. With all that in mind, don’t worry — family burnout is preventable. It starts with creating a balance between work and rest. While it might feel like you don’t have a moment

to spare between work and taking care of the kiddos in the house, identifying those spare moments in your day is absolutely necessary for your health.

Establish a routine that defines time for work, sleep, studying, and other tasks. You’ll then move from task to task easier, leaving less room for conflict between others in the household. You’ll also see more clearly when you can rest! Those breaks don’t have to be anything special — a 15-minute walk by yourself outside or a 30-minute stretch with a good book in a comfy chair. Find time to let your kids have a break, too,

like playing their favorite games, reading their favorite books, or playing outside. You’ll all feel more refreshed to tackle the remaining tasks of the day. Even though you can prevent or minimize burnout through a more balanced routine, sometimes that’s not enough. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Family therapy can be immensely helpful for maintaining your mental health when your own attempts need a boost. These are unique times, so be patient with yourself and your family as you cope with new challenges and routines. Burnout doesn’t have to be inevitable.

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WHY IS SPINACH SO GOOD FOR YOU?

If the reason you know spinach is good for you is because either your mother told you, or you saw Popeye the Sailor down a can before a fight and gain superhuman strength, you might not understand exactly why it’s so good for you. Rest assured, your mom wasn’t lying (although Popeye might have been stretching the truth). Spinach is actually one of the most nutritious and versatile foods you can add to your diet. Here’s why.

POTENT PROTECTION AGAINST DISEASE The abundant antioxidants in spinach mitigate a staggering number of health problems. For starters, spinach has kaempferol, an antioxidant that can protect the body against cancer. Additionally, the antioxidant quercetin, also found in spinach, has been shown to have positive effects on brain health, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes. Other components of spinach can also improve blood pressure and protect eye health.

VERSATILE IN MEAL PREPARATION Aside from the more scientific reasons that make spinach a superfood, you can prepare and consume spinach in so many creative ways. You can eat it raw as a part of a salad, throw a few leaves in a smoothie, cook it in stir fry, or bake it into some brownies. If you have a bag of spinach in your fridge, there’s no shortage of ways you can get some of those amazing health benefits. Just don’t expect to suddenly vanquish all your foes like Popeye did.

INCREDIBLE NUTRIENT-PER- CALORIE COUNT

Three cups of spinach contain about 20 calories. However, those 3 cups also contain almost no fat, 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fiber. On top of that, you get more than 300% of your daily dose of vitamin K, which supports bone growth; 160% of your daily dose of vitamin A; and around 25%–40% of your daily dose of vitamin C, both of which help the immune system function properly.

LUXURIOUS VEGAN CHOCOLATE MOUSSE Inspired by WellPlated.com

TAKE A BREAK!

INGREDIENTS

• 4 oz vegan dark chocolate, chopped • 2 large avocados, pitted and skinned

• 1/4 cup almond milk

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 1–3 tsp maple syrup, to taste

• Fresh berries, for garnish

• 3 tbsp cocoa powder

DIRECTIONS

1. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the dark chocolate. Heat in 15-second intervals, then stir and repeat until melted. Set aside to cool. 2. In a food processor or blender, combine the cooled chocolate and other ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding additional sweetener as desired. 3. Scoop into glasses and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Top with berries and serve!

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PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

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

1. COVER TITLE 1. A THANKSGIVING MESSAGE FROM BONNIE 2. THE CONNECTION BETWEEN INSIDE THIS ISSUE

COVID-19 AND CHRONIC PAIN WHAT IS FAMILY BURNOUT, AND HOW DO I PREVENT IT?

3. WHAT MAKES SPINACH A SUPERFOOD? LUXURIOUS VEGAN CHOCOLATE MOUSSE 4. HOW TO MEASURE YOUR OXYGEN UPTAKE

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR OXYGEN UPTAKE AND HOW IT CAN IMPROVE YOUR FITNESS

Unless you're a seasoned endurance athlete, you probably don’t know exactly what a VO2 max score is — but understanding it can benefit athletes at all levels. In short, your VO2 max score (also known as maximal oxygen uptake) is the maximum amount of oxygen that your body can process while intensely exercising.

is a good way to gauge how much you’re improving your quality of life.

body weight per minute. The only way to get the exact score is to test yourself in a VO2 laboratory — something that most professional endurance athletes take advantage of. However, because knowing this score can benefit anyone, there are a few ways to get good estimates without the lab equipment. High- end fitness trackers, such as Garmin watches, can actually give you an estimate of your VO2 max score. Some online calculators, which rely on the data from previous tests for their algorithms, can produce a rough estimate of this score as well. Knowing your score might not be necessary to your fitness training — but it does provide a way of track improvement that many athletes find useful.

HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY VO2 MAX SCORE?

The best way to improve your VO2 max score is through a combination of interval and continuous training. For example, on different days you can alternate between high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts and less intense, but longer, workouts. However, that type of varied training schedule might be too much for some right off the bat, so the best way to start improving your VO2 max score may be to focus on HIIT workouts — even if they don’t take very long.

WHY IS MY VO2 MAX SCORE IMPORTANT?

Think of your VO2 Max score as horsepower — but for the human body. A high VO2 max score means there’s a big engine under the hood. Having more “horsepower” comes with a number of benefits, such as a reduced risk of diseases (like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer) as well as an improved mood and better sleep. In a way, measuring your VO2

HOW CAN I MEASURE MY VO2 MAX SCORE?

Your VO2 max score is measured in milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of

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