Spine & Rehab Specialists - March 2022

Check out our March newsletter!

MARCH 2022

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

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


A few months ago, I got an amazing piece of news from the Sun City Athletic Trainers Association (SCATA): They’d voted me into their Hall of Fame! I could hardly believe it. For years and years, the Hall of Fame has been exclusively for athletic trainers practicing in traditional settings. They all worked in high schools helping student athletes. I’m a big departure from the norm because my background has always been in clinical work. I was pretty shocked they’d let someone like me join the club. As you might remember, I started out working for the El Paso Orthopedic Group in a capacity similar to a physical therapist in 1986. In 2003, I joined Harry at Spine & Rehab Specialists in a more managerial role (I have a master's in health administration), and I’ve been here helping him run the business ever since. Even though I don’t help patients here in the clinic I’ve kept my athletic training skills sharp by volunteering and teaching at UTEP. That’s actually how I ended up with the Hall of Fame nomination. Dawn Hearn, the director of sports medicine for UTEP Athletics, nominated me for it. We’ve been good friends and colleagues for 34 years, and she really sees the value in my work.

It’s crazy to me that my induction this month will be the first time someone in a nontraditional athletic trainer role joins the SCATA Hall of Fame — ever. It’s a huge honor and makes me so proud of how far our profession has come. When I first started in the athletic training field, physical therapists didn’t have much respect for athletic trainers, and athletic trainers worked almost exclusively with school sports teams. It was also a totally male-dominated field. Only a tiny percentage of athletic trainers were women, especially for college teams. I’ve worked hard to change all of those stereotypes and show people that 1) women can be great athletic trainers, and 2) athletic training isn't just about handing out water and taping ankles. It’s a big responsibility. An athletic trainer is fully responsible for the care of the athletes they work with, and their competence can make or break a team’s season. Since I started in athletic training the profession has come a long way. There are more women like Dawn in the field and it’s more respected by PTs. Athletic trainers have also started taking all kinds of nontraditional roles. There are trainers at Disney World, on the campuses of Facebook and Google, in the pits of NASCAR, supporting our troops in the military, and behind the scenes at Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas. The industry has gotten so much bigger and more diverse since the ‘80s, and I like to think I’ve played a part in that by showing the UTEP kids I teach just how many possibilities are out there. My induction into the SCATA Hall of Fame feels like another step in the right direction. The current Hall of Famers had to vote me in, and that shows just how much times are changing! As I write this, I can’t wait to attend the banquet on March 19 and give my speech for Harry and all of the attendees. It’s an amazing opportunity and I’m lucky to have it.

–Bonnie Koster

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Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. adults have been diagnosed with arthritis — and as the population ages, those numbers are only expected to increase. Arthritis affects the joints, and it can have a significant impact on a person’s well-being, ability to work, and overall quality of life. With cases being so prevalent, it’s wise to know the facts. Who is at risk of arthritis, and what are the treatments? Here’s everything you need to know. Symptoms The symptoms of arthritis will largely depend on the type of arthritis a person has. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, but the most common are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Most types cause stiffness or pain in the joints, and it can affect only one joint, some joints but not others, or all joints. Some types of arthritis develop gradually, while others have a sudden onset, and symptoms may be persistent or come and go. If you suspect you have arthritis, you should visit a doctor for a formal diagnosis. Your physician will review your medical history, perform a physical examination, and request X-rays or blood tests to confirm your arthritis and the type. That way they can target treatment effectively. Arthritis Is More Prevalent Than You Realize GET THE FACTS

Risk Factors Unfortunately, the causes of many types of arthritis are unknown, but the existing science does have something to say about who is at risk of developing the condition. Some factors you can’t control. For example, two-thirds of people with arthritis are women, and the risk of arthritis rises as you get older. Some people also have inherited genes that increase their disposition toward developing arthritis. Some factors, however, can be mitigated. People who are overweight or smoke are more likely to develop different types of arthritis. Studies have linked joint injury and infection to arthritis, so make sure to seek medical care for any pain or swelling. Further, people who don’t engage in physical activity during leisure time are the most likely to have arthritis, so exercise may help prevent the condition. Treatment There is currently no cure for arthritis, but collaboration with a doctor can help you manage the condition. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain, minimize joint damage, and improve overall ability and function. Depending on the arthritis type, treatment can include physical therapy, exercise, medication, or even surgery. A doctor or physical therapist can help you understand how to move safely and recommend healthy exercises for your joints. But the key is to ask for help in the first place. If you suspect you have arthritis, or if your arthritis is currently untreated, you should seek the advice of a medical professional right away. There is hope for managing your condition, reducing your pain, and increasing your quality of life. A qualified doctor or physical therapist can help you improve your daily function and comfort so you can get back to doing the things you love.

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How to Treat Injuries at Home ICE OR HEAT?

Injuries You Should Apply Heat To If you have chronic pain, it’s best to apply heat to that area. This pain can tell you that your body hasn’t fully healed from the injury. You can use heat for muscle pain or soreness, stiff joints, arthritis, and recurring injuries.

Whenever we suffer an injury that doesn't require a doctor visit, we are usually told to do one of two things: ice the area or apply heat to it. Different injuries require different treatments. For example, applying heat to an ankle sprain will not help as much as applying ice. Let’s look at which injuries require heat or ice and how it relieves pain or reduces swelling.

Applying heat allows your blood vessels to expand and help your

Injuries You Should Apply Ice To You want to apply ice to acute or short-term injuries. Acute injuries consist of ankle or knee sprains, muscle or joint sprains, red or swollen body parts, and pain after an exercise. Icing an area will lower the amount of swelling you have and make the healing process quicker. Be sure to limit icing sessions to 20 minutes. Over-icing can irritate your skin or cause tissue damage. If you have an ice pack or frozen packages in your freezer, you can use those to treat the painful areas. If not, you can put ice in

muscles relax. Only use heat in 20-minute increments and don’t sleep with any heating treatment. This can cause blisters, irritation, and maybe burns. You can use heat for 2–3 days after the injury occurs. Use a heating pad or a hot, wet towel, or take a hot shower or bath to relieve pain.

An easy way to determine if you need to ice or heat an area is this: If it’s swollen, apply ice. If it’s stiff, use heat. But if you’re unsure if you should use ice or heat, or if the pain is still occurring after treatment, contact your PT for assistance. They will provide you with further treatment options to help you with your discomforts.

a bag. Wrap it or any other item you’re using in a paper towel or washcloth before applying it to your skin. You should continue to ice your injury for the next two days.



Inspired by MyRecipes.com


• 2 lbs ground beef • 2 tbsp chili powder • 1 tbsp Creole seasoning

• 1 tsp ground cumin • 2 16-oz cans diced tomatoes • 2 16-oz cans small red beans • 2 8-oz cans tomato sauce


1. In a deep pot, brown the beef, stirring often. 2. Once beef is cooked, add chili powder, Creole seasoning, and cumin, cooking for 1 minute. 3. Stir in diced tomatoes, beans, and tomato sauce and bring the mixture to a boil. 4. After the mixture boils, reduce the heat to low and let chili simmer for 15 minutes. 5. Serve with toppings of choice, like cheese, sour cream, or chives.

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


Wait ... You Can’t Wear That! The Do’s and Don’ts of Dressing for PT

A physical therapy appointment isn’t exactly a night at the prom, but the two do have something in common: the moment you find yourself in front of the mirror wondering, “What the heck should I wear?” If you’re nervous ahead of your first physical therapy appointment, let these do’s and don’ts guide your outfit choice. DO wear comfortable, flexible clothes. A pencil skirt may look great in the office, but it’s not the best outfit for physical therapy. You'll need to get physical at your appointment. If you don't have a good range of motion in your outfit — in other words, if you can’t toss a ball or do a lunge — it’s probably not PT-friendly. DON’T wear flip-flops or dress shoes. Closed-toed, high-traction sneakers and socks are better choices. There are

tripping hazards like mats and exercise balls in the clinic, and your PT would hate to see you get hurt when you’re there to get help! DO dress according to your injury. PTs generally ask that you wear a full outfit of loose-fitting clothing for treatment, but you need to pay particular attention to the area of your injury. A tight-fitting sweater will make it hard for your PT to access your rotator cuff, and if you have a knee injury, then tight leggings are a bad choice. Instead, look for pants you can roll up over your knee. DON’T come straight from the gym. Since activewear and close-toed shoes are recommended for PT, you might be tempted to book your appointment right after your gym visit or hospital shift. Don’t do it! Your clothes need to be clean, not sweaty or germ-covered.

DO layer up. Physical therapy often involves heating pads and cold compresses, which can make you sweat or shiver. To keep yourself comfortable, wear layers you can peel off or add on according to your treatment. DON’T lather on lotion. Some PTs recommend against using lotion before your appointment because “it can reduce the traction that the therapist needs for your treatment.” When in doubt, go without.

With these tips in your back pocket, you can start or return to PT with confidence.

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