Spine & Rehab Specialists September 2019


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

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

It’s not uncommon in family-owned businesses for one spouse, say the doctor, to work happily at their dream job while the other spouse doesn’t share the same passion for the field. At our clinic, that couldn’t be further from the truth. My wife, Bonnie, who runs the administrative side of our business, enjoys her work just as much as I do mine — and after 16 years of working together, I'd have a hard time managing Spine & Rehab Specialists without her. Bonnie and I met back in 1990 at the El Paso Orthopedic Surgery Group, the first clinic I worked at in El Paso. She had already been an athletic trainer there for four years, specializing in shoulders, knees, and ankles and doing essentially the same work as a PT. We had a really fun group of coworkers who regularly met up for a happy hour, and they introduced us. Soon, we realized we had a lot in common and became friends. MEET BONNIE! MY WONDERFUL WIFE AND BUSINESS PARTNER I ended up leaving town, but I always had Bonnie in the back of my mind, and, when I returned to El Paso in 1995, we start dating. By the time Spine & Rehab Specialists opened in 1997, things were getting serious, and in 2001 we got married. Two years later, Bonnie left El Paso Orthopedic Surgery Group and came to work for me, citing the same complaints I’d had: She was expected to see

between 35–40 patients a day and couldn’t give them the care they deserved. She’d also gone back to school to earn her master’s in health services management and human resource development and wanted a chance to test her new skills. Spine & Rehab Specialists was the perfect place for her to spread her wings. Bonnie’s athletic training career has a great backstory, and I’d like to let her tell it. When I asked her to share the reason behind her passion with you, here’s what she said. “My father was a sports fanatic, and, when I was growing up, he would work on Saturday, and my sister and I would stay home by ourselves. He would call us at 10 a.m. and tell us, ‘Turn the TV on and watch this game!’ We were 8 and 10 years old, and it was his way of getting us engaged. He would call us back for the score, so we knew we had to watch the game, and he knew we were safe inside. I grew up knowing the Oklahoma fight song even though I was from Texas!” That love of sports, a sharp mind, and a well-timed health class led Bonnie to a position as a high school student athletic trainer. She loved working with athletes, particularly football players. However, when it came time for college, she found most of the prestigious schools didn’t have football programs that would accommodate female trainers. “I couldn’t go to Notre Dame, and I couldn’t go to Alabama because the programs were divided,” Bonnie explains. “So, I went to New Mexico State. Now things are so different, but I think my generation of trainers paved

the way. We women 35 years ago worked so hard to make sure we did just as good a job as the men, and we were able to do it.” After pursuing athletic training for nearly 20 years, Bonnie now handles billing, hiring, and everything else related to HR at Spine & Rehab Specialists. She also teaches Intro to Athletic Training classes and assists in the DPT Modality Lab at the University of Texas, El Paso, a job that has helped her hand-pick our dedicated staff. “Most everyone who works in our clinic has been my student at one point or another,” she says. “If I didn’t get them in class as an undergrad, I got to know them in the modality lab.” When we’re not in the office, Bonnie loves to shop (a task I try to avoid as much as possible), and we spend as much time as possible traveling the world together. I’m hoping for many more years of work and play to come!

– Harry Koster

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In her best-selling lifestyle guide “French Women Don’t Get Fat,” Mireille Guiliano advises women in their 50s to invest in a set of free weights — nothing too heavy, perhaps 3–5 pounds — in order to maintain their toned, youthful appearance and range of motion. She notes that lifting weights isn’t entirely necessary during your 20s and 30s, but it’s essential to maintain muscle tone and bone density in your later years. Though Guiliano’s evidence is anecdotal, the science confirms that lifting weights can be an indispensable aid to healthy aging for both men and women. A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information recommends strength training 2–3 times per week to lower your risk of health problems and preserve bone density, independence, and vitality. According to WebMD, “Muscle loss is one of the main reasons people feel less energetic as they get older. When you lift weights, work out on machines, use resistance bands, or do exercises with your own body weight (like pushups and situps), you build strength, muscle mass, and flexibility.”

have increased by about 20% since the 1970s. The same psychology that propelled humans to eat just a little bit more to survive is now contributing to serious overeating and a staggering calorie intake. There are a few simple tricks you can use to break this habit. Use smaller plates or measure out your food portions so you can clean your plate without guilt. You can also get into the habit of leaving a few bites on your plate to retrain your brain that it’s okay to not finish your food. (You can use your leftover food for compost or save it for later!) With a little effort and intention, you can break free of the pressure to clean your plate. You don’t have to join a gym to reap the benefits though; just pick up a set of free weights and a resistance band and research how to safely use them in your own home. Bodybuilding.com recommends designing a workout routine that includes one or two exercises for each of the major muscle groups: legs, back, shoulders, arms, chest, and abs. Try 8–10 repetitions per set, but don’t push yourself to use heavy weights. Even options that are 10 pounds or less should be enough to keep you chasing after your grandchildren for years to come. One public figure who has taken the weightlifting creed to heart is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The documentary “RBG” shows the 86-year-old judge at the gym, pumping lightweight iron with her personal trainer, and she even walked spring chicken Stephen Colbert through her routine on “The Late Show.” Ginsburg has called her trainer “the most important person” in her life apart from her family, which is a ringing endorsement for lifting weights if ever there was one.


As you celebrate your last backyard barbecue, consider this: If someone puts three helpings of potato salad on your plate, would you feel pressured to finish it? According to nutrition experts, this pressure to finish your plate is making people indulge a little too much. Dubbed the “clean plate phenomenon,” this overindulgence is troubling. Researchers have discovered that people feel pressured to clean their plates even when they feel satisfied or full. Even people who don’t fill their plates all the way often reach for that last piece or second helping because “one more bite won’t hurt.” Experts speculate that this compulsion could have stemmed from habits passed down from World War II, when rationing food was required for most, or from a fear of wasting food. Most people

have, at some point, heard an adult say to a child, “Eat up; there are starving children in the world.” But all those “one more bites” add up. Researchers from Vanderbilt University conducted a study in which participants were served individual plates with any number of cookies piled on top. They were instructed to eat three cookies, and afterward, researchers asked each of them if they wanted more. Those who had only one or two cookies left on their plates were more likely to indulge in a fourth or fifth cookie, while those who had no cookies left or had too many cookies left said they were full. Despite what you think about your own diet, this isn’t a problem sequestered to certain parties. Studies have found that plates and portion sizes in the U.S.

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Anger is a common emotion. It’s natural, and it’s a part of how you respond to certain circumstances in your environment. It’s how you express extreme displeasure. However, new research suggests chronic anger can be detrimental to your health. Essentially, it comes down to this: If you are stressed, tense, easily irritable, angry, and “snippy” all the time, you may be doing serious harm to your well-being.

Studies have already shown a link between anger and the heart. People who showed signs of feeling anger on a regular basis experienced higher rates of heart disease. The first studies on the impact of anger came out in the 1950s and have since been confirmed: Chronic anger physically harms the heart. Why? When you get angry or upset, your brain triggers the release of specific hormones, including cortisol and norepinephrine. These hormones are responsible for triggering the “fight or flight” response. When these hormones enter the bloodstream, your heart rate increases and arteries constrict. This helps to more effectively pump blood to the arms and legs for a fight or a flight.

The problem is that when a person is constantly angry or upset, these hormones course through the body more frequently, stressing the arteries and internal organs. As a person ages, this stress can become more damaging. One study that appeared in the Psychology and Aging Journal looked into this phenomenon. Researchers found that there is a link between frequently experiencing anger and increased inflammation and chronic illness for people ages 80 and older. This equated to more instances of heart disease and dementia. The study also looked at other emotions, including sadness, which has also been linked to heart disease and other inflammatory diseases. Through a number of tests involving 200 participants ages

59–93, the researchers concluded anger was far more detrimental to a person’s health than sadness. Ultimately, if you regularly experience rage and frustration, properly dealing with your anger is one of the best things you can do for your health. Every person’s situation is different, and it comes down to getting to the bottom of what makes you angry so you can work through it, whether you work through it alone or with a mental health professional. Take the steps to prioritize your mental and physical health, and your efforts will pay off tenfold in the long run.



Inspired by TheLeanGreanBean.com



• 1/2 cup onion, diced • 1 red pepper, diced

1. Heat oven to 375 F. 2. In a large pan over medium heat, sauté onion, pepper, bacon, and sweet potatoes until bacon is completely rendered and onions are translucent. Then, add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Finally, add spinach and continue cooking for another 3–5 minutes. 3. Transfer to a greased casserole dish. 4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and pour them over casserole. Season to taste. 5. Bake for 20–30 minutes, let stand for 5 minutes, and serve.

• 2 strips bacon, cut into squares • 1 large sweet potato, spiralized or grated • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 2 cups spinach • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth (optional: substitute with water) • 1 tsp paprika • 6 eggs • Salt and pepper, to taste

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


No, Not That Kind of IT


You feel great about your morning bike rides and are moving into your days with a sense of accomplishment. But suddenly, you notice the outside of your knee is really bugging you. Every time you get on your bike, it hurts.

and improve mobility. You’ll also want to incorporate exercises that strengthen the hips and glutes. Find some examples here at YouTube.com/ watch?v=uWGpbxbJ6_Y. Relax Part of your recovery should include massage to relax the aggravated area. A professional massage is a great option, but, if that’s not possible, using a foam roller to gently massage your hamstrings, glutes, quads, and hips can be similarly effective. If the problem continues or if you experience new or worsening pain, consult with your doctor. A physical therapist, especially one who specializes in running-related issues, can also provide you with exercises to strengthen the area.

Avid runners and bikers may be familiar with the discomfort caused by a tight or overused iliotibial (IT) band. This large connective tissue starts at your gluteal muscles and wraps down just past your knee to connect to the tibia. Because of its span, it’s prone to tightness and overuse. It might cause pain on the outside of the knee or discomfort on the outside of the hip. Tight hamstrings, ramping up mileage too quickly, running on the same side of the road or in the

same direction, or even just running too much can contribute to IT band issues.

The good news is, with a little time and TLC, your IT band can return to normal in a couple weeks. Rest Overuse may have triggered the issue, so if you’ve been doing an activity every day, especially running, give yourself 7–14 days of rest. Before you throw your arms up in the air, remember: This doesn’t mean you have to be on the couch watching Netflix for two weeks. Rehab Stretches focused on the glutes and hamstrings can help to ease tightness

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