6358 EDGEMERE BLVD. EL PASO, TEXAS 79925 915-562-8525
11855 PHYSICIANS DR. EL PASO, TEXAS 79936 915-855-6466
A VERY EL PASO THANKSGIVING YOU’RE ON HARRY’S THANKFUL LIST!!
When I moved to the U.S. I assumed Thanksgiving was all about gratitude and thankfulness. But after living in El Paso for all of these years, I stand corrected! It’s really a holiday about food, family, and football — not necessarily in that order. Of course, gratitude does enter into it. As Bonnie mentioned in last year’s November newsletter, the two of us have created a little tradition of telling each other what we’re thankful for. We do that on the morning of Thanksgiving before going off to spend the holiday with her family. This year, I have a lot of gratitude to share! The first thing that comes to mind is Spine & Rehab Specialists. Back on Nov. 1, 1997, the business was just me and a part-time secretary. Now, it’s celebrating its 24th birthday with two locations and a full staff! I’m grateful that the business is still standing and going strong after all of these years. COVID-19 has been a challenge but we’ve continued moving forward, and we never stopped serving our patients. Speaking of patients, Spine & Rehab Specialists never would have made it through without you. The fact that you trust me and my team to take care of your health and help you recover from your injuries means everything to me. On top of trusting us to take care of you, many of you have sent your friends, family, coworkers, and teammates our way for help.
Those referrals are a huge part of what keeps our business running, and I appreciate every one of them. Feel free to keep them coming! In that same vein, I’m also thankful for my Spine & Rehab Specialists team. They’ve stuck with us over the years and contributed a lot to the business. In particular, I’m grateful for everyone who has stayed and worked hard during the last year and a half. COVID-19 was an unexpected challenge. There's no way Bonnie and I could have gotten through it if our loyal employees didn’t have our backs. Fortunately, they did! The unique experience of this year has been enough to fill a book, and perhaps when I’m retired I’ll write one! I often joke with my team that I’m writing two books — one about my employees, and one about my patients. They all know that if they’re not careful, they’ll end up in my draft! (This draft may or may not be real. You may or may not be in it.) I’m looking forward to sharing all of this gratitude with Bonnie on Thanksgiving, although she’ll probably read it in the newsletter first! We haven’t solidified our plans for the holiday quite yet. But I’m sure that at the very least it will feature family, football, and chili con queso. “On top of trusting us to take care of you, many of you have sent your friends, family, coworkers, and teammates our way for help. Those referrals are a huge part of what keeps our business running, and I appreciate every one of them.”
Happy Turkey Day!
–Harry Koster • 1 915-562-8525
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THIS HELPFUL ROBOT COULD REDUCE YOUR KNEE PAIN MEET THE ASCEND WEARABLE ROBOTIC KNEE ORTHOSIS
Fifty years ago, folks expected 2021 to feature flying cars and food pills — but did they predict knee robots? We don’t think so! Defying expectations, the San Francisco-based company Roam Robotics debuted a brand-new smart knee brace this summer that could be a game-changer for knee osteoarthritis patients. Knee osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that impacts millions of people every year. Major symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, and a lack of mobility. Leg braces have long been an option to help reduce that pain by taking pressure off the joint, but the Ascend Wearable Robotic Knee Orthosis isn’t just a brace. It’s a “wearable robot” that takes the benefits of a brace to the next level. Where other braces are static, this smart brace uses algorithms to predict wearer actions and adjust itself throughout the day for maximum pain relief. It also has a lightweight carbon fiber shell, rechargeable batteries, a smartphone-like display, and built-in sensors that “detect user intention in real time to extend and flex the knee and help overcome weakness through precise stabilization.” One clinical study showed the Ascend reduced the pain of knee osteoarthritis patients by 46% on average, and another found more than 65% of participants experienced improved
mobility with the brace. It’s a potential substitute for knee replacement surgery.
The downside of the Ascend is its cost. According to PCMag, the brace will go for $7,000, although 50%–100% of that cost should be covered by Medicare or private insurance. Still, it is exciting to see a high-tech device come on the market for osteoarthritis sufferers, who could use it alongside physical therapy and other treatments. The future really is here, and it’s likely more companies will follow in Roam’s footsteps. As Roam Robotics CEO Tim Swift told NPR, “I believe we have the ability to change the relationship that people
have with robots on a scale that has really never been considered. Our goal is not to build cyborgs. It’s to make people more human than they ever were before.” This summer, the FDA approved the brace, and it should be for sale this winter. To learn more, visit Ascend.health.
PHYSICAL THERAPY HELPED QUARTERBACK ALEX SMITH DETERMINATION THROUGH THE RECOVERY PROCESS
Earlier this year, Alex Smith retired from the NFL after helping the Washington Football Team achieve an NFC East title last year — but that’s not what most people will remember him for. Rather, they will remember Smith for fighting through one of the worst injuries ever sustained by a player in the history of the game. For anyone who might be unfamiliar with his story, here are a few of the basics: On Nov. 18, 2018, Smith sustained a spiral and compound fracture in his tibia and fibula in his right leg after getting sacked by Kareem Jackson. He was rushed to surgery immediately, but that was just the beginning. A serious infection in Smith’s blood led to a series of medical complications and 17 more surgeries. All of this should have meant Smith was done with professional football for good. After all, he nearly lost his leg!
But thanks to his determination, and help from a qualified physical therapist, he was able to steadily recover. In February 2019, Smith was cleared by the office of the secretary of defense to receive a medical consultation from the military at the Center for the Intrepid, a rehab center normally reserved for combat veterans. However, Smith’s injuries were severe enough that they actually mirrored a lot of what the doctors at the facility were used to working with. The Washington Team’s physician, Dr. Robin West, made the visit possible after she contacted her friend Johnny Owens, a physical therapist who used to work at the Center for the Intrepid. He got Smith connected with the team of physical therapists at the facility. Then, he got to work. According to Smith’s wife, he was doing physical therapy five, sometimes six times a week. He seemed determined to recover, and in the end, it paid off. Against all odds, Smith returned to the field for his final season with the NFL, almost completely recovered from his injury. In many ways, Smith represents what can happen when someone fully dedicates themselves to their recovery — a new life, where he could do things that no one thought would be possible for him again
2 • www.spinerehab.net
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IS YOUR WATER UP TO PAR? HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST DRINKING WATER FOR YOUR FAMILY
Here in America, the fastest and easiest way to get drinking water is from the tap in your sink, but there are nearly a dozen other types of water available at most grocery stores. If you stroll down the aisle, you’ll see mineral water, spring/glacier water, distilled water, alkaline water, and more. Any of these will sate your thirst, but they’re not all created equal. Your Guide to the World of Water If you’re on the hunt for the healthiest water available and cost isn’t an issue, then mineral water (pulled from a mineral spring) is your best bet. According to Healthline, the minerals added to this water, like sulfur, magnesium, and calcium, can boost your health and improve your digestion. Spring/glacier water isn’t always filtered and can sometimes come with health risks. Alkaline water is risky, too, because it reduces the acidity of your
stomach and makes you more susceptible to illnesses, and too much will make you sick. Distilled water is safe to drink, but it doesn’t have any beneficial minerals.
If your family can’t afford to buy mineral water for daily use, tap water and well water are good affordable alternatives. However, they’re both prone to contamination. Before drinking straight from the source, you should test your water for pollutants. Testing Your Tap If you own or rent a home, you should get a Consumer Confidence Report on your tap water every year (or your landlord should!). This will show the levels of contaminants in your water. You can look for your report at EPA.gov/ccr, and if it’s not there, call your water supplier or the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-
426-4791). If you use well water, reach out to a certified laboratory for testing. Simply head to EPA.gov/dwlabcert and click “Contact Information for Certification Programs and Certified Laboratories.” When In Doubt, Filter It Out If your tap water or well water is contaminated, you’ll need to filter it. The cheapest way to do this is with a water filter pitcher or faucet-mounted filter, but you can also invest in a faucet-integrated filter or under-sink option. To learn more about these options and which one is right for you, visit CDC.gov/healthywater/drinking/index.html .
EASY CRANBERRY- APPLE SALAD Inspired by CookieAndKate.com
TAKE A BREAK!
For the salad: • 1/4 cup dried pumpkin seeds • 5 cups salad mix • 2 Granny Smith apples, chopped into bite-size pieces • 1/3 cup dried cranberries • 1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
For the dressing: • 1/4 cup olive oil • 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar • 1 1/2 tsp honey • 1 tsp Dijon mustard • Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a skillet over medium heat, toast the pumpkin seeds until fragrant, then set aside. 2. In a small jar or bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients, then set aside. 3. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing until lightly coated, then toss and serve!
• 3 915-562-8525
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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. YOU’RE ON HARRY’S THANKFUL LIST! 2. THIS HELPFUL ROBOT COULD REDUCE YOUR KNEE PAIN PHYSICAL THERAPY HELPED QUARTERBACK ALEX SMITH 3. HOW TO GET MORE BENEFITS INSIDE THIS ISSUE FROM YOUR DRINKING WATER EASY CRANBERRY-APPLE SALAD 4. SHOULD YOU WORK OUT ON THANKSGIVING DAY?
Okay, fess up — which of your friends insists on getting a 5-mile run in before the turkey is carved? We all know someone who works out every year on Thanksgiving. The thought is that if you burn calories in the morning, the big meal won’t hit you so hard. But is that really true? And if it is, when and how should you get sweaty? To Sweat, or Not to Sweat The verdict is in: Working out on Thanksgiving morning is good for you. Surprise! However, according to Mic magazine, it’s less about balancing your calories in and calories out (which is almost impossible for a Thanksgiving feast) and more about priming your body to anticipate the meal to come. "Your body will be calling for those calories — you'll need them," gym trainer Daniel Stransky told Mic. When and How to Hit the Gym Stransky recommends hitting the gym both on Thanksgiving Day and the day after. On Turkey Day, he suggests “a high- intensity interval training cardio circuit comprised of burpees, squats with overhead dumbbell presses, jump squats, sprints, and rowing on the rowing machine.” SHOULD YOU WORK OUT ON THANKSGIVING DAY? THE TRUTH ABOUT SWEATING FOR YOUR TURKEY
before, go for a long run or walk. Then on Turkey Day, try weight training using high reps and short rest periods to “deplete the muscle glycogen” so that you can eat more Thanksgiving carbs without gaining fat. The next day, Clark recommends interval cardio training to boost your metabolism. The Obvious Truth There’s one thing all of this Thanksgiving workout talk overlooks: The most important thing isn’t whether you work out on Turkey Day — it’s whether you stick to a workout routine year-round. A recent pilot study from the University of Michigan helped prove this. The participants were asked to eat 30% more calories than normal for a week but continue exercising regularly. As long as they did, their new diets didn’t cause inflammation or changes in their glucose control or insulin sensitivity. If you don’t already have a workout routine in place, consider this to be a sign! Work with your physical therapist to determine a safe, effective exercise program for you.
Meanwhile, Bodybuilding.com writer Shannon Clark advises working out before, on, and after Thanksgiving. On the day
4 • www.spinerehab.net
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