Spine & Rehab Specialists - May 2023

Take a look at our May newsletter!

MAY 2023

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

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


A couple of weeks ago, a professional track and field athlete told me, “You know what, Harry? You’ve saved my life!” That was definitely nice to hear — but it was probably a bit of an exaggeration. I didn’t literally save his life. But one of our PT treatments, dry needling, did significantly help his career. When you run for a living, any boost to your performance probably feels lifesaving! A 5% improvement can make the difference between a 6th-place defeat and a 1st-place finish. Dry needling is a game-changing treatment for athletes, especially track and field athletes. We’ve treated these folks at all levels, from high school and college athletes to Olympic runners. Sometimes these treatments are one- and-done, but often the athletes come back regularly for sessions to treat minor injuries like strained hamstrings and pulled groin muscles. What is this ‘lifesaving’ treatment? Dry needling (the form we practice being called functional dry needling or FDN) is a treatment that involves using needles to relax muscles, relieve pain, and increase range of motion. If you sign up to try it, a certified PT will insert needles into your muscles, into what we call “triggerpoints.” Most people say it’s

“uncomfortable and feels like a pinch,” but not really painful. On the surface, dry needling looks similar to acupuncture, but the philosophies behind the two treatments are very different. Acupuncture is based on restoring the flow of energy ("chi") along meridians in the body. Dry needling is based on modern scientific principles and our knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Who can dry needling help? One of the most groundbreaking things about dry needling is that it doesn’t just affect the targeted area of the body but the entire nervous system. It blew my mind the first time I dry needled someone’s hip, and suddenly their neck started moving better. That’s why the treatment isn’t just for athletes. It can also relieve pain for people with tight muscles that aren’t responding to normal stretching and massaging (aka triggerpoints) or people with chronic pain. I’ve even used dry needling to help patients recover from tennis elbow, headaches, Achilles tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis. How did dry needling get to El Paso? About 10 years ago, the military Physical Therapists, who had used dry needling

in their practice for years, wanted to partner with the Greater El Paso Physical Therapy District to bring a dry needling course to our city. As the then- chairperson of the district, I attended the course and was one of the first 10 or so PTs in our area to learn dry needling. It was a little bit scary, because we had to partner up and practice the treatment on each other! Anyone in the class afraid of needles got over it pretty quickly. I was skeptical at first — just like I always am about new treatments — but then I took my knowledge back to the clinic and saw the effect a quick session of dry needling had on our patients. I could never have imagined the impact. It was absolutely amazing. Not only did it help our track and field athletes relax strained muscles and perform much better, it fixed tightness, aches, and pains in a wide variety of patients. If you have questions about dry needling, don’t hesitate to call the Spine & Rehab Specialists location near you. We’d love to tell you all about it.

It’s Not Too Late to Join Our Nubie Research Study! If you or someone you know has neuropathy because of diabetes or another condition and wants to find relief, there’s still time. Call your nearest Spine and Rehab Specialists to apply to participate in our study.

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The World Isn’t Ending 3 Strategies to Reduce Anxiety

Face Anxiety Head-On Many people try to avoid anything that could make them feel anxious. While this method may make you feel short- term comfort, it can cause you to be more anxious about specific scenarios. The best strategy to overcome anxiety is to face it head-on. Although it will be uncomfortable and challenging, don’t let it stop you! The more you put yourself out there, the less anxious you’ll feel. You’re stronger than you give yourself credit for! Please contact your health care provider if you’re worried about the anxious feelings you get. They can assist you with identifying your triggers, why anxiety is occurring, and methods you can use to reduce your symptoms.

When most people think of anxiety, they likely have negative connotations tied to it. Many make the assumption that anxiety will always lead to panic attacks and fears of major change, but just about anything can generate feelings of anxiety, and not all of them are harmful. However, if your anxiety stops you from doing something, it can hinder you almost every day. In honor of May being National Anxiety Month, here are three ways to reduce your anxiety. Daily Exercise Physical activity can increase your self- confidence, improve your mood, help you relax, and lower anxiety symptoms. You don’t have to do anything

significant — you can go for a walk, take a hike, conduct at-home workouts, go to the gym for at least 30 minutes, or participate in yoga and Pilates. Meditate Sometimes, taking a step back, focusing on your breathing, and letting your thoughts flow in one ear and out the other can help you put things in perspective. JAMA Internal Medicine published an article stating that practicing mindfulness can help ease feelings of anxiety, depression, and pain. You can meditate by following a guided meditation or silently sitting in a quiet area and breathing slowly. While meditating will be challenging at first, it will become easier with practice.

The Ageless Benefits of Yoga How Seniors Are Finding New Vitality

For many seniors, maintaining an active lifestyle can be a challenge. Your body might not be as flexible as it once was, and new pains or discomforts seem to appear out of nowhere as time passes. This change can be problematic and will require some adjustment on your part, especially if you’ve lived an active lifestyle. Thankfully, there are some activities you can do to help you stay active, like yoga! You might think that yoga is just for young people, but that’s not the case at all! Yoga is a low-impact exercise that can be modified to suit a wide range of abilities, making it accessible to people of all ages. There is no expectation of perfection, as each individual is

encouraged to listen to their own body and move at a comfortable pace. So even if you have health limitations or concerns, yoga is a safe and pleasant activity. Plus, you’ll gain a host of benefits from participating. By holding poses and moving through sequences, yoga helps to lengthen and stretch muscles, increasing the range of motion and reducing stiffness. You’ll also build muscle strength, particularly in your core. Your balance and posture will improve, which will help lessen physical discomfort and reduce your risk of falls.

yoga can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. By incorporating breathing techniques into their practice, seniors can improve cognitive function and memory. There’s also a social aspect involved. Many yoga studios offer classes specifically for seniors, which can provide a supportive and welcoming environment for everyone to practice together. It’s a great way to meet new people and have fun while staying active. There are advantages for people of all ages to practice yoga. If you’ve been interested in trying this activity for a while, now is the time to get out and get involved. You may be surprised by how much you enjoy it!

In addition to physical benefits, yoga is also mentally stimulating. The practice of

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OUCH! Pinched Nerves Hurt


Restorative Exercise Don’t worry; you won’t be doing jumping jacks. Strengthening and range of motion exercises are simple movements that can strengthen your muscles and stretch the affected nerves to help reduce pain. A physical therapist will often assess your issues and unique needs, then customize these exercises for you to reap the most benefits. Retraining Your Posture No one has perfect posture all of the time, but enhancing it can do wonders for your symptoms. Adjusting your posture is vital to treating pinched nerves and preventing further injury. Most people don’t realize how poor their posture is throughout the day, but a physical therapist can help you retrain your stance and improve your spinal alignment. By doing so, you’re also preventing further damage to your pinched nerve. Your favorite activities don’t have to become a forgotten memory. Physical therapy can have you returning to your everyday life and managing any discomfort caused by a pinched nerve. While not all physical therapists practice the same methods listed here, they can find a therapeutic routine perfect for your needs. Everyone deserves to live pain-free lives, and physical therapy can help you make the unthinkable a reality.

If you have a pinched nerve, you know how much it can affect your day-to-day life. Severe neck or back pain due to a pinched nerve often limits your usual sports or hobbies and can also be aggravated by sitting or standing at work all day with bad posture. But you don’t have to be stuck with this pain! The restorative techniques offered in physical therapy can help you treat your pinched nerve and teach you how to manage it properly. Manual Therapy Who doesn’t enjoy a massage? A trained physical therapist can administer manual therapy, such as massages, to loosen muscle tension and ease pain. Some other forms of manual therapy include lymphatic drainage and manual traction. These hands-on techniques can reduce inflammation and improve your range of motion. Cold Laser Therapy This FDA-approved and noninvasive treatment uses low-level light to heal damaged tissue and relieve nerve pain. The near-infrared light promotes healing and can treat pinched nerve symptoms and other spinal injuries, as well as temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) and herniated discs, when done regularly.


Ginger Pork Stir-Fry Inspired by TasteOfHome.com



• 1 tbsp cornstarch • 1 cup orange juice • 2 tbsp soy sauce

1. In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch, orange juice, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger until smooth; set aside. 2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, stir-fry pork in oil until lightly browned, about 4–5 minutes. Remove pork and add onion, peas, and red pepper. Cook until crisp-tender, about 3–5 minutes. 3. Stir in orange juice mixture and pork. Bring to a boil, and then cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve over rice. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds, if desired.

• 2 cloves garlic, minced • 1/4 tsp ground ginger • 1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips • 2 tbsp canola oil • 1 small onion, sliced • 1/4 lb fresh snow peas • 1/2 sweet red pepper, julienned • Cooked rice • Green onion, chopped (optional) • Sesame seeds (optional)

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

1. A ‘Lifesaving’ Treatment for Tight Muscles 2. Anxiety Can Be Overcome Healthy Aging Through Yoga 3. Managing a Painful Pinched Nerve Ginger Pork Stir-Fry 4. How Physical Therapy Can Improve Your Mental Health INSIDE THIS ISSUE

The Connection Between Mental Health and Physical Therapy

Improved Self-Esteem Unsurprisingly, your self-esteem may take a hit after suffering an injury or losing mobility, but physical therapy can help restore lost confidence. We’ll run you through various exercises, and at every appointment, you’ll gain a new sense of achievement as you progress toward your goals and regain mobility. Your confidence will improve even more as you work on the exercises we assign you at home.

Physical discomfort is usually the main focus of a physical therapy appointment. Whether you suffered an injury or have recently undergone surgery, you’re doing everything possible to return to the activities you love. But you may not realize that your mental health can majorly impact your physical recovery. You might think you need to see a mental health professional or start a new prescription to help your mind during recovery, but that’s not necessarily the case. Often simply participating in physical therapy can help improve your mental health. Reduced Stress, Anxiety, and Depression As physical therapists, we aim to help you return to your regular lives with few to no restrictions. There may be moments when you feel like nothing will improve after an injury, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel! After meeting with a physical therapist, you’ll receive a road map to your recovery. When you see that things will eventually improve, you’ll notice improvements in your mental health. Feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression will gradually lessen as you continue on your healing journey.

Better Sleep When you don’t sleep well, you can experience worsening symptoms of depression and anxiety. There’s no better way to ensure you get a good night's rest than by exercising, and that’s exactly what we’ll help you do. Whether you’re coming in for an appointment or are following our guidelines for recovery at home, you’ll have an easier time falling asleep at night and will get much better rest.

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