Spine & Rehab Specialists - February 2022

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

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


After a double knee surgery, most people would probably give up on competitive sports. They’d think, “Things will never be the same again. So, why try?” That might seem logical at first, but the truth is that physical therapy and strength, endurance, and resistance training can make things that seem impossible feel possible again. Just ask my patient with two metal knees who went on to become a triathlete! Before I get into all of that, I should probably introduce myself. My name is Chris McMillen, and I’ve been the technician supervisor here at Spine & Rehab Specialists for about eight years. I know you’re used to seeing letters from Harry and Bonnie here on the cover of the newsletter, but they asked me to step in this month. Why? Well, because Feb. 1 is National Get Up Day, a holiday dedicated to the persistence and perseverance it takes to “get up” after a fall, literally or metaphorically. As the technician supervisor and the guy who oversees both our Wellness Program and Sitting Strong program, I have a front-row seat to some of the most amazing patient recoveries in our clinic. Our Wellness Program helps patients after, alongside, or instead of physical therapy. If you wanted to join, we’d consult your supervising PT to find out where you are with your recovery. Then, we’d put together a routine to keep your functional movements intact and add more dynamic movements to help you get back to feeling fit, strong, and healthy. That’s exactly what we did for the woman with two knee replacements. Initially, her goal was just to be able to move again, but she got stronger and fitter each week. When I mentioned that I did triathlons, she decided to try it, too, and despite her surgeries, she succeeded! Another patient had a similar journey. This woman worked all day lifting boxes, and the repetitive motion wore down her muscles and joints. She came to us with lower back problems, difficulty lifting, and lower extremity weakness. After finishing PT, she joined the Wellness Program. Slowly but surely she achieved better squatting form and strengthened her legs, hips, back, and glutes. She could lift heavy weights again, and her pain disappeared! When she finished the program, she could work a

full shift — and she even became a shift leader. That particular patient did our Wellness Program one-on-one, but you can also get extra camaraderie and encouragement from a group class. The Sitting Strong program is similar to the Wellness Program, except that it offers a full-body workout you can do while totally seated! Without standing up, you can strengthen your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and upper body. You can even do most of the exercises at home with just a towel or a can of corn to simulate a 1-pound weight. Sitting Strong is a great option for older adults and office workers. I’ve seen incredible recoveries in that class. Nothing feels better than helping a patient make the huge leap they need to get back to gardening or swimming. Our patients never fail to inspire me. Whether they want to get back into shape or conquer the world, our team of PTs and I can help them do it. If you or someone you love is struggling to “get up” right now after an injury or illness, or wanting to slow the decline of aging, give the Spine & Rehab clinic near you a call and ask to learn more about our Wellness Program and/or our Sitting Strong program. We can tell you all about them and help you figure out which one might be right for you. –Chris McMillen

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which can help you fall asleep easier. On top of exercise, try weaving protein-rich snacks and meals into your routine. Foods like light meat and nuts can improve sleep quality, and dairy foods contain tryptophan, which is a sleep-promoting chemical. Eliminate unhealthy substances . Limit your intake of caffeine and sugar throughout the day — especially right before bed — for better rest. It’s also best not to drink anything about an hour before bed, so you don’t wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom and disrupt your sleep. Regulate your sleep schedule. Keeping the same schedule for sleeping can reap immediate benefits. You will notice increased alertness during waking hours as well as enhanced memory and attention span. You may also start to feel tired around the same time every day, ensuring that you will actually go to sleep right on schedule. It can take time and patience to adjust to new habits to improve sleep, especially for the elderly. It won’t happen overnight, but the benefits that come with a better night’s sleep will have you feeling younger and healthier than ever before. If anything, you will feel more engaged and happier throughout your daily life. The Importance of a Good Night’s Rest

Sleep is an essential part of our lives, but it becomes even more important as we get older, as it’s a necessity for healthy aging and staying energized. Ideally, everyone should sleep between 7.5–9 hours a night, but as we get older, this becomes much harder to achieve. Health complaints, minor disturbances, and a decrease in melatonin levels make it difficult for seniors to get a full night of sleep, which can cause irritability and fatigue. In order to combat these disturbances, here are a few things you can do to ensure you get enough sleep during the night. Build an active daily routine. Outdoor exercise and general movement every day is good for your body, but being outside and absorbing sunlight can balance and optimize your melatonin levels,


Is there any group in better shape than professional football players? While there are certainly some exceptions, most National Football League athletes are in incredible shape so they can withstand hits from some of the biggest and toughest guys in the country. When they retire, many athletes tone down their exercise routine, but that is certainly not the case for one superstar.

Though Sanders retired from the NFL more than 15 years ago, you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at him. At 54 years old, Sanders is still in incredible shape and looks like he could return to the field at any moment. To put it simply, Sanders continues to use every moment and opportunity to improve himself. He’s often said, “I want to look good. I don’t want to be the strongest and the fastest. I want to look the strongest and the fastest.” In his Texas home, Sanders has the ultimate home gym that consists of dumbbells, stability balls, pullup bars, and much more. He never passes up an opportunity to work out. “Even if I’m just waiting for the shower water to warm, there’s no reason I can’t bang out 50 pushups.” For cardio, Sanders usually runs for 15 minutes. He’ll throw in 10 50-yard dashes, which he follows with 400 situps and 200 pushups. It sounds like an extreme workout for most of us, but it’s just an average day for the eight-time Pro Bowler. Sanders’ one rule when it comes to working out is to give it your best. You don’t have to be the best to give it your all.

Deion Sanders is one of the greatest defensive players in football history. But he didn’t just play football. He was also a professional baseball player, playing in the MLB at the same time he was playing in the NFL. He was a one-of-a-kind athlete who gave his all every day. He even worked out after his football games, and the team always had an exercise bike ready for him in his hotel room.

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WITH MEAL PREPPING Stuff Yourself and Your Wallet

You’ll cut food costs. Eating out at restaurants several days a week can get incredibly expensive. Even fast food can quickly burn a hole in your pocket. By going to the grocery store and getting the ingredients to prepare your meals in advance, you will be saving money. And you will never ask yourself, “What should I have for dinner tonight?” You’ll save time. Our days are already hectic and busy

Have you ever intended to eat healthy meals throughout the week, but as the days went on, you either ran out of time or patience and picked up unhealthy eating habits? We’ve all been there, but if you find yourself falling into this routine regularly, you might want to give meal prepping a chance. Meal prepping has gained popularity over the past few years, and social media has been flooded with images of fitness gurus’ meal-prepping habits. To properly meal prep, you need to plan and shop for your meals in advance. You then need to cook all of your meals for the week and store them for easy access. This way, you won’t be tempted to eat fast food or other unhealthy options since your meals will already be prepared and ready to eat. While there are many benefits to meal prepping, there are three that stand above the rest.

enough, and more often than not, cooking after working or running errands seems like just another chore. With meal prep, you can spend the time you would have spent cooking on hobbies or relaxation since your meals will already be cooked and prepared. It’s a great way to make more time for yourself. You’ll be eating healthier. Eating out at restaurants, especially if it’s fast food, can be quite unhealthy. You may find yourself putting on weight if you’re eating out every other day. By meal prepping, you can introduce more home-cooked meals into your diet. You can choose healthier foods, and your portion sizes will be limited since the food is already made. This way you won’t overeat, and you can enjoy fresh and delicious meals every day of the week.

toothpicks, seal the edges of the pockets. 5. Season the chicken with curry, paprika, salt, and pepper, then bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 F. 6. Remove the toothpicks and serve with rice, potatoes, salad, or roasted vegetables! • 10 large basil leaves, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, chopped • 1/2 tsp curry powder • 1/2 tsp paprika • Salt and pepper, to taste MEDITERRANEAN STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST Inspired by DiabetesStrong.com



• 2 chicken breasts • 2 oz mozzarella cheese, cubed • 2 canned artichoke hearts, chopped • 4 tsp sun-dried tomatoes, chopped


1. Preheat oven to 365 F. 2. Cut a slit lengthwise to create a pocket in the middle of each chicken breast. Place the breasts on a baking sheet. 3. In a medium bowl, combine the mozzarella cheese, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, basil, and garlic. 4. Divide the mixture in half and stuff each chicken breast pocket. Using

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





Improve Your Health With Fitness Trackers

Sleep Monitoring Many fitness trackers give you insight into your sleep routine and will even track your movements so you can find out if you were tossing and turning all night. Others go further by detecting your body temperature, heart rate, and energy expenditure. You can use this information to create a sleep schedule that works for you or make any adjustments to your sleeping conditions if they are preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep. Future Updates Fitness trackers and wearable devices are still a relatively new technology. Tech companies are continually updating them and introducing additional features. For example, new wearables that are hitting the market can track blood sugar, which could be incredibly beneficial to those with diabetes. Wearable tech will continue to evolve — only time will tell what features and functions companies will unveil next.

Over the past decade, wearable technology has seen an incredible boom. Wearables like Fitbits and the Apple Watch used to be nothing more than glorified step counters. Since their debut, though, fitness trackers and wearables have gone through various updates that have made them essential to the fitness community as a whole. This is because wearing a fitness tracker can add great benefits to your lifestyle and can even improve your daily life. Heart Rate A built-in heart rate sensor is possibly the most vital feature available in almost every wearable device and fitness tracker. There are many exercise machines that track your heart rate, but those are only useful if you know your resting heart rate. With a fitness tracker — whether you’re sleeping, sitting, running, or exercising — you will know exactly what your heart rate is and what’s normal for you. This is important because it will help you notice irregularities so you can better understand your heart health.

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