It’s Summer and I’m Back on the Courts!

For several months in a row last spring I wrote about my experiences post-knee surgery and the grueling rehab process I was going through.  It’s hard to believe that is now over one year post-surgery.  The good news is that I am back doing all the activities I was able to do prior to my ACL tear and surgical replacement!

I’ve never had a serious injury before and never had to be a committed and compliant patient.  I worked hard and followed the advice of the skilled professional that I put my trust in.  I was able to ski by mid- winter and since the spring have been playing tennis several times a week.  My knee is strong and pain-free.  I have no limitations.  At times I do get swelling, but regular icing keeps it to a minimum (and feels good on these hot summer days we are experiencing).  I know I am not 100% rehabbed, but am getting closer every day!

This has been a learning experience on many levels.  Most importantly, I have a much better appreciation for the trust and confidence my patients put in me.  It is not easy being compliant with appointments and the homework I prescribe to get out of pain and optimizing function.  Between family and work responsibilities we all have busy lives.  Squeezing in one more appointment is not always easy.  I always remind my patients that it is not easy and there is never the right time to do this, but if they do the work now, they will be glad they did short term, and more importantly long term.

George Burns when he turned 90 said, “If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself”.  I want all my patients to say when they turn 90, “I knew I was going to live this long so I took great care of myself”.   Of course there are bumps in the road, like my knee injury, and when that happens extra care is needed.  That’s how I live my life and I hope I inspire my patients to do the same.

Now that the hard part of my rehab is over, I will continue with my “extra” exercises to make sure my knee serves me well for the many years I plan to work as a chiropractor and play hard.  Many thanks go to my team of professionals who helped me get to this place.  Dr. Brian McKeon has been my go to orthopedist for 14+ years.  I’ve always told my patients when I made a referral, if it was me, Dr. McKeon is who I would go to.  When it was me that is exactly what I did.  Steve Crowell and his amazing team of physical therapists at Rebound Physical Therapy got me moving.  Rebound Physical Therapy is my “outsourced” physical therapy department and they always make me look good when I refer my patients there.  Drs. VanNederynen and Ball, were instrumental in keeping me functional and relieved the physical stress I was putting on my body from walking funny- 1st with crutches, then with my brace, and then from limp that lasted longer than I expected.  Bernadette, Performance Health Center’s amazing massage therapist accelerated my healing with incredible massages and cupping.  Lastly, Anita Luck, my Functional Movement Therapist, has taught me how to use my body in 3-D so my body can handle the demands I put on it, even when the unexpected happens.

I have and will continue to refer my patients to these exceptional providers I have now experienced firsthand, and have even more confidence in them than ever.

I hope you all have an enjoyable, safe and healthy summer!  Now get out there and have fun!

Brad Weiss, D.C.

drbradweiss@performancehealthcenter.com

 

 

Special “K”

No, I am not talking about the Kellogg’s cereal in the big White box with the big red letter K on it.  I am talking about Potassium, which for you Chemistry Geeks is the 19th chemical element with the symbol K (derived from Neo-Latinkalium). It was first isolated from potash, the ashes of plants, from which it was named.

I am writing this Blog this month because I had an interesting eye opening experience with Potassium- more about that later.

Potassium is one of the seven essential macro-minerals, along with calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, and sulfur. We require at least 100 milligrams of potassium daily to support key bodily processes.  Many of us do not get enough Potassium in our diets, and some people end up with Hypokalemia- low levels of Potassium in our blood, a potentially dangerous health condition.

Adequate potassium intake will reduce the risk of stroke, lower blood pressure, protect against loss of muscle mass, preserve bone mineral density, and reduce the formation of kidney stones.

Potassium’s primary functions in the body include regulating fluid balance and controlling the electrical activity of the heart and other muscles.

Potassium is an electrolyte that counteracts the effects of sodium, helping to maintain a healthy blood pressure.  Potassium plays a role in every heartbeat.  It also helps your muscles to move, your nerves to work, and your kidneys to filter blood.

Food Sources:

The best way to get enough potassium is to eat fruits and vegetables. It’s also in dairy products, whole grains, meat, and fish.

Great sources include:

  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocados
  • Fresh fruits (bananas, oranges, and strawberries)
  • Orange juice
  • Dried fruits (raisins, apricots, prunes, and dates)
  • Spinach
  • Beans and peas

How Much Do You Need?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends 4,700 milligrams per day for healthy people. The easiest way to get this amount is by adding high-potassium fruits and vegetables to your diet.

OK back to my recent experience.  I happen to eat a lot, I mean A LOT of high Potassium foods!  It seems like all my favorite foods: (Sweet potatoes, Salmon, Spinach, Broccoli, Asparagus, Bananas, Strawberries, and even my protein powder that I make smoothies with), are all really high in Potassium.  Well, no problem, right? Not so fast!!  I had my annual physical recently and I was alerted that I had Hyperkalemia- too much Potassium in my blood!  This, like Hypokalemia, can also be very dangerous to you and your heart.  A conscious effort to replace some of my high Potassium foods and a switch in my Protein powder and I was quickly back to the normal range. Phew!

So, while it is much more common to have low Potassium in our blood, it is possible to get too much of a good thing. The best way to determine your current blood potassium levels is to get your blood checked on a regular basis, and then you can make the necessary dietary changes to bring your levels back to normal if needed.

If you have questions about this Blog or your health in general, please feel free to contact me at:

drtomball@performancehealthcenter.com

The Glue that Keeps Our International Tennis Athletics Competing

Loving the game of Tennis and understanding the sport as a competitor is a perfect professional fit. I was invited as a Board Certified Massage Therapist to travel to Umag Croatia to work with our Senior USA tennis teams in September.

The venue was named the International Tennis Federation World Super -Senior Team Championships.

The championships is the largest and most important competition of tennis seniors over 65 to 80 plus years in the world. There were 107 teams representing 26 different countries.

I was introduced to both men and women players from our USA Teams, letting them know I was available pre and post event for Kenesio taping, active isolated stretching, spot massage treatment and full body treatment.

As veteran senior athletics they knew the value of massage for maintaining-their competitive edge.

I’m always amazed at untypical 80’s women and they continue to give me inspiration. One of the team of four has been doing yoga for thirty years and loves to show off her stretching routine doing the splits. Another puts her kinesiology tape on her knees and runs for shots with little effort.

Every day at four I had an appointment with Dave, a 65 USA team player from Dallas He was playing  number 1 singles . The surface was red clay which is easier on the body but a slower surface to play on. As a result his legs were fatigued, hamstrings tight and his low back was talking to him The massage focus was bring about an awareness and facilitate more  blood-flow while decreasing tension in those tight muscles  .After a 1 1/2 hour treatment my goals were achieved and he was ready to go back on the courts the next day.

Our USA teams did well.  The US 80’s Men and Woman and  75 men and woman came in first place, Our 65 men and woman came in 3rd place My experience was professionally rich.

Never stop moving! Life is Motion!  I’m always proud to represent our country.

To schedule your next massage, call the office at 508-655-9008

What’s Cupping?

I am thrilled that the Olympics have sparked a curiosity regarding the art of cupping.  Cupping was developed thousands of years ago by the Romans, and the first cups were made from the horns of animals. Today cupping tools have been modernized but the philosophy remains the same.

In modern practice, Cupping involves placing various size plastic or glass cups on the tissue treatment site.  A vacuum is created in the cup by a tool, lifting the tissue. As a Massage therapist the placement of cups on the tissue lasts 1 to 3 minutes. I think of cupping as the inverse of massage because it lifts the soft tissues. I have been using Massage cupping for many years and incorporate it during my treatments  with excellent results.  The benefits my patient’s notice includes less pain and improved range of motion.

Massage cupping glides on fascia lifting the restricted tissue which increases blood flow.  As the tissue is lifted some techniques include “parking” the cup, vibration, rotation and gliding. The use of suction is invaluable for restricted soft tissue and fascia.  Olympic athletes have seen the benefit, so why shouldn’t you? Curious?  Ready to try Massage Cupping? Please call our office @ 508-655-9008 and schedule an appointment.

FYI- I will not be in the office from September  9 -20 where I will be the providing massage therapy and cupping to the USA Senior Tennis Team (ages 65-85) at the Federation Cup in Umog, Croatia.

Bernadette Lehmann

Board Certified Licensed Massage Therapist

bernadette@performancehealthcenter.com