Dr. Kim Leis-Keeling

Dr. Amanda Boccio

 

Serving Albany and Guilderland

2021 Western Avenue, Ste 102

Albany, NY 12203

518-869-3415

DOES PAIN EQUATE TO TISSUE DAMAGE?

Part 1: My most humiliating day ever!

By: Dr. Kim Leis-Keeling

How boring would life be if we can’t laugh at ourselves and find the humor amidst the craziness? This is my tale of finding humor in a moment of humiliation. About two months ago, I had an episode of acute lower back pain. I was leaning over to put something in my bag after playing basketball and BOOM – I felt something slip in my back. Since I was familiar with this type of pain from my previous episodes (and we work with patients with this daily), I knew how to manage it: ice, cold laser, tape, modalities, bracing and treatment from my amazing chiropractor, Dr. Amanda Boccio. Over the next 2 weeks, it gradually got better to where the pain was completely gone. I felt amazing. Then I had this great idea to go pull weeds and spread mulch. BAD IDEA!  My ego got the best of me with too much too soon. That night I was changing my clothes and BOOM, it happened again. But this time it was much worse than ever before. I knew immediately that the disc just herniated. I couldn’t stand upright and had radiating pain into my left leg and thigh.

The next day I was already scheduled for my lumbar MRI. (Since I had so many reoccurring episodes, I wanted to see exactly what was going on).  But I couldn’t get out of bed. Every time I tried to move, I would get excruciating pain in my back and down my leg. There was no way I was going to make it through that MRI without the some pain medication. Meanwhile, since any amount of pressure on my spine increased the pain tremendously, I had to have my husband hold tension on my left leg by pulling on it. Here is the scene at my house: I’m screaming in pain, my daughter was sitting next to me, terrified and not knowing what to do, my husband pulling on my leg and getting annoyed with me (this is really going to put a wrench in his day), and my son was in his bedroom cruising Instagram - oblivious to anything going on.  This could have been an episode of a sitcom. We debated about calling an ambulance…but no, I thought I could make it to Urgent Care to get the medication. So my husband bear hugged me and hoisted me out of bed, down the stairs and to the car. 

Now for the crazy part. We made it to the Bone & Joint Center, but I have to keep leaning on a wheelchair to keep pressure off my spine. I got to see the doctor, he wrote the scrip for pain meds and we started to leave. But I couldn’t move! I screamed for my husband to pick me up to get the pressure off my spine. He couldn’t put me down or I’d start screaming again. I began sweating profusely and I could feel myself starting to black out. The last thing I remember was saying “I’m passing out!” (Just a side note, this happens to every time I’m in extreme pain – strange I know. More stories for another day).  When I woke up, I was sitting in the wheelchair. Within seconds I started to feel the awful pain. So I screamed for my husband to pick me up again. I’m confused as to why he put me down in the first place - doesn’t he know by now that the pain is much worse when I’m sitting? Being the super husband he was that day, he picked me back up. This is when I felt that my legs were wet. My initial thought was “how much was I sweating?” Apparently, when I passed out, I had lost bladder control and peed my pants and on my husband. OH! That’s why he put me down - opps! This was a true test to the strength of our marriage! The nurse called the doctor back into the room, I panicked because there is a condition called Cauda Equina Syndrome in which you lose bladder and bowel control due to too much spinal cord compression. I asked the doctor if this was happening to me, he said no, because I didn’t lose bowel control…yet. In that second, I could feel that I was going to lose my bowels. I begged my husband to drag me to the bathroom…sparing any pride I had left. I made it to the bathroom…just in time.

By now, the ambulance team was banging on the bathroom door.  Someone handed me a lovely pair of blue paper shorts to change into. They finally got me out of there in style with a personal escort service from the Albany PD, firetrucks and ambulance. I can proudly say that I bet there is a short list of people who actually left the orthopedic center in an ambulance… I should get some sort of “Most Memorable Patient Award” for this! I begged the paramedic to give me something to stop the pain, so he started an IV and suggested Fentanyl. I’d never heard of it but it sounded beautiful, let’s do it! It did nothing. Once in the ER, I was given a cocktail of morphine, hydrocodone, diazepam and steroids. Finally there was some relief.  I managed to make it through my MRI.  I was nervous to see the images and results because I was sure there would be a disc completely blown out. The results came back and showed a small disc herniation at the L3-4 level (the new injury), degeneration at L4-5 (which means it is an old injury) and a tear in the disc at L5-S1. You have to be kidding me…that’s it? All that pain for those results. While I knew that I herniated the L3-4 disc based on my symptoms, I expected it to be much worse.

So what is moral of my humiliating story? PAIN DOES NOT ALWAYS CORRELATE WITH TISSUE DAMAGE! So what happened that caused all that pain and drama? As physicians, we deal with this daily. Some patient’s symptoms do not match what the tests and images show. Some things are difficult to explain because, based on results, there may not be anything abnormal. In next month’s article, I’ll explain more about pain, inflammation and tissue damage. So stay tuned for Part 2. And as an update on my attempt to save face with the orthopedic center, despite my humiliation; I did treat the nurses and staff to a healthy dose of chocolate. The doctor received a bottle of scotch as a token of appreciation for taking care of me. That wasn’t my best first impression but I’m sure they will never forget Dr. Kim Keeling. 

As always, if you have questions about this article please feel free to contact me at the Sports & Spinal Wellness Center at 518-869-3415. Follow us on Facebook or visit our website at www.sportsandspinalwellness.com.

November 19, 2018
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FEEDING THE BODY WITH THE FALL HARVEST

BY: Dr. Kim Leis-Keeling

As much as I’m sad to see summer disappear, I do love the beauty and aroma of fall. One of my favorite indulgence of the season is the fall harvest of fruits and vegetables. My children would disagree since they are forced to spend a day helping me cut corn off 100 ears of sweet corn to freeze and pulling grapes for homemade grape juice. These are very messy productions but the kids always love the yummy tastes of summer during the cold winter months. As you enjoy the flavors of fall, chew on these healthy aspects of your food.

APPLES: Who doesn’t love a fresh apple crisp or apple pie? Apples are full of nutrients including 4 grams of fiber in each, vitamin C and potassium. They contain great antioxidants including quercetin which is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressive effects. They also contain catechins, similar to green tea, which help with brain and muscle function.

GRAPES: One of the key nutrients that make grapes so beneficial is Resveratrol. This is a very powerful antioxidant that is anti-inflammatory and has been shown to slow and prevent the growth of some tumors. Grapes also contain quercetin, fiber and potassium.

PEARS: While containing a fair amount vitamin C, anti-oxidants and flavonoids, pears biggest nutrient punch comes from its fiber content. One pear contains 6 grams of fiber. We should all aim to get 30 grams of fiber each day. Including one pear in your daily nutrition is a great way to reach that goal.

SWEET POTATOES: One cup of sweet potato boasts 3 grams of plant based protein, 4 grams of fiber and 6 times our RDA for beta-carotene (vitamin A), B5 and B6. They are also rich in magnesium, potassium and manganese – which all help keep our bones and heart healthy.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH & PUMPKINS: Similar to sweet potatoes, these are rich in fiber and vitamin A. One serving contains half your RDA for vitamin C, it also contains folate, magnesium, manganese and potassium. All these nutrients make a perfect combination to help you lower blood pressure. Enjoy that warm bowl of butternut squash soup and pumpkin pie!

BRUSSEL SPOUTS & CABBAGE: Cabbage has the highest amount of powerful antioxidants found in the cruciferous vegetables. Both are also rich in vitamin K which aids in bone health and preventing Alzheimer’s disease. It is also a good source of the B vitamins thiamine, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and folate – all which keep our nerves healthy and help give us energy.

Enjoy the flavors of fall while your body reaps the nutrient benefits. As always, if you have questions about this article please feel free to contact me at the Sports & Spinal Wellness Center at 518-869-3415. Follow us on Facebook or visit our website at www.sportsandspinalwellness.com

 

 

November 19, 2018
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EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENTS

By: Dr. Kim Leis-Keeling

Thank you all for your fun comments about my past two articles about Wisconsin and Fortnite. I enjoyed your feedback and hearing your stories as well. It was refreshing to write about something other than health related topics. But now, it’s time to get back to business and let you know about some new and exciting things going on at our office. We have been gathering your feedback and looking at new ways to accommodate the needs of the community better.

FREE SCOLIOSIS SCREENINGS: Most of our children around the age of 12-13 get checked for scoliosis by the school nurse. If there is cause for concern, they are referred to their pediatrician who may refer them to an orthopedist, who will most likely recommend a “wait and watch” approach. During this time the scoliosis can progress. Stop waiting…DO SOMETHING! Scoliosis causes permanent structural changes to your child’s spine which can last a lifetime and lead to other health issues. From now until the end of September, we are offering FREE SCOLIOSIS SCREENINGS and consultations. We will perform a thorough spinal evaluation and we can discuss treatment options for your child. 

NEW CLASS THIS FALL: “MOVE STONGER” CLASS:  You have been asking for a class like this and I have been listening. Now it is time to put the plan into action. This class is designed for individuals who have graduated from physical therapy but would like continued assistance with gaining spinal strength and movement. Have you ever said “I don’t feel comfortable going to the gym by myself” or “I feel that my personal trainer is having me do exercises that don’t feel safe for my spinal condition?” Then this class is for you.  With my thorough knowledge of all spinal conditions, I have designed a 6-week program to help you MOVE STRONGER SAFELY! This class meets once per week on Thursday mornings from 10:00 -11:00 beginning September 20. Class will be held at the Crossfit Aevitas Yoga Studio, 1 Charles Park Blvd, Guilderland. Cost is $120 for 6 classes. Call our office at 518-869-3415 to register. Full payment required for complete registration.  Class space is limited. If this time is not ideal for you, make a recommendation for another time. If there is enough interest, we will add additional classes.

PERSONAL THERAPY SESSIONS: If you like the idea of moving stronger but would prefer individual sessions – just you and your doctor working together for one hour! Then this option is for you. Call for a “PERSONAL THERAPY CONSULTATION” so we can assess and developed a plan just for you. Sessions will be exercise based with myofascial therapy if indicated. Introductory price is $85 per hour.

DURABLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT: We are providing our patients the benefits of home use medical equipment to include: TENS units, cervical and lumbar home traction units and lumbar braces. These devices can provide great pain relief and are used in the comfort of your home. Set up an appointment to discuss which devices could benefit you and to maximize your insurance benefit.

As always, if you have questions about this article please feel free to contact at the Sports & Spinal Wellness Center at 518-869-3415. Follow us on Facebook or visit our website at www.sportsandspinalwellness.com.

 

 

 

 

PARENTING BATTLE: FORTNITE VS. CELL PHONE

By: Dr. Kim Leis-Keeling

The “battle bus” drops the “skins” off to skydive into this virtual apocalyptic world. The world is an island where the last man to survive, wins. Gamers must deploy strategies to stay out of the “storm” which will push players together and force battles so gamers can’t just hide out until the end. This is similar to strategies used in the arena of the “Hunger Games” movies. Sometimes gamers will have to “build battle” to get an advantage and gain higher ground. And of course you can spend your “V-bucks” to make your skins look cooler with new “skins” and “back bling”. Okay, if you have teens, you are very familiar with this language. If you are past this stage of life…be thankful!

As parents, gaming is maddening. It’s all kids talk about and want to do. There is lots of screaming involved and the glory dances if they win. Winning in Fortnite is a big deal! You should celebrate this moment with your child! Just image they won the National Spelling Bee or something noteworthy and tell them how proud you are of them. This is a bonding moment so don’t miss out – they are hard to come by as children get older. I can relate to this gaming enthusiasm…back in 1985, I got past level 3 of Pacman!

So is Fortnite and gaming all bad? Each time I’m faced with a parenting dilemma or situation, I ask myself a few questions: How can I relate to this? What was something from my childhood that is similar in situation? How did I handle it and how did my parents handle it? Do I wish my parents would have done something different for a better outcome? What would my children be doing if they weren’t playing Fortnite (or other annoying teen activity)?

The worst part of Fortnite is that in order to win, you have to kill your opponents. Okay, here is where you consider the maturity of the child as see if they are ready for this type of game. In addition, have a conversation about your personal morals and values on guns and their place in this world. “Killing humans is not okay…this is just a game…in real life there are guns and they are not toys”…elaborate as you see fit. Have this conversation frequently.

I’m an optimist so here is my perspective on the positive aspects of Fortnite vs cell phones.

  1. The chiropractic mommy in me is happy with upright head posture of gaming versus looking straight down at a cell phone. Long term we are all damaging the discs in our necks from flexing forward to this degree. Also, there is less eye strain looking at a larger TV screen versus the 2x4 inch cell screen.

  2. They are playing with friends, socializing and having fun. I remember spending my summers on the farm in the country where I did not see my friends or classmates for 3 months. We had 3 television channels and cartoons were only aired on Saturday mornings from 7:00-10:30. We actually had to get up early to watch the cartoons.We had no organized sports or activities until 7th grade. No library or access to books. Talk about a boring summer. I lived on a farm so we worked every day. I would have loved to be this connected to my friends at this age. Personally, I love to overhear the conversations that the kids are having with their friends through the headsets about school, sports, pop culture and the random “Hey Dude, what kind of underwear do you wear?"

  3. They are learning how to use strategies to defeat the other gamers. This will trigger some neurons in their brains to have to think about their next move. Think of it as the modern day “Chess game” – I know, it’s a stretch. But I would rather have this activity than watching my children mindlessly listen to a conversation between SpongeBob and Patrick talk about crabby patties or watching any show on the Disney Channel. In addition, I don’t have to listen to the background music of Minecraft anymore, which can put anyone into a hypnotic trance.

  4. They are focusing on something that involves concentration for longer than 2 seconds. Games often last 15-20 minutes so don’t bother asking them to do anything until the game is over. You will hear “I’m in the middle of a game”! The alternative activity to Fortnite for most teens is to scroll Instagram and Snapchat. Both which are training their brains to focus on information for 1 second. This lack of concentration spills over into communication with our children…have you noticed they can’t follow a conversation with more than 3 sentences? You need to get your point across in 2 sentences or you have lost them.

  5. Determination to win and succeed. Games encourage the competitive spirit which drives the desire to win. I recently read this book called “GRIT” by Angela Duckworth. A great book for anyone - especially parents. She has studied success in various disciplines including the cadets at West Point. The number one factor in determining someone’s success in life is not their grade point average or academic achievements but rather their “Grit”. Successful graduates of West Point are the grittiest people, those who stick with something until the end…endure the hardships and persevere to the end of the goal. They follow through! The book offers guidance as to how to harness this quality in our youth. She did not mention recommending to play Fortnite…but rather extracurricular activities in general that provide both 1) some type challenge and 2) something the kids want to do (sports, music, LEGOs, etc).

Obviously, as with any device used by children, parental setting should be employed and use common sense time limits on all screen time. As always, if you have questions about this article please feel free to contact me at the Sports & Spinal Wellness Center at 518-869-3415. Follow us on Facebook or visit our website at www.sportsandspinalwellness.com.

 

 

 

July 19, 2018
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ON WISCONSIN!

By: Dr. Kim Leis-Keeling

Last month USA Today reported the countries “Drunkest” Cities. Seven of the top ten cities were in my home state of Wisconsin, while New York only had one city in the top 20. Watertown was listed as number 16 on the list.  As we are beginning the celebration of summer I’d like to remind everyone to drink responsibly and please designate a driver. Now, back to this list. Since most of you have never been to Wisconsin, I thought I’d enlighten you as to the culture of this beautiful place.

I don’t think it is any secret of the stereotype that Wisconsin folks love their beer and cheese. Since I am from Wisconsin, I feel that I can spill the beans here. This is true. Wisconsinites love their beer so much that they not only do we drink the beer, we also try to eat it whenever possible. We cook brats in beer, corn on the cob in beer, beer battered fish, beer bread and classic beer cheddar soup. There are entire cookbooks written on how to use beer in recipes…much like cooking with fine wine.

Wisconsin’s major league baseball team is the Milwaukee “Brewers” who play their games in Miller Stadium. You may recognize beers such as Miller Lite or Old Milwaukee beers. There is also a classic beer called Old Style which is brewed in LaCrosse, WI, also the home to the world’s largest six pack. One of my favorite summer beers is Leinenkugal’s Summer Shandy. We locals will refer to this beer as “Leines”.  Another brand you may have heard of is New Glarus beers. Did you know that Wisconsinites typically have 2 refrigerators in their houses? Yes, one for food and one just for the beer.

Let’s talk cheese. There is no comparison to Wisconsin cheese. My father used to take me to the cheese factory when I was little to get fresh cheese curds. They literally melt in your mouth when you bite into them.  Whenever I go back to Wisconsin, I have visit a local creamery and bring cheese back with me to New York. A few years ago, I decided to really stock up so I bought 15 pounds of cheese and stuffed it into my suitcase. Needless to say, my husband was mortified. He was giving me a hard time about getting through security with all that cheese. I reassured him that we would be fine. Well, we sent our bags through the scanner, the security light goes off and the guys come running. “Whose bag is this?”  My husband shoots me this look of death. The guard opens the suitcase full of cheese and begins to question me. I explain to him that it is cheese from Wisconsin…like he should be as excited as I am. He wasn’t! He said that since cheese looks like explosives, we now have to swab every side of every block of cheese! He was obviously annoyed and said, “Don’t they have cheese in New York?”  Now I just have the cheese shipped out to my house.

You have heard of this football team called the Green Bay Packers right? Well, everyone in Wisconsin loves the Packers and talks about them like they are their close relatives. Most people are still mourning the recent loss of our beloved Jordy Nelson to another team. The minute you cross the state line, it seems like everyone wears the green and gold Packer gear…hats, shirts, pants, jackets, etc. We are so proud of our Packers…even when they lose. The Packers are the only publicly owned NFL team. The citizens of Wisconsin literally have ownership in the Packers. There is a 40 year waiting list for season tickets. A friend of mine just got his season tickets that his parents signed him up for on the day he was born…43 years ago!

A few other recognizable businesses that originated from Wisconsin are: Kohl’s department stores, Harley Davison Motorcycles, Jack Link’s Jerky, John Deer, Trek Bicycles, Matthew’s Bows (proud to say my nephew works for this company), McPherson Custom Guitars and Kohler bath products. Did you know that many of the countries cranberries are grown in Wisconsin? And if you frequent Trader Joes around the holidays, they carry this danish called the Pumpkin or Almond Kringle, these delicious goodies are from a company in Wisconsin called O&H Danish Bakery. Another brand you may have seen here in New York is a dairy brand called, Organic Valley. They produce organic milk products and they actually have a distribution center in my hometown of Cashton, WI. Whenever I see their products here, I always buy them because I know some of the farmers who produce for this company.

I am a strong supporter of buying local, even if “local” is a thousand miles away. It makes me feel a little closer to home. Maybe you will recognize a few of these brands when considering your purchases. Just know that there is some hard working Wisconsinite making those products. A final reminder to have a safe and enjoyable summer but enjoy your beverages responsibly. As always, if you questions about this article or just want to talk beer, cheese or Packers, please feel free to contact me at the Sports & Spinal Wellness Center at 518-869-3415. Follow us on Facebook or visit our website at www.sportsandspinalwellness.com. Go Packers!





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Chiropractor - Albany and Guilderland, Sports & Spinal Wellness Center (Spinal Wellness Center), 2021 Western Ave, Albany NY, 12203 518-869-3415