Christmas Holiday Cookies Gingerbread

Managing Stress This Holiday Season

With the holiday season fast approaching, you need to learn how to positively deal with your holiday stress. Why? Keep reading to learn more.

The nervous system’s response to stress is commonly called the “fight or flight” response. This response is a heightened activation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) which is responsible for getting the body ready for survival. When stressed, our heart rate and blood pressure rises, our pupils enlarge, and our muscles tense.

When the body relaxes, the heart rate and blood pressure reduces, muscles unwind, and our breath deepens. In a state of relaxation, our nerves quiet, more oxygen is exchanged in the body, and the sensation of pain is reduced.

Prolonged physical and mental stress can contribute to headaches, nausea, fatigue, nervousness, indecision, and poor job performance. Emotional stress can contribute to increased muscle contraction, leading to weakness and fatigue. Under intense stress, muscles may become tight, inelastic and prone to injury and pain.

Stress management becomes a very important piece to daily life and pain management.  Here are some tips to help manage your holiday stress:

Stress Management Tips:

  • Identify and acknowledge the factors that may be causing stress in your life.
  • Prioritize your activities and commitments.
  • Set attainable goals.
  • Schedule time for yourself and enjoy a relaxing activity.
  • Maintain good nutrition. Avoid high levels of caffeine and sugars.
  • Use relaxation techniques to reduce the negative effects of stress and allow recuperation.
  • Use the three natural tranquilizers– music, laughter, and exercise. Research has shown that people who exercise regularly are more emotionally stable, less tense, and more creative.
  • Practice deep breathing using your diaphragm (belly) versus using your chest to breathe. Combine deep belly breathing while you exercise and stretch a few times a day.

With all this said, PDR Clinics wishes you and your family a happy holidays! We look forward to serving you and your family during another exciting holiday season.

Microphone Mic Interview Outdoors

The Role of Rehabilitation in Spinal Care with Lindsay Haugen, PA-C

This is a photo of Lindsay Haugen, PA-CLindsay Haugen, P.A.-C, one of our providers at Physicians Diagnostics & Rehabilitation Clinics (PDR), was recently interviewed on her experience in moving from a surgery-based practice to a rehabilitation practice that emphasizes intensive, non-surgical management of spinal disorders. She received her P.A. degree from the University of St. Francis. Lindsay Haugen joined PDR Clinics in February, 2012.

Question: What type of practice were you in prior to joining PDR?

Answer: Orthopedic Spine Surgical Specialty.

Question: Approximately how many surgical cases were you involved in per week?

Answer: I would assist in approximately 8 to 15 cases per week.

Question: Has your philosophy/scope of management of spinal conditions broadened since joining PDR? If so, how?

Answer: The patients that I see at PDR come in with similar spinal conditions that we would direct toward scheduling for surgery. After surgery these patients would then be potential candidates for non-MedX physical therapy. I would typically send patients for MedX therapy if they needed to return to work without restrictions. I often thought MedX therapy was too aggressive for my post-operative patients. After working with PDR and the MedX rehabilitation program with specialized protocols, I am finding patients can start therapy prior to surgical intervention and sometimes avoid surgery altogether. I am also finding patients can regain function, return to work and life activities whether they had a surgical procedure or not.

Question: Can you explain what MedX therapy is and how it is used in PDR’s rehabilitation program?

Answer: MedX therapy uses specific MedX equipment which is designed to isolate and strengthen the supporting spinal muscles and discourages the typical compensatory movement patterns. Using MedX exercise allows for improvement of mobility, stability, and strength of the spine and surrounding support structures. MedX therapy is the core of the PDR program in addition to a home exercise program to maximize a patient’s recovery potential.

Question: So, even if a patient had a surgical procedure, you are now finding they can still benefit from intensive spinal rehabilitation?

Answer: Yes. I’m finding that many patients can avoid surgery all together and if a procedure has been done, a patient can benefit from intensive rehabilitation by returning to previous home, work and leisure activities earlier and more successfully. In addition, I’m finding that even if a patient goes on to require surgery, prior spinal strengthening can help patients recover from surgery more quickly. These post-operative patients tolerate MedX therapy well. They demonstrate a greater reduction of post surgical pain symptoms compared to patients that do not attend therapy after the recovery phase as determined by their surgeon. I am finding patients can improve their quality of life.

Question: Based on your broad experience treating patients with neck and back pain, what do you see as the future of spine care?

Answer: The trend is toward multidisciplinary spine care, with the exhaustion of conservative care, including intensive spinal rehabilitation, before resorting to more invasive options. Good medical oversight and continuity of care will be an important aspect management of spinal conditions.


Lindsay Haugen, P.A.-C, currently treats patients at Physicians’ Diagnostics & Rehabilitation. If you’re interested in setting up an appointment with Lindsay, speak to our excellent front desk staff at +1 (952) 908-2700.