Fed & Fit

Ep. 96: Injury Prevention with Jess Gaertner

On today’s episode, Jessica Gaertner of Airrosti and paleo-ish.com chats with us about the importance of injury prevention, proper rehabilitation, and functional activities we can all do to keep our bodies in healthy working form.

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We’re back with our 96th episode of the Fed+Fit Podcast! Remember to check back every Monday for a new episode and be sure to subscribe on iTunes!

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Episode 96 Sponsor

  • Today’s show is proudly sponsored by Aaptiv! Be sure to enter the promo code ‘fedandfit” (one word) at checkout, and your first 30 days are on the house.

Episode 96 Transcription

Today’s show is brought to you by Aaptiv! Aaptiv is a fabulous app and robust online community that allows you access to top notch, motivating personal trainers who guide you through an audio-based workout that is timed to your choosing with fun, perfectly synchronized music. I like to think of it like Netflix for fitness. Aaptiv gives members unlimited access to their entire bank of high-end, trainer-led workout classes. If you’re looking for fresh, high quality, on the go, motivating workouts that adapt to your lifestyle, I highly recommend Aaptiv.

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Cassy Joy: Welcome back to another episode of the Fed and Fit podcast. Today is a very special episode; because instead of calling in with my interviewee? {laughs} Sometimes those puzzle me. I’m sitting right next to her! I’m joined today by my friend, Jessica Gaertner, who is the blogger behind Paleo-ish. She is the mom of two adorable kiddos, a licensed and certified athletic trainer, who works for Airrosti; and she’s joining us today to talk about the importance of recovery and really just taking care of ourselves; especially if we’re living these active, healthy lifestyles. Welcome to the show, Jess!

Jess Gaertner: Thank you for having me! I’m super excited to be here; in my own house.

Cassy Joy: I know! {laughs}

Jess Gaertner: {laughs} Thank you for coming over!

Cassy Joy: Oh, you know what? Any time. I will lug this microphone over here if it means I get to see that sweet puppy dog of yours.

Jess Gaertner: I know. He’s so precious. I love him so much!

Cassy Joy: He is. Jess just adopted a Great Pyrenees puppy; he’s 5 months old now?

Jess Gaertner: Mm-hmm.

Cassy Joy: Oh my gosh.

Jess Gaertner: He’s a handful; you saw him. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: He is so cute!

Jess Gaertner: He’s a mini Gus. But he’s different though because he has some color to him.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm.

Jess Gaertner: He’s precious.

Cassy Joy: He does. He’s got a little badger in him.

Jess Gaertner: Yes.

Cassy Joy: The Great Pyrenees; if anybody listening doesn’t know what we’re talking about; Great Pyrenees are these great big polar bear-looking dogs, and we have a 4-year-old at home. And he’s mostly white; he’s got some blonde spots. And then their other coloration is called badger where they have these big, really cool; almost St. Bernard kind of spots on them. And Ollie’s got a couple of those. He’s so cute. He’s precious.

Jess Gaertner: Did Gus have the crimped; like when he gets wet on his ears, does his hair crimp up?

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Jess Gaertner: Oh my gosh. I saw that after his first bath this weekend; I’m like, dude!

Cassy Joy: Do you remember back in middle school when those crimpers were all the rage?

Jess Gaertner: I do.

Cassy Joy: That’s exactly what it looks like! {laughs}

Jess Gaertner: I know! Lucky. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Oh man. Ok, so. I have some questions for Jess; she really just has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to taking really good care of yourself. And she’s constantly reminding me if I complain about a pain in my shoulder or my knee or something, and I’ve been complaining about it for a while, she’s like, “Cass, you should go get that taken care of!” {laughs}

Jess Gaertner: I know. Airrosti is right at your doorstep!

Cassy Joy: I know! So anyways, tell folks a little bit more about yourself. Tell them about Airrosti if they’re unfamiliar with it. And really what drew you to this industry.

Jess Gaertner: Ok. So Cassy did a great job of introducing me, but like she said I’m a licensed and certified athletic trainer. So before I worked with Airrosti, I worked with collegiate sports teams. So not personal trainer, which gets confused a lot of the time. But personal training is very necessary. We work on the injury prevention, treatment, rehabilitation side of things.

So I was a collegiate athletic trainer. I was the head athletic trainer at Shriner University, which is a tiny little college here in Texas.

Cassy Joy: I had no idea!

Jess Gaertner: Do you know Shriner?

Cassy Joy: Yes!

Jess Gaertner: Ok. So I worked there right out of graduate school, and then I most recently was at University Incarnate Word, here in San Antonio, and was the assistant athletic trainer there. Got my degrees from Texas Lutheran; my undergrad degree. And then my Master’s degree is from James Madison University, which is in Virginia.

Cassy Joy: Gotcha.

Jess Gaertner: So. James Madison is kind of like; I would compare it to Texas State-ish, in San Marcus. It’s like a state school; big school, right in the Blue Ridge mountains. It was super fun.

Cassy Joy: Ooh!

Jess Gaertner: Yeah. Very fun, education experience. But anyways. I love athletic training, but having kiddos kind of changed everything, because with athletic training, you’re constantly traveling. So with the sports teams I was working with, we were on the road from like Thursday to Sunday a lot of the time. So, we had our first kiddo and realized that was probably not going to be sustainable for the long term. Though many people do do it, it was almost impossible. So a friend told me about Airrosti; and I’d heard a little bit about it through the athletic training world, but went through the interview process, was hired right after our first kiddo was born so it all worked out perfectly.

So now I work for Airrosti, and I will kind of delve a little bit more into what Airrosti is, but I started there doing the rehabilitation exercises as part of what we call the treatment teams, and recently I just moved into a new role, business development manager. So it’s kind of cool, with this role I get to go around and talk to people about Airrosti, educate them, mostly physicians. People who will be seeing soft tissue injuries, and might not know where best to send them. And since we specialize in soft tissue, my job is to kind of say, “Hey, we’re an option here. We can help your patients.”

Cassy Joy: Awesome.

Jess Gaertner: So that’s a little bit about me. I also am married; 5 years now, two kiddos. Bear, and Camille. Who I love so much. And my husband is amazing. He used to work for Arrasti, too. And we also have our two puppies; you mentioned Ollie, who is the new edition, and then we also have Lexie, who is our old lady. She’s 12.

Cassy Joy: She’s the sweetest.

Jess Gaertner: Oh, she’s the best. We’re definitely going to miss her when her time is up.

Cassy Joy: Yeah. Aww, man. Well that’s awesome. So tell us a little bit more about, I guess, injury prevention in particular and how Arrasti really fits into somebody who is looking to establish more of a practice in trying to prevent or heal from sports injuries.

Jess Gaertner: Yeah. So, a little bit about Arrasti. Arrasti stands for the applied intigreation for the rapid recovery of soft tissue injury.

Cassy Joy: I had no idea it stood for something! {laughing}

Jess Gaertner: So, what is that, an acronym? Right?

Cassy Joy: Yeah!

Jess Gaertner: I don’t even know. So it’s an acronym; a lot of people are like, “Is it Dr. Airrosti? Or, is Airrosti a technique? What is Airrosti, basically.” So it’s actually an acronym; so now you know.

Cassy Joy: Huh. I like it.

Jess Gaertner: There is no Dr. Airrosti; Airrosti is not a certain type of treatment that we do or anything like that. It’s a group of providers. We hire chiropractors and physical therapists, and basically what we’re treating is soft tissue injury. So anything musculoskeletal. As long as it’s not completely torn or broken; we’re talking sprains, strains; even severe sprains or strains, we can work on. And we typically are resolving those injuries within an average of 3.2 visits.

Cassy Joy: Wow!

Jess Gaertner: So, yeah, it’s pretty fast. So that’s the rapid recovery part. And that’s an average; of course some things take a little bit longer; some things take less time depending on the chronicity? Is that a word?

Cassy Joy: Ooh, I like it!

Jess Gaertner: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: I want it to be a word if it’s not. {laughs}

Jess Gaertner: The chronic nature.

Cassy Joy: Ok, sure.

Jess Gaertner: Or acuteness of it.

Cassy Joy: Chronicity is my new favorite word.

Jess Gaertner: I like it.

Cassy Joy: I play hangman with Austin; that’s going to be my next one. {laughs}

Jess Gaertner: Use it! We’ll see. So yeah, average 3.2 visits. It’s not; so what we’re doing is we spend an hour of one-on-one time with the patient. So 30 minutes is spent with our provider; like I said, who is a chiropractor or physical therapist; they’re going to do a super in-depth evaluation. So that’s orthopedic, neuromuscular, functional testing. They’re going to try and identify why you’re having the pain that you’re having, or whatever it is the issue that you’re coming in for, based on looking at your movement, talking about your patterns and habits. They’re going to nail that down, and then they’re going to treat you for the first half of the visit with their thumb. So it’s just a manual therapy technique. It’s not like we’ve come up with anything that’s just mind-blowingly new. We’re just really good at it.

So soft tissue release; they’re going to work very specific parts, you know. So it’s not just like a general massage. People are always like, “Oh, it’s like a deep tissue massage.” Not really, because we’re not going all over the body, and it’s a little bit more intense.

Cassy Joy: Got it.

Jess Gaertner: Some people will say that it really is uncomfortable, but it’s just a very short period of time, and then afterwards the relief is almost instantaneous. So that’s the first half of the visit. And then the second half is going to be with a certified recovery specialist; so that’s what my role was first, before I move into the business side of things. So that’s what we’re going to do; based on the evaluation, we’re going to target, do you need to continue to do what we call self-myofascial release, so that’s the stuff with the foam rollers, lacrosse balls; all that good stuff. Do we need to stretch some areas, do we need to strengthen? Because stability is also a huge area. It can be a huge contributing factor.

So, we’re going to really come up with some targeted, individualized rehab for you, patient education is huge so we’re going to give you homework, and we’re going to expect you to really stick with it. We don’t want to see you back in the office; that’s our big thing. Traditional physical therapy; you know, you’ll go for about 15-20 visits, depending on what’s going on. And we really don’t want to see you long term. We want to fix you ,tell you what you need to do, and allow you to use that at home rather than having to come and see us.

Cassy Joy: I love it.

Jess Gaertner: A lot. Yeah.

Cassy Joy: I love it. I mean, that’s really, really great. It’s kind of like; I mean thinking about it in the nutrition world, I don’t want folks to feel like they constantly have to do these nutrition challenges and these paleo changes in perpetuity, because that’s not the point. You’re not learning things. Perpetuity {laughs}.

Jess Gaertner: What does that mean? {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Perpetuity? {laughs} I’m pretty sure it was in my marriage vows.

Jess Gaertner: {laughing}

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Jess Gaertner: You’re like; I have no idea what I was promising, but I said “perpetuity.”

Cassy Joy: But I said it, “In perpetuity.” I think it just means for forever.

Jess Gaertner: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: And that’s not the idea. The idea is to learn to go home with some great takeaways; figure out what’s right for you and how then to make it into your own lifestyle, and it sounds like that’s right in line with the philosophies of the business.

Jess Gaertner: Absolutely.

Cassy Joy: Because I would assume that then the lacrosse ball type therapy, and the foam rolling, you learn some techniques; and then folks, like you said, you’ve got homework. But then you can then…

Jess Gaertner: Take care of yourself.

Cassy Joy: Take care of yourself, yeah.

Jess Gaertner: That’s our goal. And so, I think we’ll probably dive into this a little bit more as we talk about more questions, but our goal is to really just teach you technique. So we liken it to; so self-myofascial release. Using the foam roller, using the lacrosse ball; you’re specifically working on fascial tissue. So fascia is all over the body; it’s connective tissue. It connects everything to everything. But basically what our practitioners are working on when they’re treating you is distortions in that tissue, or adhesions, things that get tight. The “knots” that you feel that you ask the hubs to rub out.

Cassy Joy: Yeah!

Jess Gaertner: That’s what we’re working on with the tools. So basically it’s like a toothbrush for your body. So you brush your teeth every day, twice a day; not because you have a problem, but because you want to prevent tooth decay; whatever. Plaque buildup, all that stuff.

Cassy Joy: Yeah.

Jess Gaertner: You don’t want to have to go to the dentist. So the foam roller and lacrosse ball are like toothbrushes; brushing your teeth on the daily for your body; so your tissues. It’s just taking care of everything. And musculoskeletal injury, I would say probably; I wish I knew the statistic. But as far as what people are being seen for across the board in the health care industry; it’s a huge, probably top issue that we’re seeing besides the diabetes and nutrition related ailments.

Cassy Joy: Yeah; interesting.

Jess Gaertner: So it’s huge. If you can take care of yourself and stay out of the doctor’s office, I feel like that would just empower people tremendously.

Cassy Joy: Yeah, it’s right in line; it’s preventative medicine.

Jess Gaertner: Right.

Cassy Joy: Or, I guess preventative self-care.

Jess Gaertner: Yes, exactly.

Cassy Joy: That’s so cool. Man I love it. Ok; so that touches on briefly the next question I had for you, but just the importance of mobility overall. Because it’s a term that’s thrown around a lot. I talk about it in my book a little bit; the importance of mobility. It’s part of what I call the savvy seven. {laughs}

Jess Gaertner: Very fancy. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Isn’t that fancy? It doesn’t stand for anything. {laughs}

Jess Gaertner: You just came up with that on your own, didn’t you?

Cassy Joy: I did. So what I consider to be the 7 components; savvy components of a mixed fitness program, speaking specifically to physical activity, right. They’re going to be strength, endurance, mobility is in there, rest is in there, fun is in there; and I’m blanking on the other two. But there are 7.

Jess Gaertner: Water? Sleep? No?

Cassy Joy: Those are part of another pillar.

Jess Gaertner: Coffee?

Cassy Joy: {laughing} Yes.

Jess Gaertner: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: That’s the savvy bonus. {laughs} As Jess and I are sipping more coffee.

Jess Gaertner: I know.

Cassy Joy: But yeah, it’s a really important component but it’s something that’s often just thrown around and not specifically addressed in a lot of conversation. When you go to the gym, unless you’re going to a place where somebody is writing the programming that places a huge importance on mobility, it’s not necessarily an intuitive thing to fit into your overall physical fitness activities. So what would you say, if you really wanted to drive home a point to somebody listening who has heard of mobility, but hasn’t really given it that much thought or taken it that seriously; what would you say is the overall most important thing to remember about it, and why it should be a priority?

Jess Gaertner: So, I like; when I talk about mobility, one thing that really just kind of {snaps} flicks a lightbulb on in a lot of people’s head is when I talk about this study that was done. And I don’t have all the specifics; I wish I did. But basically, it was a study done on middle-aged and older people; so we’re talking 40-65 range. And basically they were asked to get down on the floor and get up off the floor without using their hands to help them; their knees. Basically, if you could get up and down without using your limbs to support yourself, then that was a perfect score. So the more you used things to assist you.

Cassy Joy: For the leverage?

Jess Gaertner: Yeah. You got points taken off. So what they found is that the more points; I guess you accumulated points for every time you were assisting yourself. The more points you have; this sounds terrible, I don’t want to scare anybody, but the more likely you were to die in the next 6 years.

Cassy Joy: What?!

Jess Gaertner: Yeah, that’s crazy!

Cassy Joy: Wow!

Jess Gaertner: That’s just one study, so you can kind of take it for what it is.

Cassy Joy: Sure.

Jess Gaertner: But basically what I take from that is, when you start to lose your ability to move, you know, get up off the floor, get up off the couch, a chair; even just walk, then your health really starts to take a significant dive. And that’s when we see people, when they go into a nursing home for instance, they stop doing their daily routines, they stop being mobile, they stop being active. And that’s when we tend to see a lot of people just start to deteriorate pretty quickly.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm.

Jess Gaertner: So to tie into that mobility is huge, and what that means is just keeping your tissue; your body muscles, tendons, ligaments, all of that, happy, supple, loose. There’s a saying that we say in the clinic; “Healthy tissue doesn’t hurt.” So, you should be able to really get to a point where…I know.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} I’m like thinking … my shoulder hurts!

Jess Gaertner: I know.

Cassy Joy: It may not be very healthy right now.

Jess Gaertner: I don’t know anybody has actual ever come into our clinic that was like; I feel great! This lacrosse ball doesn’t bother me at all. But that just means; that’s just a sign, especially today, that we do so much that is taking away from mobility that it’s really, really necessary.

So the body is designed to do amazing things; for instance, Parkour. That’s something crazy, I could never do, but people do that with no problem. So our body is designed to move and be fluid. And when we’re sitting in a chair all day; we’re typing on computers, or we’re on our Instagrams scrolling forever; we’re in these positions that really result in restricted mobility. I don’t even know if I’m addressing your question.

Cassy Joy: No, you are! I’m eating it up!

Jess Gaertner: I kind of went off on a tangent here. But without mobility, you’re not able to do the things the body is designed to, I guess is my point.

Cassy Joy: It makes perfect sense. And if we think about injury; when we have pain, or we have some sort of an injury, it keeps us from wanting to stay physically fit, right? Because if my knee hurts for whatever reason; or my shoulder hurts, I’m probably going to take some time off from going to the gym.

Jess Gaertner: Right. And you might emotionally eat, because you’re sad.

Cassy Joy: Yeah! Exactly.

Jess Gaertner: It’s like a downhill.

Cassy Joy: It is, I can see how it would trickle into just an overall healthy; more unhealthy state of mind, or state of living.

Jess Gaertner: Absolutely.

Cassy Joy: So what are some ways; I mean, you’ve talked a little bit about having some pain in muscle tissue, but what are some signs that somebody could benefit from some therapeutic mobility type practice; injury prevention type practices. If somebody were sitting there in the car listening to this show right now, what are the questions you would have them ask of themselves?

Jess Gaertner: First and foremost, I would just encourage everyone to get a foam roller or lacrosse ball. You could even get a tennis ball, or a baseball; something like that. And basically just explore your body. I’m talking; some of the big things we look at in the clinic would be hip flexors. We’re talking quads, hamstrings, pec muscles because we’re in this kind of hunched position all the time; they get tight. Between the shoulder blades. Really using those tools all over and just seeing what’s there.

Cassy Joy: What hurts?

Jess Gaertner: Yeah, what hurts. You might find that you put a ball somewhere, the foam roller somewhere, and it doesn’t bother you that much. And that’s totally normal. But you may find some areas that are like, whoa! I can barely put any pressure on those areas. So that’s a sign; a number one sign. Because like I said, you should get to a point where you’re able to check it every week or so, and just kind of work a few areas instead of being like; my whole body needs help.

Cassy Joy: Yeah.

Jess Gaertner: And you get to that maintenance point; so that’s the first kind of sign.

Cassy Joy: Got it.

Jess Gaertner: Second sign would be injury. So that’s kind of; it’s building up.

Cassy Joy: Some sort of pain?

Jess Gaertner: Yeah, you haven’t done anything to maintain your tissues, and then you start getting a little tweak in the back. You feel after CrossFit; it feels tight, and it kind of lasts for a long time. So at that point, some people will do one of two things. They’ll either ignore it.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Jess Gaertner: And continue to push through. Or they’ll kind of back off; they’ll listen to their body. We talk about that a lot of time with nutrition ;when you’re trying different foods, be mindful of the effect; what your body is telling you. “I don’t like this food.” Or whatever.

Cassy Joy: Right.

Jess Gaertner: So the same thing with your exercise patterns or your injury; if your body is telling you, “Hey, this is not feeling good.” Then you need to take some time off. You know, time to determine what it is that caused the injury is also a huge thing. You can either have someone that you trust, like a personal trainer or CrossFit coach; someone that kind of has an understanding of what might be related to the injury, or of course Airrosti, if it gets to that point, we’re really trained in addressing and seeing the root cause of injury. So injury is the second one. That’s a big sign that you need to start to do some self care.

And then also, anybody that’s; I would say nowadays this is true for everybody, really. But anybody that’s doing repetitive; the same movements over and over and over again throughout their daily life; so whether that’s exercise, you’re doing tennis over, and over, and over again because that’s something you love to do. Or you’re sitting at your computer all day clicking the mouse, or editing photos, or writing a blog post, or stirring a pot.

Cassy Joy: Chopping the sweet potatoes!

Jess Gaertner: Yes!

Cassy Joy: Which hurts! {laughs}

Jess Gaertner: You know, you’d be surprised, because we do see the most random thing. It’s like; ok, I’m a cook. I’m in this position; now I have elbow pain because I’m constantly chopping or stirring vegetables. So we treat that a lot. So anybody that is doing those activities over and over and over again; are probably going to develop, eventually break down in some way, shape, or fashion.

Cassy Joy: Got it.

Jess Gaertner: And that’s when we’ll see them.

Cassy Joy: That’s so interesting. So just kind of be aware of those things. I mean, hearing you talk; Jess has been talking to me about going and possibly getting treated for a while.

Jess Gaertner: I have. Since I first met you!

Cassy Joy: I know {laughs}.

Jess Gaertner: It’s been like a year. I think you need to come in.

Cassy Joy: Oh, what is that saying? Sometimes; I’m not a doctor, but it’s like, sometimes doctors make the worst patients. {laughs}

Jess Gaertner: The worst patients. Totally. I mean, I’m preaching to the choir; you’re preaching. Calling the kettle black?

Cassy Joy: Yeah!

Jess Gaertner: I know all this stuff, but it’s hard. And I get that. And we see that a lot of times with patients, because everyone is busy.

Cassy Joy: And it’s new. And I’m sure that once I get into a habit; just like with all healthy practices, once you get into a habit of doing it, and maybe even you start to see the benefits. Let’s say you go grain-free for a little while, and you start to see the benefits of it. It becomes second nature then all of a sudden to not sweat when you order a hamburger without the bun or whatever it is; it becomes so much easier, and you wonder; why didn’t I do this sooner? So I’m sure that’s going to be same thing with this sort of therapeutic practice.

Jess Gaertner: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: But yeah, I’m definitely thinking about it. That’s really smart. Let’s see; I’m going to kind of skip ahead just a little bit. So, what are some of; I’m curious to know; what are some of the more common ailments that you guys treat over and over again? I’m assuming that you don’t just have athletes that are coming in.

Jess Gaertner: Absolutely not, no. Most people know us because of our affiliation with CrossFit. So we’re the medical providers for the CrossFit Games. So people will see; like the kinesiotape is something that we utilize. So people; oh, you’re “Airrosti, you do the tape.” Yes, that’s like 5 minutes at the end of our appointment, but that’s what people know us for. So we do work with a lot of athletes; mostly because of our ability to rapid recovery; it’s 3 visits. Most athletes don’t want to sit out for a very long time, so we’re very applicable to that patient population.

But honestly, I would say that the majority of the people that we treat are not athletes. We treat kiddos all the way from 6-ish, all the way up to the elderly, because we all have musculoskeletal injuries. I would say some of the main things that we’re seeing are just a result of our more sedentary lifestyle; so we’re talking low back pain. We’re talking, what we call tech neck. So where you’re sitting at the computer.

Cassy Joy: Tech neck. {laughs}

Jess Gaertner: Yeah. We have a whole presentation about tech neck. Because we work with a lot of employer groups, because they recognize, if we can help their employees to kind of hold back the tide of what they’re doing every day; hunched over the computer, talking on phones, all that stuff, then we can really help their employees stay more productive, less pain. Be more pain free, and just happier overall. So we’re seeing a lot of that tech neck stuff. We’re seeing a lot of plantar fasciitis; so foot pain because people are sitting a lot, but when they go to exercise or be physically active, their feet are not used to bearing the weight.

Cassy Joy: Bearing of the weight.

Jess Gaertner: We see a lot of tension headaches. And I don’t know; I’m going to kind of extrapolate a little bit.

Cassy Joy: Go for it.

Jess Gaertner: But whether that’s from more stress, I feel like people are just a lot more stressed nowadays. Or it’s just because we’re in these positions where we’re on our iPhone, looking down. We’ve got a lot of tension in the neck that relates to the head. We see a lot of that, so we treat tension headaches.

Cassy Joy: Wow.

Jess Gaertner: As long as it’s related to the musculoskeletal system, and not like allergy.

Cassy Joy: Sure.

Jess Gaertner: Or hormonal, then we typically get some good results with that. Yeah, and we treat anything from feet all the way up to the head, and everything in between.

Cassy Joy: That is so neat!

Jess Gaertner: It is.

Cassy Joy: So, aside. You touched on it already, but if someone’s looking to really prevent injury from home; maybe they; folks are probably listening thinking, “I probably should go see somebody so they can give me some specific feedback, and to find the root cause.” Like you talked about. That’s probably what I would be most curious to know; is what is the root cause for this shoulder pain {laughs} or this knee pain.

Jess Gaertner: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: So that I know then how to treat it from home like you were talking about. But what are some other ways you think folks can really prevent injury? Whether they’re sitting at a desk all day long, or whether they’re just generally working out and they find that they have pains from whatever their physical fitness activities are.

Jess Gaertner: Right. So I would say awareness. Again, of those patterns. So maybe you have; this is the first time you’re actually thinking, “Wow, I sit almost all day.” So awareness of that. Awareness of if you’re on a computer. Like, we have some patients that have multiple screens that they’re working on during their day, and they will come in and be like, “Oh my gosh, I have this pain in my neck!” And we talk to them about what they’re doing all day. And it’s the fact that they have two screens, but they look to the left almost all day.

Cassy Joy: Ooh!

Jess Gaertner: Right? So they have this tightness, whether it’s on the right or left side; they have to reach for their mouse on the right side so they have some right shoulder pain.

Cassy Joy: It’s so interesting!

Jess Gaertner: So being aware of just the positions that you’re in all day, and try to be more neutral, I guess is what I’m saying.

Cassy Joy: Ok.

Jess Gaertner: So, putting your computer right in front of you; raising it. Another huge thing is try to stand more than you sit. If I could do one thing; just, if you could just change one thing out of your day, try to stand more than you sit. And you might have to build up to it, because again, if you sit all day, and you’ve done that for 30 years, you might want to start with increments. Because again, you’ll come and see us because of foot pain, because you were sitting all day and now you’re standing all day, and your feet hurt. So slowly ramp up, but work to a point where you are working from a standing desk. You are changing positions; so not just both feet on the ground, but you’re putting maybe one up on a step. Things like that.

Cassy Joy: Hmm.

Jess Gaertner: So, that’s awareness.

Cassy Joy: Awesome, yes.

Jess Gaertner: And then, another avoidance type of routine is again, just the self care. So, using the lacrosse ball, the foam roller. I love the lacrosse ball, because you can take it with you most places. So take it to work. Try and just start with 5 minutes a day; again, everything slowly. Finding something that works into your routine that’s not; what’s the word. It doesn’t seem like so much work that you’re just going to quit after the first day.

Cassy Joy: Yeah.

Jess Gaertner: And that’s with anything.

Cassy Joy: Sure.

Jess Gaertner: Just slowly starting to work into that. And again, we talk about the mobility part of it, but there’s also stabilization that’s a huge thing. So once you kind of release everything and things are moving better, you want to look at getting into an exercise program, and starting small. I love CrossFit; you love CrossFit. A lot of people love it, but make sure if that’s something that you want to pursue, that you’re really nailing down the basics first before you’re starting to do anything with intensity.

Cassy Joy: I love it. That’s great. I mean, I had; thinking about stability even to your point; I shattered my left elbow when I was 21, I think.

Jess Gaertner: Oh my gosh!

Cassy Joy: Snowboarding incident. And now it’s bionic; I have a whole bunch of metal in there.

Jess Gaertner: {laughs} Nice.

Cassy Joy: I was their; the doctor, I’m a golfer, right?

Jess Gaertner: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: And I remember the doctor said; this elbow surgeon. He was great; really loved him. In San Antonio, and he. Luckily, the specialist, one of the best in the whole country was actually here in San Antonio, so it worked out well.

Jess Gaertner: Do you remember his name?

Cassy Joy: Roland.

Jess Gaertner: Hmm.

Cassy Joy: Dr. Roland. Anyways.

Jess Gaertner: Ok. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughs} We digress. Yeah; so I remember he was like, well we’ll get in there. It was an emergency surgery, because there were shards floating around.

Jess Gaertner: Oh my gosh.

Cassy Joy: And the elbow is one of those joints; I’m going off on a tangent, but the elbow is one of those joints where you could risk paralyzation. So anyway, they flew me out on this plane. It’s a really long story, anyways.

Jess Gaertner: Ok.

Cassy Joy: From Colorado to San Antonio. He was like; you may never be able to golf again.

Jess Gaertner: {gasp}

Cassy Joy: Because, just the fact that there was so much trauma to the elbow. And I was like, “I’ll show you!” And I was still in school, I was still at Texas A&M, and I remember sitting there, in biochemistry, just trying to rehab my elbow as much as possible.

Jess Gaertner: Yeah!

Cassy Joy: Straighten it back out; and I got there. My golf game is better than ever. It took a long time, and it took some real work, and some attention. But anyways, now that I have the mobility; when I started working out in CrossFit, 9 years ago now, I remember the first time I did a bench press, I was like {laughs} I couldn’t believe. I thought that I had rehabbed my arms. I thought that I had strengthened both of them back to about the same point; and it was unbelievable. I called my left arm the little engine that could! I was like, “Come on Tiny Tim! Let’s do it!” {laughing} It’s just…

Jess Gaertner: Like, struggling, shaking. Aww.

Cassy Joy: It was. It was. And I’ve spent now 9 years working on strengthening it. And yoga has helped. And a lot of body weight movements helped a lot; right? Pushups and things like that.

Jess Gaertner: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: But at the end of the day, it’s still weaker. And even now, 9 years later, doing another bench press, it’s still kind of a running joke that my left arm is still lagging behind. So it’s a serious issue. But the strength training piece of it actually helped me relieve other parts of my body once I built it back up. I had other ailments that I didn’t realize I was compensating for.

Jess Gaertner: is this is the same shoulder that’s bothering you?

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Jess Gaertner: Yeah, it’s probably. So, I mean.

Cassy Joy: Related?

Jess Gaertner: it’s probably related.

Cassy Joy: It makes perfect sense.

Jess Gaertner: yeah. I mean, there are all sorts of compensation patterns, and that’s, again, what Airrosti specializes in is really doing that full on evaluation.

Cassy Joy: I love it.

Jess Gaertner: And kind of addressing that. So when you come to see us; because you’re going to come to see us.

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Jess Gaertner: You’ll probably find that we’ll do a lot of stuff around the shoulder, but we’re going to address stabilization from the core out. Because it’s probably not just a shoulder issue; it’s probably elbow related, maybe some scapular strengthening.

Cassy Joy: So interesting.

Jess Gaertner: So that’s just a sneak peek into what you might encounter when you come to see a practitioner.

Cassy Joy: I love it. And that’s something I would never have thought of.

Jess Gaertner: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: I would have never thought that my shoulder pain; which turns into tension headaches for me, could be related to that, but it makes perfect sense.

Jess Gaertner: Yeah!

Cassy Joy: Well Jess, do you have anything else? I know that you had a lot of really great notes, but is there any other major takeaway you want to leave people with?

Jess Gaertner: No. I mean, I think we touched on most everything. Like I said, if I had to give you just real quick some things to start implementing or being aware of right now; again. Starting to stand more than you sit, starting to learn functional movements first; and even if you’ve already been doing CrossFit for a long time. Go back, make sure that your squat looks great; make sure that your pushup is stable and you’re in correct form. Just ask the coach; can you look at this for me? Because there’s, you know, a class of 10, 15, 20 in there, sometimes they don’t always get a chance to individual correct people. Make sure your functional movements are great. Go grab a tennis ball or a lacrosse ball, and start exploring how to utilize that. And last but not least, is your sleep health. So not just length of time, but the quality of your environment, the positions that you’re sleeping in. so you’re spending 8 hours in day, hopefully.

Cassy Joy: Ooh, yeah! Yeah.

Jess Gaertner: So a lot of times people will come in and be like, “My arm is killing me; my elbow is killing me.” And we can’t identify anything else that they’re doing in their life, and it’s usually their sleep position. They’re sleeping in that baby position where they’re curled up and their hand is tucked under, so they come in with a lot of nerve stuff. So anyways. Sleep position; get a good bed, make sure that you’re supported while you sleep. So that’s huge.

Cassy Joy: Awesome! So sleeping on your back, is that mostly what you recommend? Most neutral?

Jess Gaertner: Well, it’s different for everybody. I mean, sleeping on your side. So pillow doesn’t need to be ginormous because then you’re cranking your neck; but sleeping on your side with a relatively neutral pillow, a lot of times a pillow between the legs because it allows your spine to be in a more supported position. Sometimes, people sleeping on their back; it bothers them so we’ll have them put a pillow under their legs or under their knees to kind of give themselves more of a neutral position. But basically, it’s finding the best position for you and making sure your spine is neutral in whatever that position is.

I will say, sleeping on your stomach is probably not good.

Cassy Joy: No Bueno.

Jess Gaertner: No matter how you finagle it. {laughs} I used to be a stomach sleeper, that’s a tongue twister, and now I can’t do that anymore. I know a lot of people that’s their go-to.

Cassy Joy: Yeah. I’m thinking of one in particular; my husband. {laughs}

Jess Gaertner: So, and he’s young and fit, so it might not catch up with him for a long time.

Cassy Joy: Yeah.

Jess Gaertner: But it may, eventually.

Cassy Joy: Oh, interesting. Oh man, we might have to do a part 2 episode and talk about sleep healthy, that’s really fascinating.

Jess Gaertner: I know, it is.

Cassy Joy: Well awesome, Jess! Thank you so much for joining us. Tell folks where they can find you, and if they are curious about looking more into Airrosti; maybe even if we have practitioners listening here that are curious to look into the business side of it. Tell folks where they can find more information.

Jess Gaertner: So, visit, if you’re a practitioner and you’re interested in becoming an Airrosti provider, we are in Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Virginia, and Washington. Most of the major metropolitan areas. So that’s where we would be hiring; but you can visit www.Airrosti.com to look into that. You can also reach out to me; my email is Jessica.Gaertner. You’ll have show notes, right?

Cassy Joy: Yeah!

Jess Gaertner: So, the spelling hopefully is on there.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Jess Gaertner: The name is a little tricky. Jessica.Gaertner@arrosti.com. And then also, if you have any other questions, you just want to connect, I’m on Instagram at JessPaleo-ish. And my blog is also www.Paleo-ish.com. So reach out; I love to chit chat. We have a good time; yeah.

Cassy Joy: Yeah, awesome. She’s one smart cookie, so y’all are in good hands. And I will; like Jess said, I’m going to link to all of this stuff in the show notes; so if you’re listening while you’re driving and you want to get a hold of Jess or you want to look more into Airrosti, go ahead and pull up www.FedandFit.com and click on this episode, and we’ll have all the direct links to everything in there. Thank you so much for coming on the show today, Jess!

Jess Gaertner: Yeah! It was super fun, I love it. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: I did too. This was so fun! Well, now I’ve got to go kiss that little Great Pyrenees puppy of yours a little bit more.

Jess Gaertner: He’s going to bite your face off again, so. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: I love it; oh my gosh, I love it so much! I wonder if he can tell? {laughs}

Jess Gaertner: I think he can. He is in love with Cassy, so just like everybody else. But yeah.

Cassy Joy: {laughing} He’s like, “She gets me, I can tell, she knows! She knows how hard it is to be me!”

Jess Gaertner: {laughing}

Cassy Joy: Oh man. Well thank you again so much for coming on the show today Jess. Thanks everybody for listening. And as always, if you like the show, and you’d like to make sure that it gets into the hands of other people, please go onto iTunes, leave us a review; it helps a heck of a lot. And that would be wonderful! Thanks again for dialing in. we’ll be back again next week.

   

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