We are excited to offer Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative Medicine involves delivering specific types of cells or cell products to help stimulate the healing process in a diseased or damaged area of your body. Famous athletes have been getting these treatments for years and we’re proud to say that our patients can now come in to see a provider at Team Health Care Clinic for these same Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections at a very reasonable cost.

PRP is a completely natural substance made from the patient’s own blood. It is used to trigger a powerful healing response.

Blood is drawn from the patient’s arm and then refined to create a high concentration of growth factors, platelets and other healing ingredients. These concentrated, naturally produced ingredients are then injected into problem areas to treat: hip and joint pain, knee, foot and ankle pain, tennis elbow, shoulder injuries and arthritis.

PRP perfectly fits the Team Health Care philosophy of offering natural treatments for sustained wellness!

Spinal Decompression for Back Pain, Herniated and Degenerative Lumbar Discs

Non-surgical spinal decompression was introduced to Minnesota by Team Health Care Clinic years ago.  Since then, we have continued to successfully perform this treatment protocol for people with back pain with Vertebral Axial Decompression (VAX-D).  In our clinic alone, there have been hundreds of patients that were spared surgery by completing VAX-D services.

Since that time we have seen many clinics come and go claiming they have spinal decompression services.  It was the “wild west” with even simple traction units being touted as spinal decompression. But what is spinal decompression and how is better or different than simple traction?

Spinal Decompression Reduces Pressure on Lumbar Discs

When it comes to spinal decompression, it’s all about the pressure reduction achieved. Much like gauging the air pressure in a car tire, scientists have been able to measure the pressure on a disc in various positions. What they found is as follows:

Vax-D spinal decompression achieves negative pressure on the disc.

Notice that traction does not create a negative pressure on the disc. In other words, traction in the form of inversion tables, intersegmental traction units and many other devices claiming to be spinal decompression, are creating pressure reductions similar to lying down.  No negative pressure means no suction effect and that means little chance of decompressing degenerative and herniated discs.

VAX-D is Superior to Others

Non-surgical spinal decompression uses a machine that is proven to create a negative pressure on lumbar discs. There are few, if any, other thank VAX-D.  Beware —  many will claim they have research that proves negative pressure is achieved. However, when pressed to see the research, a few different schemes are discovered to overstate the research.

One technique is to use VAX-D research as their own.  They will show the research only when pressed for it and explain that the copycat device is similar to VAX-D so they claim it as their own.

A second approach is to do research on cadavers.  Other than the fact that any positive effect from decompression is too late for these subjects, there are obvious flaws in drawing any conclusions from this research.

Our bodies have receptors that create a stretch reflex when a force is applied to it.  For example, if someone is pulling your leg to stretch your hamstring, at some point your muscle will resist the force to avoid injury.  In cadavers, this reflex is absent so the researches can apply any distractive force and find erroneous positive results.  Don’t be fooled by this scheme.

Be an educated consumer and ask questions before agreeing to proceed with your doctor’s recommendation for non-surgical decompression.  Determine how they define “decompression” and ask for research to support their claims.

Finally, investigate its track record and its success rate.  Look past splashy marketing and grand claims. Five years ago, the Twin Cities metro was saturated with full page ads for decompression services. Almost 100% of those marketing campaigns were not able to stand the test of time and are now noticeably absent.

Consider VAX-D for non-surgical spinal decompression.  It is well researched, has a greater than 15-year track record, and is 80% successful in patients that had failed all conservative treatments.  It also has research that confirms it creates negative pressure on the discs of live subjects.

Is it Right for Me?

VAX-D has been a proven “positive negative” for hundreds of our patients. If you have been diagnosed with a lumbar disc degeneration or herniation, consult your provider to determine if VAX-D is right for you.

Joe Bertsch, DC

Joe Bertsch, DC

Treating Anxiety Related Disorders with Neurofeedback

Tiffany Watson, CNP

Getting nervous or anxious is so common that nearly everyone will experience it at some time in their life. However, when anxiety is so severe or frequent that it begins to interfere with one’s life, it should be evaluated for the cause. Our providers diagnose and treat patients with anxiety regularly. In today’s post, we review some common symptoms and causes of anxiety along with a lesser-known treatment option: neurofeedback.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety related disorders are the most common mental health disorders in the US, comprising an estimated 40 million adults. The following are a partial list of some of the more common early symptoms:

  • A worrisome nature
  • Sleeping difficulty
  • Irrational Fears
  • Self consciousness
  • Stomach problems
  • Tight muscles
  • Rapid breathing/pulse
  • Self doubt

Diagnosing Anxiety

There are many helpful questionnaires that can assist one in determining if they have anxiety. Whenever possible, I like to use a test called Qualitative Electroencephalography (QEEG) to help me identify anxiety in my patients. QEEG is a painless, non-invasive test that measures the electrical activity in the brain at 19 locations. Much like an EKG for the heart, abnormal patterns can be identified. The QEEG pattern most associated with anxiety is too much beta wave in the right hemisphere of the brain.

Common Causes

It is critical that one understands that anxiety is simply a description of a mood or feeling. The first thing one should think when they are told they have anxiety is “but why?” Besides an imbalance in the electrical activity of the brain (QEEG) some of the common underlying causes include:

  • Thyroid disorders
  • Sugar imbalances
  • Heart disease
  • Stressful lifestyle
  • Lung disorders
  • Food sensitivities
  • Digestive problems
  • Traumatic events
  • Inherited tendencies

Treatment Options

Whenever possible, I assist the patient by correcting the possible above underlying causes. In many cases, this involves retraining the brain imbalance with neurofeedback if the QEEG is abnormal. I have found neurofeedback to be highly effective for most types of anxiety. It is a noninvasive treatment option with no concerns for side effects that are often seen with traditional approaches to treatment involving medications. My treatment plan may also include lab testing, nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, dietary modifications, and other approaches. I make referrals to mental health professionals as appropriate. I prescribe medications as a last resort.

If you or someone you know may have anxiety, schedule an appointment. My team will provide our “anxiety relief” consultation at no charge to see if you are a candidate for our program.

Tech Neck and Physical Therapy

Andrea Newport, PT

Most of our kids have settled into their school routines, which require a greater use of computers and technology than ever before. Team Health Care Clinic’s physical therapists see many patients in our clinic with poor posture from technology use. With today’s technology we have seen a decline in good posture, and an increase in pain. Technology is here to stay, so self-awareness, education, and practicing good posture habits are necessary for our overall health.


Good Posture

When you are in neutral posture the shoulders are back and the ears are in line with the shoulders and the arms hang at the sides with the palms toward the legs.

Poor Posture

There is an increased forward curve of the neck that causes the head to move forward. The head is perched forward, the shoulders are rounded and possibly a head tilt or rotation.

Effects of Poor Posture

The muscles on the front of the neck and the mid back are stretched from the forward movement of the head, and become weak. The muscles on the back of the neck and the front of the shoulders become tight. These muscle imbalances cause neck pain due to muscle fatigue, strain, displacement stress on the joints, and loss of motion.

Posture with Technology Use

A flexed posture when working on your computer or mobile device loads the spine causing more stress. When the neck is neutral the head places about10-12 pounds of load to the cervical spine. When you flex the neck to 30 degrees you place 40 pounds of load on your spine and when you flex forward to 60 degrees the load is 60 pounds. The average kid, according to the Department of Health spends 3 hours a day using screen media. That is a significant amount of repetitive strain on the neck and upper back, and will impact over all spine health.

Neck Pain Prevention

There are a few simple things you can do right now to decrease the stress on your neck with the use of technology:

  • Set time limits for using your devices
  • Take frequent brakes
  • Raise your device – hold your phone in front of you and raise your computer monitor so your neck is neutral.
  • Stretch
  • Use pain as a warning and take a break or re-adjust your position
  • Alternate position of workstation from seated to standing

If you experience pain in the neck, upper back, or numbness and tingling in the arms it is time to seek help. Physical therapy and chiropractic assessments will determine what posture, joint, and muscle dysfunctions are causing pain and symptoms. Addressing neutral posture in physical therapy treatments is valuable in providing efficient and lasting relief of neck pain and vital to a healthy spine and healthy living.

Spinal Decompression for Lumbar Disc Degeneration, Herniation and Sciatica

Joe Bertsch, DC

At Team Health Care Clinic, our team of health care providers includes medical providers, physical therapists, chiropractors and massage therapy. We see “the worst of the worst” conditions, including stubborn lumbar disc lesions leading to back, and if severe enough, leg pain, numbness and weakness. In these cases, we introduce them to the most direct nonsurgical option for low back disc conditions: Vertebral Axial Decompression, or VAX-D.

VAX-D is a unique, patented spinal decompression technology that does something other treatments for low back disc conditions have failed to do: it actually promotes healing of the disc.

How can VAX-D work so well when other services have failed?

It really comes down to one thing: pressure. Your back is constantly under pressure. Normally your discs are amazing shock absorbers due to their tough, fibrous outer layers. They can handle the pressure.

However, over time this pressure can create wear and tear, leading to bulging and eventually a loss of vital fluids from the disc. This creates degeneration in the disc, much like a tire that has gone flat from a bulge. When this happens, the pressure of even normal daily activities, such as bending or sitting, is too much and nerve irritation is created.

At this point, the disc is desperate for a reduction in the pressure and VAX-D comes to the rescue. VAX-D gently stretches the spine to create a negative pressure in the discs. The negative pressure creates a vacuum, which begins to suck fluid back into the disc and retracts the herniation.

This negative pressure created by VAX-D makes it a more direct treatment option than chiropractic, physical therapy, injections and traction. It delivers the negative pressure required for decompression of the damaged disc. The other options simply can’t do this.

I have personally seen hundreds of patients with lumbar disc damage finally find relief with VAX-D, many of them suffering for years.

Justice’s Story

If you’re suffering with chronic back pain, contact us to determine if VAX-D could help you.


Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP): Not just for joint pain

Tiffany Watson, CNP

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been popular for treating joint pain, but there are other conditions that we treat with PRP at Team Health Care Clinic. After we saw how effective PRP could be for our patients with knee pain, tennis elbow, arthritis and other joint pain, our medical team decided to explore some of the lesser known uses for PRP. Research has shown that PRP can be used for conditions such as dry eyes, chronic sinus congestion, and acne. In today’s blog, we take a look at how PRP can help people suffering with these conditions.

What is PRP?

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a regenerative medicine derived from your own blood. It is obtained by drawing your blood and spinning it in a special device to separate the plasma from the red blood cells. By separating it in this way we can get concentrated levels of your own platelets, growth factors and other ingredients which stimulate a healing process. We then take all those concentrated ingredients and use them to supercharge your healing ability.

What are some of the lesser-known conditions that can be treated with PRP?

PRP is an all-natural treatment option for people who suffer from dry eye syndrome, chronic sinusitis, and acne.

Dry eye syndrome: The PRP is mixed with normal saline to create a pH similar to that of natural tears. It is put in eye drop bottles and can be instilled into the eyes 3-4 times per day. The most common side effect is some minor burning to the eyes right after the eye drops have been instilled. It also feels cold when applied because it needs to be kept refrigerated. Some patients have shared that it feels soothing and moisturizing when applied. My patients who have been using PRP eye drops have noticed a reduction in their dry eye symptoms, less eye irritation, and have been without symptoms for longer periods of time.

Chronic sinus congestion: A PRP nasal spray can be made by mixing the PRP with normal saline and put in a nasal spray bottle that can be sent home with you. It can be used 2-4 times per day. If you suffer from chronic sinus congestion and frequent sinus infections then this could be the treatment for you. Patients who have used the PRP nasal spray have shared their surprise at the reduction in congestion just shortly after starting the treatment.

Acne: PRP used for acne is not mixed with anything. It is just the plasma itself, sent home in syringes for you to apply topically to the affected sites. It is applied at night before you go to bed, then washed off in the morning. Topical PRP for acne should remain on your skin for at least 8 hours. There are not any risks to this treatment. People who have used this treatment for their acne have reported a reduction in open and closed acne lesions and a reduction in redness within the first few weeks of treatment.

How it is stored

The PRP only maintains its effectiveness if kept refrigerated or frozen. It lasts for 1 week in the refrigerator and 3 months in the freezer. Each week you will use a new container of PRP for your treatment. When you choose to use PRP to treat your dry eye syndrome, chronic sinus congestion, or acne, you will be sent home with a 12 week supply.

PRP is a perfect fit for the Team Health Care Clinic wellness model and philosophy. It is 100% natural using each patient’s own healing properties. To find out if PRP is right for you, contact us to set up your consultation with one of our medical providers.


Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP): A Natural Treatment Option for Joint and Other Pain

Joe Bertsch, DC

What can be more natural than using your own body’s natural healing properties to stimulate healing? Instead of taking drugs or another artificial means of treatment, Platelet Rich Plasma makes use of your body’s natural ability to heal itself. By concentrating healing properties and applying them directly to injured tissue, we can initiate or speed up healing in a previously unresponsive tissue or joint.

At our mutli-specialty wellness clinic, we have seen an explosion of interest in Platelet Rich Plasma procedures and we’re excited to offer another treatment option that supports our mission of natural healing. Our patients have experienced fantastic results since we began offering Platelet Rich Plasma in mid 2017.

PRP treatment requires a 2-step procedure: Harvesting and Administration

The PRP is harvested initially by drawing blood from the patient’s own body and spinning it down in a high-speed centrifuge. This divides the blood into red blood cells at the bottom and plasma at the top of the tube. In the middle is a thin layer of platelet rich plasma that contains super concentrated healing constituents such as growth factors, cytokines, and platelets. These goodies are then carefully extracted and drawn into a tube, ready to be injected in inflamed, injured and degenerative ligaments, muscles or joints.

The second step is administering the PRP concentrate with an injection (in most cases). Our clinic uses an ultrasound to guide and confirm the medical provider is in the exact, desired location. Seeing the needle in the right location removes the chance of a patient having a variant in their anatomy that causes the provider to miss their mark. You won’t find an ultrasound guided injection in some other clinics, and I believe that this has a tremendous impact on the outcome of treatment.

The entire procedure is not particularly painful. Since the injection is actually less uncomfortable than the blood draw, patients don’t worry that the procedure is more than they are willing to tolerate. We have never had a patient refuse a second injection due to pain.

How many treatments are needed?

The PRP protocol in our clinic is 2 injections per region with approximately 3 weeks between each one. Some clinics have a 3 injection protocol but we have found most cases respond in 2 injections with an occasional patient that needs three. This may be due to the ultrasound guidance.

What is recovery like?

Generally, patients will return to work or normal activities after the injection, though loading the joint unnecessarily is discouraged. For example, if a knee is injected, deep knee bends such as squats and lunges are restricted for a few weeks following the procedure. Walking and using the stairs is allowed.

We advise patients do some physical therapy to have expert guidance in rehab exercises that will stabilize the joint or tissue without interfering with the healing process of PRP. The PRP and physical therapy combination is a one-two punch that has proven and exciting results.

Who is a candidate?

PRP is an effective and an all-natural option for patients of all ages. It has become our first option for patients suffering with achilles tendonitis, ligament tears, knee osteoarthritis, muscle strains, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff tears, Morton’s neuroma and more.

Future blogs will compare PRP with other procedures that have been used to treat similar conditions. Our clinic routinely provides cortisone, viscosupplementation (Euflexxa, for example), trigger point and PRP injections. Our observation is PRP out performs all the other procedures. This is why athletes such as Tiger Woods, Ray Lewis, Kobe Bryant and countless others have chosen this option even though they could afford many other more expensive treatments.

If you’re interested in a treatment option that is successful, natural and affordable, I encourage you to consult with your medical providers to determine if PRP is an option for you. Not sure who can help? Contact us to schedule a consultation in our clinic.

Piriformis Syndrome: A Pain in the Butt

Emily Franklin, PTA

You have probably heard the phrase “What a pain in the butt!” There are many who this becomes quite literal as they experience pain, numbness, tingling or a combination of these in the buttocks and can also radiate into the back of the leg and even into the foot. These symptoms can have a variety of causes but one less common one is Piriformis Syndrome.

The piriformis is a flat band-like muscle in the buttocks that originates just above your tailbone(sacroiliac region) and attaches to the top portion of the femur or upper thigh bone. With overuse from things such as long distance running, prolonged sitting, dehydration or even electrolyte abnormalities the piriformis muscle may spasm. The sciatic nerve is nearby which can be affected by the muscle spasm and nerve irritations cause symptoms such as numbness and tingling along the back of the leg and into the foot.

One way to help a muscle in spasm is to gently stretch it out. To stretch the piriformis, lay on your back with your knees bent. Cross your right ankle over your left knee and pull right knee up towards chest angled towards left shoulder. Repeat other side.

Other conditions can produce similar symptoms so it is important to consult your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms described in this post. The providers at Team Health Care Clinic have experience with a variety of conditions including Piriformis Syndrome and will recommend a treatment plan to help you recover as quickly as possible.

Is My Brain Degenerating?

Erik Starr, DC

Where does brain degeneration occur?

Let’s review the two most common regions that we see degeneration in the brain occurring in our practice.

Frontal Lobe

The frontal lobe sits behind the forehead and is the largest lobe of the brain. This area of the brain is what separates humans from other animals, as it gives us personality. It allows us to suppress impulses such as violent tendencies and socially unacceptable behavior, and provides emotional drive, planning, and motivation. It is also the area that is developmentally delayed in those with ADD/ADHD. When this area becomes impaired due to degenerative changes, depression, laziness, inability to control impulses, poor judgment and social behavior, and mental sluggishness may arise.


The cerebellum is the “little brain” that sits off of the back end of the brain under the base of the skull. When it comes to the function of the cerebellum it’s easiest to think of a DUI test that a police officer may perform, as alcohol suppresses the cerebellum. The test entails looking at balance, coordination, and spatial awareness. The cerebellum receives information from eyes, muscles, and the inner ears to calibrate proper movements, and allowing us to know where we are in space. Do you struggle with frequent episodes of dizziness or vertigo? Have poor balance? Easily carsick? Or have subtle shakes at the end of hand or finger movements? These may be early signs that your cerebellum is degenerating.

Identifying early signs of brain degeneration

It is crucial that your medical provider can look for and identify these early signs of an aging brain. In our medical system, most physicians aren’t trained on how to identify and manage early stages of brain degeneration until it has progressed beyond the point of return. For example, Parkinson’s disease often isn’t identified until someone has a resting tremor. In contrast,  chronic constipation, loss of smell, or slowness of movement may be an early sign of the disease. By the time symptoms such as a tremor are present, the disease has progressed enough that little can be done functionally to address the severity of the condition and focus changes to prevention of further progression. This is why being aware of the early warning signs of brain degeneration is critical.

Here at Team Health Care Clinic, we utilize in depth neurological exams, Interactive Metronome, BTrackS Balance Plate assessments, lab tests, and at times Neurofeedback as part of our neurological work ups to assess the brain health of our patients. If you or anyone you know may be suffering from the changes mentioned in this blog, don’t wait! Call our office today for a free consultation.

Improving Balance with Physical Therapy

Andrea Newport, PT

At Team Health Care Clinic in Champlin, MN our team sees clients daily that have trouble with balance. Physical therapists offer many different techniques to treat balance with attention to your specific needs. Trouble with balance makes it difficult for people to hold themselves upright and steady when they are trying to walk, stand and even sit. Although the risk of having poor balance increases with age, balance issues are common in every age group.

What causes loss of balance?

There are 4 areas that help our bodies control balance:

  • Vision
  • Inner ear (vestibular)
  • Proprioception and muscle control
  • Brain – coordinates all of these systems to help us maintain our balance.

Medical conditions and lifestyle factors may contribute to a loss of balance, including:

  • Poor joint mobility
  • Muscle weakness
  • Inner ear problems
  • Medications
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Medical conditions such as a Stroke or Parkinsons’ disease

Poor Balance: What does it feel like?

A person with a balance issue may feel swaying, dizziness, vertigo, tripping, stumbling, and many times touching walls and furniture as they walk. Balance can be fine in a static position doing just 1 thing at a time. But when you try dynamic movements with multiple tasks, such as walking and looking at the shelves in the grocery store, or using the bathroom in the dark at night, the difficulty with balance can be more pronounced. These are all indications that a person’s balance is affected and needs to be addressed.

How Can My Physical Therapist Help?

Our physical therapists and chiropractors at Team Health Care are trained to assess the multiple systems affecting balance. We test the inner ear, muscle strength, joint range of motion, visual tracking, sensation, and body position awareness. In physical therapy we will also perform a balance test. In some cases it may be recommended that you use an assistive device such as a cane or a walker. We know this can be a difficult transition, and the assistive device doing more than just preventing you from falling. In therapy we look at it from the perspective of facilitating a “normal” movement pattern for your body to help improve your balance. This is only one part of the many movements and techniques we use to improve your balance. We will develop a specific treatment for you including movements and exercises you can do at home.

You don’t have to sustain a fall to have your balance assessed. I you are experiencing any difficulty with equilibrium, walking, standing or don’t feel confident in your balance it is important to seek your provider to have your systems that control balance assessed.