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Spinal surgery sends elite athlete on the road to recovery
In the summer of 2010, Erika Osborn should have been in the thick of training for her third World Duathlon Championships, this time in Scotland. Instead, she was recuperating from a fracture in her back, in pain and pondering whether to undergo surgery.

Releasing the tension
Leah Good canít afford down time. A 29-year-old mother of two young children and a full-time graphic artist, she had experienced frustrating back pain for four long years.
Nurse navigators
You get the dreaded call from your surgeon with the results of your biopsy ó itís cancer. Next comes the deluge of appointments, all in the same week: the surgeon, plastic surgeon, oncologist, genetist. Your mind is still reeling with your test results.

Growing pains
The joy that comes with pregnancy can sometimes be overshadowed by the discomfort and pain of the physical challenges that accompany it. But women donít have to live with the discomfort.

Living proof
On a Wednesday morning five summers ago, Mary Schneiderís bed at Froedtert Hospital was rolled into a surgical holding area. Nearby was another bed where Schneiderís sister, Amy Sanner, lay waiting for the biggest day of their lives.

A win-win-win
For an hour each Saturday, Kevin Tock proudly watches his 5-year-old son, Bryce, smile and laugh as he plays soccer, though Tock has a different perspective on the game than most parents.

The numbers game
Diane Tolega may not be able to change the date on her birth certificate, but during the past few years she feels sheís shaved a few years off her chronological age through a combination of lifestyle choices and medical approaches.

Mirror image
"Working out can definitely define your body," says Anne Barber, fitness coordinator at West Wood Health and Fitness in Pewaukee. "But can you redesign your body? Definitely not."

Correcting the curve
In the past, some children with scoliosis faced a difficult surgery with up to a year of inactivity, but today that time has been reduced thanks to advancement in surgery and other treatments.

Conquering colitis
For Megan Starshak of Milwaukee, the symptoms of ulcerative colitis began when she was a junior in high school. The disease, an inflammation of the colon, often causes frequent and urgent trips to the bathroom and severe abdominal pain. "At first, I thought maybe I had a virus," says Starshak, 26. "I was doing high school track at the time and thought I was overworking."

Sleep cycle
Sleep is an essential part of good health, as important as a balanced diet and regular exercise. Unfortunately, most Americans view sleep as a waste of time. "We as a society donít place enough value on sleep," says Steve Gardner, director of marketing for the Sleep Wellness Institute and executive director of the Reggie White Sleep Disorders Foundation.

Strike a pose
Why practice yoga? The better question is, "Why not?" "Yoga is like taking daily vitamins. Itís not about fitness, itís for health," says Bron Gacki, owner of Bikram Yoga Milwaukee.
Making a 180
It can take a health scare or the inability to complete the simplest of tasks. Or it can be fueled by a lifelong passion unrealized. The motivations behind the 180-degree turns we make in life are only part of the tale. What happens along the way is the real story.

Be well
A new year, a new you? If thatís your goal, make it happen through diet, exercise and stress-free living. Weíve compiled some expert advice on how to incorporate healthy habits into your everyday life.

Golden age
Check your calendar ó the first wave of baby boomers will hit age 65 in 2011. One challenge for these newly minted seniors will be maintaining their health. And that means mind and spirit, as well as body.

Work in focus
Take a good look at your workstation. A poorly positioned computer screen could be causing eye and vision problems known as Computer Vision Syndrome. Symptoms include eye strain, blurred vision and dry eyes, along with fatigue, headaches, and neck and back pain. "I see patients with that complaint on a daily basis," says Dr. Marcus Neitzke, an optometrist in Waukesha who serves as the president of the Wisconsin Optometric Association.

Meeting of the minds
People with chronic pain, allergies and other health problems who have not found success with traditional Western medicine are turning in greater numbers to Eastern medical techniques for solutions. "People often come to us when they are at the end of their rope.," says Art Rapkin, a trained Doctor of Oriental Medicine and licensed acupuncturist at the Kindo Health Center in Elm Grove.

Silence is not golden
Women improving their health together is the concept behind Heart Secrets at Columbia St. Maryís. Participants learn from experts on diet, exercise, gynecology and midlife health ó and from fellow patients ó in group settings that last up to two hours.

How to reduce allergens in your home
"Dust mites become part of the household environment. You can be a great housekeeper and you will have them It has nothing to do with the cleanliness of your house," says Dr. Steven Cohen of Allergic Diseases S.C. in West Allis. "Dust mites are primarily found in mattresses, pillows and carpeting in the bedroom; they stick to the fibers."

All in the family

Best Doctors compiles its annual list by surveying approximately 45,000 physicians nationally asking the following question: "If you or a loved one needed a doctor in your specialty, and you could not treat them yourself, to whom would you refer them?"
Cosmetic success
Many studies have shown that cosmetic surgery produces positive psychological benefits by improving patientsí perception of well-being. But a growing number of cosmetic procedures also can improve certain physical problems that detract from the quality of a personís life.

Up all night
"Adequate sleep is as important as diet and exercise, and only a relatively small percentage of people are getting what sleep experts believe is an adequate amount of sleep," says Steve Gardner, director of marketing for the Sleep Wellness Institute and executive director of the Reggie White Sleep Disorders Foundation in West Allis. "Adults need at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night and teenagers and children need more."

Marty Auchter was your average overweight, under-exercised, cigarette smoking, visit-the-bar-a-bit-too-often type of guy. The Cedarburg resident had been too busy over the years ó college, a law degree from Marquette University, the tax director position at Sargento Foods ó to notice.

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Magic numbers
To Dr. Mark Blake, weight is just a number on a scale. "Weight is not all-meaning," he says. Body fat percentage, cholesterol levels and body mass index are much more important numbers, he says.
How does Milwaukee stand out?
Milwaukee is chock-full of treasures ó those tiny theaters, museums, public art sculptures and parks that are tucked away within the urban landscape and are so often overlooked by the folks who live here. Itís no different with the areaís health care services, which contain all sorts of hidden gems.

Boning up
If you eat the right foods and stay active, thereís a good chance your bones could carry you well into your old age. "There are several well-established guidelines we recommend to patients that will help keep bones healthy and prevent bone loss," says Dr. John England of Orthopaedic Associates of Wisconsin in Waukesha.