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Q & A with Dr. Nate Waibel

Friday, April 14th, 2017

Dr. Waibel has been with Edina Sports + Family Medicine since 2014.  He has specialty training in Family Medicine and Sports Medicine.  

Question:  Why did you decide to specialize in Family and Sports Medicine?

Answer:  Growing up, I suffered numerous ankle injuries playing soccer. I found there was a drastic difference among the providers I saw, and eventually one doctor told me that there were steps I could take to prevent further injury.  That experience stayed with me and today I truly enjoy the marriage of exercise, preventive health and sports medicine.

Question:  As Associate Medical Director for the Twin Cities Marathon, you have the opportunity to work with a number of long distance runners.   What are the most common injuries you see and what advice can you offer to help these athletes stay healthy?

Answer:  There is such a wide variation of athletes running now, so no cookie-cutter answer to this question.  Injuries tend to involve tendon, muscle and bone problems, usually because the athlete didn’t allow their body enough time to handle the load or didn’t cross train.  There’s a misconception that you’ll use all the muscles you need to run without injury just by running, which is not true.  You need to take specific steps to engage the proper muscles to ensure you run correctly.   I would suggest that endurance athletes meet with their doctor or a sports medicine physician to come up with a plan to safely train for the event.

Question:  What advice do you have for someone who has not been active, but would like to start exercising for better health?

Answer:  Whether you’re a 25 year old who hasn’t exercised in a few years, or a 65 year old who has had a heart attack, you can be healthy and active.  First, you have to talk to your doctor to determine what is safe for you.  Second, you have to be deliberate and set up a schedule that you will follow.  I am frequently asked:  “What is the best kind of exercise?”  And my answer is: “Whatever you like to do, whatever gets you out there.“  If injuries prohibit a favorite exercise, I work with patients to find activities they’ll enjoy –even with certain limitations.

Question:  One of your special interests is providing care for patients with musculoskeletal issues. This sometimes means administering Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections.  Can you tell us about this procedure and how it helps patients?

Answer: We start by drawing a patient’s blood and spinning it in a centrifuge to take off the portion that is rich in platelets. Then, using ultrasound guidance I inject this enriched blood back into the patient’s muscles or tendons that are not healing. The PRP injection provides special nutrients that reinvigorate the injured area so that remodeling and healing occurs.   We can also inject PRP into arthritic knees, shoulders and hips for people who want to delay a joint replacement.   Data shows that these patients, while not healed, find relief from symptoms.

Question:  How do you like to spend your time off?

Answer:  Spending time with my wife and two kids is all about activity. We love to be outside hiking or camping or skiing/snowboarding or skateboarding.  We play acoustic guitar together and go to movies. Personally, photography is a favorite hobby and I love to run.

Clinic News:
Edina Sports + Family Medicine will have a booth this year at the Twin Cities Marathon Health & Fitness Expo on Sept 29th and 30th.   Stop by and see us!

As your healthcare provider, Edina Sports + Family Medicine cares about all aspects of your health. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your health:  952-926-6489