Dr. Matt Kangas, 40, is a Michigan native turned Memphian, a doctor, a husband to wife Jennifer, and a dad to six-year-old Athena and three-year-old Apollo. If his work and family duties don’t keep him busy enough, he also works to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.
BECOMING A PAIN MANAGEMENT EXPERT
A graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School, Matt completed a residency in anesthesiology, followed by an Interventional Pain Medicine Fellowship in 2016. He’s been practicing at Mays and Schnapps since November 2021, where he specializes in pain management.
So, what does pain management entail from Matt’s perspective? “Essentially, I try to diagnose where the pain is coming from and identify procedures, surgeries, or medication that can help lessen the pain and make it more manageable,” he explains. “The end goal is always to get my patients as pain-free as possible and increase their functionality.”
Procedures include less invasive, outpatient solutions like joint injections to help with knee pain or burning nerves that carry pain signals. More intense surgical procedures would be something like spinal cord stimulation.
MOTIVATED BY HIS WORK
Working long hours in a very hands-on environment and coming home to a packed house can make prioritizing fitness challenging. However, Matt is motivated by one key factor: his patients.
“I’m on my feet all day in a fast-paced environment, so I don’t have a choice but to stay in shape,” he says. “Prioritizing staying active is important to me to stay high functioning at work.”
His experience in the medical field and seeing the long-term impact of not prioritizing overall well-being is also a key motivator in his fitness journey. His goal is that by staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, he won’t have to seek out a pain management specialist himself.
MAKING TIME FOR HIS HEALTH
Matt keeps his fitness routine fresh by mixing up running and lifting weights. He runs at the St. Mary’s track or around his neighborhood and lifts weights at his home gym three to four times a week. “Having a home gym definitely makes it easier to prioritize working out,” he says.
As for his diet, he tried the keto diet for a few months but found it a bit too restrictive. So he and his wife switched to intermittent fasting six months ago and haven’t looked back. Intermittent fasting is all about when you eat, meaning that you only eat during a specific time, which for Matt and his wife is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. This method can help burn fat and can also be beneficial to heart and brain health.
Although balancing a demanding career and two young children while also staying fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging, Matt knows that putting his health first is always worth it in the long run. And for him, that looks like running, lifting weights, and intermittent fasting.
“No matter how long my day is or what time I get home, I make my workout a priority,” he says. “I can’t let more than one day pass without getting in a run or doing some weight lifting because I know that it’s worth the time no matter what.”
For information on Mays & Schnapps Pain Clinic, visit Maysandschnapp.com.
By Lucy Modzelewski
Photo by Tindall Stephens