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  • Playing Through the Pain: Not Always the Best Tactic

    Posted on July 29, 2014 by Core Products

    We see it when we watch professional athletes performing at the highest level. In the eyes of society, playing through pain is honorable. This pro-athlete glorification drives home the idea of playing through pain so much that we sometimes chastise athletes if they sit on the sideline without any visible injuries.

    Despite this, playing through pain is not always in a player’s best interest – nor is it for the average, active person. The greatest risk is doing more (sometimes serious) harm beyond the initial discomfort. A tweak, pull, or strain can quickly expand into a tear, break, or fracture.

    Professional hockey players regularly play through losing their teeth mid-game amidst a multitude of other pains. Basketball and football players are often seen getting taped on the sidelines with ankle sprains and broken fingers. Many of these athletes typically take the “grin and bear it” approach to cope with the blunt force that comes with the territory. Whether this is some machismo thing or simply giving one’s all for the benefit of the team is debatable. The example set by star athletes moves on down the ranks to the college and high school levels and even filters out to healthy, active adults.

    That’s the real trick though: they’re professional athletes with some of the best medical teams at their fingertips. It’s also reported that athletes have a higher pain tolerance than the rest of us.

    Active adults, on the other hand, need to pay close attention to any pain. Some may say it comes down to one question: are you hurt or injured? The difference can be huge and difficult to decipher.

    This Health & Fitness Magazine article lists four signs a person experiencing pain should stop the activity they’re doing.

    1. A hot or swelling joint
    2. Chronic pain that lingers for weeks or months at a time
    3. If a degenerative disease is revealed by X-rays
    4. If the pain makes it impossible to continue

    Staying physically active is important for those who want to healthy lifestyle. Oftentimes, tolerating aches and pains is just fine so long as we don’t overcompensate and injure another body part or heed larger warning signs that something might be seriously wrong. If we’re coming back from injury and experience pain, it’s a good idea to shut it down, cut back, and start some more rehabilitation.


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  • Getting Back to Exercise After an Injury

    Posted on July 9, 2014 by Core Products

    Whether you’re an extremely athletic person who is in tip-top shape, or someone who just works out to keep from packing on the pounds, chances are you could at some point experience an injury that keeps you from your regular workout routine. Unfortunately, this can put a damper on your fitness and make it harder to get back to your routine after your injury is treated and healed.

    If you’d rather keep working out as you recover, there are a few things you can do to keep from hurting yourself all over again, and putting yourself out of commission even longer. One caveat: you should talk to your doctor about your specific case before getting back to the gym – their knowledge of your injury and their answers to your questions will be tailored for your situation, and you should heed that advice first and foremost.

    That being said, here are a few tips for staying in shape during your recovery.

    1.     Baby Steps

    You know that saying, “hit the ground running?” DON’T do that this time around. Whether you’re lifting weights, getting some aerobic exercise, or stretching, don’t assume that you can perform at the level you were before you had your injury. This is a good recipe for injuring yourself again, or exacerbating your current injury. Start at a much lower level to see what you can handle. Lower weights, lower reps, and lower intensity will be your mantra at first.

    2.     Talk to an Expert

    At this point, you should have already talked to your doctor, but there are other experts who can give you advice on getting back to the gym. Physical therapists and physical trainers have expertise in these areas. Consider talking to one of these professionals to determine a workout program that will keep you in shape without landing you back in the hospital.

    3.     Pay Special Attention to Your Body

    Pre-injury, you may have tended to push yourself hard at the gym, trusting that pain, soreness, or fatigue is the sign that you’re doing something right and getting stronger. However, there’s a reason pain exists – it’s a signal to our brains that something is wrong. Post-injury, pay attention to the pains you feel during or after a workout – if something you could do before doesn’t feel right, you should stop for the time being. Your body may need some time before it can get ready for that particular exercise again.

    4.     Don’t Skimp on Rest and Nutrition

    Part of the key to recovery is giving your body the recuperation it needs. Make sure you’re getting enough rest, eating right, and taking it easy on the affected area.

    Not all injuries are created equal – obviously, a broken leg will hinder you more than a sprained ankle – but many injuries will not prevent you from getting regular exercise. The key is paying attention to your body, going a little easier on yourself, starting off slow, and giving your body its needed recuperation time. Keep these in mind, and talk to your doctor, before getting back to your usual workout.


    This post was posted in Company

  • Low Impact Games to Play with the Grandkids

    Posted on July 6, 2014 by Core Products

    Becoming a grandparent is one of the greatest, and simplest, joys in life. You get all the benefits of children without being responsible for them! Of course, you’re not as young as you used to be, and keeping up with the young ones isn’t as easy as when you were doing the parenting yourself.

    With that in mind, here are a few low-impact games you can play with the grandkids to stay active without throwing your back out.

    1. Bocce – This classic “toss a ball” game isn’t too strenuous. All you need is a Bocce set and (preferably) a big yard. One person tosses the smaller ball, and then each player tries to get their set of larger Bocce balls the closest. Other variations on the same concept include Frisbee Golf and Lawn Darts.
    2. Dog Walking/Hiking – Nature hikes are great low-impact activities that have a number of benefits: getting outdoors, fueling your grandchild’s interest in nature, and good exercise as well. If you’re not within a convenient distance of any trails, you can always take walks around the neighborhood – double points if you have some canine friends to take with you.
    3. Swimming – Swimming is an excellent activity that can be as strenuous, or as relaxing, as you like. Kids love it, too. There are plenty of excellent water-related games, too – just no running by the pool!
    4. Tabletop Games – table tennis, billiards, foosball, and other table top games are fun, give you a little bit of a workout, and are valuable games for kids to learn – as it’s likely they’ll be encountering them a lot throughout life!
    5. Yard Work – Okay, so this one doesn’t sound as fun as the prior activities. However, kids need chores (even with their grandparents) to stay productive and responsible.  Raking leaves, trimming bushes, and other yard maintenance tasks can be done together with your grandkids. If you have a garden, it’s a great opportunity to find out if your grandchild has a green thumb (and put them to work!).

    Use these activities to spend wholesome, active time for your grandkids. You don’t have to be able to run a marathon or lift a car to perform any of these feats – just be prepared to have fun!


    This post was posted in Company

  • American Sleep Apnea Association CAP Program

    Posted on June 27, 2014 by Core Products

    American Sleep Apnea Association CPAP Assistance Program

    The program sources new and gently used CPAPs to put them in the hands of those who need therapy but don't have the means to pay for it or insurance that provides coverage. Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is the most widely used and one of the most effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, a life-shortening disease that is estimated to affect 22 million Americans.

    "The ASAA's CAP program puts life changing therapy in the hands of those who desperately need it." 

    Do you need a CPAP machine or know someone who does?  Core Products International supports The American Sleep Apnea Association and their CPAP Assistance Program (CAP) . CAP provides help for diagnosed sleep apnea patients who have no insurance, high insurance deductibles or due to financial hardship cannot afford this critical and life saving medical equipment.  For more information contact CAP@sleepapnea.org or visit www.sleepapnea.org

    What is Sleep Apnea?

    The Greek word "apnea" literally means "without breath." Sleep apnea is an involuntary cessation of breathing that occurs while the patient is asleep. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. Of the three, obstructive sleep apnea, often called OSA for short, is the most common. Despite the difference in the root cause of each type, in all three, people with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer. In most cases the sleeper is unaware of these breath stoppages because they don't trigger a full awakening.

    Left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious and life-shortening consequences: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, automobile accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel, diabetes, depression, and other ailments.

    Sleep apnea is seen more frequently among men than among women, particularly African-American and Hispanic men. A major symptom is extremely loud snoring, sometimes so loud that bed partners find it intolerable. Other indications that sleep apnea may be present are obesity, persistent daytime sleepiness, bouts of awakening out of breath during the night, and frequently waking in the morning with a dry mouth or a headache. But none of these symptoms is always present. Only a sleep study in a sleep laboratory or a home sleep study can show definitively that sleep apnea is present and how severe it is.

    Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. In central sleep apnea,  the airway is not blocked but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe.Mixed sleep apnea, as the name implies, is a combination of the two. With each apnea event, the brain rouses the sleeper, usually only partially, to signal breathing to resume. As a result, the patient's sleep is extremely fragmented and of poor quality.

    It is estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, with 80 percent of the cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea undiagnosed. OSA, which represents the great preponderance of the cases,when left untreated can lead to high blood pressure, chronic heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems; it is associated with type 2 diabetes and depression; and is a factor in many traffic accidents and accidents with heavy machinery, owing to the persistent drowsiness suffered by many OSA patients before the disease is recognized and treated.

    Core Products manufacturers a line of specialty CPAP pillows designed specifically to help CPAP users sleep better with their breathing devices.


    This post was posted in Company

  • Why Some Men Don’t Visit the Doctor (but really should!)

    Posted on June 23, 2014 by Core Products

    June is Men’s Health Month, the purpose of which is to “heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.” This may seem like a self-explanatory awareness month – we men know we’re supposed to go visit our doctor regularly, especially as we get older and risks for many conditions and diseases increase.

    So why the need for an awareness month? Well, some of the male species, it seems, won’t visit the doctor unless a limb is about to fall off. According to a 2011 study by the CDC, 26% of males 18 and over had not been to a doctor or other health professional in a year or more (the number of women, at 13%, is half that amount).

    There are several reasons men may not visit the doctor – but it’s crucial to staying healthy and can, in some instances, save your life.

    One reason men may not visit the doctor is, technically, they feel fine – so why bother? Unfortunately, feeling healthy is not always an indicator that you are healthy. Heart disease, cancer, high cholesterol or blood pressure, and sexually transmitted diseases, to name a few, are all conditions that you can have without experiencing symptoms. However, to stay aware of your own health and to prevent potential life-threatening conditions, it’s important to check for all these things. Early detection can mean the difference between life and death.

    Men may also forego doctor visits due to embarrassment – prostate exams or STD exams may be a bit on the awkward and uncomfortable side. However, doctors didn’t go to years of medical school and see hundreds (or thousands) of patients without growing used to the human body – this is just another day at the office for them. And, the minute or so of discomfort you may feel is preferable to having a serious condition that can affect your health, your sexuality, or the health and safety or others – so grit your teeth and bear it!

    The final reason men may avoid doctors is the “Walk It Off” philosophy – society trains men not to complain or show pain and vulnerability. While this may work okay for a bruise or a minor cut, it’s not an excuse for pains that could be a symptom of something serious – chest pain, for example, can be a symptom of heart problems. Don’t think that ignoring it will make it go away – make an appointment!

    We don’t want to shame you into visiting the doctor – but as an adult male, you should be taking responsibility for your health. An annual physical, and regular doctor visits when something is wrong, can help detect potential health issues and keep you on the right fitness track. Just think of it as routine maintenance on the most important vehicle you have – your body.


    This post was posted in Company

  • The Dangers of Overloaded Backpacks

    Posted on June 19, 2014 by Core Products

    Back Pack Lumbar SupportIt may be adorable when your kids strap on their enormous backpacks and head off to school – struggling toward the bus stop against the weight of their books – which, put together, roughly equals the weight of a few cinderblocks.

    However, research has shown overloaded backpacks can actually be damaging to our kids’ health in more ways than one. Their bodies are still in the process of growing and shaping, and their spines are still developing. Carrying around a significant portion of their body weight on their backs day after day is not a healthy routine. In fact, it can cause harmful changes to posture and result in back pain.

    Carrying a backpack that is more than 10-15% of a child’s body weight can have negative affects – the unnecessary weight will try to pull the child backwards, and as a result he or she may slump forward or arch the back, which is an unhealthy position for the back over extended periods of time.

    There are several reasons kids overload their backpacks. One is convenience – rather than stop by their lockers between each class to exchange the books they just used for the books they need, they may think it easier to carry around everything. Another is disorganization – rather than discard old papers, folders, and the like, they may just stuff everything, regardless of context, straight into their bag – while a few papers may not weigh much, this can add up to an overstuffed backpack over time. Finally, they may be bringing all their books home each day, because they may need each book for their homework that night.

    While teaching your kids proper organization skills may seem like a Sisyphean task, it’s worth the effort – not only will they be putting less strain on their developing spines, they’ll be learning valuable lessons on planning for the future.  To help promote organization and keep backpack weight down, there are a few things you can do:

      1. Run a backpack audit on a regular basis with your child. Identify any papers, folders, or other loose items that can be discarded or filed away. Make sure the things your kid does need are properly organized in folders and not loosely tossed in their backpack.

     

      1. When your kids get home, sit down to plan their homework for the night. Did they bring any books that are unnecessary to that night’s homework? If so, identify them and set them aside until morning. Over time, your child will begin to think about what they need to take home and what can be left in their lockers at school.
      2. Keep books at home – if there are books (such as homework assignment books) that your child does not need to bring to school, keep them at home. You could also keep an extra copy of some of your child’s books at home, so that they don’t need to lug all their texts from home to school and back again.

     

      1. Buy a smarter backpack. A lightweight backpack with padded, wider straps and a padded back are easier on the back. Backpacks on wheels are an option, as well (although these are more difficult to carry through snow, off road, or up stairs).

     

      1. Evaluate how your kids feel. Do they feel better with a much lighter load on their backs? Likely, over time, they will begin to see the benefit of keeping their backpacks lighter, and will adapt better organizational habits naturally.

     

    These tips can help your kids keep stress and weight off their backs, maintain proper posture, and develop better organizational skills. Establishing good habits as a child will promote better health as an adult – so if your child is coming home with an aircraft carrier-sized backpack, don’t delay – start correcting the problem today!


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  • How Support Belts Help Relieve Back Pain for Millions of Americans

    Posted on June 16, 2014 by Core Products

    According to the American Chiropractic Association 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any one time and according to WebMD, each year more than 100 million Americans experience back pain at some point. The result? A cost of $600 billion a year in medical treatments and lost productivity. There are many types of support belts that can help with lower back pain, and we often get questions on the difference between them – so here’s a quick breakdown:

    1. Sacroiliac BeltsSacroiliac Belts help stabilize the sacroiliac joint. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction can cause severe lower back and/or leg pain and can be caused for a variety of reasons. It is thought that an alteration in normal joint motion (either too much or too little movement) to be the main culprit. If the joint has too much movement, pain is felt in the lower back or hip, and if it has too little movement pain is felt in the lower back or buttocks. Our belts help address these problems and alleviate pain.
    2. Maternity Support Belts Many mothers feel significant back pain as a result of the weight of their baby. This pain is heightened and becomes a greater risk specifically among women who have jobs that require a lot of standing. When the muscles are overly strained by the weight, maternity support belts can come in handy as a pain reliever. They are generally simple neoprene belts that fasten under the uterus. Here are a few options that we offer.
    3. Lifting Belts Men and women in jobs that require heavy lifting often feel significant back pain. Lifting belts help to support the back when completing activities like lifting heavy boxes. The belt wraps around the waste and ensures the lower back is not as strained. Here are a couple options for lifting belts.
    4. Lumbar Support Belts Aside from just lifting belts, Lumbar Support Belts can be both neoprene and more heavy duty plastic braces. Many people need additional support when recovering from back surgery, strains, or disc pain and a Multi Brace can provide that level of support. These support belts are generally lightweight and have additional padding to ensure that weight is taken away from area of pain. We offer many types of lumbar support belts depending on the needs of the patient.

    These different types of belts can help relieve severe back pain and ultimately change the lives of millions of Americans. If you have any questions about if any of these belts could help you, feel free to ask us!


    This post was posted in Company

  • How We’ve Evolved – the Evolution of Posture

    Posted on June 12, 2014 by Core Products

    We’ve spent a large focus on our blog this month discussing posture, back pain, spinal health, and related topics. As we did so, we started thinking about the history of man’s posture itself. We have a wealth of information on healthy posture as it stands today – but how did upright posture in mankind come about? How did we become the lovable bipedal species we accept as commonplace today? Are we still evolving, or has our posture achieved its optimum potential?

    We did some digging and came up with a couple cool facts on the evolution of our upright position – we hope you enjoy!

    1. We are not that different than other primates. Almost all other primates can sit upright, many primates can stand upright, and some can even walk upright (briefly). Other primates, such as chimpanzees, have evolved towards an upright
    2. 2.     Upright walking helped human survival. Some of the survival benefits from upright walking included reaching low-hanging fruits and branches, freeing up hands for carrying food, supplies, and babies, and helping humans quickly traverse wide open spaces. The ability to stand upright also allowed humans to look larger and more threatening to predators.
    3. 3.     Human evolution is imperfect. Evolution occurs over millions of years, and some of the benefits listed above are the effects of our evolution to bipedalism. However, the process is imperfect. The effect of gravity on upright spines has led to back pains unique to our species, and injuries such as slipped disks, arthritis, and foot problems.
    4. 4.     We may still be evolving. Since evolution occurs over millions of years, it’s impossible to witness during the fact. However, things like disease resistance, the ability to digest milk, and our eye color actually point to the fact that we are still evolving. Time will tell – when our distant ancestors look back on us, they may point to our status to highlight the differences between us and them!

    Sources:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/human-evolution-human-ancestors-started-walking-upright-theory/story?id=16016294
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/07/1/l_071_02.html
    http://humanorigins.si.edu/human-characteristics/walking


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  • Five Tips for a Happy Spine

    Posted on June 9, 2014 by Core Products

    Proper posture is important for spine healthA healthy spine positively affects the health of your entire body – although it is often overlooked in favor of other pressing issues. People who have poor posture, spinal injuries, and other spinal issues can expect other problems as a result – including poor sleeping habits, a lowered immune system, and stress. Luckily, there are many ways to keep your spine doing it’s intended job.

    With that in mind, here are a few tips for keeping your spine happy. The better shape your spine is in, the more “well-adjusted” your body will be – pun intended!

    1. Staying active – for many of us, our first instinct is to slump on the couch after getting home from work. We’ll stay there until it’s time to go to bed, sleep, wake up, and go to work to sit in front of our computers all day. While this is the reality of a daily routine, it is not the best way to keep your body and spine healthy.  Staying active keeps your spine limber and flexible – so make time to get exercise on a regular basis.
    2. Eat Healthy – don’t neglect your diet. Maintaining a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables is important for your spine and your body as a whole. Combining your healthy diet with the aforementioned exercise will help keep your body at a healthy weight, which is important – excess weight is a stressor on the spine.
    3. Quit Smoking – Studies have shown that over time, smoking affects the ability of your body to deliver blood effectively to all your body parts – this includes your spine! A healthy blood flow is crucial to the discs in your back, which cushion your vertebrae – you don’t want a sluggish blood flow to affect your spinal health. Quitting smoking (or better yet, never starting) will help your heart pump blood effectively to your spine.
    4. Drink Plenty of Water – hydration is essential to keeping your body healthy, and this includes your spine. The discs in your spine can begin to shrink due to lack of hydrate. So drink lots of water throughout the day!
    5. Stretch – Ideally, you should be doing a few brief stretches every day. Stretching your spine is important to keeping it flexible – in addition, tight hamstrings can lead to back pain over time. Put together a stretch routine and perform your stretches each morning before you start your day.

    You can boost your spinal health, and prevent future spinal problems, with the above tips. All of these tips promote health in many other areas of your body, as well – so using these practices regularly can lead to a healthier you as a whole!


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  • Core CPAP Pillow Video Review

    Posted on June 5, 2014 by Core Products

    CPAP users' most common complaints are mask leaks and pressure point soreness. Those obstacles to successful CPAP therapy can easily be overcome by the use of a quality pillow designed for use with CPAP. Core CPAP Pillows make an excellent compliment to CPAP use by providing a comfortable but supportive surface to rest the head, while allowing a clean edge for the CPAP mask to extend beyond. This eliminates the interference between the CPAP mask and tubing and the bed pillow. We offer the CPAP pillow in three different loft choices, 3", 4" and 5". These lofts are for sleepers that prefer different elevation while sleeping. The 4", mentioned in the video below, is the most popular and most similar to the thickness of a standard bed pillow.

    Thank you Jonathan Joseph of www.ecpappillow.com for the great review of our 4" Core CPAP Pillow.


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