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  • Paralyzed Man Moves Hand after Successful Brain Chip Surgery

    Posted on August 18, 2014 by Core Products

    Earlier this year, surgeons and engineers collaborated on a surgery to implant a chip on the surface of a paralyzed man’s brain. The goal and hope was to for him to regain control and movement in his hand.

    It looks as if this sci-fi story is turning into reality. With a cord coming from the top of his head (plugged into the chip on his brain), in something that looked like it was out of The Matrix movie franchise, Ian Burkhart moved his hand for the first time in four years.

    This paralyzed man moved his hand using only his thoughts and the electrodes wrapped around his arm. Doctors and engineers circumvented his broken spinal cord by picking up electrical signals from the brain (via the implanted chip), passing those signals through a computer, and firing electrical pulses to stimulate the muscles in the man’s forearm using an electrode sleeve. The researchers at Battelle are calling it the Neurobridge and you can check out how it works here.

    The technology is a few years away from practical use but it’s an important first step in the process of helping paralyzed persons gain back their independence. This is an exciting time for a company like ours; one that manufactures products intended to give people a higher quality of life by making their lives more comfortable and pain-free.

    The future possibilities for our field are endless at this point. We look forward to following Ian’s story as well as other advances in the medical field in the near future. What once was deemed impossible is now reality. From neck pillows to back support belts and from specialty pillows to ankle braces, Core Products remains committed to making your life more comfortable.


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  • Golfing with a Sore Back

    Posted on August 14, 2014 by Core Products

    Lower back pain is a common golf injury. It’s also a cause of great frustration for any chronic back pain sufferers as it may prevent them from playing the game they love.

    If you’re dealing with back pain after golfing try to determine if it’s something sharp and specific (an indication of a severe injury), a chronic, nagging pain, or simply pain from either a lack of conditioning or a lack of golf. If you only play golf once a month there’s a good chance you’ll be sore for the next few days or even the entire next week. If this is the case, proper conditioning for playing golf is the best thing one can do.

    Focus on three things to help prevent lower back pain while golfing: mobility, stability, and strength. Below are some tips on how to get back into the swing of things

    1. Stretch and warm up: Going straight from the clubhouse to the tee box without properly stretching or warming up is not a good idea. A lot of people may like to just ‘grip it and rip it’ but if you’ve hurt your back in the past or are dealing with some lower back pain this is not advised.
    2. Condition your body. Body conditioning will strengthen your core, back, arms, and legs. Strength training and/or yoga will increase your body control and help cut down on the amount of violence in your golf swing – a leading cause of back pain in golfers.
    3. Ease back into golfing and don’t push yourself. If you’ve been off the golf course due to back pain (and not just an errant tee shot), start out on the driving range. It’s important to understand you might lose some distance on your swing. Additionally, if you can only play a few holes when getting back out there, so be it.
    4. Smartly carry your golf bag. It’s not just your swing that could cause pain. Consider using a rolling cart bag or forego walking the course and start using a golf cart to get around.
    5. Stand closer. Standing a few inches closer to the ball improves your center of gravity and will help keep your back aligned throughout your swing.

    It’s possible to play golf pain-free. This article from Golf Digest (http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-instruction/2010-03/save-your-back-foley) does a great job of showing you how to properly swing your club to reduce pain and stress on your back.


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  • Correct Weightlifting Posture

    Posted on August 11, 2014 by Core Products

    Correct posture while weightlifting increases its effectiveness and helps prevent injuries. When we’re weightlifting our goals are all pretty much the same whether it’s to gain strength or lose weight. We’re in it to get/stay in shape and lead a healthy lifestyle.

    In order to maximize the results from our efforts it’s important to maintain correct posture while weightlifting. It’s especially important for avoiding injuries. If we hurt ourselves weightlifting there’s a good chance we’ll need to rest and remain inactive while we recover – not an ideal scenario.

    There is a plethora of articles and videos available online to assist us on how to achieve correct weightlifting posture. It’s a great entryway to increase your weight training knowledgebase. However, the best way to learn when starting out is to employ the services of a knowledgeable trainer at your local gym. You don’t have to hire them as your full-time trainer, but working with a trainer once in a while is a good idea to make sure your form is spot on (unless, of course, you want a personal trainer every time you lift). Even if you’ve been weight training for years it’s a good idea to occasionally work with a trainer to check your technique and make adjustments as needed.

    There are a few important tips no matter what type of weightlifting you’re doing to maintain proper posture other than just good form:

    1. Warm up
      Before doing any sort of weightlifting it’s important to do a few minutes of aerobic exercise to increase blood flow to your muscles. Lifting with cold muscles can lead to serious strains, pulls, and even tears.
    2. Proper weight
      It is much easier to maintain proper weightlifting form and technique with a weight you can manage than with a higher weight you struggle to lift.
    3. Breathe
      This sounds easy as it is something you do on a daily basis without thinking. However, many people tend to hold their breath while weightlifting. Exhale when lifting the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    If you experience pain while weightlifting heed the warning. Stop what you’re doing and try again another day. The old adage “no pain, no gain” is somewhat true but lifting through pain – the kind that is sharp or lingers – is a bad idea. Read our post here about playing/lifting through pain and when to shut it down. Stay smart about what your body tells you. Weightlifting is one of the best activities for a healthy lifestyle. Don’t limit what you can do by practicing poor technique.


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  • Back Injuries and Sex: A Few Tips for Getting Back into the Groove

    Posted on August 1, 2014 by Core Products

    For some, back injuries are completely debilitating. It doesn’t matter if it’s affecting your work or your leisure activities. Either way, your life isn’t quite the same. You can say something similar about what happens in the bedroom. Injuring your back can seriously put you and your partner’s sex life in a funk.

    Having sex after a back injury can be a difficult time. The injured person may be timid, afraid of hurting it or aggravating the same injury. It might also cause pain while in the act. Sex is an integral part of any relationship and you don’t want a back injury to get in the way.

    Communication is important. The best thing for you to do is be open and honest about your back pain. It’s a much better idea to discuss what’s going on than not explaining the situation of what you’re not able to have sex. This rings true for discussing back pain and sex with your doctor.

    Relax and don’t rush the process. Make yourself comfortable. Pillows are a great way to assist in positions that cause back pain. Lying on one’s back causes a lot of stress. Placing a pillow under your lower back can help relieve that stress and your pain. Another option for this is to give each other massages before engaging in sex. Not only will you help relieve each other’s pain, you will loosen up the muscles around the areas causing back pain.

    Another alternative is to try a different location other than bed. Many sites recommend engaging in sex on a chair for those who suffer from back pain. The goal is to relieve pressure wherever you’re experiencing pain. Trying sex in different positions can also achieve this goal.

    Working on your stabilizer muscles is another great way to help relieve your pain and attempt to prevent future pain. Core exercises are extremely helpful in this regard. Yoga is another great way to strengthen and stabilize your back/abs.

    If you ever experience back pain of any type please visit your doctor. The above tips are merely a guideline and not intended to replace the advice and knowledge of a medical professional.


    This post was posted in Company

  • 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.


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  • 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!


    This post was posted in Company

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