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Education

  • Four Alternatives to Prescription Pain Medication

    Posted on July 19, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    If you have chronic pain caused by an illness, injury, or just bodily wear and tear, you know how debilitating pain can be for your everyday life. Not only does pain take a toll on us physically, it is mentally disheartening to be dealing with regular discomfort with no end in sight.

    Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain, and prescription medication can bring relief. However, you might be wary of relying on prescriptions to soothe what ails you. Pain medications can come with many unwanted side effects, including cloudiness, lethargy, and nausea. That’s not even mentioning the risks of habit-forming medication that can lead to addiction or overreliance on prescriptions.

    Luckily, there are some alternatives. They aren’t magic buttons that will instantly relieve pain. But they can help ease your pain without having to rely on medication.

    While once dismissed by doctors, “alternative” pain treatments have now entered the mainstream. In fact, the term alternative may need to be retired - doctors regularly recommend options other than medication for patients with chronic pain. For your specific pain, talk to your doctor about your desire to eliminate or limit your need for medicinal treatment and see what alternatives they might recommend.

    Below are just a few of the options you have.

    Physical Therapy

    Physical therapy is a great treatment for a vareity of painful conditions, including sciatica, lower back pain, and various injuries. While the last thing you may want to do is exercise, spending all your time on the couch will actually worsen your symptoms. Physical therapy can improve your posture, flexibility, and everyday mobility using common exercises and stretches that better prepare your body for the movements that tend to cause you pain.

    Massage

    The benefits of massage are enormous, and the treatment can be applied to almost any part of the body. There’s evidence that massage can help with pain caused by arthritis and neck or back injuries. Even if you take out the pain factor, massage is still completely relaxing and beneficial for our physical and mental states. With conditions ranging from injuries to cancer, patients who incorporated massage into their pain management programs saw lasting improvements – not only on their pain points but in their entire body.

    Massage therapists and professional masseuses can consult with you directly before a massage to discuss your pain and the best way to focus on relief.

    Acupuncture

    Acupuncture has become a widespread option for pain management. The research on it still hasn’t definitively told us how it works (one theory is that the needles stimulate endorphins in your body, reducing pain signals). Many doctors and medical professionals today recommend acupuncture.

    Acupuncture works by simulating points on the body with very thin needles that puncture the skin. This doesn’t typically hurt, but can itch or tingle. Acupuncture has most notably been referenced as a beneficial treatment for knee pain due to osteoarthritis.

    Products

    Last but not least, there are some excellent products on the market that can relieve pain without needing medication.

    Support products take strain and pressure off the painful body part. There are supports for the knee, the lower back, the neck, wrists and elbows, and much more. These supports essentially give your body assistance in completing its everyday duties – working, walking, climbing stairs - and enables you to perform these actions with less pain by taking the load off the area in question.

    For therapeutic products, hot and cold packs are versatile solutions that can treat all types of pain – headaches, muscle injuries, strains and sprains. By heating or cooling the affected area, hot and cold packs can reduce swelling, increase blood flow and provide relief. Check out our blog dedicated to hold and cold packs to find out which type of therapy might be helpful for your pain.

    Conclusion

    Medication is not always the wrong way to treat pain, and it can be an essential part of your pain management program. That said, if you want to supplement or reduce your reliance on medication, there are a number of different options – including more than we’ve listed here. Talk to your doctor about adding some alternative treatments to your pain management regimen – it just might be the right combination you need to live a much less painful life.


    This post was posted in Education

  • Sleep Studies: Why They’re Important and What to Expect

    Posted on July 1, 2016 by Core Products

    sleep-studyBy Brian Acton

    Sleep studies are an increasingly common tool used by doctors and sleep specialists to determine if their patients are having sleep issues. According to a 2014 statement by the Sleep Foundation, 45% of Americans report that poor or insufficient sleep affects their daily lives, and as much as 25% of the population may suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that negatively affects the ability to breathe properly during sleep.

    Not only is poor sleep tied to your health and happiness, it has also been linked to car accidents, workplace accidents, and other errors.

    With the increased attention on the importance of good sleep, it’s no wonder sleep studies are on the rise. Symptoms that may indicate you have a sleep disorder can include insomnia, excessive snoring, trouble breathing, and excessive tiredness during the day. If you have any of these issues, you may want to get your doctor to refer you to a sleep specialist for a sleep study.

    The Sleep Study

    Sleep studies usually take place overnight in a hospital or sleep center. You’ll arrive before bedtime and meet with a technician who will give you time to get ready for sleep – there may be a television or you could bring a book or magazine to help you unwind and relax. Be sure to bring clothes you’re comfortable sleeping in, as well as all the toiletries you’ll need before bed.

    Once you’re in bed, the technician will place sensors on your head and body that connect to machines that monitor your sleep patterns, oxygen levels, disruptions in sleep, and other measurements that determine the quality of your sleep. The technician will be available throughout the night should you accidentally remove any of the sensors or need to use the restroom.

    Some people may find that, in this very different environment, it’s difficult to fall asleep. Just try to relax and remember that you don’t need a full 8 hours for the specialists to accurately evaluate your sleep.

    There are also home studies – in which you take a much simpler set of sensors home and hook them up yourself – but the health professionals will be able to recommend the sleep study you need. You may also undergo a home test once you’ve been treated for a sleep condition to check on the progress of your treatment.

    What Sleep Studies Can Find

    If you have sleeping troubles, there are a number of different conditions a sleep study can diagnose. These include:

    • Breathing disorders such as sleep apnea, during which you stop breathing for brief periods of time or experience very shallow breathing.
    • Sleep movement disorders such as periodic limb movement disorder, during which your legs cramp or jerk during sleep.
    • Sleep disorders that lead to excessive tiredness, such as narcolepsy.

    What They May Recommend

    Depending on what the sleep study finds, there are a number of different treatments that may be recommended by your doctor.

    If the condition is not serious – such as light snoring that does not result in sleep apnea – your doctor may recommend healthy habits that can improve your sleep. These could include losing weight, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and other lifestyle choices that will improve your sleep quality.

    Other conditions may require medication or more intensive treatment.

    For instance, sleep apnea can be treated a number of different ways dependent upon the cause of the condition. Surgery is an option, as are oral or dental appliances to wear at bedtime. One of the most common treatments for sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which supplies constant air pressure to help you breathe steadily during sleep. CPAP machines fit to a hose that supplies oxygen through a mask that fits over your face. These machines can be uncomfortable or difficult to get used to at first – for that problem we recommend a CPAP pillow that helps CPAP users stay comfortable and keep their equipment fitted properly throughout the night.

    Conclusion

    If you believe you may have a sleep disorder, talk to your doctor and get a referral to a sleep specialist, who will most likely schedule you a sleep study. While the idea of sleeping in a strange place to be evaluated by sleep professionals might make you uncomfortable, diagnosis and treatment can bring you excellent results and dramatically improve your quality of life – both during sleep and in your waking life.

     

     

     

     

    Sources:

    http://www.cdc.gov/features/dssleep/

    https://sleepfoundation.org/media-center/press-release/lack-sleep-affecting-americans-finds-the-national-sleep-foundation


    This post was posted in Education

  • How to Use Foam Rollers to Relieve Pain and Muscle Tension in Your Back and Legs

    Posted on June 21, 2016 by Core Products

    By: Brian Acton

    Core Products Performance RollersA foam roller is one of the best ways to relieve tightness in muscles due to injury or exercise. This is because foam rolling facilitates myofascial release – a process jumpstarted when you apply pressure on muscle tissue. This process improves circulation, increases blood flow to the muscles, and breaks down tension that stems from injuries or exercise. If you go to the gym, you’ve likely seen people using foam rollers on their legs or back to rehab after a tough workout.

    Foam rollers are so appealing because they’re inexpensive and easy to use – all you need is the foam roller, your body, and a small area on the floor to get started. Here are a few of the best ways to use a foam roller to relieve tension and relax the muscles in your back and legs:

    For Your Back

    There are a few great methods for treating your back – whether it be for back pain or to release tension built up from exercise.

    • Lower back: Lie on your back with the foam roller resting beneath your lower back. Pull up your left leg and hug the knee, pulling it towards your chest. Now, putting your weight on the left side of your back, roll on the roller from just above your butt to your rib cage. Repeat this motion slowly 10 times, and then repeat on the other side. Do not roll directly on your spine.
    • Upper back: Move the foam roller up a bit from the last exercise to just beneath your shoulder blades. Cross your arms across your chest, and lay your head back against the ground to give yourself a good stretch. Hold this position for 30 – 90 seconds, and then move the roller up or down a few centimeters and repeat. You can continue this exercise by then moving your arms above your head and rolling the foam roller up and down your upper back. If necessary, you can place your feel flat on the ground and raise your knees to push and pull yourself along.

    For Your Legs

    • Hamstrings: Place the foam roller beneath your upper hamstring muscles (your thighs below your glutes). Cross one leg over the other and roll down from your glutes to just above your knee, then back. Repeat this process 10-12 times, then switch to the other side.
    • Calves: Bring the roller under your calf, keeping your hands behind you on the floor for support, with your butt off the floor. Slowly roll from below your knee to your ankle, working different angles and hitting all sides of your calf. Repeat this motion 10-12 times, then switch legs and do it all over again.
    • Thighs: To ease pain in your thighs, turn over so that you’re facing the floor, with your thighs on top of the roller, and your hands supporting you (your feet should not be touching the ground). Squeezing your abs, lift your torso up and roll the roller between your hips and knees, working sore spots. Repeat this motion 10-12 times.

    If any of these motions causes severe pain, you should stop immediately. Personal trainers and massage therapists can often provide specialized assistance for your specific body needs. Need a foam roller? Check out our complete set of performance rollers to set your muscles at ease and relieve back and leg tension. Or, if you have some smaller areas – such as wrists or elbows – that need extra attention, check out our mini rollers!

     

     

    Sources:

    http://morganmassage.com/2014/02/18/4-foam-roller-techniques-for-low-back-pain/

    http://www.prevention.com/fitness/strength-training/foam-roller-strengthen-muscles-and-relieve-pain


    This post was posted in Education

  • The Best Low-Intensity Cardio Exercise for Beginners

    Posted on June 16, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Starting an exercise program to get in shape or improve your fitness is a daunting task. It’s hard to know where to begin.

    Maybe you never made exercise a priority, and you’re ready to start now. Or, you’re getting back into exercise after a long hiatus - injuries, cold weather, and daily obligations that can put exercise on hold for months or even years.

    Ramping up your exercise program is a noble goal no matter the reason. But you’ll need to ease into your new lifestyle to avoid injury and overtraining, which can discourage you from continuing to pursue your fitness goals when you’re just starting out.

    Here are a few low intensity cardio exercises you can use to get into the swing of things without burning yourself out too soon.

    Walking

    Okay, walking isn’t usually that exciting of an exercise. You already know how to walk – if you really want to get in shape, you’ll want to jump into running, right?

    Not necessarily. Regular, brisk walks help provide a number of health benefits, including weight loss, better cardiovascular health, strong bones and muscles, and preventing or treating a number of conditions and disabilities. Walking is even a mood lifter.

    Plus, there are so many opportunities for us to increase our walking activity. You can take your dog for a walk, walk to the nearby store instead of driving, or go for a stroll when the weather is nice. All that activity adds up to a healthier you, and walking puts less strain and damage on your joints than running, making it easy to recover.

    Swimming

    Swimming for distance or time at a low or moderate speed provides enormous health benefits and burns calories at a rapid rate. If swimming for long periods is too intense, you can always scale down to treading water, water aerobics, or swimming short laps with breaks in between.

    Swimming is especially ideal for people coming with an injury or joint pain. That’s because the water supports your weight, minimizing the impact that may be sustained during exercises on land.

    Elliptical

    If you have access to a gym, an elliptical machine is an excellent tool for getting back into exercise. It allows you to emulate the motions of running while eliminating the impact on your joints associated with running. The exercise extends movements to your entire body, and studies have shown that people are performing more intensely than they actually perceive when on an elliptical machine.

    You can even adjust your stride – moving in a “backward” run rather than forward – to work out different muscles.

    Conclusion

    All of these exercises are accessible to people of all fitness levels, so there’s no barrier to entry if you are just starting an exercise program (okay, you will need to know how to swim to hop in the deep end of a pool). In addition, they all provide minimal impact to your joints, so whether you’re trying to prevent joint pain or manage joint pain, you’ll be covered. Finally, all of these exercises are scalable – by intensity, time, or distance – so you can increase the workout to fit your needs and to make more progress over time.

    One crucial thing to remember when getting back into exercise is that recovery is very important. Stretching before or after workouts will help you recover, and deep REM sleep is when our muscles repair themselves. A good cervical pillow can help you reach a blissful state of sleep that lets your body recover from all the work you’ve been putting in.

    Whatever your fitness goals are, getting started with exercise is a commendable activity and your body will thank you!

     

     

    Sources:

    http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/workouts/walking/wow-of-walking.php

    https://www.realbuzz.com/articles/top-6-low-intensity-workouts/

    http://www.builtlean.com/2012/04/20/elliptical-vs-treadmill/


    This post was posted in Company, Education

  • How to Reduce the Risk of Back Injury in a Physically Demanding Job

    Posted on June 11, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Millions of workplace injuries occur every year, putting the injured out of commission and costing both employer and employee time and money. To reduce the risk of workplace injury, most employers have safety guidelines and standards that their workers must follow.

    However, there’s no foolproof solution to prevent workplace injury, and when human error is a factor, employers can never provide a full guarantee that you won’t be injured at the workplace.

    Physically demanding jobs – such as construction worker, repairman, and grocery stocker – have a higher risk of injury, as the act of performing the job itself can cause injury if not performed properly. If you have a job that requires routine, demanding physical activity, working smarter in a way that reduces that risk is essential to keeping you safe on the job.

    Lower back injuries as a result of handling materials (lifting boxes, moving supplies, etc.) are one of the most common causes of workplace injury.

    Here are some best practices to keep your lower back safe as you lift and move supplies throughout the day:

    Make Your Workspace Back-Friendly

    Your workspace should be optimized for safety and functionality. You probably already use many commonsense safety practices, such as keeping objects off the floor where they could be a tripping hazard, unplugging tools that aren’t in use, etc.

    However, other policies can be enacted to make work easier on your back. For instance, if you are consistently lifting boxes from shelves, you should raise or lower those shelves to an ideal height that eliminates the need for bending or lifting boxes from the ground to reduce the strain you put on your back. Avoid storing heavy products deep in the back of shelves, where you will have to reach far to pull them out.

    If you move through an assembly line process when building a product, organizing your workspace so that you can move from step to step without too much manual lifting will also reduce injury risk.

    Identifying areas like these – where you can make clear environmental choices to reduce strain on the back – can help prevent back injuries.

    Lift Smart

    There are a number of ways you can lift boxes and supplies strategically to reduce the risk of back pain:

    The buddy system: If you have someone you can use as a lifting partner, you’re essentially splitting your lift in half.

    Use tools: Do you have access to a forklift? What about a wheelbarrow, dolly, or handcart? Anytime you can put heavy objects on wheels, you’re relieving your body from the strain of lifting those objects.

    Body position: When you must lift and carry an object using only your body, start with a wide stance, tightening your core. Focus on crouching with a bend in your knees, instead of bending straight at the hips. Keep your shoulders back rather than rounding them and hunching over. When you’re ready to lift, put the load on your legs, not your back, and lift the object close to your body.

    If it’s difficult for you to maintain good lifting posture, products such as lumbar support belts promote proper lifting technique and reduce the risk of injury.

    Before intense activity, make sure you warm up – a brisk jog or some stretches will help you prepare. Take breaks as needed and whenever possible, and be sure to hydrate frequently!

    Management and Staff Cooperation

    Both management and staff should have an equal interest in preventing workplace injury. Management is responsible for providing and promoting a safe workplace, but workers should be responsible for adhering to guidelines and even improving upon existing practices.

    Management should establish safety guidelines that take into account the risk of lower back injury, and optimize processes and procedures that reduce this risk. They should also provide safety training that specifically focuses on injury prevention to workers.

    Workers have a responsibility to work safely, but also to provide feedback or suggest improvements for better safety procedures.

    Finally, an injured worker must immediately report their injury to their employer in keeping with that employer’s safety guidelines.

    Conclusion

    Using these tips and policies, you can help prevent yourself and others in your workplace from being injured. Whether you work alone in your own workshop, or in a warehouse with hundreds of other workers, the fundamentals of safety are the same. Optimizing the workplace, lifting using best practices, and workplace cooperation can all help fight workplace injury and keep our backs safe and healthy.

     

     

    Sources:

    https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/inj_prev.html

    https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/ergonomics/


    This post was posted in Company, Education

  • Bone Fuel: The Best Foods for Bone Health

    Posted on June 6, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    One important aspect of aging comfortably is supporting the health of your bones. Not only are strong bones important early in life as you grow, they become crucial as you age. As you get older, strong bones can slow or even prevent conditions like osteoporosis, which results in brittle bones that can easily break under low stress or impact. Women over 50 are especially susceptible to this condition, and so it’s important – whether you have osteoporosis or not – to practice a diet that strengthens your bones.

    So how do you establish the right diet? You need to eat foods that are bone fuel – that strengthen, grow, and protect your bones.

    Calcium-Rich Foods

    One of the most important elements to include in a bone-healthy diet is calcium. Calcium is one of the major building blocks of bones, and a calcium-rich diet contributes to bone strength and density, while a calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis.

    Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium. Milk is one of the best sources, but yogurt and cheese are also great for providing calcium.

    One common condition – lactose intolerance – can prevent many people from getting their much-needed calcium from dairy. Not to worry! There are a number of great foods that contain a good dose of calcium without containing any dairy, including:

    Veggies: collard greens, kale, broccoli, and turnip greens are all great sources of calcium.

    Beans: White beans are a fantastic source of calcium, and can be added to many dishes, such as pasta, chili, and hummus.

    Canned Fish: Canned salmon and sardines provide a big boost of calcium and omega 3’s, and are delicious to add to salads and other dishes.

    Vitamin D-Rich Foods

    Vitamin D helps to support calcium absorption and processes that enable bone mineralization – in other words, the processes that makes your bones dense and strong. Vitamin D also helps bones grow, and without Vitamin D bones can become thin or brittle.

    While sunshine on your skin will help you meet your Vitamin D needs, many of us need to limit our exposure to UV rays to prevent sunburn and skin cancer. In addition, we tend to stay indoors in cold winter climates – and so, food sources of Vitamin D are important as well.

    The best sources of naturally occurring vitamin D occur in fish – specifically, the meat of fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Cod liver oil is a great provider of Vitamin D as well – you may have seen the supplements in the grocery store. As you move down the list of Vitamin D-containing foods, the drop-off from fish is significant – but there are many foods that come enriched with Vitamin D, such as orange juice, milk, and yogurt.

    Protein

    A well-balanced protein diet is beneficial to promoting bone health. Underweight and older Americans are often eating below the protein recommendations made by the Recommended Dietary Allowance. In contrast, the American diet is often too rich in animal-based protein.

    While the exact recommended intake is up for debate – and the role that protein plays on bone health is still debated – it is agreed that a diet of too little protein or too much protein can be harmful to bones. Foods that are rich in protein, such as meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy – can be harmful in excess. Essential to maintaining healthy protein intake is to balance these foods with fruits and vegetables.

    In Closing

    Diet is not the only way to keep your bones healthy – moderate exercise and sunlight can also go a long way towards bone health. However, diet is an extremely important factor, as it is a major source for the ingredients that help build, strengthen, and grow our bones. Making sure you get enough calcium, vitamin D, and moderate amounts of protein will help keep your bones strong and prevent or slow the onset of osteoporosis and brittle bones.

     

    Sources:

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/calcium-full-story/#calcium-from-milk

    https://www.nof.org/patients/treatment/nutrition/

    https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/


    This post was posted in Company, Education

  • Five Things You Can Do for Arthritis Awareness Month

    Posted on May 29, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Every year, May is recognized as National Arthritis Awareness Month – a time to focus on a condition that affects more than 50 million Americans and is the leading cause of disability in the country. Despite the prevalence of the disease, there is still much we don’t know about arthritis, and researchers are still working to find better treatments, prevention measures, and even a cure.

    Many Core Products customers live with arthritis – our products that ease pain or support movement have helped treat arthritis symptoms for many. Even if you don’t have arthritis, odds are good you know someone who is affected. As it affects such a large portion of our population, it’s in every American’s interest to help support arthritis research and the search for a cure.

    With that in mind, here are five things you can do for Arthritis Awareness Month to help promote arthritis awareness, support research, and help you live with your arthritis.

    Educate Yourself

    Did you know that arthritis can affect people of any age – not just people over 50? Did you know that there were more than 40 types of arthritis? Or that certain diets are believed to help treat or prevent the disease?

    If not, a great goal this month is to learn more. If your understanding of arthritis is limited, you could brush up on your basics; if you have a decent understanding, you may want to know some of the latest breakthroughs in arthritis research.

    A few great places to start:

    Get Involved

    You can help organizations that are dedicated to helping further arthritis research and treatment. By donating, volunteering, or fundraising, you can help further medical research and support the millions of Americans living with arthritis today.

    The Arthritis Foundation has a whole host of events and volunteer opportunities, and you can search them by your area to find the ones happening near you. There are walks, runs, biking events, dinners and galas – you can even advocate to help fight for arthritis issues with lawmakers at the state and federal level!

    The National Arthritis Research Foundation also has several opportunities to get involved.

    And, if donations are more your speed, most research and advocacy groups will be happy to accept your generosity.

    Talk to Other Arthritis Sufferers

    If you have arthritis, sometimes nothing is better therapy than talking about it with other people who are having similar experiences. There are plenty of local network groups out there, and even online support groups.

    If you don’t have arthritis, but want to know more firsthand, talking to a friend or loved one who has experienced it personally (and who doesn’t mind sharing details) is a great educational resource.

    Start an Exercise Program (and Invite Your Friends!)

    You can’t always control the symptoms of your arthritis, but you can choose a lifestyle that will ease those symptoms. Old fashioned physical activity is one of the best ways to improve pain, range of motion, and quality of life. Exercise can also help boost your mood and lose weight.

    Depending on your current level of activity, there are a number of different ways to get started – but simple walking and muscle strengthening activities are great for the uninitiated. To start, check out some of these fitness programs for people with arthritis.

    Speak to Your Doctor

    If you currently experience arthritis, you should have a regular doctor you can rely upon to discuss concerns such as pain management and treatment, as well as living with and managing your disease. A medical professional that can provide regular guidance is very important for people with arthritis.

    If you don’t have arthritis, but want to know how you can reduce your risk of developing a condition, your general practitioner should be able to point you in the right direction.

    In Closing

    However you choose to spend National Arthritis Awareness Month, we urge you to take a step that improves your own lifestyle or helps improve the lives of others. Together, we can move toward better treatments, better arthritis management, and ultimately a cure.

     

    Sources

    http://www.arthritis.org/

    http://www.cdc.gov/


    This post was posted in Company, Education

  • How Proprioceptive Support Helps your Joints Get Back into the “Spring” of Things

    Posted on May 20, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Now that spring is fully upon us, we’re all ready to stop hiding indoors and resume outdoor activity, exploring and enjoying the warmer weather. Sports, yard work, casual walks around the neighborhood – whatever your warm weather activity is, you’ve likely had to reduce it over the colder months, and now you’re ready to get back into it. But after a long winter, your joints and muscles may be a little rusty and you need some help getting active without injuring or straining your body.

    With proprioceptive products – such as ankle, knee and elbow, or wrist supports and wraps – you can more easily resume activity without causing your body undue stress and pain.

    What is Proprioception?

    Proprioception is the sense that allows us to move our limbs without consciously thinking about it. Without looking at our limbs, we know where they physically exist in space. Essentially, proprioception is your awareness of your limbs and joints. This sense is also tied to your body’s coordination, and is essential to physical activity.

    Consider the seemingly simple act of walking. You swing your arms for balance, move your legs to propel yourself forward, and even adjust your gait on the fly to avoid obstacles or change your speed. Now imagine if you had to think about each one of these movements every time it happened, and check on the position of your limbs each time you moved them. It would be much more complicated!

    The proprioceptive system is made up of nerves that exist in your muscles, joints and ligaments that send signals to your brain. These sensors also detect tension and your brain can react by contracting or relaxing your muscles accordingly, thereby avoiding strain or injury

    How Proprioception can be Damaged


    Several conditions that affect joints and muscles – including musculoskeletal diseases, arthritis, or injuries such as a sprained ankle – can affect our ability to efficiently manipulate our joints, move our limbs, and avoid injuring ourselves.

    For those with recent injuries, ongoing conditions, or who simply have gotten rusty over winter, getting back into an active lifestyle can be difficult. Damaged or out-of-practice joints that are resistant to the movements we want to start doing can hinder a sudden shift into frequent activity.

    How Supports Can Help

    Proprioceptive support allows weak or injured joints to move freely with effective joint control. Wraps and supports come for a variety of body areas – including the knee, elbows and wrists, and ankles. These products are designed to bolster the strength of the movement area, while improving your ability to sense the position and movement of your joints.

    For instance, the Wraparound Neoprene Knee Support is used for runner’s knee, post-surgery recovery, and other afflictions of the knee. The support allows those with injured or weak knees to effectively move even with weakened knee mobility or strength.

    Another example – the Nelmed Ankle Wrap – is a lightweight wrap that provides ankle support and can be worn for everyday use and activity that could contribute to the sprain. The wrap protects and prevents ankle injury, and can actually improve proprioceptive sensation – meaning you can have just as much control and sensation over your movements as ever, but with support that prevents injury after resuming outdoor activity.

    Conclusion

    If you’re worried about getting back into frequent physical activity – whether due to limited winter movements or specific conditions and injuries – supports and wraps can help your limbs at the point of movement. Whether it’s your wrists, ankles, knees, or elbows, Core Products literally has you covered and can provide your joints and muscles support while encouraging a full proprioceptive range of motion. Check out our full list of extremity supports to see what products will help you get out and about this spring!

     

    Sources:

    http://brainblogger.com/2009/06/09/what-is-proprioception/


    This post was posted in Education

  • How Hot and Cold Therapy Treats Pain and Injuries

    Posted on May 13, 2016 by Core Products

    By: Brian Acton

    Hot and cold therapy can provide nearly instant relief to discomfort and problems caused by pain and injury. While hot and cold therapy has no miraculous healing power, it does provide relief to pain and discomfort, helping us move on from injuries and recuperate or recover more comfortably.

    By doing so, ice and heat packs provide pain management and regenerative benefits that can help you keep moving!

    Which form of therapy you use depends primarily on the nature of your issue.

    Cold Therapy

    Cold therapy – for instance, using cold packs or ice – is best for recent injuries that have caused pain, swelling, or inflammation. If you have just pulled a muscle or injured yourself, the body rapidly responds by becoming inflamed, which causes pain, redness, and swelling. This is a natural response to injury. The pain is a direct result of the swelling in your injured area.

    Other forms of pain cold therapy can treat are arthritic joint pain accompanied with swelling, headaches, and soreness after workouts.

    By applying ice or cold packs to the affected area, you numb the pain and narrow the blood vessels, thereby slowing blood flow and reducing fluid buildup. This results in two benefits: less pain and less swelling.

    Cold therapy should only be a temporary treatment for a new issue. You should not apply cold therapy to chronic neck and back pain injuries or stiff and inflexible joints as this can actually make the issues worse.

    Hot Therapy

    Hot therapy is appropriate for treating persistent, recurring pain and for injuries that are older than a day. Recurring muscle pain, neck and back pain, stress, and older injuries can all be treated by hot therapy. Arthritic pain that causes stiffness and soreness, cramping, and tight backs are all examples of the type of pain best treated by hot therapy.

    Heat therapy works by relaxing your muscles. It stimulates, rather than slows, blood flow, reduces muscle spasms, and soothes muscles, allowing a better range of motion. This is why hot packs are appropriate for stiffness and soreness.

    You should not apply heat therapy to inflamed or swollen areas, as the heat can increase blood flow and actually worsen the swelling.

    Conclusion:

    To sum it up, a good rule of thumb is to use cold therapy to treat recent injuries where you are experiencing inflammation or sudden pain. Use hot therapy to relieve chronic pain, stiffness or soreness, or older injuries that are no longer inflamed.

    To provide both forms of therapy, our CorPaks can be cooled in the freezer or warmed in the microwave, and applied directly and comfortably to the affected body area. By knowing the right type of therapy to use, you can better treat your pain, swelling, or soreness the next time you need quick relief.

     

    Sources:

    http://www.everydayhealth.com/arthritis/heat-and-cold-therapy.aspx

    http://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-pain/treating-pain-with-heat-and-cold#Cold3

    https://www.painscience.com/articles/ice-heat-confusion.php


    This post was posted in Company, Education

  • How Pillows Promote Proper Sleeping Positions

    Posted on April 28, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    As we’ve noted before, the position in which you sleep can have a dramatic effect on your sleep quality and whether you get a good night’s rest. Your sleep position also affects many other areas of your health, including your spine, neck, and posture.

    Poor sleeping positions can lead to stiff necks, spinal problems, and even chronic conditions over time. What’s more, chronic poor sleeping patterns can lead to irritability, increased stress, a decreased immune system, and other complications.

    Primarily, the recommended sleep positions are on your back and on your side. Sleeping on your back is good for your spine and neck but can contribute to snoring. Sleeping on your side supports the spine and can alleviate snoring. The downside is that side sleeping can contribute to heartburn and pressure on your organs.

    Whether you’re a back or side sleeper, our line of cervical pillows are designed to encourage healthy sleeping positions, providing you a good night’s rest, reducing pain and soreness, and otherwise diminishing the stress and discomfort in your daily life that is caused by a lack of proper sleep.

    So how exactly do pillows help us sleep properly? There are a few ways:

    Support Pillows

    Our support pillows - like the Tri-Core Cervical Pillow – enforce good sleeping positions by providing firm, reliable support to your neck and back. They are correctional in nature – meaning they help correct posture that can cause headaches, neck and joint strains, and other forms of spinal pain. They also help the sleeper maintain proper sleeping posture and prevent the recurrence of pain or poor sleeping positions.

    When you sleep on your back, support pillows are there to provide relief to your muscles and neck and lending support so that your body doesn’t have to do all the work. As a result, your muscles get their needed rest and your spine is properly aligned.

    If you sleep on your side, support pillows fill in the gap that is normally created between your chin and your shoulder and properly aligns your spine.

    Our pillows have both a depressed center for back sleepers and raised sides for side sleepers, and so you’re always covered even if you shift between both positions.

    Accommodation Pillows

    Accommodation pillows provide a different service. Those with long term conditions or recent injuries should try accommodation pillows, as they conform to the cervical condition of the sleeper.

    These pillows provide support less aggressively than support pillows, and generally work for pain relief or sleepers who do not need posture correction. The sleeper can get a good night’s sleep no matter their condition because pain is lessened through the contour of the pillow.

    Support AND Accommodation

    For sleepers that need both support and accommodation, the Core Deluxe Water Pillow satisfies both needs. The pillow can be used standalone, but also contains a water bladder that can be used for adjustable support or inserted into the pillow to provide additional neck support for the best of both worlds.

    Conclusion

    Pillows are personal, and they must be chosen with your specific needs in mind. However, the difference they can make for your sleep quality and sleeping position is tremendous. If you still need help picking the right pillow, feel free to give us a call!


    This post was posted in Company, Education

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