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Monthly Archives: April 2015

  • The Incredible Health Benefits of Yoga

    Posted on April 30, 2015 by Core Products

    Spring has finally arrived and, after months of being wrapped up in a blanket on the couch burning through Netflix series at an alarming rate, it’s time to get back into that amazing workout routine you followed so many months ago. Since you’re just coming out of hibernation, you need to gradually build your body back up to pre-winter condition. Why not start with yoga?

    The easy to pick up and adaptable practice of yoga has taken off in popularity over the past several years, and for good reason. People who practice yoga quickly feel both the mental and physical benefits. Everyone from professional athletes to senior citizens can attain the benefits and the enjoyment of yoga thanks to its ability to adjust the intensity of poses based on experience and desired outcome.

    Below are seven great health benefits from a regular yoga routine, which actually build upon each other:

    Better Flexibility: Over time, regular yoga can greatly increase your body’s flexibility while also helping to relieve those nagging aches, pains, cramps, and tight muscles that come with aging.

    Muscle Building: Yoga uses many muscles that normally go untouched during normal routines. The combination of increased flexibility while building muscle keeps your body balanced, helping prevent arthritis, falls in elderly people, and muscle pulls.

    Posture/Spine: Your spine needs nutrients, just as the rest of your body does, and these nutrients come from movement. Yoga’s many bends and twists, as well as back and core muscle focuses, keep your spine healthy and balanced, improving your posture.

    Circulatory/Cardiovascular: The various poses yoga incorporates increase your blood flow, and allow oxygen-poor blood to flow back to your heart and lungs to be oxygenated. This helps increase circulation in your hands and feet, ease leg swelling, help varicose veins, and even lessen the risk of heart attack and stroke.

    Immunity: Yoga regulates your adrenal glands and drains your lymph, both of which can have a big effect on your mental and physical health. This helps to fight infection, can destroy cancer cells, dispose of toxic waste, increase long-term memory, and help with depression. Additionally, the meditative elements of yoga have shown to boost immunity in many studies.

    Mental Health: One of the most important components of yoga is focusing on the present. Studies have shown regular yoga increases focus, memory, IQ scores, and reaction time. It might even make you happier as yoga leads to significant increases in serotonin levels.

    Sleep Better: Yoga involves varying degrees of stimulation and going between low stimulation to high stimulation, and then back down to low. However, all stimulation is done in controlled intervals and many people lack the ability to do so. Yoga provides a deeper understanding and control of your body. It teaches guided relaxation techniques providing downtime for your nervous system and possibly leads to better sleep.

    These are just a few of the many benefits of yoga. The goal of yoga is to be centered and focus on your inner self. With practice, moving from one pose to another can feel like you are simply on a flowing river of health and relaxation.


    This post was posted in Company

  • Proper Pillows for Sleeping in Different Positions: Part Three, Support Pillows and Combination Pillows

    Posted on April 27, 2015 by Core Products

    In a previous post we covered understanding the difference between the two basic types of pillows and dove into the various accommodation pillows available here at Core Products.

    Support pillows do just that – they provide support under the cervical spine or keep the body in alignment.

    These fiber support pillows come in all sort of shapes and sizes.

    One of the most popular is the Tri-Core Cervical Pillow which comes in three sizes. When lying on your back the lobe of this pillow actually creates proper support under the spine that will help deactivate muscles at night to let them rest as demonstrated in this video. When on your side the lobe of the pillow fills the gap between your shoulder and chin to keep you in proper alignment between your spine and the rest of your body again allowing those muscles to relax and decompress.

    A few other options include the Travel Core Cervical Pillow, the D-Core Cervical Pillow, the adjustable Air Core Cervical Pillow, the CervAlign Cervical Pillow, and the Tri-Core Cervical Pillow Comfort Zone Material. To see any of these pillows in action check out some of the videos on our YouTube channel.

    A Support and Accommodation Combo Pillow

    A few pillows provide both aspects of accommodation and support. One such pillow is the Core Deluxe Water Filled Cervical Pillow does both. This pillow can be used as a stand-alone without the water bladder. It has a cervical roll built into the pillow to give it a little more support for you neck if you’d like. The water bladder can be used independently or you could combine all of it together.

    The nice thing about the Core Products water-based pillow compared to other competitors is the indented chamber in the middle. Not only does it help with spinal alignment but it will keep water from moving around while you sleep.


    This post was posted in Company

  • Proper Pillows for Sleeping in Different Positions: Part Two, Accommodation Pillows

    Posted on April 21, 2015 by Core Products

    In our last post we discussed knowing the two different kinds of pillows before diving into the decision process.

    Let’s take a closer look at some of our accommodation pillows which, for the most part, are also memory foam pillows.

    Generally, accommodation pillows are created more for people with long-term conditions or a recent injury. We often hear these types of people consider support pillows to be a bit too much or too aggressive for their needs.

    Memory foam pillows allow people to get a good night’s sleep no matter what the cervical condition. The name says it all. These pillows accommodate by conforming to whatever a patient’s cervical situation is.

    The Double Core Select Cervical Pillow and Double Core Cervical Pillow let you select the support you need. The two lobes allow you to change the level of support you desire without having to change pillows. The Select edition allows you to swap out the color-coded lobe inserts on the fly as you see fit.

    Our Core Memory Foam Cervical Pillow conforms to the unique shape of your neck no matter how you fall asleep. This pillow will help alleviate neck pain and can cut back on snoring. Why not also give your partner a good night’s rest as well?

    Looking for a smaller, convenient travel option? The AB Contour Cervical Pillow is small enough to pack and the satin cover helps prevent unsightly face wrinkles and can help keep your hairstyle in place.

    If you’re looking for a simple pillow to support your neck in its most natural position, consider the Core Basic Cervical Pillow. This pillow helps alleviate tension in the neck and can help promote healing in individuals recovering from an injury.

    The Econo Wave Cervical Pillow allows air to circulate while providing support thanks to the waved surface (see here). Two lobe sizes offer different support levels when choosing this soothing pillow.

    View Part 1 of 3 in the Proper Pillows for Sleeping Series


    This post was posted in Company

  • Proper Pillows for Sleeping in Different Positions: Part One, Knowing the Different Types of Pillows

    Posted on April 17, 2015 by Core Products

    Choosing the right pillow for a patient’s needs (or your own needs) can be a difficult undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be! Everyone’s sleeping habits and sleeping needs are different so it’s important to start by understanding the different kinds of pillows out there in order to choose the right pillow.

    The main two types of pillows offered here at Core Products are accommodation pillows and support pillows.

    Typically, accommodation pillows are best for people dealing with a long-term condition or a recent injury. Support pillows are best for the average patient or person who needs extra support around their neck to get a proper night’s sleep. Support pillows create support under the cervical spine and keep one’s body in alignment.

    The next step after knowing the different kinds of pillows is even more important: choosing the right pillow. Doctors generally make a determination based on the cervical condition of their patient.

    If you are rehabbing an injury or have a long-term condition, try out an accommodation pillow. If you don’t have either of those, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

    -  At night, do you like to put your arm under the pillow?

    -  Do you fold your pillow or roll an end up?

    -  Do you often stack pillows on top of each other?

    You are subconsciously searching for more support if you’re doing any of these things. A yes response to any of these questions means a support pillow is probably right for you.

    View Part 2 of 3 in the Proper Pillows for Sleeping Series - Accommodation Pillows


    This post was posted in Company

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) could be the Cause of Your Chronic Back Pain

    Posted on April 13, 2015 by Core Products

    Ankylosing Spondylitis is a relatively difficult disease to diagnose that is often mistaken for back pain caused by mechanical issues such as injury. AS is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disease that attacks the spine resulting in back pain and, in some cases, pain to the shoulder blades, hips, and even feet.

    Rather than brought on by an injury, heavy lifting, or physical strain, back pain caused by AS is due to inflammation in the spinal joints, referred to as inflammatory back pain (IBP). In contrast, back pain caused by injury or strain is referred to as mechanical low back pain (MLBP).

    So why are you just recently starting to hear people talk about AS? It was previously thought to be a fairly rare disease, but has garnered more attention in recent years as doctors have discovered a much higher prevalence in the U.S. Current estimates predict that 1 out of every 200 adults in our country may have AS. If that estimate is correct, over 1 million Americans are affected by AS–close to the number of people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis!

    Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about AS:

    Q: What groups are susceptible to AS?

    A: AS usually affects younger adults, with symptoms starting to arise between ages 20 and 30. While it was prior belief that men were much more likely to have AS than women, new research has suggested that there is no gender bias.

    Q: What causes AS?

    A: It can be genetic, but most people won’t know if that applies in their case since the majority of Americans struggling with back pain resulting from AS don’t realize it’s being caused by a medical issue, and therefore are never diagnosed or aware of the disease.

    Q: What are the signs and symptoms of AS, and how do they differ from those for MLBP?

    While the pain may be similar or identical, studies have demonstrated some common disparities between patients with IBP from those with MLBP. Prolonged morning stiffness lasting over 30 minutes is a distinguishing sign of inflammatory back pain (although not determining). In conjunction with the disparity in morning pain experienced, IBP patients are much more likely to wake up very early in the morning due to pain in comparison to MLBP patients, while both groups studied were equally likely to wake up at other times throughout the night resulting from their pain.

    IBP also has a slower onset, whereas most MLBP has a very acute onset. Another strong indicator is improvement from rest and exercise. AS patients are more likely to report pain relief from exercise but not rest (which was actually linked with worsening the pain), while MLBP patients report the complete opposite (most experienced improvement from rest but no noticeable trend was found between exercise and pain relief).

    Q: Is there a way to medically test for AS?

    There isn’t a medical test per se, but a rheumatologist will be able to determine AS to a fairly accurate degree by evaluating x-rays, medical history, and blood work to test for HLA-B27. The majority of IBP patients in studies conducted tested positive for HLA-B27 (89.1% of sample), a protein found on the surface of white blood cells that helps the body’s immune system tell the difference between its own cells and foreign, harmful substances. In contrast, very few patients with MLBP are carriers of the HLA-B27 protein.
    Q: What is the treatment for AS?

    Common treatment includes medication, exercise, and in some cases physical therapy. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are the most common medications used to treat the pain and stiffness for AR. More recently, biologics (aka TNF Blockers) have demonstrated promising results for effectively treating the pain in the joints and spine. Aside from medication and exercise, practicing good posture and applying heat/cold therapy can help to reduce the pain and soreness.

    If you are under 45 and have begun experiencing chronic back pain that worsens with rest, you may have Ankylosing Spondylitis. Schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist to be evaluated for the other signs and symptoms to determine if your back pain is inflammatory rather than mechanical.

    Sources:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/art.21619/full#tbl1

    http://www.spondylitis.org/about/as_diag.aspx

    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003551.htm


    This post was posted in Company

  • Easy Ways to Go Green for Earth Day 2015

    Posted on April 9, 2015 by Core Products

    Earth Day is just around the corner and it’s never too early to start thinking about how we can lessen our impact on the environment and even improve our own health.

    Now, going green is easier than you probably think. Here are a few quick and easy ways to reduce you and your family’s environmental impact as well as your monthly bills! (Who doesn’t like lower bills?)

    Monitor water usage. Every little bit counts, right? Turn off the water while washing dishes or brushing your teeth. If you have a leaky faucet or toilet you could be wasting hundreds of gallons of water. If bottled water is a guilty pleasure, try an at-home filtration system instead to reduce the waste produced from all of that plastic packaging.

    Reduce how often you drive. Staying off the road one or two days a week will greatly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions you produce. If you have to drive around town, combine your errands into one trip to cut back on time and gas. Think of how much money you’ll save at the pump trying one or both of these!

    Commute without your car. Consider walking, running, or biking to work, class, or wherever else you need to go. This will reduce the amount of greenhouse gases you produce while also getting in some daily exercise (two birds, one stone). If walking or biking is out of the question, public transportation or carpooling are great alternatives.

    R-e-c-y-c-l-e, recycle. Recycling helps reduce pollution and cuts down on the amount of items that end up in our landfills. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of placing recyclable items in a different container or holding onto them for a little bit longer until you come across a recycling bin. When debating between two products in a store, pick the one with less packaging.

    Start composting. Composting biodegradable waste also helps cut down on the amount of amount of items reaching the landfill. Compost is a great natural fertilizer that’ll help lower your landscaping or gardening costs, too.

    There are SO many ways, tips and tricks for one to help out even just a little bit and get involved on Earth Day and beyond. We’ve compiled a few links with some more ideas below:

    http://www.50waystohelp.com/
    http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/a18573/ways-to-go-green/
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/22/easy-ways-to-save-earth_n_5168684.html


    This post was posted in Company

  • Natural Solutions for Allergy Season

    Posted on April 6, 2015 by Core Products

    While most yell “Yipee!” for spring being near, a lot of people start to groan because it also means allergy season is upon us.

    For some, allergies can be worse than the common cold and leave them feeling quite miserable. There are lots of medications to help but for every allergy symptom there is also a natural method for dealing with the discomfort.

    Allergy Symptom: Stuffy Nose

    Natural Solution: Neti Pot. A Neti Pot is an Ayurvedic medical treatment that has been around for a while. The Neti Pot uses a saline solution (distilled water and salt) to rinse the sinuses and keeps the nasal passage moisturized and clear. It can look strange using one but it can also be tremendously helpful.

    Allergy Symptom: Dry, Itchy Eyes

    Natural Solution: Spicy Food. A taste of wasabi will get those eye ducts open and help lubricate dry eyes. There are lots of over the counter lubricating drops as well that help.

    Allergy Symptom: Wheezing/Coughing

    Natural Solution: High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters help keep airborne particulates at bay and lessen breathable allergens in your home.

    Allergy Symptom: Chest Congestion

    Natural Solution: Peppermint herbal tea. Hot steamy peppermint tea can open up the chest and work as a decongestant and expectorant.

    Allergy Symptom: Sleep Problems

    Natural Solution: Sleeping can be uncomfortable and allergies can make you very drowsy. To ensure you have a good nights sleep, try a shower with eucalyptus drops to clear everything before you go to sleep. Also be sure you are aligned properly while sleeping which will help keep your sinuses draining properly and your breathing level. Try the Core Basic Cervical Pillow for optimal sleep comfort.

    Special Note: The buzz about honey and allergies. As the saying goes, if you eat a bit of wild honey native to your local area every day you can become inoculated against the irritating effects of pollen, which should lessen your allergy symptoms. Believe this if you will (and who doesn’t love a bit of honey every day?) as there have been no formal studies to prove this as effective. In theory, if you become used to your local bees’ pollen, you will possibly – over time –have less allergy symptoms. You also would have to consume a tsp of honey every day and like many other natural remedies it takes a while to build up in your system. Whether it works or not, it is not a quick fix or remedy if you are currently suffering from allergies. It’s best to start this method before allergy season is in full swing.


    This post was posted in Company

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