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Monthly Archives: July 2016

  • Four Common Osteoarthritis Myths

    Posted on July 26, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Arthritis affects millions of lives and comes in many different forms. There are over 50 different conditions that fall under the arthritis umbrella, with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis being the most common.

    Over 27 million Americans alone are affected by just osteoarthritis, so the chances are good that you know someone affected by arthritis, even if you don’t have it yourself. Common symptoms include joint pain, stiffness, tenderness and decreased mobility. The pain can worsen after activity and can be mild or severe.

    But despite the prevalence of osteoarthritis, there are still many public misconceptions surrounding it. Read on to find some of the most common myths about osteoarthritis and uncover the facts.

    Arthritis Only Affects the Elderly

     First, osteoarthritis is not an inevitable side effect of getting older. Although it’s one of the more common conditions affecting older people, osteoarthritis is not a foregone conclusion. More than half of people over the age of 65 don’t have arthritis!

    In fact, young people can get osteoarthritis too – even people under 30 years old. While joint wear and tear can cause osteoarthritis in older people, generally there is an identifiable reason for osteoarthritis in the young. For instance, injuries or physical overuse can lead to a younger person developing osteoarthritis.

    Cracking Joints Causes Osteoarthritis

    Cracking your knuckles and joints can be pretty pleasurable, even if others find it gross or annoying! But you’ve likely heard that this activity will lead to arthritis. If you’re a habitual knuckle cracker, you can rest easy. There is no conclusive evidence or research that has linked the two.

    In one notable case, doctor Donald Unger cracked the knuckles of only his left hand for sixty years, leaving his right hand alone. After sixty years, both hands were still healthy!

    Exercise Makes Arthritis Worse

    If you deal with regular joint pain, exercise might be your last priority. In fact, you may think your arthritis means you need to take it easy. But there are a number of reasons to keep regular exercise as part of your lifestyle.

    Being overweight can actually worsen your arthritis symptoms. Also, a lack of activity causes your joints to further weaken. To keep them strong and mobile, you need to keep using them. Low impact exercise like swimming, walking, or stretching can help keep your joints (comparatively) strong, healthy, and resistant to worsening arthritis pain.

    All Joint Pain is caused by Arthritis

    As we mentioned before, there are over 50 different types of arthritis, and joint pain could well be caused by one of them. But before you self-diagnose, you should realize that a painful joint does not automatically mean you have arthritis. You could have a tissue injury or one of many conditions that affect joints, including tendinitis or bursitis.

    If you’re experiencing joint pain, there are too many different possibilities for you to assume you have arthritis. In fact, what you have could be curable! Make an appointment with your doctor to find out what could be causing your trouble.

    In Conclusion

    Despite the common occurrence of osteoarthritis across the population, there are so many myths and mysteries surrounding it. If you or someone you know has arthritis, arming yourself with the facts will help demystify the condition. Luckily, through a combination of medical treatment, good physical habits, and products, arthritis is a condition that can be managed in a way that allows for a high quality of life.

     

    Sources:

     

    http://www.aol.co.uk/living/2016/07/19/arthritis-myths-facts-treatments-pain/

    http://www.everydayhealth.com/arthritis/joint-myths-facts.aspx

    http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/osteoarthritis-basics

    http://www.livescience.com/9729-knuckle-cracking-ig-nobel-prize.html


    This post was posted in Company

  • 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

  • Tips for Giving an Amateur Back Massage to your Partner

    Posted on July 14, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    There is a reason that people go to professional masseuses and massage therapists to work out their knots and stress points. Learning how to give a professional massage can take extensive training and years of experience. The fact is most of us aren’t naturals when it comes to giving back massages.

    But it’s not always practical for our partners to get professional massages. Time, money, and availability issues can all limit their ability to book a massage with the pros. Us amateurs may need a few tips on improving our massage skills to give our partners’ backs sweet relief. Make sure to try these next time you’re on massage duty.

    Positioning

    Oftentimes, amateur masseuses can tire out their hands and arms quickly because they’re in the wrong position. Rather than sitting next to your partner, have them sit on the floor or in a chair while you sit or stand behind and above them. This will allow them to adjust and stretch forward as you apply pressure using your body weight without tiring yourself out too quickly.

    Alternately, your partner can lie on their stomach, but this doesn’t allow as much opportunity for stretching.

    Start with Massage Oil

    Don’t neglect massage oil – in a pinch, lotion or other body lubricants will do just fine. Using oil will prevent friction and help your hands glide, rather than grind, across the back. Don’t just dump the oil on your massage subject’s back, however – that’s cold and uncomfortable. Instead, work it onto your hands before you begin. Make sure to apply more as needed.

    Be Firm But Gentle

    When giving a massage, it’s important to strike a balance between feather touch and crushing pressure. Depending on the reason for the massage, a little pain to work out tension might be good. But most of the time, firm pressure is enough. Try to feel the muscles beneath the skin move under your touch without making your partner flinch or cry for mercy.

    Technique

    Start with using your hands to position on each area of the back and rub circles with your thumbs alongside the spine (never apply pressure directly on the spine). If your partner is sitting, they can lean forward to stretch as you move down the back.

    Next, you can move into a kneading action. Don’t pinch or grab muscles. Instead, keep your fingers together and use your whole hands to apply pressure. Make sure to communicate with your partner to make sure you’re applying the right level of pressure.

    Use Tools

    Simple tools – such as the Omni Massage Roller – can be used in conjunction with lotions and massage oils, and makes deep tissue massage more comfortable for your partner. These are used by professional massage therapists, but are great for home use as well.

    Conclusion

    Chances are, your first massage won’t be perfect. But through practice, using good massage techniques, and most of all communication with your partner, you can become adept at giving amateur massages. Your partner will thank you as you help them relax while relieving muscle tightness or pain in their back.


    This post was posted in Company

  • 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

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