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Monthly Archives: July 2017

  • Seven Quick Facts for National Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

    Posted on July 25, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    juvenile-arthritisArthritis is a family of conditions that is often associated with older adults. But for many children and young adults, arthritis is an everyday reality. Nearly 300,000 American children have been diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, and the condition affects children and their families alike.

    July is National Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month, aimed at raising awareness of the condition and helping organizations advocate for the children and families affected. With that in mind, here are seven quick facts about juvenile arthritis.

    1. There Are Many Kinds of Juvenile Arthritis
    Juvenile arthritis is actually a blanket term that covers many different autoimmune or inflammatory conditions. While the different types of juvenile arthritis may share symptoms including pain, joint inflammation, and swelling, they can affect the body in distinct ways. The most common form is juvenile idiopathic arthritis, but other forms include juvenile lupus, juvenile dermatomyositis, and fibromyalgia.

    2. Juvenile Arthritis Can Affect Body Development
    Juvenile arthritis is particularly worrisome because it can hinder physical development as children grow and move through adolescence, resulting in smaller stature and even delayed puberty. In some cases, bones and joints can grow in uneven ways. In around 10% to 20% of children with the most prevalent form of arthritis, an inflammation of the eyes can cause visual problems.

    3. There Are Many Symptoms
    Symptoms can include joint swelling, pain, and stiffness, especially in the extremities. These symptoms may be worse after waking up. Other symptoms can include limping due to knee soreness, clumsiness, fever, persistent skin rashes, and swelling of the lymph nodes.

    4. Diagnosis Can Be Difficult
    Children may not report painful symptoms, and symptoms can be easily misdiagnosed or dismissed by parents as normal injuries or growing pains. There is no single lab test to diagnose juvenile arthritis, and diagnosis may require a combination of blood tests, physical examination, and X-rays.

    5. There Is Treatment, But No Cure
    Researchers are still working to find a cure for juvenile arthritis. The causes aren’t currently understood. Treatment for juvenile arthritis varies between the type of arthritis and the individual child. Many children need a a combination of treatments, which may include drugs, physical therapy, consultations with rheumatology specialists, and more.

    6. Activity Can Help
    The pain and stiffness resulting from juvenile arthritis can prevent children from engaging in some activities, but physical activity is still important. It can help reduce symptoms, strengthen muscles, and maintain joint function and range of motion. Most children with juvenile arthritis can participate in sports or physical activities when their symptoms aren’t flaring up.

    7. Things are Getting Better
    The treatment of juvenile arthritis has made leaps and bounds in the last twenty years. Advances in medicine, advanced imaging diagnosis, and many forms of treatment have provided a much sunnier outlook for modern children who are diagnosed with juvenile arthritis.

    This post was posted in Education

  • Everyday Ways to Reduce Muscle Tension

    Posted on July 19, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    tension-blogMuscle tension is a condition in which muscles stay contracted for an extended period of time. It can occur in any area of the body, but is very common in the neck, shoulders, and back. Over time, muscle tension can cause extreme discomfort.

    While many factors can contribute to muscle tension, one of the most common culprits is stress. If you’re experiencing muscle tension in your shoulders, neck, or back, there’s a good chance that stress could be a contributing factor.

    Luckily, there are actions you can take to fight muscle tension resulting from stress. Here are six:

    1. Get a Massage

    You probably can’t manage to get a massage every day. But a periodic massage is a great way to relieve muscle tension. A talented massage therapist can work out tense muscles, giving extra attention to the most affected areas. Massages can also help you feel calm, rejuvenated, and relaxed for some time afterward.

    2. Take a Yoga Class (or Just Stretch)

    Whether you take a yoga class or just do some light stretches in the morning, daily stretching can help relieve existing tension and reduce your vulnerability to tension in the future. And while you should always stretch and warm up before a workout, daily stretching can provide benefits no matter what you have planned for your day.

    3. Apply Some Heat

    Applying heat to tense muscles promotes circulation and blood flow, which can reduce pain and help your muscles relax. There are a few ways you can apply heat to tense muscles. One of the best is hot and cold therapy packs, which can be heated and applied to any part of the body. A hot bath is another great method.

    4. Use a Foam Roller

    If you frequent a gym, you might have seen members rolling out tight or sore muscles with a foam roller. But even if your muscle tension is strictly stress-related, you can use foam rollers to roll out the tight muscles in your back and shoulders. Foam rollers are inexpensive and easy to use, and you can roll out just about anywhere with a little floor space.

    5. Practice Good Posture

    If you’re hunching at your desk, slumping to play with your phone, or even sleeping the wrong way, you could be unwittingly making matters worse. At all times, practicing good posture can help you avoid further contributing to your muscle tension. When you sleep, the right pillow can help you maintain proper posture overnight.

    6. Relax

    Relaxation can help reduce the stress that contributes to your muscle tension. This doesn’t mean you have to quit your job and go live on the beach. Instead, find some time to do the things that help you relax. There’s no one right way to relax, and your relaxation methods could include mindfulness techniques and meditation, outdoor activities, reading, or just about anything else that helps lower your stress level.

    In Closing…

    Ideally, a medical professional should diagnose the cause of your muscle tension and recommend the appropriate intervention or treatment. But if your muscle tension is caused by stress, some of these techniques can help prevent or relieve that tension.


    This post was posted in Education

  • Use These Hacks to Sneak Exercise Into Your Daily Routine

    Posted on July 13, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    stairs-blogRegular exercise can help reduce the risk of health problems, improve sleep, increase energy, and even provide psychological benefits. But people with jobs, families, and other obligations may have difficulty finding the time to exercise while simultaneously meeting their commitments.

    The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. If you can’t carve out an hour to go for a run or hit the gym, you might want to sneak exercise into your daily routine. Here are seven hacks to work exercise into your busy life:

    1. Exercise When You Wake Up

    If you’re really ambitious, you can get up early to walk the dog or go for a long morning run. But even a short workout can help you get a good start to your day. Before you hop in the shower, you can take a few minutes to stretch, walk, or do some light exercises like pushups and sit-ups.

    2. Add Some Steps to Your Commute

    No matter how you commute, you can probably extend the time you spend walking. If you drive to work, you can park at the far end of the parking lot. If you take the bus, get off a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way. Finding ways to walk a little further will contribute to your daily exercise.

    3. Take the Stairs

    Stairs can help you squeeze exercise into your routine. Climbing stairs is a cardio workout that gets your heart and lungs pumping, builds bones and muscles, and could even reduce your mortality rate. Next time you have a choice between the elevator and stairs, take the stairs.

    4. Stand Up and Walk

    If you have a desk job, you should be taking regular breaks to get some exercise. Long periods of inactivity have been linked to a number of health problems including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Breaking up your time at your desk can help counteract this effect. Getting up to talk to a coworker rather than send an email or make a phone call can give you an excuse to leave your desk. You can set a periodic calendar or phone reminder to get up and walk on a consistent schedule.

    5. Exercise While You Watch TV

    If you set up a treadmill, stationary bike, or other exercise machine in your house, you can catch up on your shows while breaking a sweat. If that’s too expensive or you don’t have the space, you can do body weight exercises, lift weights, or stretch while you watch TV.

    6. Perform House Maintenance

    If you’re paying someone to mow your lawn or clean your house, you might be missing out on a prime opportunity for burning calories. Most chores require light to moderate activity, and some tasks like mowing the lawn or raking leaves can really make you break a sweat.

    7. Make Exercise Social

    When people get together with friends and family, the default activity is often dinner and drinks. While you may not want to replace this ritual, you could start mixing in activities ranging such as tennis, hiking, golf, yoga, or even walking around a museum. Exercising with a friend can make it much less of a chore.


    This post was posted in Education

  • Seven Ways to Relieve Your Pregnancy Back Pain

    Posted on July 5, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    preg-blogBack pain is a common side effect of pregnancy, with studies estimating that at least half of pregnant women will suffer from lower back pain during the course of their pregnancy. Sudden weight gains, a change in posture, hormones and stress can all contribute to back pain of varying levels of intensity.

    But back pain isn’t something pregnant women simply must endure. There are many ways to fight your back pain. Here are seven.

    1. Practice Prenatal Yoga

    Prenatal yoga is specifically designed to benefit pregnant women, and involves breathing techniques, gentle stretches, and relaxation. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the benefits can include decreased nausea and headaches, better sleep, and reduced back pain.

    2. Maintain Good Posture

    Poor posture can exacerbate back pain during pregnancy. Standing and sitting up straight without slouching can reduce the amount of pressure placed on your back.

    Even when you sleep, proper posture is important. Side sleeping is common among pregnant women for comfort reasons, but this position often doesn’t provide enough spinal support. A full body pillow can help maintain your spinal alignment as you sleep.

    3. Get a Prenatal Massage

    Prenatal massage can be an important aspect of a woman’s overall prenatal care. The American Pregnancy Association states that massage therapy can relieve back pain, reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and even improve birth outcomes for pregnant women.

    4. Wear a Maternity Support Belt

    Maternity support belts lift the belly during pregnancy, helping to provide welcome relief to backaches, abdominal stress, and pressure on the pelvis and bladder. These products lift some of the pregnancy weight, helping reduce the work your body has to do to carry your pregnancy. While they likely aren’t the only thing you’ll need to keep your back feeling 100%, they can play an important role in back pain relief.

    5. Hot and Cold Therapy

    Hot and cold therapy can help relieve strains and assorted aches and pains, including your pregnancy related back pain. Best of all, hot and cold packs are do-it-yourself, relatively inexpensive, and easy to use.

    6. Exercise

    Consistent aerobic exercise strengthens your muscles and increases your flexibility, thereby boosting your body’s resistance to back pain. While it’s not a cure-all, exercise does have transformative powers. For pregnant women, mild activities such as walking and swimming are perfect sources of exercise. And, exercising before you’re pregnant reduces the risk of experiencing lower back pain during pregnancy.

    7. Acupuncture

    Acupuncture is an East Asian medical technique in which fine needles are inserted into your skin. Studies have shown that acupuncture can relieve lower back pain symptoms during pregnancy, increase your ability to exercise, and reduce your reliance on pain relief drugs. While more research on long-term effects needs to be done, these studies are definitely promising and acupuncture is a widely accepted aspect of many medical treatment plans.


    This post was posted in Education

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