Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Having trouble decreasing your soda intake?

We all know drinking copious amounts of soda is bad for us, but even one soda a day can negatively impact our health. Soda decreases your hydration levels, adds empty calories to our daily diet, and can cause a myriad of diseases and/or syndromes.

For some great tips on how to kick the soda habit, check out this article on cnnhealth.com

image from www.mindbodygreen.com

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Are your running shoes shot?

One's body works more efficiently when their musculoskeletal system is balanced. In english, you may be able to run further and/or faster if you are breathing correctly while running and have the correct gear. Today's blog will focus on the shoes. Additional posts regarding proper breathing will come later.

Wear good shoes! Shoes shouldn't be considered "worn out" when they get a hole in them. The supportive structures of the shoe wear out long before the material does.

1) Take a look at the soles of your shoe, there should be plenty of tread. If the soles are looking a little worn, grab a new pair. You should also notice symmetrical wearing along the sole. If one is more worn than the other, your body is not moving symmetrically and, therefore, is not working the way it should be. If you notice this, physical therapist at CORE Services can evaluate this problem and work with you on restoring your mechanics.

2) The soles of the shoe should be supportive, yet have some movement. Grab the toe and heel of your shoe and give it a good wring and/or bend. Most of the movement should be from the ball of the foot to the toes, the midfoot should move just slightly.

3) Also, your heel counter should be nice and solid. To check this, try squeezing the area your heel sits in. Next, try to bend the back of the heel down in toward the opening of the shoe. The heel counter should be solid.

4) Different bodies need different shoes. There are four different kinds of shoes-

a) Minimalist.

This shoe is not appropriate unless you have never worn shoes everyday life. Americans wears shoes everyday for long periods of time. Our feet are not conditioned to walk without support, let alone run that way. Basically, DO NOT BUY THIS SHOE!

b) Cushion

This shoe is for people who have good mechanics and just need a little support. Chances are if you're reading this article, that shoe is not supportive for you.

That leaves our options as either a c) stability or d) motion control shoe. Stability shoes are for people who slightly pronate when weight bearing (low arches) while motion control offers a lot of stability for those with significantly fallen arches. Although clerks at running stores may watch you while you walk to see what your heel does, they do not have the training to know why your arches behave the way they do. While it can be a good place to start, if the shoes they recommended do not solve your problem, you need an evaluation by physical therapist. Notice the difference in gray foam near the arch in the pictures below.


motion control=

5) The most basic way to tell if you need new shoes is if a chronic problem returns. For example, if you sometimes have knee pain when running, and it's been (more) noticeable recently, chances are the supportive structures of your shoe are worn out and unable to do their job. 

If you have any questions or concerns with the information given in the article. Call CORE and set up an appointment. The PT will evaluate you and give you custom shoe recommendations as well as exercises if needed.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Can stress effect my pain?

We all know that stress is bad for us; it increases our risk for heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Did you also know that stress can effect your physical pain?

Our body doesn't know if you are stressed because you're being chased by a tiger or you have a rapidly approaching deadline for a major project; it reacts the same way. When you feel stressed your autonomic nervous system (ANS) is heightened causing increased heart rate, perspiration, and lightheadedness. From a musculoskeletal standpoint, your muscles will become hypertonic, or contract to a certain degree, without your knowledge. Again, since your body isn't sure what is actually stressing your system, it wants to be at the ready in case you do need to outrun a tiger.

If you're stressed on a regular basis, your ANS will "stay turned on" all the time. If you continue to live your life with a small amount of muscle hypertonicity (where your muscles are slightly contracted), you will no longer have normal mobilization of your joints. This can cause malalignments of those joints causing nerve compression and additional muscle spasm. Our bodies need to have muscles turn on and off in very specific ways in order to function in a biomechanically correct and pain-free way. If we are constantly trying to move around hypertonic/spasmed groups of muscle, we are bound to run into problems. Not only may you notice this as increased physical pain, you may also notice increased healing time or that you "just don't bounce back the way you used to."

At CORE Services, we offer physical therapy, biofeedback, and counseling services to help correct this dysfunction from all angles. If you feel like your stress is effecting your pain and would like to know more about how we can help, give us a call and set up an appointment!

For more on autonomic nervous system disorders, see the article here from the Mayo Clinic.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Waking with a headache? This may be why:

Many people typically wake with a headache that will eventually dissipate as the day progresses. While there may be many reasons as to why this occurs, at CORE Services, Inc. we tend to see this problem tied to sleep dysfunction.

A clear sign of poor sleep is snoring which may be the result of excessive adipose tissue around the neck, sinus congestion, or a temperomandibular (jaw joint) dysfunction. Snoring is a clear sign of an airway obstruction making the windpipe smaller, a person will do several things to make breathing easier.

The first thing is that the person will extend their head (causing their chin to jut out and eyes to look upward) to physically open up the windpipe. This puts the cervical spine in a hyperlordotic position and can cause excess pressure on nerve roots as they exit the spine. This may cause neck, shoulder, or arm pain upon wake. Additionally, this malalignment of the cervical spine also places the jaw joint in bad position which further squishes the windpipe and may eventually cause the jaw joint to dislocate.

A person will also begin using the accessory respiratory muscles (located in the face, neck, and upper shoulder area) to help pull air in through the airway. This may cause spinal malalignments, muscle hypertonia (muscles are active at rest), and nerve impingement.

All of these issues will cause a tension headache upon waking which typically presents behind one or both eyes, back of the head, and/or neck. If pain, clicking, or difficulty closing/opening the jaw are noted, it is safe to assume the jaw joint is being overly exerted during sleep and needs to be assessed right away.

If you believe you may have this problem, see a therapist at CORE Services, Inc for an evaluation. They will help to find the source of the problem, work on resolving the issue, and refer you on to other necessary health care providers if necessary. Not only will addressing this issue help with your headache pain, you'll also get better quality sleep leaving your more energized, and will inhibit further progression of the problem which may even save your life!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

No time to work out? Schedule it in!

Most people find that their schedule is not only full, it's overly full! Whether it's long hours at work, kids to care for, or simply too many chores, most people forgo a trip to the gym to make room for other activities.

"I just don't have time" is a common excuse for why people don't exercise regularly. The best tool to fix this problem: schedule exercise time! Whether it's two times a week or five, make it a priority to take care of yourself and your health. Make this time as long or as short as you need it to be for the moment - there's no shame in a quick 20 minutes of activity. Also, don't think that this time needs to be spent in a gym torturing yourself in a spin class. Start small! Start with walking, or taking a leisurely bike ride. Once this scheduled exercise time becomes more of a habit than a chore, start challenging yourself. Maybe make it a goal to run for half of your normally scheduled walk time, increase the overall time of your work out, or maybe just fit in another scheduled work out session per week.

Remember, you cannot fully care for another person until you care for yourself. Take some time out of your schedule a few times a week and you'll notice increased energy, better mood, and improved quality of sleep.

Now get off this blog, click on your calendar and start scheduling!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Year's Resolution...choose a healthier drink

January is a great time to make a resolution for yourself to improve your health.  Instead of soda, consider drinking milk or water.  Soda has no nutritional value and can add "empty" calories to your diet.  Drinking one 20 ounce bottle of soda per day can add 25 pounds to your weight per year.  Not only does drinking soda cause weight gain, it can also increase your risk for developing Type II Diabetes.  For more, see

So now you're telling yourself, "well then I'll just switch to diet soda."  While the research is not there to support diet soda as causing weight gain, some researchers think artificial sweeteners may cause you to have a preference for sweeter tasting foods which may cause weight gain.  Others argue artificial sweeteners may help people control their weight.  For more, see

I say, why not just have a glass of  water which we know is healthy?


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dehydration - not just a summer time concern

Dehydration can happen at any time, not just when it's hot outside. In fact, most cases of minor dehydration happen in the winter when we don't consume enough beverages to simply stay cool in the hot weather.

As a general rule, to figure out how much water intake you need per day, simply take your body weight and cut it in half. This is how many ounces fluid you need per day, 3/4 of which need to be pure water. (Ex. 150 lbs means 75 oz of fluid per day, of which 56 ounces need to be water. As for the other fluid, caffeinated beverages (energy drinks, coffee, soda) should not be included in your fluid total as they are diuretics and actually make you more dehydrated. Although teas do have caffeine, the amount is so low that they will not have a diuretic effect.

Try to take your fluids in a steady amount throughout the day to maintain proper fluid levels. However, you will want to stop or significantly tape fluid intake 2 hours or so before bed so that you don't wake in the middle of the night to go to the restroom.

How do you know if you're dehydrated? The signs below are taken from www.mayoclinic.com

Mild to moderate dehydration is likely to cause:
  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
  • Thirst
  • Decreased urine output — no wet diapers for three hours for infants and eight hours or more without urination for older children and teens
  • Few or no tears when crying
  • Dry skin
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
Severe dehydration, a medical emergency, can cause:
  • Extreme thirst
  • Extreme fussiness or sleepiness in infants and children; irritability and confusion in adults
  • Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
  • Lack of sweating
  • Little or no urination — any urine that is produced will be dark yellow or amber
  • Sunken eyes
  • Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn't "bounce back" when pinched into a fold
  • In infants, sunken fontanels — the soft spots on the top of a baby's head
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • No tears when crying
  • Fever
  • In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness 
Also remember that diarrhea, vomiting, excessive sweating and/or fever will cause you to lose fluids so additional water intake (above the recommended daily amount) is needed to maintain your hydration level. If you're not sure if you're well hydrated, look at your urine color. Ideally, your urine should be colorless or very light in color. Dark yellor or amber colored urine indicates that you need to take in more water.