National Sleep Awareness Week

Sleeping is unavoidable and helps as person “recharge” after a long day! It’s the one thing most of us look forward to at the end of the night. With the proper amount of sleep awareness, people can be better prepared to reach their personal and professional goals. In contrast, without sleep people can become exhausted and unable to function to their highest ability. Sleep Awareness - Pillow

Sleeping takes up a good portion of time. The average adult will sleep around 6 to 8 hours a day to feel rested and ready for the next day. If you add those hours up, about one third of our entire life time is spent sleeping. This amount of time devoted to sleep is a clear indicator of how important proper sleep is to general health.

After good nights sleep, individuals are more likely to succeed in what they want to do in life. Personal, professional, and family goals can become easier to obtain through a clear mind after sleep. For some people, sleep does not come easy. Whether it’s from personal choice, or through a condition known as insomnia, staying up all night and taking less than 6 hours to sleep can be detrimental to health.

This week the National Sleep Foundation is celebrating Sleep Awareness Week. It starts March 11th and runs to March 17th this year. They are launching a “Begin with Sleep” campaign to make more people aware of how important sleep is to the human body. If you have issues with sleeping, consult with your doctor today to see the best solutions for you.

To see how you can begin with sleep, click here.

Article written by William Graves.

Patient Safety Awareness Week

This week (Mar. 11-17) marks Patient Safety Awareness Week. This week is designed to encourage awareness about patient safety among the public and healthcare professionals. Patient safety is a fundamental principle of health care. What makes patient safety so essential to health care is the fact that health care is all about caring for the patient. If the patient is not in good hands, then health care would crumble. Health care is a billion-dollar industry and with good reason. People want to stay healthy and it is up to the doctor’s professional opinion and supervision for that to really happen. Being conscious of patient safety helps doctors, nurses and all other health care professionals practice safer medicine.

To provide better patient safety, it is important to get a product that is very safe and reliable. For those health care professionals who need aid in lifting, ambulating or transferring patients – the FabLife™ Gait Belt is for you. This gait belt can safely help caregivers transfer patients to where they need to be. Its metal belt buckle adds an extra layer of security to securely fasten the patient in. Using a gait belt can give caregivers peace of mind when transferring patients as their patients are less likely to fall or become injured. Patient Safety - Gait Belt

Another aspect of patient safety is to ensure patients have the proper tools for when caregivers are not around. Some patients need caregivers to reach for certain items for them, but caregivers are not always around to provide help. Patient Safety - Reaching AidTo stop the patients with limited range-of-motion from becoming injured the FabLife™ Reaching Aid is a great product to have. The FabLife™ Reaching aid only requires the patient to push down on the finger trigger, to grip items that are normally out of reach. Its open jaw is assisted with a magnetic tip to grab items such as keys and other items made of metal. A reaching aid can go a long way in preventing falls or other patient injuries.

Patient safety is an important component to health care. Taking care of patients and making sure they are safe should be the number one priority for all health care professionals. One way to ensure patient safety is to have the proper tools on hand to provide patients care. To see if the FabLife™ Gait belt or Reaching aid is right for you please consult with your therapist or specialist today.

To check out our FabLife™ Reaching Aids, click here.

To check out the FabLife™ Gait Belts, click here.

For more information of patient safety, click here.

Article written by William Graves.

Fascia Training with the Actiball® Relax Thermo

The word fascia is a widely used term in the physical therapy world, originating from the Latin word meaning “band or bundle”. Actiball® Relax Thermo Fascia is a band or sheet of connective tissue made up of mostly collagen that is found beneath the skin. It attaches, stabilizes, encloses and separates muscles and other internal organs. This sheet of tissue has a direct connection to the autonomic nerve system and can be influenced by the state of mind. As such, fascia injury could be incurred due to elevated stress levels. To prevent injury from happening, it is important to relax and train your fascia.

Fascia training refers to activities and movement exercises that are intended to improve the function of the muscular connective tissues. With the TOGU® Actiball® Relax Thermo, you can easily practice fascia training and therapy. When people think of training, the first thing that may come to mind is lifting weights or going for a run. With facia training, fascia becomes more stretched out and elastic when trained properly. Flexible fascia means the body can adapt and prevent pain from spreading out to other parts of the body. Therapy with the Actiball® can relax muscular connective tissues for better pain relief.

Using the Actiball® Relax Thermo can help improve flexibility and agility with very little time or effort. Due to its pleasant, skin-friendly design it adapts to your body during the application. Additionally, its special thermo-gel filling can be heated to allow for heat therapy to relax your body further. After a long day’s work, this tool can give a soothing massage of the neck, arms, feet, and other body parts.

To begin fascia training with the Actiball® here is a simple exercise to get you started. This one specifically targets and trains your neck:

To start, warm your Actiball® Relax Thermo by placing it in a microwave or a warm bath. Next, lay on your back on the floor or mat. Place the Actiball® under your neck and then slowly move your head from side to side. This technique will mobilize your spine and can be done as many times as needed or until your doctor tells you to stop. Before attempting this exercise, please consult your trainer or specialist to see if this exercise is right for you.

For more information on the Actiball® Relax Thermo, click here.

To view our selection of TOGU® massage products including the Actiball® Relax Thermo, click here.

Article written by William Graves.

Jump Into Action with The Jumper®

If you ever wanted a balance trainer that can do more than just improve your balance, the TOGU® Jumper® Stability Dome may be right for you. The Jumper®The Jumper® is a multi-functional stability dome used for strength and endurance training. Thanks in part to its versatility, it can be used to train virtually every muscle group. Balance, coordination and sensorimotor skills can all be greatly improved with this balance tool.

Though inflated by air, the Jumper® is very resilient. It can withstand up to 440 lbs of force and is non-slip for safety. This tool feels like a trampoline ball because of how dynamic and spirited the material is. The dome is made of durable ruton and the base is a fiberglass reinforced plate. You can change the stability of the dome by adding or removing air via a valve located on the dome. Adding more air makes the dome unstable and more challenging. Filling the dome with air to its capacity gives the Jumper® a trampoline effect that creates a lot of fun while training.

The Jumper® balance trainer can be used to perform a variety of exercises. The Jumper®Depending on how you exercise, the Jumper® can be used while standing, jumping, sitting or lying down. With so many exercise options to try with the Jumper®, it can be hard to decide what to try first.

To begin training here is a simple exercise to get you started. This one specifically targets and trains your buttock and thigh muscles:

Start by standing to the side of the Jumper®, either side is fine. Next squat your inner leg onto the Jumper®. Then propel your body upwards and jump to the other side of the jumper. When you are on the other side, do the same motion for a full rep. Continue until you are tired and feel the burn in your thighs and glutes. Before performing this exercise or using the Jumper® please consult with your trainer or specialist to see if this tool is right for you.

To view more information on the Jumper®, click here.

To learn more about our selection of TOGU® balance training products, click here.

Article written by William Graves.

Product Spotlight: CanDo® Twist-n-Bend® Bars

If you are looking to strengthen and increase your range of motion, look no further than the CanDo® Twist-n-Bend® Exercise BarsCanDo® Twist-n-Bend® Exercise Bars Twist-n-Bend® bars are lightweight and portable making them perfect for people who travel and want to strengthen their wrists and shoulders on-the-go.

You can twist this tool to help alleviate pain caused by Tennis Elbow, as discussed in our blog earlier this week. Also, as the name suggests you can bend the Twist-n-Bend® bars. Bending these resistance bars can do wonders for increasing shoulder strength. Aside from being able to twist and bend the 12-inch bar, you can shake it just like it’s 24 inch and 36-inch-long counterparts. Shaking the exercise bar can increases your range of motion and flexion.

For a better shake, try the much larger 24-inch and 36-inch CanDo® Twist-Bend-Shake® BarsTwist-n-Bend® Exercise Bars These larger Twist-Bend-Shake® Bars can sway more when shook. The longer the sway motion, the more the bar can flex and increase your flexion. You can control the amount of force needed to control the bar by slowing down or speeding up the flexion of the bar or changing to a different resistance bar.

No matter the size, all CanDo® exercise bars can twist, bend and shake for a versatile exercise. To twist, grab the bar with two hands and flex one wrist forward and the other wrist backward. To bend, grab the bar at both ends and then try to move both wrists in. Shaking requires both of your hands to be on one end of the bar for you to do a shaking motion. Make sure when you are shaking the bar, that it is away from your face to prevent injury. For more advanced exercises with the CanDo® Twist-n-Bend®, check out our How to Treat Tennis Elbow article. To see if CanDo® Twist-n-Bend® Bars are right for you, please consult your doctor or specialist today.

To check out our selection of CanDo® Twist-n-Bend® Bars, click here.

To check out our selection of CanDo® Twist-Bend-Shake® Bars, click here.

Article written by William Graves.

Treating Tennis Elbow with the Tyler Twist

Lateral Epicondylitis, more commonly referred to as Tennis Elbow, is a common injury that is easily treatable. tyler twist - twist n bendTennis elbow occurs when the tendons in your elbow come under too much stress by repetitive motions in the wrist and arm. This movement results in overloading your elbow and creating a painful sensation from your forearm muscles to your elbow. The name of this condition can be slightly deceiving because only a handful of people who get this injury actually play tennis. Anyone who has a job that requires motions that overload the elbow can be affected by Tennis Elbow.

For people who have this condition, everyday actions like turning a door knob or holding a coffee cup can prove difficult. Luckily, Tennis Elbow does heal over time with proper diagnosis and treatment from your doctor. One treatment your doctor may recommend is to go to physical therapy to help reduce stress on the affected area.

One exercise your physical therapist may recommend to help treat Tennis Elbow is the “Tyler Twist”. Treating Tennis Elbow with the Tyler TwistTo perform the “Tyler Twist” all you need is the CanDo® Twist-n-Bend®. This tool is an exercise hand bar that comes in a range of color-coded resistances, great for wrist and shoulder exercises. The color-coded resistance range starts with the lightest resistance (yellow) to the hardest resistance (black). Once you’ve decided on your resistance level of choice, you are ready to practice the “Tyler Twist”.

The “Tyler Twist” is a simple exercise designed to relieve pain caused by tennis elbow. First, grip the CanDo® Twist-n-Bend® from the bottom and hold it vertically in one hand. Then take the other hand, which should be the elbow in pain, and grip the top of the Twist-n-Bend® with your palm facing out. Next, twist the bar with your top and move the bar so that it is now horizontal. Stop twisting to finish this exercise. You should repeat the “Tyler Twist” until you feel some pain relief or until your doctor tells you to stop.

If you are in pain with Tennis Elbow, try to do a “Tyler Twist” exercise with the CanDo® Twist-n-Bend®! As always, please consult with your doctor before doing any activities to help your Tennis Elbow.

For more information on Tennis Elbow, click here.

To check the CanDo® Twist-n-Bend®, click here.

Article written by William Graves.

Choosing a CanDo® Balance Board

If low aerobic exercises with a balance pad is not your thing, then using a balance board may be a better option. CanDo® Balance Board in UseCompared to balance pads, balance boards offer more of a challenge when it comes to balance and vestibular training. Balance boards are typically made of a tougher material that can withstand more abuse from activity as you train.

Some balance boards can come in different shapes and sizes as well as different difficulty levels. Take for instance our MVP® Balance System. This balance system comes in 4 different non-skid platforms and offers 5 different color-coded instability balls to choose from. Easily customize your balance board by screwing in your desired instability ball. You can either screw in one ball to create a wobble board, or two to create a rocker board. Each instability ball has a different level of challenge and progressively offers a greater balance challenge as you move from yellow all the way up to black.

For a cheaper but less customizable approach, we also offer the CanDo® Economy Board. The Economy Board is a slip-resistant wobble board that makes training fun. Wobble back and forth to improve balance and increase muscle tone whether your using it for your legs or arms. Stand on the board to train your balance, or use it on the floor to enhance push-ups. This wobble board not only improves balance but also range of motion and reaction skills. It’s great for people who want to strengthen and condition their body.

Balance boards are an excellent choice for those who want a fun but challenging balance training experience. With either balance board you can act like you are snowboarding at the Winter Olympics! Before training with a balance board, consult with your specialist to see if a balance board is right for you.

To check out our line of MVP® Balance Systems, click here.

To check out our CanDo® Economy Balance System, click here.

Article written by William Graves.

Train like an Olympian with Airex®

The Winter Olympics have kicked off sparking a worldwide competition between the nations of the world. Airex® Balance Pads and MatsFor both Summer and Winter, athletes train year-round to participate in these games. They train hard and in turn they require the best gym equipment to train at their best. One product line that Olympians choose to use are Airex® balance pads and mats.

The Airex® balance pads are great for vestibular training and exercises. They come in different colors and range in different firmness levels. Difficulty can be increased by stacking pads. Stacking Airex® pads creates a greater balance challenge because it provides a greater level of instability. Airex® balance pads are durable and built to last making them great for heavy training. Use them to increase balance for sports like gymnastics and skiing. Standard balance pads are big enough that it can be used individually or with groups of friends.

Airex® mats are lightweight, comfortable and do not slide on the floor. They are made from durable closed-cell foam and are tough enough to withstand a lot of force. Olympic athletes can use it for pre and post work out stretches because they are very portable for on the go situations. These mats are flexible enough to be rolled up and used anywhere. Like the balance pads, the Airex® mats are great for individual workouts or group workouts.  Use them at home or at fitness and physical therapy centers.

Airex® balance pads and mats are a line of high-quality training and exercise equipment. They can help with pre and post workouts and can increase balance. Their durable material is built tough to cater to intense athletic workouts.

To check out our selection of Airex® balance pads, click here.

To check out our selection of Airex® mats, click here.

Article written by William Graves.

Product Spotlight: CanDo® Dynamic Stretch Strap

As mentioned in our previous article, charley horses can produce intense pain. Using the CanDo® Dynamic Stretch StrapThey sneak up on you while you are asleep in your bed and can become very painful. Thankfully, this problem can be prevented through stretching. Using the CanDo® Dynamic Stretch Strap can help relieve this pain and prevent muscle spasms from occurring in the future.

There are multiple stretching exercises you can do to prevent charley horses. With the CanDo® Stretch Strap, these stretching exercises can be made easier. This stretch strap is made with elastic pockets that allow the user to ease into a stretch. The strap is designed for facilitated stretching, an active form of stretching that uses isometric contractions to achieve greater flexibility gains than from static stretching. What is great about the stretch strap is that it permits dynamic stretching rather than static stretching.

For those who are unaware, dynamic stretching is slow and controlled movements that keep joints and muscles moving. Dynamic stretching allows for optimal muscle activation, which is ideal for those in pain from muscle spasms. Static stretching is stretching that exerts the muscles without moving the joints. An example of this would be bending your leg and holding that position for a certain amount of time. This type of stretching can be done on your own without help and is not as effective as dynamic stretching.

Performing dynamic stretching with the CanDo® Stretch Strap can make you less likely to contract muscle spasms. In the case of the charley horse, it is a good idea to stretch your legs. To get a good stretch in your legs, lay on your back, hold each end of the strap and place the middle of the strap around the middle of one of your feet. Then proceed to lift your leg up, firmly holding onto the strap, to get a good stretch. Do this until you feel a nice burn and then repeat this stretch on the other leg.

For all your charley horse woes, stretching can be the answer. Stretching your legs out will help treat and prevent those painful muscle spasms from happening. If you exercise, be sure you stretch before you start your workout. For those who aren’t as athletically inclined and still get charley horses, try stretching before bed. Stretching before bed and before exercises will make your body more limber. This results in you being less tense and more relaxed, while also allowing blood to circulate throughout your body.

If you have painful symptoms related to a charley horse, or other muscle spasms, its best to consult your doctor to decide the best plan of care for you.

To learn more about the CanDo® Stretch Strap, click here.

Article written by William Graves

Stretch to Prevent a Charley Horse

As you are sleeping soundly and having sweet dreams, suddenly you get a sharp feeling in the middle of the night. Preventing a Charley HorseYou are awoken by a scream worthy pain in your leg. As this pain starts to alleviate after a couple seconds, you wonder what you did to deserve such an excruciating pain. If you ever experienced this sensation, you probably know what it is. This sudden, involuntary contraction of muscles that often happens in the legs is most commonly referred to as a charley horse.

Charley horses are muscles spams that occur when the muscle performs an extremely uncomfortable contraction. This contraction can last several seconds and can be very painful. If the contraction is painful enough, the muscle that was contracting can be sore for several hours. Charley horses mainly occur at night when you are laying in your bed asleep. The people most prone to getting charley horses are usually those with poor circulation in their legs or those who have muscle fatigue from overusing the affected muscle throughout the day. Causes of these muscle spasms can also include muscle injuries, exercise in excessive heat or cold, overuse of a muscle and lack of proper stretching. Athletes and people who exercise a lot are not the only people affected by charley horses. Infants, elderly people, and people who smoke or are obese are prone to charley horses as well.

The good news is that these muscles spasms can be treated at home without seeing a doctor. Simple stretches, massages and hot packs can help relax the muscles. You can also prevent muscle spasms from even occurring by taking preventative measures to ensure a good night’s sleep. By stretching your legs before a workout, or even before bed, you can prevent muscle spasms. Stretching increases flexibility in the muscles so it does not tense up and cause contractions. It also helps to circulate the blood and increase your range of motion.

To sum things up, a charley horse is a very sharp pain in the leg that lasts a couple of seconds but can feel like more because of the intense pain it produces. This contraction can prove annoying as it ruins sleep for a lot of people. Luckily, charley horses are easily treatable and preventable with stretching.

For more serious cases where muscles spasms are more frequent, it is good to see your doctor. They will be able to better diagnose the cause and be better equipped to treat it.

For more information on charley horses, click here.