Friday, March 24, 2017

National Cheer Safety Month

Did you know that March is National Cheer Safety Month?
Let’s face it…if you have daughters’, chances are they love to dance, flip or cheer. Does your son have amazing upper body strength, being able to flip, catch, and balance someone with their hands? Cheerleading used to have a bad rap for high incidences of injuries, however, in January 2016 research showed that cheerleading has the 5th lowest injury rate of 22 high school sports. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ journal PEDIATRICS, Dustin Currie, et al., state that using the last five years of data compiled by the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study (NHSSRIS), injury rates in cheerleading rank 18th out of 22 sports, with an overall injury rate of .71 injuries per 1,000 athlete-exposures.
Do our kids still need to be careful? Absolutely! Common cheer injuries can include: ankle sprains, knee injuries, wrist injuries, low back pain and head injuries (concussions). But these can all be prevented! Do your research!!
Look into the equipment your cheer facility uses. There should be plenty of mats and foam pits to be used when learning new skills.
Research your coaches. Are they experienced? Make sure they are well aware of the current rules and regulations of the sport. There are guidelines, which include restrictions on basket tosses, pyramid heights, and twisting/flipping stunts. Your coaches should be well aware of the restrictions for each age group to maintain overall child safety.
Is your son / daughter healthy? Your child should be healthy both during season and off-season. Make sure a comprehensive well, rounded flexibility and strength program are being implemented year round to avoid overuse injuries. Not sure of where to start? Reach out to our clinic to discuss details further with a licensed physical therapist.
So what happens if your child does get hurt? Or if he or she is complaining of achy pain? That is the perfect time to schedule a complimentary injury screen with one of our physical therapists. We can take your child through a sport specific movement evaluation to determine what movement patterns and functional impairments are present and give the appropriate exercises/stretches to help get them back on track. We will be in constant communication with your coach to help tailor practices to avoid further injury.
Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions regarding injury prevention and/or rehabilitation!
Give me a T-H-E-R-A-C-O-R-E!
Jen Bazan, PT, DPT

Friday, March 10, 2017

National Nutrition Month - Healthy School Lunches

In honor of National Nutrition Month, registered dietitian, Casey Harms, is offering up advice to parents on packing a healthy lunch for your kids - that they will actually want to eat!!

Getting kids to eat nutrition dense food can be quite the feat, especially when the same old sandwich gets boring after just the first week of school. Here are a few tips on how to make healthy lunches enticing and provide all the vitamins and nutrients needed to fuel your kids mind and body.

1.      Listen to your kids’ suggestions; let them pick the fruit or vegetable in their lunch box. If they feel like they have a say in what goes in their lunch they are more likely to eat it!

2.      Take your child shopping with you. There are so many exotic fruits and vegetables in the produce isle, let your child get excited about trying new produce! Let them pick the type of whole-wheat cracker or granola bar that goes in their lunch.

3.       Aim to get at least 3 different food groups (protein, grain, fruit, vegetable, dairy) in your child’s lunch.

4.      Make sure there is high quality protein that will help to keep your child focused and feeling full throughout the day.

5.      Choose low sugar beverages that encourage hydration. Choose something like sugar free crystal light varieties, skim milk, low fat chocolate milk, or dilute 100% fruit juice with sparkling water.

Here are some examples of everyday lunches that go beyond the typical PB&J

o   Nitrate free turkey and cheese on whole wheat crackers.  Celery and Red apple with a side of peanut butter for dipping.

o    Greek yogurt with crunchy topping and side of strawberries. Peanut butter and banana wrapped in whole wheat tortilla.

o   Quesadillas with guacamole and unsalted tortilla chips. Side of crunchy red bell peppers and purple grapes. Sugar free chocolate pudding.

o   Make your own pizza: buy wheat pita bread and cut into small individual sized circles, add a container of pizza sauce and shredded cheese with turkey sausage.  Baby carrots and ranch dressing for dipping.

o   Brown rice with crunchy edamame and shredded chicken mixed with low sodium soy sauce. Sliced pears and chocolate covered raisins for dessert.


Casey Harms, RD
TheraCORE, Inc.

Friday, February 24, 2017

CPR Certification

Life is crazy! The days are long and the years are short. We are constantly on the go and never really stop to relax. But it can all change in a minute. You never know what is going to happen in the future. That’s why I think we should all be prepared for emergencies. One of the easiest ways to be prepared for an emergency is to be CPR certified.
CPR…what the heck is that?

In case you don’t know what CPR certification is, (but seriously, have you been living under a rock? But seriously—have you?) it is cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It’s a lifesaving technique people use in emergency situations. The most common emergency is when the heart stops beating and you go into cardiac arrest. There are many causes of cardiac arrest including: heart attack, drug use, an irregular heart rhythm and traumatic injury.
Without the heart beating, blood will stop circulating in the body and breathing will stop too. Without oxygen to the body, cells begin to die. CPR will help to keep oxygenated blood flowing through the body to keep vital organs alive until paramedics or other advanced personal can arrive. Amazing!

Why you should be CPR trained?
1.       Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US according to the CDC
2.       No negatives!

I’ve never heard anyone say “I should of never got my CPR training”. It’s like an ace in your pocket if you ever see a medical emergency.  I have never personally had to use it (thank GOD!) but I know how to and feel confident in case an emergency should arise. Most cardiac arrest happens at home so having everyone in the home certified increases the chances of survival. Early CPR is key!
It’s easy and anyone can do it

A lot of people probably decide it’s not for them because there are too many steps to do and what if they forget something or maybe even the fact they don’t want to get involved in case they do something wrong. There are different levels of CPR training for different people.
BLS is Basic Life Support and its designed for healthcare providers both pre and in-hospital: think nurses, physical therapists, athletic trainers, dentists, lifeguards etc.

Heart saver is for the general public: think daycare workers, educators, construction workers, office staff, coaches, grandparents, babysitters etc.
If you still are not convinced to get certified I urge you to at least know about the signs of a heart attack and hands only CPR. Hands only CPR has 2 steps:
1.       Call 9-1-1
2.       Push hard and fast in the center of the chest

There is no mouth to mouth breathing involved. Hands only CPR take one minute (yes—I’m serious!) to learn and you can watch the hand-only CPR video here: Hands-Only CPR
Get certified!
Call your local Red Cross or go to the American Heart Associate website to learn more about CPR or register for a course in your area:

TheraCORE is offering CPR classes this spring so follow-us on social media to get upcoming dates and times of classes.
Now go on and start saving lives!

Rachael Patera, ATC
Office Manager, TheraCORE - Burr Ridge

Friday, February 10, 2017

Youth Baseball - Pitcher Health

How to Keep Your Pitcher’s Arm Healthy

Are you coaching a youth baseball team and want to make sure you keep your pitcher’s arm healthy?  If you are thinking about it then you are already moving in the right direction.  Since I was a pitcher through college, I thought I knew how to properly take care of an arm, but a lot has changed in 20 years.  Luckily, I know some great Physical Therapists at TheraCORE who have helped me understand how to really take care of a young pitcher’s arm.  It really comes down to just three things.

Warm-up, Workload, Rest

Warm-up - When I played baseball, I always threw a baseball to warm up my arm.  I will talk about total throws next under Workload, but if you don’t want to waste a high percentage of your pitcher’s total throws just to get warmed up, then consider using a dynamic warm-up to get your arm and whole body ready to play.  You can also have your pitchers do band exercises to warm up their arms prior to throwing.

Workload – For a while now, most youth leagues have used pitch counts to limit the workload on a young pitcher’s arm.  I have come to learn limiting the total number of throws a player makes in a game or a practice should be used along with pitch counts in order to maintain a healthy arm.  Youth pitchers should limit their total throws to 125 in a day.  If a 10 year old has a max pitch count of 75, think about how quickly he will get to 125 total throws if you include pre-game warm-up throws, pre-game warm-up pitches, in-between inning warm-up pitches and in-game pitches.  You should also take into consideration the number of throws that will be made if he is playing another position during the same day that he pitches.

Rest – If you are coaching a travel baseball team in the Midwest, then the majority of the games your team plays are in weekend tournaments.  It can be a lot of fun to play 4 to 6 games in 2 days, but it can definitely make it tough for a coach to follow the recommended rest guidelines for a pitcher.  Per the guidelines, if a 7 to 14 year old pitcher throws more than 35 pitches on Saturday, then they should not throw any pitches on Sunday.  Winning a youth baseball tournament should never come before the long term health of a young pitcher’s arm.  Remember, proper rest includes taking at least two months off each year from throwing.  Have your kids play a different sport during this time.  It helps to protect their arm and makes them an overall better athlete.

Recommended pitch count/rest -

Brad Goebbert, CFO
TheraCORE, Inc.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Sticking to your Resolutions

                  Making resolutions is an easy process. Most people can identify things that they would like to change within their daily lives to improve the way they feel or the way they function to enhance their personal quality of life. Resolutions can really be anything that is trying to promote positive change ranging from eating healthy, working out more, losing weight, reducing stress, maintaining a clean house, garage, or basement, quitting smoking or reducing the amount you drink, and the list goes on and on. Regardless of what your resolution may be, there is one common denominator: sticking to a resolution is difficult. Below are a few quick considerations to take into account when setting your goal.

Know the “Why”

                Dig deep and figure out why you really want this change. Is it for yourself? Your family? Your friends? There needs to be some intrinsic factor that drives this desire to change and in order you’re your resolution to be meaningful you need to understand your driving force. Once you know this, educate yourself about the subject you are changing to help set realistic and manageable goals.


                Make your resolution a priority à put it into your schedule! When something is written down it is much less likely to get forgotten or passed over. To skip this task you would have to acknowledge that you are skipping it as you read over it, which is more difficult. Wanting to change is not enough; you have to act on this desire.

                Utilize an accountability partner or group. Tell people what you are doing. This is also a strategy that makes it more difficult for you to back out of a commitment. Let your friends be friends and help you with this difficult endeavor.

Goal Setting

                Make your resolutions concrete or measureable. Without a way to measure your progress there is no way to ensure that you are heading in the right direction.

                Keep a log or track your progress along the way. A visual reminder is a good way to remind you what you have done and what you need to keep doing to get to where you want to go.

                Have long term goals (resolutions), but also create short term goals that are stepping stones to the bigger milestones.

                Have a deadline. Having an end in sight helps to make your resolution seem realistic. Without an endpoint any goal will seem daunting and unattainable. Make sure you know what you are heading towards!

Wager Something

                Making a bet is another way to hold yourself accountable and competition can help fuel consistency. A bet does not have to be money. You can come up with a funny consequence, a material prize, or just put pride on the line with a friend. Find out what motivates you and put it on the line!

Reward Yourself Along the Way

                When you do hit milestones or goals reward yourself! This is a way to make things fun and keep you interested and motivated along the way. These rewards do not have to be huge or detrimental to your goals. Maybe get that pair of workout shorts you have been wanting or see a movie with friends. Just have fun!

Whatever your resolution may be and the “why” behind your motivation for change, myself and the TheraCORE team truly wish you the best in your endeavors.

Good luck and stick to it!

Kyle Kibler, PT, DPT, CSCS

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Don't be afraid to TRI Something New!!

So I am assuming if you are following this blog, you may be someone that likes to peruse the internet.
Maybe you are on different social media platforms.
And hopefully, you follow TheraCORE! If you do, you have seen that we are hosting an Indoor Triathlon at Five Seasons Family Sports Club. I am blogging today to encourage you to sign up for this event. DON’T STOP READING HERE!!
I get it, the sound of “triathlon” is daunting. Three events, 45 minutes of activity….the thought may turn you off right away. But that’s why I’m here, to tell you to NOT let it.
Try something new this year.  It’s absolutely OKAY if you have never even thought of doing this in the past. Sign up with friends. Join a team and participate in just one of the events.
Decide today that you are going to be a better you in the upcoming year. Take this step to get into the pool. Swim a lap. Heck, swim ½ a lap. Then be very proud of yourself that you pushed yourself past a point that you didn’t even know you could.
I am always talking to my girls (who are 6 and 8) about trying their best, trying something new, not being afraid of failing. My husband sometimes laughs at me with how much I constantly am saying these things to two little minds that can’t possibly comprehend the magnitude of what I mean. But there is something to be said about repetition. If Emma and Claire have one moment this year when they try something they were afraid to do, maybe it’s introduce themselves to a new student at school. Or maybe it’s trying a new skill on the balance beam. If they try it, and no matter the outcome, are proud of themselves….I did my job.
TheraCORE’s Indoor Triathlon is fun. It’s laid back. It raises money for Ronald McDonald House Charities. It’s going to surprise you. I’ll be there, competing on a team and I truly hope that for even one moment, you consider signing up yourself. You absolutely will not be disappointed.  So go back on your phones and check out our Facebook page .We are posting ways to begin preparing for the triathlon.
You got this!!!
Happy Happy Holidays!
Jen Bazan

Monday, September 12, 2016


What is active ageing? “Active ageing is the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age. The goal being to extend peoples healthy life expectancies and quality of life as they get older.”

Active ageing does not just mean physical health, but social, religious, civic and economic as well.

I had some experience with active ageing this past week as I just came back from visiting my parents in Florida. Now, although at 60 years old, I consider my parents young, my dad and I took a few minutes to talk about some concerns he had for my mom and him.

First, he was worried about his balance. He has been doing a lot of reading about how balance decreases as one ages. One thing we talked about was trying out some yoga poses. This doesn’t mean running off to try a yoga class that may at first seem intimidating, but we went over a few basic yoga poses (tree pose, warrior I, and down dog) for him to begin working on. He was amazed at how difficult it was to maintain his balance and how tight he felt in his muscles. But after trying these few simple moves a few times, he already felt more confident in the movement patterns, more flexible into the poses and increased his time he could balance. Starting with a slow yoga flow class is a great way to progress these balance challenges and would also lead into increasing his social circle.

The age of individuals in my parents gated community range from 55 – 90 years old. They come from all over the United States and have had so many different careers! One thing my mom and dad started this “summer” is having a monthly pool party. Unlike my parents, (who are completely enjoying their retirement and go to the pool on a daily basis) many of the residents on their street don’t frequent the pool. But these monthly, themed pool parties were a huge hit! Everyone wanted to be a part of it. They were able to socialize and learn about their past experiences over a simple potluck and some water balloons.

My dad also became a part of his homeowner’s association board. He is the treasurer and attends the regular meetings, taking care of the finances for bills for outside home improvement, social functions, etc. This is a great way for my dad to be an active part of the decision making of his community, and keeps his brain working with maintaining the books!

My mom gets together monthly with the “ladies of the neighborhood” as a social gathering, but they also help put together assistance if a neighbor needs someone to look after their house, a spouse is sick, and organizes day trips to see the sites of Florida.

My parents have done an amazing job staying active physically, socially, and developing their sense of community since they have moved full time to Florida. They definitely give me a goal to aspire to!

So there you go….choose a physical activity you have always wanted to try and give it a go. Get together with some neighbors and organize a fun social event in your city. Attend a community board meeting and see how you can make your neighborhood safer….there are plenty of ways to actively age! Have fun!!
-Jen Bazan, PT, DPT