Friday, June 16, 2017

What is Men’s Health Week?

Men’s Health Week is an annual event that runs the week prior to, and up to Father’s Day and is meant to raise awareness of preventable diseases and encourage early detection/treatment of disease in males.

Heart disease, stroke, suicide/depression, lung cancer, and prostate cancer are all conditions that effect men at a very high rate. While all of these conditions are important to prevent and manage, there is one organ that is uniquely male, causes multiple health concerns, and is easy to treat when regular detection takes place. That organ is the prostate.

Even uttering the word prostate is relatively taboo and evokes discomfort and fear within many males. This social stigma needs to change and it starts through spreading awareness and understanding about why regular examination is so important.

The prostate can become inflamed or infected, enlarged through abnormal growth, or develop cancer. These conditions can effect urination and sexual function, which drastically changes quality of life. The good news is that with early detection treatment options are relatively simple and effective!


The American Cancer Society has released suggestions for men regarding prostate examination and ways to potentially prevent prostate conditions.

·         Annual physicals with your physician, Prostate Specific Antigen blood tests (PSA) and a digital rectal exam (DRE) are simple ways to screen for prostate issues.

·         Screenings should start at 50 years old for someone at average risk, 45 years old for someone at high risk, and 40 years old for individuals at even higher risk based on health factors and family history.

·         Eat at least 2 ½ cups of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables each day.

·         Be physically active.

·         Stay at a healthy weight.

·         Possibly take a daily Aspirin and limit excessive calcium intake.

Always consult your physician regarding health conditions and medicine or supplement changes. Safety always trumps an uncomfortable conversation or awkward exam. The health of each male is important not only to the individual, but their wives, husbands, children, parents, and friends. So if any questions ever arise do not be scared to ask!

Be well and celebrate Men’s Health Week by spreading awareness, understanding, and compassion to the men in your lives!

Kyle Kibler, PT, DPT
TheraCORE, Inc.

Friday, May 26, 2017

May Is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month


It’s May! The weather is improving, school is almost out, and it is becoming appealing to be outside again. It is also National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. This makes May a great time to revisit fitness and activity goals. Our New Year’s resolutions are long behind us. Some of us remain committed to our fitness goals, while others have fallen off. Either way, now is a great time to commit to increased activity in the improving weather. Why shoulder fitness be a priority? Physical activity is important for everyone, no matter what the age.
For children and adolescents – Physical activity can improve muscular fitness, bone health, and heart health. For children, this can be as easy as riding bikes, swimming at the local pool, or impromptu games of tag, kickball, baseball or basketball. Getting children off of their electronic devices and outside in the fresh air is imperative not only to their fitness goals, but their social skills as well. 

Adults – Physical activity can lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. Playing with your children at the playground, family bike rides, or walks can help to improve physical fitness, as well as strengthening family bonds.

Older adults – Physical activity can lower the risk of falls and improve cognitive functioning (like learning and judgment skills). After dinner walks, or trips to a forest preserve or arboretum, as well as visits to the local pools, are excellent ways improve fitness without it feeling like work. Exercise also helps to improve moods and sleep.

There are plenty of ways to incorporate exercise into your day without it feeling like a chore, so get out there with your families and friends and get active!!

Cathy Malooly, PT, MPT
TheraCORE, Inc.
Burr Ridge, IL

Friday, May 12, 2017

Mother’s Day, The Perfect Time to Take Care of Yourself!

            Becoming a parent is a big responsibility and a huge life changer. Gone are the days of just trying to keep yourself healthy, now you are responsible for a small human who is completely dependent on you. Obviously, the child is going to take up much of your attention and time, with feedings, bathing, bonding… but, for your child to be healthy and happy, you need to be healthy and happy!

            This Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to take a minute to make sure that you are taking the time to keep yourself strong and healthy, so that you are at your optimal to take care of your little. And Dad, if you are the one reading this blog, help your wife plan some time for herself. I am going to talk about some important things that should be added into your daily routine or lifestyle to help Mom be the strongest, physically, and mentally, that she can be.

            First off, when is the last time you went to see a doctor for YOURSELF? Not a pediatrician. Take time to schedule eye doctor, dentist, dermatologist if necessary, and, most importantly, a yearly check up with your primary care physician. Having kids is difficult and time consuming. Babies and toddlers require constant attention, while grade school through high school requires rides to practice and other extracurricular activities – not to mention homework and all those challenging teenage hormones! All of this can leave you exhausted and run down, weakening the immune system. Yearly checkups are a good way to prevent disease and stay healthy in the long run, leaving you healthy to be able to possibly enjoy grandkids someday.

            Next, make yourself an appointment to get pampered. Whether your hair needs a cut and color, or you just need a relaxing massage, allow yourself those 2 hours. It is well deserved! Some time to yourself can help reduce the stress hormones and improve overall relaxation. I personally know some moms that feel guilty taking this time to themselves. This is the way I look at it, you have to dress for success, humans work harder and are more efficient when they feel their best. Whether you are a working mom, or a stay at home mom, you deserve some relaxation and to feel better about yourself.

            If getting pampered is not your thing, take some time for one of your interests or to try something new. Go to a wine tasting with girlfriends, or sign up for one of those trendy paint or craft classes. The point is to have a few hours to yourself without a child hanging on you or yelling for your help.

            This next one is very important and should be incorporated into your regular routine. Schedule regular physical activity. Yes, exercise. Just 30 minutes a day has been shown to improve physical health and overall mood. This can be as simple or as crazy as you would like. No excuses! Dropping your child off at preschool for 3 hours? The laundry will still be there when you get home. Take that time to go to the park district and walk, or take a yoga class to help clear your mind. Not only will you get the health benefits of exercise, but you will be setting a good example for your children. Keeping your body strong will help prevent injury, allowing you to fully engage and play with your children.

            Another important topic; Diet. No, I am not saying that all moms should be on a diet, but the food you consume should be healthy. It is very easy to rely on fast food when you are constantly running from work to school pickups and practices. I realize many families do not get home until well after dinner time. My family, growing up, was exactly that way. Eating healthy, home cooked meals is still possible. Use Sunday mornings or afternoons to meal prep and cook a little extra for each meal. This will cut out prep time during the week, and with extra food, can provide lunch or leftovers for dinner the following day. Healthy meals do not have to consume all of your time to cook, and they do not have to be boring. A great appliance for busy families is a crockpot. Set it and forget it. With today’s internet, easy healthy recipes are at our finger tips, literally, on our smart phones! Meal prepping can also be a fun family activity. My son loves to help in the kitchen. Eating healthy as a family will show your kids that it is fun and yummy, helping them make good food choices in the future.

               Mother’s Day is about just that, MOTHERS! And if you are one of them, take the opportunity to take care of yourself.

Happy Mother’s Day, ladies!! 💜

Heather Finnegan, PT, DPT

TheraCORE, Inc.

Lockport, IL

Friday, April 28, 2017

Consider a NEW Practice - National "Every Kid Healthy" week

Two years ago I began practicing yoga and absolutely love everything about it. If you are my friends or family, I have probably already asked you to come join me for a class. If you have been a patient of mine, I most likely have incorporated some sort of yoga-esque exercise into your rehabilitation. Why? Because these movements, breathing techniques, and forms of meditation work!
My 9 year old daughter, Emma, is exactly like me….running from sun up to sun down. Typical first born - wanting to do everything right and make everyone proud. And I think….oh no! I KNOW that I made her this way! While I admire her goal setting and her determination, I also want to teach her that life is a practice…..not a perfect!
Let’s face it, our kids today are constantly running from one thing to the next. Their days are filled with rushing off to school, after school activities, sports, clubs, homework and late bedtimes. All of which are repeated day after day. Not to mention the pressures that come with academic performance, success in sports and don’t get me started about the inner workings of adolescent friendships!!
Stress kicks in the sympathetic nervous system which leads to an elevation in heart rate and blood pressure. Over time, this constant increase in stress can lead to decreased immune support, low self-esteem, depression and isolation.  Research shows that incorporating a stress related program into a student’s daily routine helps academic performance, self-esteem, concentration and helps emotional balance. This further leads to improving a child’s confidence, goal setting, and overall classroom behavior.
Cue yoga…..
Yoga is a holistic approach to stress management. It gives an individual the opportunity to pause amidst all the chaos of life. To take a deep breath. To BE in the moment. The word Yoga in Sanskrit means “to yoke,” to bring together in mind, body and spirit. Yoga emphasizes the importance of breath, along with physical postures and relaxation methods to strive toward balance and allows the body to reconnect with the mind.
I have taken Emma to yoga with me multiple times. Not only do I love having this special time with my daughter. I love how she tells me she feels after she practices. Don’t get me wrong, part of the reason she loves it is for all the arm balances and crazy poses that only a 9 year old gymnast could hold, but she also tells me how calm she feels after. How relaxed and happy she feels walking out of the studio.
Yoga has benefits for children of every age:
·         Young children (6 and under): Development of body awareness and gross motor movement
·         Children 7-9 years of age: Challenges in strength, agility and endurance
·         Adolescence (10-12 years of age): A place to thrive as their bodies are changing and a safe environment to practice in, as they seek acceptance from peers
·         Teenage years: ”Practice allows for self-study and self-care as well as development of vital intrapersonal and interpersonal skills, such as improved communication skills, which are critically needed at this developmental stage”.
So this month, step out of your comfort zone and take your son or daughter to a yoga class. What a great way to celebrate being healthy with your kids. No judgement. No expectations. Just BE. 
Jen Bazan, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist, and co-owner
TheraCORE, Inc.

Children are always welcome at the yoga classes offered at our Lockport clinic. Classes are every Wednesday evening from 7:30 to 8:30 PM. Namaste!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Spring into outdoor fitness!

Winter is finally releasing its grip on us, the temperature is rising and the days are getting longer. Most of us are tired of being cooped up indoors and have been waiting to go outside and finally start enjoying the nicer weather. The nicer weather means we can take our workouts and exercise programs outside. No longer are we trapped using the treadmill or pedaling on a stationary bike that is heading nowhere!  Being able to go outside opens up our exercise routine to a whole realm of possibilities and creativity.
Why Outdoors?
Because it’s better for our mental health! Studies have shown that exercising outside helps reduce stress levels and depression while improving your mood and level of self-esteem.  We have been spending all winter stuck inside without the benefit of sunlight to give us our Vitamin D. Lack of Vitamin D has been associated with depression and season affective disorder. So get outside and get your medicine!
Because it’s more fun than being inside! The monotony of running/biking in place and staring at the same old thing gets tired. When you are outside, you can feel the distance you are running or walking. There is no better distraction than getting outside to enjoy the fresh air, trees, and people that you may meet. Bring a friend or family member to keep you company. Your workout will seem to fly by.
It is a much more effective workout! If you are a jogger, running over varying terrains, changes in elevation, as well as wind resistance can really up effort level of a 3 mile run. The same reasons go if you are a cyclist as well. Studies show that people tend to work harder when performing an outdoor workout. Get creative! There are all sorts of online sources for exercise ideas and programs to make your outdoor workout fun and effective.
So there are three great reasons to get out there and see what nature has to offer in the way of getting back to a fitter and healthier you.  Now go explore!
Local places to check out!!!
Swallow Cliff Woods:

Ryan Schaul, MPT, CIMT

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.