Friday, July 28, 2017

Back To School - the unconventional student

Congratulations! If you are reading this blog it means you have already overcome a huge obstacle on your path to furthering your education; deciding to go back to school.  Let me first start out by defining the “unconventional student.” This is typically an adult student.  As an adult, there are a variety of different responsibilities other than school that will have to have time and energy devoted to them; such as, children, maintaining a home, marriage, and work. Starting or going back to college can be both physically and emotionally draining. It can be terrifying to change careers, intimidating to enter a classroom after many years. How could I forget about student loan debt! Don’t panic! I have been an unconventional adult student for four years and will graduate this August from Lewis University with a Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training. From there, I am preparing to further my education in Physical Therapy School.  With this blog I will hopefully relieve your fears and give you some tips and tricks to accomplish your goal of higher education. 

First, I want you to ask yourself “Why am I going back to school?” You could be working toward an increase in salary, pursuing a dream or goal that was put on the back burner, or simply making a shift in careers. This question is important because if you are not 100% motivated to take this step, it will be much harder to tolerate the stress. As for me, I enlisted in the army right out of high school and spent seven years working as an infantryman in a special operations unit.  Unfortunately, I was injured on a deployment and ended up medically retiring.  This injury led me to my passion of helping others in the field of Athletic Training and Physical Therapy, as I relied heavily on physical therapy to be able to walk again. I can honestly say that I would not have been able to finish my undergraduate training if I did not truly enjoy what I was studying.  I also have a wife, a child, three dogs and a new home.  I work part time and the majority of my schooling requires unpaid clinical rotations and an internship.  As you can imagine, sometimes I feel as though I am stretched pretty thin.  Luckily, I have learned to prioritize.  Obviously, coursework is a priority, but it cannot consume your whole life.  You have to make time for your kids and significant other.  One thing I have found to be helpful is a good schedule and a routine.  A few tips for this are to register and enroll early.  Adjust your work schedule to your class schedule and block in study and homework time. I tried to leave a one-hour break between classes to finish homework.  I usually leave either all of Saturday or all of Sunday dedicated to family time and do not do any coursework during that time.  Sometimes, a break is necessary to regain motivation. Wake up at the same time, leave your house at the same time, and go to bed at the same time.  In addition to keeping a good schedule and routine, keeping physically active and following a nutritious diet is essential.  I played hockey for three years of my college career, and being active 5 times a week helped keep my energy up and gave me a release from stress.  I recommend doing what you enjoy, walking, jogging, yoga, interval, HIIT, cycling swimming or sport participation.  Being active 30-minutes a day for four to five days a week can help keep your head in the game.  Many people get bogged down by diet.  Don’t count calories or macronutrients. I found you will not have time.  Develop a diet of “clean eating” with a balance between proteins, carbohydrates and fats.  Meal prepping will be vital to staying on track.  My wife makes my lunch, so I get some assistance in this area.  Diet is important because poor food choices or not eating enough will lower your energy and may affect your ability to be successful. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water will further assist a healthy diet.  For me, coffee was necessary and so drinking plenty of water to offset the dehydrating effects of caffeine was helpful.

No matter how motivated and organized you are, sometimes the stress of life wins and its okay.  I have had many instances where I could not sleep, could not focus on coursework and was neglecting my family because I was not able to handle being pulled in multiple directions.  I was still accomplishing things but I was just going through the motions. One thing that really helped me is a technique called “mindfulness.” This technique teaches you to focus on breathing to put yourself in the moment. It teaches you to recognize when your mind wanders and to get your focus back on the present. I have found this to be very beneficial, although, it did take some time and effort to really recognize the positive effects.  With that being said, I believe that having a strong support system is the most beneficial thing you could have. Having my wife, family, great coworkers and friends to seek advice from or just vent to is a great way to alleviate any stress or doubt.  Sometimes you need to be vulnerable and ask others for help. Think about who you have on your team and make sure they know how much you appreciate their help.

Remember to love what you are doing, develop a scheduled routine, stay active and eat well, utilize various techniques to combat stress and take advantage of your support systems.  Everyone has their own methods and techniques, so do what works best for you.  I have just tried to give you some pointers that have benefitted me on my path.  Below I have provided several links to help you on your way.  You will do great things!

-Brad Hojek

Aide at TheraCORE Physical Therapy

Friday, July 14, 2017

Can kids be physically active during screen time?

As my boys reach their teen years, it seems to be a constant battle keeping them off their phones and video games.  With all the extra hours at home this summer, getting them off the couch isn’t as easy as it used to be!

It is recommended that kids get at least 60 minutes of vigorous play each day to stay healthy.  Regular exercise in nature is proven to improve children’s physical and mental health.  Outdoor activity helps kids maintain a healthy weight, boosts immunity and bone loss, lowers stress and improves self-esteem.  It is also recommended that screen time be limited to less than 2 hours a day.  That’s TV, video game, computer, phone and iPad total time less than 2 hours/day!  I don’t know about you, but I find that to be nearly impossible. 

So, what about creating ways to be physically active with screen time?  Pokémon Go had the right idea and got my kids up and walking around, but they outgrew that game. Here are some other ideas I have used with my boys…

·         When watching morning cartoons or an afternoon movie on a rainy day, see how many push-ups you can do or how long you can hold a plank at the commercial breaks.  Make it a contest between you and your kids!
·         Allow them to create a private (only those you share the video with can see it) You Tube channel where they can create and post videos of themselves doing something active.  My boys will make a highlight video of themselves doing tricks on our trampoline, or dunking on the basketball hoop, or doing skateboarding tricks and set them to music.  They turn out pretty impressive!
·         Play a game on your phone together.  We like Heads Up where you hold the phone on your forehead and try to get your partner to say the words that pop up on the screen.  Even though it’s a talking game, we are always up jumping around acting out the word!
·         We still have a blast playing Wii sports together. Whether it be baseball, tennis or golf, the competitions get pretty intense.  And, they get a good laugh out of how bad I am. Just Dance or Outdoor Challenge are other fun active video games.

Of course, the goal is always getting outside with my kids hiking, biking, kayaking or just a good old game of one-on-one in the driveway.  Sometimes you have to pick your battles, and if getting them active with screen time is the best I can do some days, I’ll take it!

Amy Goebbert, PT, DPT
Co-owner & Physical Therapist - TheraCORE, Inc.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Outdoor Adventures

It’s Summer! Round of applause!!!

You complained all winter about the dreary weather and now that hibernation season is over, why are you still Netflix binging on the couch?! The sun is out and the weather is as good as it will be all year, so why not give the great outdoors some love?

As you’ve likely heard, exercise has loads of evidence on positive health benefits. Let’s spend a little time elaborating on a couple of my favorites: hiking and kayaking.


While you won’t find a large mountain to climb in IL, you will find several local and not so local parks and canyons to explore.

To name a few:

  • Starved Rock
  • Matthiessen State Park
  •       Shawnee National Forest
  • Giant City State Park
  •       Fern Cliff State Park
  • Rock Cut State Park

Health Benefits of Hiking
  • Fight off heart disease. Those who do not exercise are twice as likely to have coronary heart disease.
  • Lower your blood pressure. Physical activity lowers BP 4-10 points. Regaining a normal body weight can lower it 5-20 points.
  • Manage and prevent diabetes. Exercise can reduce the amount of insulin needed and can potentially reverse the course of the disease for those with Type II.
  • Improve your cholesterol levels.
  • Lose and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Decrease your risk of colon cancer.
  • Fight stress. Walking releases adrenaline thus helping to decrease tension and anxiety.
  • Increase bone density and slow the rate of calcium loss responsible for osteoporosis.
  • Manage osteoarthritis. Motion is lotion! Walking is a low impact activity good for assisting with maintaining strong, healthy bones and muscles.


Pick a lake. Burn calories. Rest. Enjoy scenery. Repeat. All while getting tanned and toned. Who can argue with that?

Health benefits of Kayaking
  • Take in extra Vitamin D necessary for healthy bones.
  • Improved breathing efficiency and cardiovascular endurance.
  • Decreased fat and increased lean muscle mass. Think strong arms, legs, back and core.
  • De-stress. Being by water is shown to assist with relaxation and with the endorphins from exercise, it is a win-win!

Take home: regular exercise has been proven to have a positive effect on lengthening and improving the quality of our lives. You want to be around to complain about next winter right? So, what are you waiting for? Get outside!

Katie Green, PT, DPT

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.

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