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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Simple Solution to Coccyx Pain

Tailbone pillows, or coccyx cushions, as they are commonly known can provide comfort and relief to individuals with back pain and those living with chronic or temporary coccyx pain. Coccyx pain can come from trauma, fractures, dislocations, and medical procedures.[1,2] Trauma can originate from childbirth, a colonoscopy or simply a fall. Even prolonged sitting in front of a computer can cause non-abrupt trauma and result in coccyx pain.

Age also plays a role in the onset of non-traumatic coccyx pain. As we age, the ligaments surrounding the coccyx degenerate and the coccyx may also become fused, causing pain while sitting.3


What is the Coccyx?

The coccyx is a bony prominence making up the end of the spine. It is often referred to as the tail bone for its resemblance to a tail. The coccyx acts as an anchor point for a number of muscles, tendons and ligaments and is comprised of several individual segments, similar to spinal vertebrae.

In combination with the ischial tuberosities (the bony prominences in our buttocks) the coccyx aids in sitting or weight bearing, completing a tripod, so-to-speak, that allows us to sit comfortably.4


What is a Coccyx Cushion?

A typical coccyx cushion is made from either foam or gel and is flat or slightly angled like a wedge. Most all cushions of this type include a cut-out in the middle, near the back of the cushion, creating the area of pressure relief around the tailbone. Cushions with the slight slope or wedge shape are designed to tilt the pelvis forward, correctly align the spine and restore natural lumbar curve.

Several sizes are available to accommodate almost anyone. The cushions are usually 16” wide by 13” deep or 18” wide by 14” deep. The sloped cushions start at about 1 ½” in thickness and increase to 3”. The non-sloped cushions are usually 3” thick.

Some coccyx cushions are offered in different densities or hardness. Based on your weight, you would choose the cushion density that provides the best support. Someone heavier, say over 200 lbs. would want to choose a denser foam, ensuring that the cushion does not completely compress under their weight. On the other hand, someone weighing 120 lbs. would find the dense foam too hard and should select a softer foam.


What is memory foam?

Originally developed by NASA and used on space shuttles to relieve pressure on astronauts caused by G-Forces during take-off, Visco-elastic memory foam is now found in household mattresses and wheelchair cushions. Because it is significantly denser than regular polyurethane foam and contains temperature sensitivity properties, it always recovers to its original shape. It has earned the name “slow-recovery foam” (see picture) for its ability to slowly return to its original shape. Since it has the amazing ability to relieve pressure, memory foam can now be found in products such as pillows, toppers, wedges, supports, mattresses and more, benefiting millions of consumers worldwide.


Features to look for when choosing a coccyx cushion:

  • Price – Most are inexpensive, around $40
  • Maintenance – Look a cushion with a washable cover
  • Travel – Many include a convenient strap for travel
  • Material – Memory foam is the most popular material
  • Weight – Most are lightweight, weighing 3 ½ lbs.

Top 3 Coccyx Cushions

 #1) Coccyx Gel Seat Cushion

More Information

Comes in 18″ wide x 16″ deep and 3″ high. Features a gel center section surrounded by comfortable foam.

What do customers have to say about this Gel and Foam Coccyx Cushion?

My husband has a deteriorating spine and chronic pain. He said this cushion helps a lot! He used it on our trip to Texas from PA and said it really made the trip more comfortable. Then he forgot to bring it on a shorter trip and regretted it. He also uses it when he sits at his computer. Some folks might not like how thick it is but that’s one of the things my husband likes about it, adding to his comfort.

                                                by Chris the artist from Allentown, PA

 This seat cushion is very well made and is solid as it doesn’t lose its support with all day use. I use it at home, even in bed, as well as in our vehicle. It’s a lifesaver for extended travel.

 by Pamelina from Winnemucca, NV


#2) Foam Coccyx Cushion

More Information

Simple and sturdy – Comes in the following sizes and material density:

Standard, Extra Soft and Extra Firm – 16” x 13”

Standard and Extra Firm – 18” x 14”


It’s constructed of Visco Memory Foam and includes a washable and replaceable cover with built-in strap.

What do customers have to say about this Coccyx Cushion?

   I use this cushion daily while on the computer & watching TV. My lower back pain and morning stiffness have been reduced significantly.

by Tubes from San Diego, CA

  I had this cushion ordered for me for use at work. Since I sit most of the time, this cushion replaced a previous one that had worn out and deformed. This new cushion is made using superior memory foam and was very comfortable. I was not in any pain but I liked the coccyx relief design so that I would not have any future problems. I plan on getting another[r] cushion for home use. 

by Jay-Par from Portland, Oregon


#3) Coccyx Tailbone Cushion

More Information

A great economical cushion, and about the only one available in Beige. Comes in one size, 15” wide x 14” deep with slope from 1 ½” to 3”.

What do customers say about this coccyx cushion?

So far i really like this product. Having had spinal surgery recently, this pillow is very comforting. I use it at home on hard chairs and while in school on those hard plastic chairs. It helps immensely. Its light enough to carry with me too.

by J the student from staten island, ny

 Easy to use. I can take it into the car with me. Keeps my tailbone from fatigue and stiffness.

by Cat Lady from St. Paul, MN


Allegro Medical customers say it best, a coccyx cushion can help alleviate back and tailbone pain. If sitting is uncomfortable for you, a coccyx cushion might be your best solution.


[1] Richette P, Maigne JY, Bardin T. Coccydynia related to calcium crystal deposition. Spine. Aug 1 2008;33(17):E620-3. [Medline].

2 Foye PM. Coccydynia (coccyx pain) caused by chordoma. Int Orthop. Jun 2007;31(3):427. [Medline]. [Full Text].

3 Foye PM. Finding the causes of coccydynia (coccygeal pain). J Bone Joint Surg Br. Jan 18 2007;[Full Text].


4Howorth B. The painful coccyx. Clin Orthop. 1959;14:145-60.

As adults age, once simple tasks like sitting, standing, and walking can become more challenging, leading to a reduction in physical activity.  Older adults should participate in safe and effective moderate physical activities to achieve an improved quality of life.   Sadly, one-third of adults over the age of 50 lack physical activity in their daily lives. 1   Older adults living a sedentary lifestyle have reduced strength and balance which increases risk of falling2.  Senior adults, age 65 and older, are at high risk for falls with one out of three seniors falling each year.3   Daily living aids are helpful tools that will keep you safe and moving independently.   AllegroMedical.com presents five daily living aids to help you increase physical activity safely.

Sit-To-Stand Position

Movement from a sitting to standing position is an important skill that facilitates independence.   Without the ability to perform this basic skill elderly people are at risk for institutionalization due to limitations in performing daily living activities. 4

Using a seat assist such as a lifting cushion to move from a sit to stand position eliminates the need for standing assistance from caregivers.  This assistive device removes the possibility of inflicting pain or harm to the individual requiring assistance which can occur during manual assist to stand.5   The UPEASY lifting cushion provides users with a gentle and stable automatic boost when leaning forward preparing for a sit-to-stand movement.

“Recent knee surgery has made rising from seated position difficult. Using the uplift seat assist has made a significant difference. I will likely use the seat assist throughout my recovery and beyond. ”  Review by AllegroMedical.com customer Lameduck from Aptos, CA

Since lifting cushions are designed for use only on your chair or sofa a security pole and curve grab bar is another independent living aid that assists with movement from a sitting to standing position.  Tension mounted security poles don’t require permanent installation making them a great option for individual changing needs.  Simply grasp the curved grab bar to climb up to a standing position.

“Bought this for my mom. She is recovering from a broken hip. We use it in the bathroom to help her with her transfer to a bath bench. It is also used to assist rising from the toilet. I have to be honest, I automatically reach for it , too. I am 61 &; need to protect my back. I care for an 84 year old mom &; a disabled 16 year old daughter. This pole is incredibly sturdy, stable &; easy to install. I can’t find any cons. The price was great.”  Review by AllegroMedical.com customer Barb the Builder from DHS, CA

Seniors with sit-to-stand movement issues are less inclined to drive due to the difficulty of exiting the vehicle into a standing position.  Losing driving ability for many aging adults decreases independence and fosters a sedentary life style.  Leverage support exiting a vehicle by inserting a heavy duty steel Handy Bar into the side door locking mechanism and stand with confidence.

Grab bars are essential daily living aids that provide assistance and added safety for sitting and standing.  Suction cup grab bars install without tools or holes and are completely portable.  These grab bars are like having an extra hand to help provide support for standing up from the commode, bathtub, or any place extra balance support is needed.

“My father refused to allow us to drill ‘holes’ and screws into the fiberglass shower. These were perfect for our use. I liked the ability to adjust and move them to where they worked best for him. I did have to lean hard onto one wall to get the best suction and securement due to a small wave within the wall. I wish there was something similar to these for dry wall surface walls by the commode. Another area he will not allow us to drill holes into.”  Review by AllegroMedical.com customer, Vicster from Danville, Ky


Elderly adults with unstable gait who have experienced falls tend to diminish physical activity such as walking out of fear of falling again.  This lack of activity promotes physical weakness and makes the individuals more susceptible to falling. 3

Walking aids such as rollators are safe and effective in helping individuals with unstable gait. 6   Rollators are walkers for indoor or outdoor use with typically four wheels, a seat, and hand brakes and are for people with limited upper body strength.  The convenience of the seat allows users experiencing fatigue to rest for a few minutes while walking.


I am 63 years old. I fell down a flight of stairs and have severe damage to my spine and partial paralysis of my right leg. I was using a standard walker but when I saw this beauty on your web site, I knew that it would work better for me. Standing in line at the market, etc. is just intolerably painful for me. This little beauty helps keep me more independent and able to function. Thank you for offering this little lady.”  Review by AllegroMedical.com customer IrishTeaCup from Sunland, CA

Don’t lose your independence.  If you have difficulty sitting, standing, or walking, seek the guidance of a physician to see what aids are right for you.  Return to AllegroMedical.com for all of your solutions for maintaining an active and self-reliant lifestyle.

1                   http://www.cdc.gov/aging/han/health-promotion.htm (10 Strategies…Active Aging)

2                   http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM198812293192604

3                   http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html

4                   http://ptjournal.apta.org/content/82/9/866.full

5                   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15698379

6                   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1990737

Who said eating healthy to control diabetes had to be a tasteless sacrifice?  Today, diabetic recipes abound that are just as delicious as their high-fat and sugar counterparts.  It’s simply a matter of understanding the foods to include and those to eliminate.

A healthy eating plan incorporating fiber-rich foods, healthy carbohydrates, heart healthy fish and ‘good’ fats can help diabetics control blood sugar.

  •  Fiber-rich foods include dietary fibers that are not absorbed during the digestive process. Examples are vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, peas, and whole-wheat flour
  •  Healthy carbohydrates come from fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, peas and low-fat dairy rather than processed sugars or grains, such as rolls, breads, pastries.
  • Heart  friendly fish can range from low-fat fish to fish that are high in fat but “healthy fats”  such as Omega-3.  For example, cod, tuna and halibut are low total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.  Conversely, salmon, mackeral and herring, while higher in fat, actually lower triglyceride levels because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids.1

Keeping a log of what you eat is a great way to see how different meals impact your blood glucose level.  The OneTouch Logbook available at AllegroMedical.com is one of the more popular items for that purpose.  It’s easy to monitor blood glucose levels with quick testing tools such as the OneTouch UltraMini Glucometer System.

Remember, controlling your diabetes through diet doesn’t have to be boring.  Enjoy these recipes for a meal that’s big on flavor and still glycemic friendly.


Fruit Salad with Vanilla Yogurt2







1 (16 ounce) package fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

1 large peach, pitted and cut into bite-size pieces

2 plums, pitted and cut into bite-size pieces

2 kiwi fruit, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces

1 cup dark sweet cherries, pitted and halved

1 cup honeydew melon balls or cubes

1 cup cantaloupe balls or cubes

1 cup cubed fresh pineapple

1 cup grapes

2 (16 ounce) containers low-fat vanilla yogurt



In a large salad bowl, lightly mix together the strawberries, peach, plums, kiwi fruit, cherries, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, pineapple, and grapes until the fruit is well mixed. Serve in bowls with yogurt spooned over the top.

Original recipe makes 12 servings


Chicken with Peach and Melon Salsa3







1 (15-ounce) can peach halves, drained and rinsed
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 teaspoons Jamaican Jerk seasoning
1 cup pre-cut melon medley, diced
1 tablespoon diced pimientos
1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt


Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.

Place peaches halves on grill pan and grill 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set aside to cool and then dice into small pieces.

Season both sides of each chicken breast with 1 teaspoon Jamaican jerk seasoning. Place chicken breasts in pan and grill for 6 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine grilled peaches and remaining ingredients. Stir thoroughly.

Serve chicken topped with peach and melon salsa.


Chocolate Peanut Torte Recipe4






1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup baking cocoa

1/3 cup sugar blend

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup fat-free milk

1/2 cup egg substitute

1/4 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water



1-3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cold fat-free milk, divided

1 package (1 ounce) sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix

3/4 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter



1 ounce unsweetened chocolate

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons fat-free milk



Coat two 9-in. round baking pans with cooking spray; line with waxed paper. Coat the paper with cooking spray and sprinkle with flour; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the milk, egg substitute, oil and vanilla; add to flour mixture. Beat for 2 minutes. Stir in water.

Pour into prepared pans.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

In a large bowl, whisk 1-3/4 cups milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes; let stand 2 minutes or until soft-set. In a small saucepan over low heat, stir peanut butter and remaining milk until smooth. Fold into pudding.

Place bottom layer on a serving plate; spread half of filling over cake layer; top with second layer and remaining filling. Chill for 1 hour or until serving.

For topping, in a microwave, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth. Cool until spreadable. Spread frosting over top of cake.

Yield: 16 servings.


Diabetes is a serious condition that if left uncontrolled can lead to nerve, kidney and heart damage.  Losing weight and making wise food choices can help keep blood glucose levels within acceptable ranges.  Always consult with your doctor and a registered dietitian to see what is best for you.1 Rely on AllegroMedical.com for all of your diabetic maintenance and testing needs.


1 http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetes-diet/DA00027

2 http://allrecipes.com/recipe/fruit-salad-with-vanilla-yogurt/detail.aspx

3 http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sandra-lee/chicken-with-peach-and-melon-salsa-recipe/index.html

4 http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/Chocolate-Peanut-Torte-2

5 http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetes-diet/DA00027


As we age, our doctors tell us to stay active and keep a healthy lifestyle. They take our blood pressure, recite a few numbers, and possibly talk about how to change the number. But what do those numbers mean?

Blood pressure is read as a fraction (i.e. 117/76) and is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The top number is the Systolic and is the higher of the two. This measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats or contracts. The bottom number is the Diastolic and measures the pressure in the arteries between beats or when the heart muscles is resting and refilling with blood1.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), it is recommended to have your blood pressured screened every two years starting at age 20.1 If you are higher than the normal range of 120/80, talk with your doctor about more frequent screenings.

Below is the AHA’s blood pressure categories1

Category Systolic (upper #) Diastolic (lower #)
Normal Less than 120 And Less than 80
Prehypertension 120-139 Or 80-89
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Stage 1 140-159 Or 90-99
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Stage 2 160 or Higher Or 100 or higher
Hypertensive Crisis (Emergency Care Needed) Higher than 180 or Higher than 110


Why is knowing your blood pressure so important?

Your BP tells you if your tissues are receiving regular supplies of blood that is rich in the oxygen it needs to function.  High blood pressure (HBP) is also known as the “silent killer”. It has no symptoms. It not only damages your heart and arteries but other organs as well and can lead to serious heath problems2.  Checking your blood pressure on a regular basis to ensure it falls in a healthy range protects your entire body. Further, it reduces your risk of blood vessel walls becoming overstretched or injured, lowers the risk of a heart attack, stroke or other form of heart failure3.

Measuring your blood pressure at home with your own personal monitor is easy! Allegromedical.com carries many brands and styles including the Omron Automatic Digital Blood Pressure Monitor 10 Series+  and  Omron’s Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor. Other popular brands on AllegroMedical include HealthSmart, Mabis and Invacare. All include their own special features and cater to the user needs.  For example, some offer a larger view screen, more memory for recording past blood pressures, and irregular heartbeat detection.

To check your blood pressure allow at least 15 minutes of rest prior to the test and do not eat, drink or smoke during this time 4

1)      Make sure the cuff fits and the sensor of the bladder cuff is over the brachial artery

2)      Be still and sit with your back straight, feet on the floor, your arm should be relaxed and supported on a flat surface

3)      Take multiple readings

4)      Measure at the same time daily

5)      Accurately record all these readings and make sure to understand the readings

6)      Consult your healthcare professional if you record several high readings.

If you are using a wrist monitor

1)      Hold the arm out with the palm up

2)      The digital panel should be on the inside of the wrist5

3)      Be still and sit with your back straight, feet on the floor, your arm should be relaxed and supported on a flat surface. Make sure the wrist is at heart level

4)      Take multiple readings

5)      Measure at the same time daily

6)      Accurately record all these readings and make sure to understand the readings

7)      Consult your healthcare professional if you record several high readings.

Remember, knowing your blood pressure is a key step in maintaining a current healthy status or ensuring your readings trend in a normal range. Being physically active, eating a healthy diet low in cholesterol and not smoking all factor into heart health2. Make it a habit to take it weekly and if you fall into a higher risk category talk to your doctor about what lifestyle changes could be made.  Rely on AllegroMedical.com to be your partner and value-added source for information and products to help you manage your health and optimize your healthy lifestyle.


1 American Heart Association. “Understanding Blood Pressure Readings.” Understanding Blood Pressure Readings. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2013

2 American Heart Association “Why Blood Pressure Matters.” Why Blood Pressure Matters. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2013.

3 American Heart Association “What Is High Blood Pressure?” What Is High Blood Pressure? N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2013.

4 American Heart Association “How to Monitor and Record Your Blood Pressure.” How to Monitor and Record Your Blood Pressure. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2013

5 Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 20 July 2012. Web. 18 Mar. 2013.

Rinse-Free bathing wipes have set new standards in the ease, comfort and simplicity of patient care. Whether you are a professional caregiver or caring for a loved one, a rinse-free bathing program can help reduce the risk of infection, improve skin health and maintain good patient hygiene.

Compared to the traditional basin bath, rinse-free bathing wipes are a better choice for several key reasons:

  • Convenience and ease of use
  • Cleans and moisturizes skin more effectively
  • Reduces risk of infection from contaminated basins and tap water
  • More comfortable for the patient
  • Fewer supplies required
  • Less expensive
  • Caregiver preferred


Pre-moistened bathing wipes provide an all-in-one solution for in-bed bathing and also remove contamination risks found in dirty basins and tap water. Some products like the Comfort Bath Personal Washcloths also include a Skin Check Guide, quick reference pictures of various skin conditions, making it possible for the caregiver to monitor and report on changes in the patient’s skin condition.


How are Rinse-Free bathing wipes safer than using a basin?
Studies have found that bath basins frequently harbor pathogens. In fact, a nation-wide study discovered that 98% of basins tested were contaminated with some form of harmful bacteria including MERSA and VRE, two antibiotic-resistant and dangerous STAFF viruses found in hospitals.1 bathing basin image depicting contamination
Contaminated tap water can be a source of infection. As many as 29 studies of water systems found tap water can be the source of serious waterborne infections.2 Patient exposure can occur while showering, bathing and drinking. Reports recommend minimizing exposure to tap water for all patients who are immunocompromised, have fresh surgical wounds, or are at higher risk for infections.2,3

Rinse-free bathing wipes are pre-packaged and use purified water, eliminating the risk of exposure to bacteria from basins or tap water.

Can’t I just use baby wipes – what’s the difference?

Allegro Medical customers often ask us if typical baby wipes or skin wipes are the same as a pre-packaged bathing wipes. The answer is no – bathing wipes are thicker, softer and contain the right amount of cleanser and moisturizer. Personal cleansing washcloths are about 10x thicker than a baby wipe and are designed to feel soft like fine fabric but have superior strength and durability.

So when it comes to choosing a method for bed bathing, bathing wipes offer a convenient and effective way of maintaining patient hygiene while eliminating the exposure to contaminants often found in bathing basins.

Providing comfortable, easy, and sanitary bathing for patients in bed is easier than ever with bathing wipes. AllegroMedical.com offers a variety of bathing options and solutions including a full line of home health and wellness solutions and products.


1 Sources; Johnson D, Lineweaver L, Maze L. Patients bath basins as potential sources of infection: a multicenter sampling study. AJCC Vol 18, No 1, Jan 2009.
2 Anaissie EJ, Penzak SR, Dignani C, Arch Intern Med. 8 Jul 2002;162(13):1483-92.
3 Clark AP, John LD, Clin Nurse Spec. May – June 2006; 20(3):119-23.


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Safe, inexpensive, portable. Those are just a few reasons why colored resistance bands are popular for exercise, fitness goals, and rehabilitation.  You may have tried resistance bands yourself or have had them recommended to you by a physical therapist or personal trainer.

What are these bands and how do they work?

The bands are made from various thicknesses and strengths of high-quality latex and non-latex material.  The resistance comes as you try to stretch and lengthen the band itself.

These bands can offer a safer way to stretch out the muscles and help reestablish a normal range of motion (ROM)1. The bands use positive resistance to shorten the muscle during a curl and negative resistance to lengthen the same muscle when fighting the resistance back to start.2 Resistance training also offers a less costly option to weight training as the bands are relatively inexpensive. The small, compact size makes them perfect for traveling too.  Other health and fitness benefits of a band-based progressive resistance program include increasing bone strength, building muscles boosting stamina, and improving sleep efficiency3.

At  AllegroMedical.com, our top selling brands include Thera-Band®  Cando® and REP Band which all come in a variety of lengths and colors. Most are available in 6 yards and 50 yards strips which can be cut to the necessary length.  Some brands even make a loop band. These loops are great for lower body adductor and abductor exercises.

But how do you choose from so many colors and thicknesses and determine which is the best for your needs?

One of the most popular brands is Thera-Band  that offers the following colors and resistance levels:

Color Resistance Muscle Group
Yellow Thin/Easy/X-Light Shoulders and shins
Red Light Biceps and triceps
Green Medium Legs, Chest & Back
Blue Heavy Legs, Chest & Back*
Black X-Heavy Legs, Chest & Back*

*Great for working out with someone else

The Cando Band varies slightly as they carry a wider range:

Color Resistance
Tan XX-Light
Yellow X-Light
Red Light
Green Medium
Blue Heavy
Black X-Heavy
Silver XX-Heavy
Gold XXX-Heavy


Finally, if you come across a band that doesn’t follow one of these models, one of the easiest ways to figure out the resistance is the price. The thicker the band is; generally the higher the price will be.

Getting Started with Simple Resistance Band Exercises

To begin, select a color according to the charts above.  You know you have the correct color when you perform two to three sets of 10 -15 repetitions using slow controlled motions while gaining mild fatigue on the last set.  Once you can do all sets with no fatigue3, you are ready to move up to the next resistance – or color – level.  Below are a few simple exercises to help you get started.

Resistance Band Squats4

  1. Start by stepping on the resistance band with both feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Hold the resistance band at shoulder level with both hands. Start into a full squat while holding the band at shoulder height.
  3.  Return to the starting position and repeat.

Biceps Curls with Resistance Band5

  1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, and at a staggered stance.
  2. Step onto middle of tubing with back foot or both feet.
  3. Start position: Grasp ends with underhand grip (palms facing forward) with arms hanging down at sides. Elbows should be close to sides.
  4. Flex at the elbows and curl band up to approximately shoulder level. Keep elbows close to sides throughout movement
  5. Return to start position.
  6. Remember to keep back and head straight in a neutral position throughout movement. Shoulders should be stabilized by squeezing shoulder blades together slightly – only the elbow joint should be moving.

Triceps Extension with Resistance Band6

  1. Start by holding the tubing in one hand and placing that hand behind your back.
  2. Now grab the other end of the band with the arm that is over your head.
  3. Extend the top elbow until your arm is fully extended.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat for the prescribed repetitions.

Using resistance bands is an affordable way to your fitness or rehabilitation goals.


1“Rogue Fitness Equipment.” Rogue Fitness. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2013.

2 “Thera-Band® Exercise Bands.” Thera-Band. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2013.

3Resistance Training – Beginners.” Better Health Channel. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2013.
4-6 “Resistance Band Exercises.” Resistance Band Exercises. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2013.

Are coughing, sneezing and laughing causing frequent changes of underpants and clothes?  Are you declining invitations to movies, dinner, shopping, or exercise classes with friends out of fear you might have an accident?    Don’t let stress incontinence limit your social life.  You can stay active without the risk of embarrassing leaks.   Stress incontinence is much more common in women than men since pelvic floor muscles can be weakened by pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.  Men may experience stress incontinence after surgery for prostate problems.  For all the ladies out there, try these simple protect and defend techniques designed to regain your confidence and keep you moving.


The simplest method of protection is to use an incontinence pad NOT a menstrual pad.  Incontinence pads are designed specifically for leakage protection and odor control.  Products that are best suited for stress incontinence should have at least an absorbency level of light to moderate.  Today’s incontinence products are more discreet and comfortable.  A few of the more popular and innovative pads according to AllegroMedical.com are the Poise, Prevail, and eco-friendly premium European Abri-San pads.  If you prefer an item that more closely resembles protective underwear you might try the ultra-sleek and smooth fitting Depend Silhouettes or the eco-friendly premium Abri-Flex.


Training your pelvic floor muscles is a great defense to stress incontinence.  You are never too old to perform these exercises.  Kegel exercises will strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.1 Just like any exercise regimen performing them regularly will give you optimum results.  You can feel whether you are using the correct “squeeze” muscle by stopping your urine stream during a visit to the toilet.  This is only a technique for you to identify the “correct” squeeze.  Start with small, short squeezes to build up the strength of your muscles.  Squeeze for 3 seconds and relax for 3 seconds.  Repeat 10-15 times.  Kegel exercises 5 minutes, three times a day  should make it easier for your pelvic floor muscles to react to the increased abdominal pressures of sneezing and coughing.

You are not alone with 1 out of 3 women over the age of 45, and 1 out of every 2 women over 65 suffering from stress incontinence.2  You might consider joining a support group where you can voice concerns or listen to others share their stories. Organizations such as the National Association For Continence can provide you with resources and information about people who experience stress incontinence.  Stop stressing about stress incontinence and start enjoying life!


1Kegel exercise tips. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/bcw_ez/bcw_508.pdf

2US markets for Urological Devices. Millennium. Oct 2010. Report US3IURI0