Category Archives: Our Products

…3 Days Post The Liberty Hospital Half Marathon

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Here I am before the race all smiles!

 

Last weekend I was honored to run the Liberty Half-Marathon. It was my first time running this race, but I now have my 5th half-marathon overall in the books! It was a heck of a race – from lots of hills to even stronger winds! Gotta love Missouri and its weather! Hills are never my favorite and I knew this was going to be a hilly run. However, I did not expect to have all the wind and attempting to run up the hill against the wind. It was definitely a challenge and an excellent mental workout!

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Mid-Point of the race starting to struggle a little.

 

At mile 6, I started doubting myself; I am hurting, struggling with this wind and I am barely halfway there! Part of me wanted to say “I hate running!” or maybe I was just getting hangry! I asked myself, “Why am I doing this to myself, forcing my body to do something that not many blade runners are capable of doing! There is a reason why there are only a few long distance runners who wear 2 prosthetic legs.” As I was walking-running, I got a thumbs up from a stranger, and a “you got this” from another stranger. I started getting my positive energy back and boom, I was at mile 8! It is amazing how I am usually the one who encourages others, but this time it was others encouraging me and giving me that boost of energy that I was lacking in this run. As I came to the last mile, I had a friend of mine pushing me along until the end! My back was in so much pain, my hips and legs didn’t want to run anymore – but my mind just wanted to be done with this race! What I am trying to say is, having positive runners around you is important! 
I didn’t PR in this race – but it was not my worst time! I would consider this to be one of my hardest races I’ve ever done, but I would gladly do it again because it challenged my mind more than my body! We forget that we are capable of so much more!

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Finally finishing the race.

 

In a month I am doing my first ever marathon – the St. Louis Marathon! Doing the Liberty Half Marathon was my way to prepare for a full marathon! From what I’ve heard, the St. Louis Marathon is nowhere near as hilly as the Liberty Half-Marathon. However, it is a full marathon, so there will be more mental training! In the next month, I’ll be increasing my running mileage, improving my nutrition and continue lifting. I am so nervous but super excited! I’ve dreamed of doing a full marathon for more than 4 years now and I’ll be doing it in just one month!

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Knit-Rite/TheraSport was a Silver Sponsor at the race.

 

Huge shot out to Liberty Hospital Half Marathon for a wonderful organized race. Thank you to Knit-Rite for your support, Doyle, my prosthetist at Decker IO&P for always making sure my legs are ready to run, Dr. Jim from Fit Muscle and Joint Clinic for making sure my body is in place, and finally, my family, friends and everyone else for all of your patience with me and my crazy running journey!

St. Louis Marathon, I’m coming for you!

 

New & Improved Soft-Sock®

 

Long time Knit-Rite customers already know all the benefits to our Prosthetic Soft-Sock®.  But, since we know that even great things can be improved upon, Knit-Rite has done just that.  After listening to customers and practitioners alike, and following a detailed research and development process, we have improved our Original Soft-Sock® to an even better design!

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We know that comfort is key, so one of the improvements made to the Soft-Sock® is a fully non-roll top.  The new top lays flat against the skin and doesn’t roll, eliminating the annoying bunching that could occur with the original or other prosthetic socks.

The other great addition to the Soft-Sock® is a reinforced distal hole option.  The “Eye-Hole” is knit into the sock.  The new reinforced feature allows the eye-hole to sit in the proper position without stretching and moving out of place on the leg.  This feature is patent-pending.

The new Soft-Sock® contains all the other features of the original Soft-Sock®.  The soft and cuddly material feels wonderful next to the skin.  The toe is rounded and 3-dimensional providing better comfort.  The antimicrobial nature prevents odors, while high-tech fibers wick moisture away from the skin.  The sock stretches and recovers to help it conform to the limb.

Like the original, the new Soft-Sock® is available in many options.  These include with and without the eye-hole; in original white CoolMax® material or grey X-Static®; a multitude of sizes for both adults and children; and lightweight, 3-Ply, 5-Ply and 6-Ply weights.

Therafirm-Sponsored Marathoner Wins Santa Barbara Race

On November 7, 2015, 36-year-old Moninda Marube won the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon in Santa Barbara, California for the fourth time with a time of one hour, eight minutes and 41 seconds.  The event was the culmination of Moninda’s 3,700-mile journey that began last July in Auburn, Maine.

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Moninda grew up in Kenya.  A lack of steady money and political violence contributed to a difficult life as a youth.  But, his talent for running allowed him a way out, and his journey landed him in the United States.

In the U.S., Moninda began training, but ran into financial difficulties.  To help out, he began training with other Kenyan runners under a manager.  It was with this manager that Moninda fell victim to human trafficking.  The manager would keep winnings from the races the Kenyans ran, leaving little for living expenses.  Moninda lived in a house infested with bedbugs with no air conditioning and very little food.  Finally in 2012, Moninda met Dan Campbell, the technical director of the Santa Barbara Half Marathon.  He ran the Marathon and broke the course record.  Campbell helped him get out of his situation and relocate to Auburn, Maine, where life is finally good.

Becoming involved with the Auburn, Maine Police Athletic/Activities League (PAL) and motivated to help others, he began The Moninda Movement to help bring awareness of human trafficking.  The Moninda Movement consisted of Moninda’s one-man goal of running 3,700 miles in four months and finishing with the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon. This amounted to running roughly 30 miles per day, 6 days a week.

Early into his journey, The Moninda Movement gained two sponsors – Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supplies located in central Maine, and Therafirm, a compression hosiery manufacturer based in Hamlet, North Carolina with corporate offices in Kansas City, Kansas.

Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supplies has a long history of serving its local community.  As a small, family-owned and operated business headquartered in Auburn, Maine, they are a company that cares about their customers like family. Providing the community with the best quality medical supplies and equipment available is how they strive to inspire and empower individuals to take life’s challenges as they come, and to live life on their terms. They are also proud to be one of the last independent pharmacies in the state of Maine.

Moninda’s mission was a perfect fit for Therafirm.  The U.S. manufacturer produces true gradient compression socks and hosiery including a line of athletic compression socks and leg and arm sleeves.  Gradient compression in athletic socks and sleeves feature compression that is greatest at the ankle and gradually decreases toward the top of the stocking to help increase energy for endurance, better performance and reduces muscle fatigue and recovery times.  But, equally important, Therafirm, as well as parent company Knit-Rite, Inc., holds improving lives as its mission, not only in the products it makes, but also in the many causes it supports locally and beyond.

The co-sponsorship included Therafirm-branded compression socks and sleeves and Moninda’s athletic apparel.  Custom screen printing on Moninda’s apparel advertised The Moninda Movement’s message.  Bedard and Therafirm also donated a portion of the proceeds from retail sales of Therafirm’s athletic compression products over an eight-month period to Moninda’s foundation in support of ending human trafficking.

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Originally, The Moninda Movement’s 3,700 miles was to be a cross-country journey where Moninda would run from Auburn, Maine to Santa Barbara, California stopping in several cities along the way.  Unfortunately, the logistics of getting his team of supporters through each leg of the journey proved difficult and the cross-country run had to be scrapped.  Moninda did not let the setback discourage him from his goals, however.  He continued to run his 30 miles each day from his home in Auburn, Maine making sure he reached the 3,700 miles it would have taken him to run from Maine to California.

Moninda finished his 3,700 mile run in time to catch a flight to Santa Barbara to run in the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon – a race that he won for the record-breaking 4th straight year.

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Just in Time for Spring – EASE Sheer!!

Just in time for spring, Therafirm has released its brand new line – Sheer Ease!  This exciting addition to the already popular Ease line is sure to turn heads.

Like Ease and Core-Spun products, Sheer Ease garments are made with ultra-stretchy yarns making them easier to put on and more comfortable to wear.  And also like Ease and Core-Spun, Sheer Ease hosiery products are the highest quality gradient compression, but the beautiful and comfortable sheer fabrics give the impression of everyday sheer hosiery.

Sheer Ease garments are very durable and will hold well to repeated wear, resisting many of the rips and snags common to other sheer hosiery.  And contributing to exceptional comfort, the super soft and breathable material is moisture wicking helping to keep you cool and comfortable.  Sheer Ease’s soft, knit-in bands on the knee highs stay in place while providing non-binding comfort.  The knit-in pantyhose waistbands stay in place and prevent rolling, while the silicone band on the thigh highs keep them comfortably in place.

Like all Therafirm products, Sheer Ease features true gradient compression, which is designed to improve blood flow.  Gradient compression delivers a controlled amount of pressure which is greatest at the ankle of the garment and gradually decreases toward the top.  Sheer Ease premium gradient compression garments are designed to help promote better circulation and help control swelling, leg fatigue, mild to moderate varicose veins, leg discomfort, edema and DVT.

Sheer Ease is available in styles including open and close toe knee high, thigh highs and pantyhose in three compression levels – mild (15-20 mmHg), moderate (20-30 mmHg) and firm (30-40 mmHg).  Mild and moderate closed toe styles are available in Black, Natural, Sand, Bronze, Coal, Cocoa and Navy.  All open toe styles and firm compression level products are available in Black, Natural and Sand.

Ease Sheer is here.  Be one of the first to experience this beautiful and comfortable high quality compression hosiery.  Your legs will thank you.

 

** Contraindications: Compression products should not be worn and is contraindicated if you have any of the following conditions: severe arterial insufficiency, cutaneous infections, acute dermatitis, wet dermatosis, uncontrolled congestive heart failure, skin irritations, or allergies to dyes.

Foot Health Tips for National Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.  As many diabetics know too well, diabetes can be very dangerous to your feet.  Because of reduced blood flow, injuries may be harder to heal, and infections harder to resist.  Nerve damage may reduce feeling to the feet making it hard to notice irritations leading to blisters developing.  Taking good care of your feet is one of the keys to staying healthy.  See the tips below adapted from the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

  1. Get periodic foot exams – Seeing your physician on a regular basis can help prevent many of the foot complications related to diabetes.
  2. Inspect your feet daily – Check your feet for cuts, blisters, redness and swelling. Contact your doctor if you notice any of these or other irregularities.
  3. Wash your feet in lukewarm water, not hot, and with a soft washcloth or sponge – Only lukewarm water should be used, but feet should be washed daily. A soft washcloth or sponge will prevent irritation or injury.  Gently pat dry with a soft towel.
  4. Moisturize, but not in between toes – Daily moisturizing will keep skin from itching or cracking. Avoid moisturizing between the toes, however, as this can encourage fungal infection.
  5. Keep nails trimmed – Cut your toenails carefully and straight across. File any edges and avoid cutting nails too short, which can lead to ingrown toenails.
  6. Don’t treat corns or calluses yourself – Self “surgery” is not recommended, nor is the use of medicated pads. Visit your doctor for any of these issues.
  7. Avoid smoking – Smoking restricts blood flow, which will increase the chance of damage to your feet.
  8. Keep shoes clear of debris – Foreign objects, no matter how small, inside of shoes can be a major source of irritation. Always inspect shoes before putting them on.
  9. Keep your diabetes in check – Watch your blood sugar levels and keep them in control.
  10. Never walk barefoot – Always wear shoes or slippers, even at home. Doing so will prevent injury from scratches or cuts.
  11. Always keep feet warm and dry – Don’t let your feet get wet in snow or rain and always wear warm socks and shoes in the winter.
  12. Wear socks to bed – To prevent cold feet during the night, wear your socks to bed. Avoid using heating pads or hot water bottles.
  13. Wear clean, dry socks – Be sure to change them daily.
  14. Avoid wearing the wrong type of socks – Avoid tight elastic bands. Thick or bulky socks can fit poorly and irritate the skin.  Try SmartKnit Diabetic Socks.  Our socks are seamless and form fitting, which help to prevent blister-causing pressure points.  Moisture wicking fibers keep feet dry reducing friction, which can cause irritation.** Note: Tips are not meant to replace medical advice.  Always consult with your doctor.

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Seamless Products from Knit-Rite

It’s Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness Month and this is something that Knit-Rite knows a lot about.  One of the brands made at Knit-Rite is SmartKnit, which tackles the difficult problem of Sensory Processing Disorder.  Many people with Sensory Processing Disorder are bothered by seams, tags and uncomfortable clothes.

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As part of our SmartKnit brand, Knit-Rite makes seamless socks, undies, bralettes and even a compression tank t-shirt to help children struggling with sensory issues.  SmartKnit socks are soft, moisture wicking, and perfectly seamless.

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But, kids with Sensory Processing Disorder aren’t the only ones that don’t like seams.  Diabetics tend to prefer seamless socks also, as seams can irritate their feet and cause blisters.  Because good foot care is very important to people with diabetes, seamless socks can become a necessity.  Our SmartKnit Diabetic socks fit snuggly against the skin preventing them from rubbing and irritating, reducing the risk of blisters.  They are also moisture wicking, which helps to keep feet free of fungus.  And, of course, they are seamless, eliminating another point of irritation.

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And since we know that no one wants to wear garments that cause irritation, that’s not where our seamless products end.  We use the same concepts and ideas with orthotic and prosthetic socks.  Soft, comfortable, moisture-wicking yarns are used to make comfortable and seamless garments, such as prosthetic socks, AFO, KAFO and orthotic torso body socks.

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At Knit-Rite, we’re all about improving the lives of others.  And we know our comfortable and seamless products do just that.

Scoliosis Awareness Month

Scoliosis, a condition that causes an abnormal sideways curve of the spine, affects roughly 7 million people in the United States, or about 2-3% of the population.  Taking place each June, National Scoliosis Awareness Month highlights the growing need for education, early detection and public awareness about scoliosis and its prevalence.

Scoliosis affects males and females equally, but females with scoliosis are 8 times more likely to have a severe enough condition that it requires treatment, occurring in ¼ of diagnosed children.  There is no known cause for the most common type of scoliosis, which is usually diagnosed between the ages of 10 and 15.  The earlier scoliosis is diagnosed, the better the treatment options are for patients.

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Bracing is a common treatment for scoliosis patients, especially for those that are not done growing.  The patient wears a brace to stop or slow the gradual curvature in the spine and prevent it from getting worse.  Some braces need to be worn nearly 24 hours a day and can only be removed for showering.  Others can be worn only at night.  Discomfort is often a side of effect to wearing braces.

Knit-Rite developed Torso Interface Protective Body Socks in 1980 to help minimize this discomfort and provide improved skin protection for the patient.  Since then, Knit-Rite has improved on the already comforting properties of torsos.  Knit-Rite torsos can be worn with all types of spinal orthoses and body jackets.  A seamless finish and outstanding stretch allow for a comfortable fit and the machine-washable, latex-free material doesn’t irritate skin.

Knit-Rite torsos are available in a full range of sizes, as well as three distinct fiber choices.  CoolMax®/Lycra® is a premier moisture wicking fiber.  The X-STATIC/Lycra® is especially helpful when skin rashes are noticeable.  Both fibers are antimicrobial to help eliminate odors.  Cotton/Lycra® offers the option of a natural fiber.

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Visit Scoliosis Research Society for more information about scoliosis and National Scoliosis Awareness Month and Knit-Rite Direct for information on Knit-Rite’s Torso Interface Protective Body Socks.

Mobility Awareness Month

May is Mobility Awareness Month.  Improving mobility is such an important factor in the quality of life for an amputee.  Knit-Rite is dedicated to helping amputees improve their mobility with a number of products designed for just that.  One such product is the Power Belt Auxiliary Suspension Belt.

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The Power Belt is made of powerful high denier Lycra that squeezes a prosthesis to the body.  The affect is better body integration, improved control and proprioception.  Many amputee patients state that the power belt makes the prosthesis feel more like a part of them, increasing mobility.

The Power Belt is made of cool, thin, breathable and durable nylon lycra material for maximum comfort.  Differing from other belts of this kind, Knit-Rite’s Power Belt is uniquely low profile.  It is also latex free.

Available in sizes ranging from X-Small to 2X-Large, the Power Belt is featured in four different designs to meet the needs of most wearers.  These styles include the Original, the Gunslinger Waist, the Bilateral and the Adjustable Waist with Adjustable Leg.

The Power Belt and other products from Knit-Rite make amazing contributions to the mobility of amputees, but the Knit-Rite team also encourages amputees to continue this forward.  This calendar at OandP.com lists several O & P events around the country, including Mobility Clinics sponsored by Ossur.  We encourage you to find a Mobility Clinic in your area.

Beyond Prosthetics and Orthotics

At Knit-Rite, part of the mission statement is to improve the lives of those who use our products.  That goes beyond prosthetic and orthotic products.  Therafirm is a division of Knit-Rite and a manufacturer of quality compression hosiery and socks.

The true gradient compression offered in Therafirm hosiery and socks delivers a controlled amount of pressure greatest at the ankle and gradually decreases toward the top of the stocking to promote blood flow, assist in preventing swelling and provide relief for tired and achy legs.

Therafirm includes several brands to offer the therapeutic benefits of gradient compression to different markets, including Preggers, for maternity compression; Core-Sport, for athletic compression; and GOGO, Ease and Core-Spun, for comfortable and easy-to-wear everyday compression.

We’re proud of improving the lives of many people with these products.  But, don’t take it from us.  Here are a few of the things our customers say about our Therafirm products!

  • Jill J. who ordered Maternity Leggings and Support Band from Preggers
    I am 35 weeks along and I was on my feet all day at work. My legs did not ache or swell at all after a 6 hour day in my new Preggers leggings.
  • Leigh who ordered Light Support Maternity Footless Tights from Preggers
    I thought I would be chained to wearing compression nylons all summer. I find nylons itchy and frustrating due to how easily they snag or start to sag. However, when I found these footless tights, I have not needed to go back to nylons. These tights feel comfortable all day long, do not sag, and still look great despite me wearing them everyday for two months so far. My friends and family tell me all the time that they do not look like maternity compression hose, and I agree.Leigh_Review
  • Martha B. who ordered Mild Compression Athletic Performance Socks from Therafirm
    Great product! Excellent support! Perfect for the gym… It keeps sweat off but also doesn’t make you sweaty. Highly recommend!
  • Carrie who ordered Women’s Light Support Tights from Therafirm
    I bought 5 pairs of these. The material is so soft and comfortable. It never bunches up behind my knees and is very easy to put on. I love the colors they look stunning with skirts. Thank you, Therafirm, for making good quality and beautiful compression wear. I love them!Carrie-review
  • T.W who ordered Women’s Mild Support Pantyhose from Therafirm
    I am hooked! So energizing, fabulous fabric, loved the cocoa brown color. Soon, I will get in black as well. Great waistband too.T.W-Review
  • T.B. who ordered Light Support Pantyhose from GOGO
    I personally have been very satisfied with the fit and feel of your products. The graduated compression really helps to keep me moving and feeling healthy. When wearing these, I am encouraged to get up and get moving with much less pain or fatigue. You folks have an awesome and affordable product that helps people get back to appreciating the basics in life! Thank You!!
  • Andrea H. who ordered Light Support Footless Tights from GOGO
    I just received these today and I have yet to take them off. The color is awesome (and exactly as pictured), and they’re soft and comfortable.

Soft-Sock and Liner-Liner Great for Amputee Athletes

Every athlete knows it’s important to protect your body; it’s your most important piece of athletic equipment and the key to longevity in your sport.  Football players wear helmets and pads. Soccer players wear shin guards. Volleyball players wear a good pair of knee pads.  And runners wear the right kind of running shoes designed for long distance or sprints, and meant to protect their feet.

Amputee athletes are no different.  They must also protect their bodies, from the elements of their sports and even from the blisters and irritation caused from the prostheses themselves.  Protection is the role that Knit-Rite prosthetic socks play for these athletes.

“It doesn’t matter how fancy your prosthesis is, you have to have the right sock,” says Tanya Khvitsko, Knit-Rite employee and amputee runner. Tanya is a champion of the Soft-Sock. It’s her choice for everyday and for running.  “It’s lightweight and super comfortable,” she says.

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Here’s Tanya wearing a Soft-Sock in one of her races!

The lightweight nature is important to Tanya in securing the right fit and being comfortable while she trains and competes.  The super soft and moisture-wicking fibers of the Soft-Sock are extra gentle on Tanya’s sensitive skin.

When irritation does set in, Tanya turns to Knit-Rite’s Liner-Liner.  The super soft, super thin material of the Liner-Liner helps to relieve irritation, while not inhibiting the suction grip of her prosthesis against her skin.

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The Soft-Sock and Liner-Liner are important tools as Tanya trains and works toward her goals.  She wants to run a full marathon.  She started running three years ago and since that time, she’s run more than 50 races, one of them a half marathon.  And she ran her fastest 5K in 30 minutes.  The full marathon won’t be far off!