Why is core training talked about so much? Does core training do much for my body?

Core: definition: the central or most important part of something.

Using that definition of core, you can infer that when it comes to strengthening the core of your body, this is a good thing.  Your core gives you the overall strength to do such things as pick up your groceries, sit comfortably at a computer, maintain good posture, and even helps when it comes to sexual activity.  Your core keeps your balance and prevents falls.  The strength or weakness of your core directly translates into the strength of your arms and legs.  Most core exercise regimens keep the focus on muscle balance for overall strength, rather than emphasize one target area.  For example, washboard abs might look great, but you’d be missing the overall muscle balance necessary for activities of daily living if all your strength training went into your abdonminals.  Our Paragon Orthopedic Center blog will go over a few core exercises to help you further understand this training in our next post.


Can I still exercise when it is smoky outside?

The valleys in Southern Oregon are filled with the thick smoke of wildfires again and suddenly the outdoor activities are shifted indoors.  For many people who don’t have respiratory conditions, they’re tempted to go outside for some exercise.  If this is you, there was a study done in 2016 that looked at the benefits of physical activity, mainly walking and biking, versus the risks of inhaling the smoke.  In general, some exercise is better than no exercise.  It was only in the upper extreme smoke concentrations (>50mcg/cm of PM 2.5) that the risks were greater than the benefits when you spend over 5 hours biking or 10 hours walking. (The PM 2.5 levels are the part of the air quality index (AQI) that can be most concerning because the PM 2.5 particulate is what can cause the most cellular damage.)  Of course the harder you breathe, the shorter that time should be, but brief periods of exercise can definitely be beneficial up until you get to 50 mcg/cm.  For those who must work outside, the N95 face mask is the best to keep out the small particulate in the air: no bandanas and no hospital masks that only use the metal clip at the nose for a seal point.  If at any point your throat is sore, get a headache, begin coughing, or in any other way feel your breathing is restricting, seek clean indoor air.


Fall athletes preparing for sports need to know this!

August is coming quickly and with this month come the early practices for fall school-related sports.  In high school and college sports, the competition can be intensely physical and your body needs to keep up with the pace.  Some athletes haven’t done any conditioning since the spring.  Is your body ready for the demands you’ll place on it?  Dr. Rob Bents at Paragon Orthopedics emphasizes the need for strength conditioning in athletes, especially in the area of ACL tear prevention.  ACL tears are seen in his office all too often, leading to a critical loss of playing time and these can be prevented.  Prevention is key.  Dr. Bents has kept up with all the recent research to help his patients and the public avoid injuries in sports.  He is working with some professionals here in Southern Oregon on a video to help you understand how to stay strong and hopefully prevent ACL injuries.  Paragon Orthopedic Center will be featuring this video on its website as soon as it’s done, so stay tuned!  Dr. Bents and Paragon Orthopedics want you to avoid injuries that take you away from what you love to play.

Orthopedic Joint Replacement: How long will it last?

Joint replacement surgery is one of the most common orthopedic surgeries.  The parts used in the body to replace what has been injured, broken, or worn out do not last forever, as some people initially might think.  Fortunately, the number of years they last are extending because of research, new materials, more aggressive post-op therapy, and improvements in surgery/medical care.  The replacement joint has a different life expectancy depending on where it is in the body.  A new study released by the Lancet Journal showed these statistics:

  • for hip replacements: 60% lasted 25 years
  • for knee replacements: 82% lasted 25 years

The statistics are even better for shorter durations, with 90-93% of knee and hip replacements lasting 15 years.  Joint replacement has a highly individualized plan of care.  Your age is a big factor, since a person in their 30’s must be made fully aware that one, or even two joint replacements might not last an entire lifetime.  Repeat joint replacement, called a revision,  is not desirable.  It can result in less joint function and has a higher risk of complications than the first replacement.  Sometimes a surgeon will recommend waiting as long as possible for the patient to undergo surgery to avoid another replacement.  Talking with your surgeon is a good place to start.  Dr. Van Horne and Dr. Bents can assess your individual condition and recommend what is best for your future.  They’ve had many decades of experience with joint replacement and keep up to date with all the current medical advances.  Call Paragon Orthopedic Center to get the information and answers you need.  541-472-0603
And to read more, here are a few articles on this subject:



How is that New Year’s resolution going?

We here at the Paragon Orthopedic Center focus our blog on how to make you a better, healthier, smarter person.  Many of our posts focus on health matters, and your health really matters!  We want to take this moment to reflect on how all of us have managed our health, now that we’re halfway through the 2019 year.  Do you feel better about your health now than you did in January?  If you are on the right road, CONGRATULATIONS!  If you aren’t where you hoped you’d be, do not let this be a burden.  Mistakes are a lessons, not losses.  Learn from what you realize isn’t helping your health and make small, but important changes.  Please remember that the gradual changes are what can become part of your routine and in the long run result in great gains.  Most importantly, keep trying!

Making yourself more successful the fun way

There are some solid, good reasons why you should have outside interests that reach beyond what you do from 9-5.  You become a more interesting person, you become a resource, learning makes you mentally sharper, and it broadens your social group.  That last one is especially important in this digital age that doesn’t foster social interaction.  Find a hobby, and you might find yourself with greater success.  If you visit Paragon Orthopedics, take a look around and see some of the interests of the people who work there.  Dr. Van Horne and Dr. Bents share a glimpse of their passions in their patient rooms.  The fabulous people at Paragon have a passion for life that spills into their work.  You’ll feel that sense of happiness and caring throughout your visit.  The professionals at Paragon Orthopedic Center care about Southern Oregon.

Hobbies outside of work are the keys to your professional success

Need Surgery? Check out your local surgery center!

Outpatient surgery centers, such as the Grants Pass Surgery Center, offer patients a better option than a hospital for surgeries for four main reasons: 1-surgeries are often not as lengthy, 2-you have a shorter recovery time, 3-cost significantly less, and 4-the infection rate is cut in half at a surgery center.  You do have to qualify for surgery in this setting because surgery centers are not set up to handle overnight stays or specific complications.  These facilities offer highly specialized, highly personalized and efficient care by surgeons who are credentialed to operate at both the surgery center and the hospital.  Personalized care at less cost with statistically better outcomes? If you live in Southern Oregon, ask your surgeon if the Grants Pass Surgery Center is an option for you.  Both Dr. Bents and Dr. Van Horne at Paragon Orthopedic Center are happy to review the possibility of this for your individualized plan of care.  Here is an article for you to read additional information about surgery center benefits:


Independence Day can be a dangerous day for your health

While there is an inherent danger when lighting anything on fire, some people get caught up in the fun of fireworks to realize the potentially hazardous consequences of them.  According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were five deaths in the United States last year that were directly related to fireworks.  Of the visits to the E.R. during the month surrounding the 4th of July in 2018, firecrackers were the main cause of injury.  Over half of the injuries to children under five were from sparklers.  Paragon Orthopedics wants our community to be aware of the dangers, yet still make great memories this holiday weekend.  Here are a few key tips to remember about fireworks:

  • Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby to extinguish any problems quickly.  Brush can catch fire easily.
  • Never re-light a firework that didn’t function.  Soak it in water and throw it away.
  • Don’t discard used fireworks in a trash can/bin.  They could ignite the trash.  Better to put them in a bucket of water to fully extinguish the heat generated.
  • Don’t allow those who have consumed anything that would impair judgement to use fireworks.  Doing something carelessly in a moment can have life-long consequences.

You can read more from the CPSC and additional safety tips here:


If you are dairy-free, what are you eating to get enough calcium for your bones?

Most people are aware of the relationship between calcium and bone health.  Your bones need calcium to stay strong, and many folks immediately think of consuming dairy products to meet the need.   However, some people are becoming dairy-free, either by choice or a health need.  Where are the best sources of non-dairy calcium?  You might be surprised to see there are many tasty and appealing choices.  Here’s a quick list:

  • collard greens and spinach
  • figs-as much calcium as skim milk
  • beans
  • almonds
  • broccoli
  • soy beans or tofu
  • acorn squash

You can also read labels and look for foods that are calcium fortified, such as cereals and juices.  For more details, check out this article: