Vaccines: Are They Safe For Me To Take?

The quick answer: Yes!  Research, rigorous testing, clinical trials on people, and the Food and Drug Administration make sure they are safe before they are used.  Vaccines are the best way we have to protect against many illnesses.  I’d imagine you have many more questions and the website below has an enormous amount of reassuring information about vaccines.  Find more facts about:

  • vaccine safety, ingredients, and types
  • specific information about every vaccine, including who should get them and side effects
  • who makes the recommendations for vaccines
  • who should not be vaccinated
  • what to expect with vaccinations
  • a vaccine finder that helps locate where you can go based on your zip code
  • a list of reference websites if you don’t find all your answers

Another important subject to address here is vaccination as you get older.  You might think that after you’re done with your education, you’re done with boosters.  Wrong!  Did you know you should have a tetanus booster every 10 years?  And there are others for you to know.  This website also has easy to follow schedules for your vaccines based on age, health conditions, lifestyles, travel abroad, and military service.  Paragon Orthopedic Center encourages everyone to seek vaccination to protect your health and that of others.  There are terrible complications that can develop if you get some of these illnesses, sometimes requiring hospitalization and permanent injury.  Please remember the information put out years ago that vaccines cause autism was proven to be fraudulent and completely unfounded.  A web search about this will easily pull up the facts on that if you need more information.  This website has a wealth of information and is very user-friendly:

Giving MMR Vaccine Early To Protect Children Against Measles | Shot of  Prevention

High Impact Exercises Impacting Your Bones

Today we will go over why high impact exercises are necessary for strong bones and what those exercises are.  After writing the Paragon blog yesterday about resistance bands, this is a good moment for you to assess whether you should add a high impact exercise into your routine.  Some uninformed articles describe them as detrimental to your health, saying you will hurt your knees or ruin your joints.  Research shows exactly the opposite of this belief.  Let’s examine the topic.
What are high impact exercises?  Examples include running, plyometrics, jumping jacks, and some aerobics that include stepping/jumping.  These have motions that generate force on your bones.  Your body makes the bone and surrounding tissues stronger as a response to the force.  They can help prevent injuries as well.  Low impact exercises, such as swimming and cycling, do not force the bones to respond to any impact, thus those exercises don’t generate the same amount of bone growth.  I have linked to an article that describes the research behind high impact exercises on the body, more about the benefits of them, and how to avoid doing too much too quickly.  The last thing Paragon Orthopedic Center wants to hear is that you were trying to improve your bone strength and ended up with an injury.  Always make changes to your routines gradually and listen to your body’s aches and pains.  Dr. Bents, Dr. Van Horne, and the wonderful staff at Paragon are always willing to answer your questions about having healthier bones and what exercises might be best for you.  Get educated and get out there Southern Oregon!

Covid Restrictions, Workouts, and Resistance Bands

Covid restrictions, workouts, and resistance bands….what do these three have in common?  Bone buidling!  Don’t get it?  I will explain.  Covid-19 restrictions have forced gyms to mandate masks, which can be tough when your heart rate is up and you’re breathing hard.  As a result of this and fears about getting the virus while at the gym, gym attendance has declined and people are wanting to work out at home.  Over the past few months, the purchase of at-home equipment has increased.  Some purchase resistance bands as a low-cost alternative to dumbbells or spendy weight machines.  Weights can produce stronger bones, but can these bands do that as well?  As you know if you read the Paragon Orthopedic Center blog, we are passionate about bone building.  The answer is yes, these bands can produce stronger bones, and there’s the connection to our introduction.  The short explanation is that when you use the bands,  they cause resistance in your tendons (where the muscle attaches to the bone), and as these pull on your bones,  the resistance causes bones to respond and get stronger.  Another benefit of using these bands is that they travel easily, so you can take your workout with you and not lose any of your muscle gains.  There are some finer details to band workouts, such as the fact that you will need to push yourself more when using resistance bands because the “weight” is connected to the tension you must create.  In other words, there’s going to be more work in your workout if you use resistance bands, but your muscles and bones will benefit!  Another detail which is mentioned at the end of the Denver Post article is that you should still include high-impact exercises.  We’ll cover that in our next blog.  Read more in this article:

Bands and weightlifting help build bone density

Give Your Immune System a Boost

The Paragon Orthopedic Center blog gives you many opportunities to think about what you’re eating, whether it’s healthy choices, the newest food fad (Remember charcoal?), or foods high in calcium for strong bones.  We have another reason for you to consider what you put in your mouth as we head into colder weather and increased virus activity.  Do you know how to eat for a strong immune system?  The Harvard Medical School has an article with not only information about foods, but also lifestyle choices, supplement information, exercise, and more to help you understand how you can tune your body to fight disease-causing organisms.  This is information you don’t want to miss.  Read more here at this link:

Paragon Orthopedic Center September Newsletter

Enjoy this month’s newsletter to help you understand the symptoms of the seasonal flu and those of Covid-19.  As the weather gets colder, you might wonder what that sniffle could mean.  Knowing some similarities and differences might help you make important decisions if you begin feeling ill.  Educate yourself Southern Oregon and then pass along what you know.  Just click on the attachment.  Knowledge is power!

Paragon Press September 2020

What You Might Be Doing Wrong While Sitting At Your Computer

The Coronavirus limitations have made many of our daily activities relate to a computer, whether it is your child’s schooling, shopping online, or working remotely.  Some of you have even had your appointments with Paragon Orthopedic Center online with one of our healthcare providers.  While not ideal, we want you to feel safe.  Staying at home feels safer for many right now.  If you are experiencing some pain while at home sitting at the computer, you might need to consider your body positioning.  Everything from your fingers, to your eyes, to your back can be affected by just sitting incorrectly.  Ideally, your position should be neutral and not stress any particular part of your body.  Reaching, twisting, hunching, straining, and slouching are all to be avoided when it comes to working at a computer.   We found an article that helps you do a self-check right now as you read this.  Frequently, it takes an effort to keep your body in good condition, especially as we age.  Here are tips from a great article about this:

  • Head, shoulders, and torso in line with the hips.
  • Elbows close to the body bent 90 degrees.
  • Wrists and hands in straight lines with lower arms.
  • Shoulders and upper arms relaxed and close to the body.
  • Back supported including lumbar (lower back) support.
  • Thighs and hips supported by a well-padded seat and parallel to the floor.
  • Knees are the same height as the hips.
  • Feet fully supported by the floor.

Read more here:

Posture Perfect for Computer Users

Another consideration to quit smoking with all this smoke

If you live in Southern Oregon and you don’t smoke, you might be having trouble breathing, or feeling a burning sensation in your throat, or experiencing headaches as a side effect.  The smoke in the air has been at hazardous levels for days.  Our bodies were not meant to breath in smoke, whether unintentional as a byproduct of fires, or intentional like a cigarette.  If you do smoke, maybe our toxic air has given you an opportunity to think about what the inhaled smoke from cigarettes is doing to your lungs and body.  Smoke has a deleterious effect on the body and even your bones are affected.  It can make you prone to osteoporosis and bone fractures by reducing the blood supply to your bones and other body tissues.  Smoking also decreases the body’s ability to absorb calcium, which is necessary for strong bones.  It also affects the hormones in your body that assist with building and maintaining a strong skeleton.  As many smoking pre-operative patients at Paragon Orthopedic Center have discovered, Dr. Bents and Dr. Van Horne will tell you you cannot have surgery without a complete cessation of smoking because research concludes you will heal slowly and have a higher likelihood of a failed surgery if you smoke.  Hip fractures are higher in smokers and a fracture of your hip is something you want to avoid if at all possible.  The University of California Irving (UCI) has some fantastic information with a great graphic about how smoking affects your bones.  It is information you need if you smoke.  If you don’t smoke, educate yourself to help loved ones quit.  Click on the link here:

NEWS FLASH-One egg a day will not increase your risk of heart attack!

We are here to unscramble the information out there that declares eggs to be bad guys for your health.  Maybe an angry chicken got the rumor started, but research can put the myths to bed.  Harvard Medical School has done studies and these, along with others following hundreds of thousands of people, find that eating up to one egg a day does not increase rates of heart attacks, strokes, or other cardiovascular diseases.  Research shows that most of the cholesterol in our body comes from our liver which produces it–not the cholesterol in the food we eat.  The liver is triggered to increase cholesterol production by saturated fats and trans fat.  More on that in a moment.  If you have certain health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, you should limit yourself to 3 eggs a week.  That’s the good news.  Here’s the not-so-good news…what might be bad for you is what you’re eating with eggs.  Artery-clogging bacon or cheese, and the saturated fats in doughnuts or muffins can definitely increase your risk of heart attack due to the effects of the saturated fats that trigger increased cholesterol production.  Try mixing your eggs with some vegetables or fresh salsa, and add a side of whole-grain toast.  From a bone-health point of view, eggs are not the highest food in calcium, but each large egg does have 25mg.  You’ll note from our previous blog that there were other foods with far higher calcium content, but every little bit adds up throughout the day.  The healthcare professionals at Paragon Orthopedics would encourage you to eat as much calcium as you can every day for strong bones.  Eating your sources of calcium, versus pills, is optimal for absorption.  Another added benefit: the 6g of protein in each egg will help you feel full longer.  To read the article by Harvard Medical School read here:

Seven Foods Higher In Calcium Than Milk

When it comes to calcium-rich foods, milk is almost always at the top of the list.  Paragon Orthopedic Center would like you to make note of 5 foods you can incorporate easily into your diet to get a daily charge of calcium for strong bones.  Here’s the quick list with tips:

  1. Kale-Chop it up and add it to your salads and you’ll love the crunch.
  2. Tofu-This takes on other flavors very easily.  Add to stir-fries and casseroles.
  3. Almonds-Buy them raw and dry roast these in the oven for a deeper flavor and a crisp crunch.  Be careful of the added sodium that comes with the pre-salted varieties and read the label to see if they’ve been roasted in oil, which can bring added fats that aren’t healthy.
  4. Bok Choy-Add this to stir-fries or cook as a side dish with garlic and ginger.
  5. Canned Salmon-Use this instead of tuna for your next sandwich.
  6. Dried Figs-Easily added to oatmeal and cereal for a bite of sweetness and texture.
  7. Calcium-fortified Orange Juice-This is an easy switch from your usual OJ.  Just make sure you choose the one with added calcium, which should be on the label.  Buying the concentrate in a can will save you a few cents too.

Here is an article with further information on these choices.  Paragon Orthopedics wants Southern Oregon to have strong bones that resist fractures, so choose your foods wisely!

Fractures After A Fall…Could It Mean Something Bigger Is Going On?

We all have risen from either lying down or sitting and felt a little dizzy.  For some, this ends up with a complete, uncontrolled fall to the ground that results in a fracture.  Simply reported, you might write it off as an isolated accident.  Dizziness, or lightheadedness, can be a sign of something greater.  The technical word for the drop in blood pressure that leads to the dizziness is called orthostatic hypotension.  According to a New York Times article in August, a significant number of falls and the resulting fractures are likely the result of orthostatic hypotension, especially in older age groups.  It can be a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes, or a warning sign for some heart and neurologic disorders.  Research is being done as to what orthostatic blood pressures might indicate, such as an early indicator of diabetes or Parkinson’s Disease.  If someone you love has a fall, be an advocate by making sure the dizziness investigated.  Paragon Orthopedic Center is a big advocate for preventing fractures.  Our highly trained staff are here for you if you get a fracture, but we’d rather you didn’t have to experience the pain and inconvenience of one.  Let your providers know if dizziness was the cause of your fracture or the fracture of someone you love.  Read the full article here: