Summer Solstice Coming Soon!

The summer solstice is on June 21st and we have some fun facts for you to throw out to your friends and family when it gets here.  Do you know what solstice means?  The word comes from two Latin words: sol is Latin for “sun” and sistere means “to stand still.”  It is the longest day of the year and happens at the same exact time throughout the world.  This year, it happens at 0913 UTC.  It’s when the earth is at its farthest point from the sun.  Even though it’s the longest day, it is not the earliest sunrise.  This year, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, that day is June 14th.  This is the first solstice of two each year; the winter solstice, or shortest day of the year, is on December 21st.  If you’re in Paragon Orthopedic Center on the 21st, throw out all the facts you now know to our staff and tell them you read them on the blog!  Find more fun facts here:

11 Things About the June Solstice (timeanddate.com)

How Do You Lunch?

In our post-COVID world and trying to get back to working closely with other people in an office setting, the usual lunch in a breakroom might not still be an option.  At Paragon Orthopedic Center, where we have to operate under the State’s regulations put on us as healthcare providers, we still are not able to do a group lunch gathering.  No matter how many people can join you for this midday break, it is more important to make sure you take a moment to separate yourself from the work and refuel your body.  Start lunchtime habits that bring happiness because happy habits are easier to keep.  While other cultures gather and cook together or even rest together for a break, Americans are notoriously not very good at lunch breaks.  Be mindful of how you work during your day and know how you function best.  According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, humans have better focus and function in 90-minute periods.  Going beyond that, more mistakes are seen and reduced efficiency.  There will always be unexpected demands during your day, but as one creeps into your schedule, assess other tasks that can be put off until tomorrow.  Don’t let demands create a person who eats Oreos while running down the hall to the bathroom.  Healthy snacks, regulating your workload, and planned lunches will give your body the best chances to make good decisions and think clearly.  When some offices do not have refrigerators or microwaves, healthy choices from home can be limited.  Make an effort to do what you can.  Bring your own healthy food and prepare ahead of time for those breaks.  It may contribute to an improved ability to do the work at hand more efficiently.

The Power of the Lunch Break—and Why So Many of Us Are Bad at Taking One – WSJ

It Isn’t All Bad News About the Relationship Between Videogames and a Child’s Brain

The general public thinks video games rot a child’s brain.  A recent article in the Wall Street Journal took a look at some studies about this and made a few eye-opening conclusions.  First of all, you have to distinguish between short video apps and videogames.  Those short, fast-paced videos have effects that most associate with all gaming, such as short attention spans and information processing problems.  With the exception of excessive video game playing, those effects don’t apply to video gamers.  In short, some studies have found the following benefits to gaming:

-Higher volume of gray matter in the brain
-Increased ability to switch between visual tasks
-Increased ability to remember hidden objects and navigate multi-functioning parts
-Improved performance on working memory tests

The issue came down to how much is too much, and there isn’t a study that can define this.  What seems to matter is whether the gaming interferes with sleep, nutrition, grades, social life, or physical activity.  Here is the article:

Videogames Don’t Ruin Kids’ Brains. They Might Even Help. – WSJ

Vitamin D: Too Much or Too Little?

COVID-19 likely made you aware of the role vitamin D plays in a properly functioning immune system and maybe you have started taking a supplement.  Vitamin D also plays a role in your bone health.  Paragon Orthopedic Center encourages vitamin D to be taken with your calcium supplements to increase absorption of the calcium.  Up to 40% of Americans are vitamin D deficient, which could put you at risk for diseases and infections, as well as weaker bones that could result in fractures.  Even if you are eating a healthy, well-rounded diet, you can still be deficient in this vitamin.  At the other end of the spectrum is having too much vitamin D.  Did you know that vitamin D is one of the four vitamins that pose a higher risk of toxicity when taken in quantities larger than recommended?  Although vitamin D toxicity is uncommon, it can sometimes be found in people with certain health conditions, such as lymphomas, congenital disorders, and some metabolic disorders.  Toxicity also might occur because of accidental overdose or prescription errors.  Here are some signs that you might experience from vitamin D toxicity:
-Nausea
-Vomiting
-Diarrhea
-Constipation
-Poor appetite
-Altered mental state, such as confusion or agitation
The only way to tell if you are toxic or deficient in vitamin D is to have your blood drawn.  Since deficiency is more likely than toxicity, it is a good idea to discuss your vitamin D levels with your healthcare professional and consider whether a daily supplement is a good idea for your health.

6 Side Effects of Too Much Vitamin D (healthline.com)

Will Coffee Dehydrate You?

With so many coffee shops and people drinking coffee-based drinks in Southern Oregon, Paragon Orthopedic Center is helping you learn a bit more about coffee, caffeine, and its effects.  Some people believe coffee has a dehydrating effect, but unless you’re drinking more than four cups of coffee in a day, it does not dehydrate and serves to hydrate your body as water would.  However, you do need to think about the effects of what else is in that coffee.  The caffeine has potential side effects such as headaches, irritability, and heartbeat irregularities, to name a few.  If you add sugar and creamer to your drink, then you are adding empty calories that are doing nothing to help your waistline.  If you are trying to lose some weight, consider eliminating that fancy coffee drink.  A 16oz. Starbucks Mocha Latte has around 400 calories, and a red apple generally has around 100, depending on its size.  You can be the judge of which is a better choice to grab in the morning.  Coffee should not be your breakfast.  Your body will be much happier with some nutritious fuel that serves to keep you energized and feeling full until lunchtime.  Read more here:

Does Coffee Dehydrate You? | New Health Advisor

Why Women Are More Prone to Knee Injuries

Paragon Orthopedic Center sees more women than men for knee injuries, and that is not uncommon.  Women are 2 to 8 times more likely to have problems with their knees compared to men.  The main reasons for this are:

  • Anatomy– Because a woman’s hips are wider, there is a tapering at the knee, causing most women to be slightly knock-kneed.  This imbalance of weight puts more pressure on the inside of the knee, which can lead to injuries.
  • Hormones-Estrogen causes women’s ligaments to be more relaxed, which can lead to injuries of the ACL and MCL ligaments.
  • Muscle development-Women tend to develop quadriceps dominance, which leaves the hamstrings weaker, and this imbalance can lead to ACL injuries.

Read more details about what you can do for yourself or the women in your life, and how to treat knee pain here:
Why Do Women Have More Knee Pain Than Men? | NJSO (njspineandortho.com)

May Birthday Celebration at Paragon!

Happy birthday to our only May birthday at Paragon Orthopedic Center, Marcia!  If you’ve had an x-ray at Paragon, you’ve likely met Marcia, our x-ray technician extraordinaire for the last 5 years. She loves coffee, so it was only fitting to celebrate with a chocolate-coffee cake, replete with a fudgy mocha filling and a cappuccino Swiss meringue frosting, then topped with a chocolate ganache drip and chocolate covered coffee beans.  Happy birthday Marcia!

The May Paragon Orthopedic Center newsletter went out today!  Sign up for it to be delivered right to your email box the next time you’re in the clinic.  Sign up slips are in the waiting area, along with copies of the May newsletter while they last!  This month, we are discussing physical therapy’s part in orthopedic surgical post-op care and non-surgical injury recovery.

Paragon Press, May 2022

May is Asian American & Pacific Islander Month and Here is Why We Celebrate

Paragon Orthopedic Center would like to bring awareness to May being the Asian American & Pacific Islander month.  Our own Dr. Rob Bents is proud of his Japanese heritage.  The purpose of designating the month is to recognize the contributions of its peoples, as well as taking a moment to understand how we as a country have improved how they have been treated over the years.  Did you know that at one point, our country banned all Chinese women from entering the country, assuming they were all prostitutes?  This was the Page Act of 1875.  There was the inhumane internment of Japanese people into camps during World War II, several exclusion Acts enacted in our country, and even current xenophobia that goes on toward those of Asian descent.  We are raising awareness and making our country better by celebrating Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders and instilling pride.  We are the United States of America, where all are created equal.

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Facts 2022 (rd.com)