What Are My Core Muscles?

For about 40 years the term “core muscles” has been a part of our culture. But most people think only abs qualify. This is incorrect. Not only do core muscles include the 3 abdominal layers, but they refer to any muscle that attaches to the pelvis. Which includes back muscles, the glutes, the hamstrings, quads, inner and outer thigh muscles, etc. Even though “core muscles” is not an official anatomical term, it is a useful concept which describes the muscles that have the following functions:

1. control our center of gravity

2. connects our lower body to the upper limbs during physical tasks requiring full body motion

3. allow an anchor for leg muscles to perform their function Continue reading

Heavy Lifting for the Ladies

As they say, “strong is the new skinny.” Women are turning more and more to building muscles instead of simply dieting and losing weight.

And this is a good thing.

In the 1960’s, thin was in. And girls often made calorie restriction the beginning and end of their “fitness” plan. By the 1980’s, aerobics and running replaced starvation and we all took a healthy step in the right direction. But the endless cardio was often erroneously coupled with too little strength building and fat free diets. The idea was simple, don’t eat fats and perform tons of cardio and you’ll be skinny. The goal was still to get smaller. To weigh less.

Thankfully we’ve come a long way since then. Crossfit and fitness competitions drove more and more women into the gym with the boys. And the results of  lifting heavier weights than they had historically done was surprisingly healthy and attractive. Healthier and more attractive than the female fads of the past.

Aerobics and cardio of the 80’s and 90’s had “skinny” as the end result.

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Screen Time As A Disease

“We no longer think slowly and deeply, but quickly and superficially.”

Before every waking moment of our lives were dominated by screens or ear buds, we spent a vast majority of our non-social time pondering, thinking and letting life sink in. Just like the brain needs sleep to sort out your daily thoughts and emotions, it appears your non-stimulated moments are necessary too. An article from the Journal of the Academy of Management showed that a “bored” brain is actually looking to process past information and trying to stoke up creativity.

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Is It Time To End Weight Cuts in Combat Sports?

Weight cutting through dehydration may not only increase risk of concussions, it may lead to long term neurological deterioration affecting athletes in more areas than previously thought

(see article below for details)

In the realm of combat sports, athletes are paired off against opponents of the same size. This is obviously done for fighter safety. Having a 220 pound wrestler grabbing and throwing a 140 pound opponent would be dangerous for the smaller athlete. Hours before competition (in jiu jitsu and wrestling tournaments) or a day to a day and a half before competition (in kickboxing, boxing and MMA fights) athletes have to be weighed in order to make sure they are at their competition weight (or below, but never above). Theoretically this keeps fighters safe.

Unfortunately, this may not be true. As can be expected, athletes are doing anything they can to shrink their body weight as low as possible in hopes of fighting other athletes that are smaller than them. This is usually achieved by dehydrating the body severely in the days leading up to a weigh-in. Fluids can be replaced rather quickly and therefore, the athlete who can drop the most water in a short time will be the more muscular and heavier athlete in competition. In a real sense, there are two events happening: a weight cut competition and a fight.

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“Dr Parenteau Saved My Life”

I like to regularly visit my rateMDs page to see what my patients are saying about me anonymously. You see, the beauty of rateMDs is that you see what actual customers have to say, good or bad. It is a window into the real reaction folks have of your practice. None of the reviews are paid for. In fact, rateMDs.com does not allow for paid content. You CAN pay rateMDs for higher exposure, but not to generate reviews. I pay NOTHING to rateMDs. So what you see is purely organic. 

One of my recent reviews started with “Dr P saved my life.” 

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Normal Cervical Ranges of Motion

Most patients love to self evaluate. Please don’t ever diagnose yourself, but if you want to do a “wellness” check up, I’ve added a visual for what is normal, full, active range of motion*. Please keep in mind that as we age, our normal will decrease. So these charts are averages. If you are not in pain and just want to know if you are stiffening up enough to come in and get treated — which can prevent headaches or poor work/sports performance — compare yourself to the following: Continue reading

Hurt But Not Disabled: How To Navigate Injuries and Improve

In May of 2019 I completely tore my ACL while wrestling. Within 10 seconds I continued grappling (from the ground only) for about an hour. Next day the swelling and pain let me know something was wrong (I had not confirmed the tear via MRI at that point). I started rehabilitating the knee and cautiously grappled. Within a month I worsened the injury while grappling. Unfortunately, the next day, I was scheduled to run the Tough Mudder at Whistler in British Columbia. I taped my leg up like a mummy and ran the 16 K trek up and down the world famous ski resort. About one and a half months after this, while grappling, I dislocated the medial meniscus and it shot out the back of the knee joint. Not having x-ray vision, I did not exactly know this at the time, but a later MRI revealed it. Finally, at that point I stopped grappling completely and turned simply to rehabilitation while I await surgery. Continue reading

What Is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial release is basically an uncomfortably — often painfully — deep massage-like procedure that focuses on properly finding and breaking down scar tissue inside your body’s soft tissues. 

What Are Soft Tissues?

Muscles, tendons, ligaments, fat and fascia are all examples of “soft tissues.” Essentially if it’s not bone, fluid or internal organs, it qualifies as soft tissue.

What Is Scar Tissue?

Scar tissue is a thin, dental floss-like “cobweb” that weaves itself into, around and even through your body’s soft tissue. It is triggered by inflammation. Inflammation is triggered by injury. Scar tissue formation strengthens torn muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin or any other soft tissue.

Scar tissue between muscle ribbons

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Everyday Self-Care: Changing Your Life with Minor Routine Tweaks

This article was submitted to us by guest contributor Jennifer McGregor

A recent article by Energy Fitbox notes that busy people are the most likely to neglect self-care and suffer from burnout. As the world around you accelerates, it can be difficult to even think about slowing down. Fortunately, you can practice some well-needed self-care by making simple tweaks to your daily schedule, as opposed to adding more things to it. Let’s look at some ways you adjust the little things and reap big benefits.

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