Welcome to Westview Wellness Centre

Opening Hours : Monday to Friday - 9am to 6pm, Saturday - 10am to 2pm
  Contact : 604-904-3993

All posts by westview

WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE VITAMIN D3 INSTEAD OF D2

As a chiropractor, I am repeatedly asked about the benefit of calcium and vitamin D supplementation.  I thought the following information would be of great interest for many of my patients and others suffering from chronic pain, sleep disorders, and osteoporosis among many other conditions associated with vitamin D deficiency.

Health authorities around the world are being urged to rethink their recommended protocols around vitamin D supplementation following the publication of a groundbreaking study which indicated vitamin D2 and D3 do not have the same nutritional value.  Current guidance given by a number of government bodies around the world states that the two forms of vitamin D are equivalent and can be used to equal effect.

In this new study1, vitamin D levels of 335 South Asian and white European women were assessed over two consecutive winter periods. The women were split into five groups, with each group receiving a placebo, a juice containing vitamin D2 or D3, or a biscuit with vitamin D2 or D3.

The results revealed that vitamin D3 was twice as effective in raising levels of the vitamin as D2, with vitamin D levels in women who received vitamin D3 via juice or a biscuit increasing by 75% compared to those who were given D2 through the same methods. Those given D2 saw an increase of 33% over the course of the 12-week intervention. Those who received the placebo experienced a 25% reduction in vitamin D levels over the same period.

This is particularly of great interest to chiropractic community as other researchers have recently uncovered that vitamin D supplementation combined with good sleep hygiene may not only help in sleep disorders but may also be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of chronic pain conditions2.  Also prenatal vitamin D supplements have now been shown to positively modify the immune system of neonates, which could help to protect against asthma and respiratory infections in infants3.

The take home message here is the fact that if you are taking vitamin D supplement, make sure it is from the D3 variety as it is much more effective in raising your blood vitamin D levels.

For further information, you can contact our chiropractor department at our North Vancouver clinic or read the original articles at:

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2017 July 05. OI: AJCN/2016/138693.

Vitamin D supplements could help pain management. Society for Endocrinology. 2017 May 24

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 May 16

Read More

6 FAST FACTS ABOUT NUTRITION LABELS

Food and nutrition labels on food are packed with helpful information. Often they’re our go-to source for calorie, fat, and carbohydrate information, but they have a whole lot more to communicate to consumers.

Here are some fast facts about what information you can find on food labels, and what it really means:

1. All ingredients lists are sorted by weight.
That’s right, the first item on any ingredients list is the one that weighs the heaviest in the product, and goes down in descending order. If you’re keeping an eye out for certain ingredients (of which you want more or less) their order on the list can be a clue to guide you.

2. Some foods make nutrition claims.
For better or worse, packaged foods will often come with claims that explain the value of certain nutrients, such as “low in sodium,” “high in fibre,” or “a good source of iron.” Sometimes those claims go a step further and explain why that value is good for your health, such as: “A healthy diet containing foods high in potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, a risk factor for stroke and heart disease.” The good news about these claims is that, in Canada, they must follow certain rules from Health Canada to make sure they are consistent and not misleading.

3. Information on nutrition facts tables are based on serving sizes.
Serving sizes are important measurements to consider before you look at calories or any other nutrient breakdown on the list. The serving size can vary between products, and it’s often much smaller than the amount you would serve yourself if you’re not paying attention. It can help you understand how much of certain nutrients you’re eating, compare nutritional values between similarly packaged products, and gauge the amount of food you’re actually eating.

4. The term “%DV” means the percentage of your daily value.
In addition to serving size and calories, there are 13 core nutrients that are listed on every nutrition label: fat, saturated and trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fibre, sugars, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. The percentage of your daily value requirement for most of these items is noted by %DV at the end of each line, and it’s based on the recommended serving size. If it’s less than 5%, that means it’s a very small amount, and if it’s more than 15%, it’s more significant. In Canada, these values are determined by the recommended daily intake (or RDI) of vitamins and minerals as well as the reference standards for fat, saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, carbohydrates, fibre, potassium, and sodium. The helpful thing about %DV is that it makes it easier to compare different products and make more informed food choices about what you want and need in your diet.

5. Not all foods must have a nutrition facts table (but most do).
In Canada, by law, nearly all packaged food must have a nutrition facts table. However, there are a few food items that don’t require one: fresh produce, raw meat and seafood, one–bite candies and snacks, milk sold in refillable glass bottles, individual servings of freshly prepared food intended for immediate consumption, and in-store fresh foods like bakery items and salads. On the upside, sticking to fresh produce means you don’t have to worry about preservatives or sort through any ingredients lists since there’s only one ingredient!

6. Calories mean energy.
We’re often told to watch our calories and think of them as an intimidating little number directly linked to putting on weight. That’s not necessarily the case. Calories represent the amount of energy in food, which come from carbohydrates, fats, and protein, all of which are necessary for proper nutrition. Your body uses this energy to perform all its daily tasks, and we need to eat enough to replenish the calories we use throughout the day. When it comes to nutrition labels, whether or not we follow the serving suggestion can be more important than counting calories.

Looking for more guidance on healthy food choices? Ask your family chiropractor.

Read More

OVERVIEW OF COMMON NON-MIGRAINE HEADACHES

One of the most common types of pain is a headache. Many people resort to over-the counter medications to relieve their headache, instead of trying to eliminate the cause of it. Many patients with headaches seek alternative forms of therapy, with the most common being chiropractic care. Below is an overview of the most common forms of non-migraine headaches that could be relieved by various natural means of treatment.

Tension Headache
These headaches are often worse in the afternoon or early evening. The pain is usually on both sides of the head and/or around the eyes. Tension headaches can last for days or weeks, and come and go over a long period of time. They are occasionally relieved with over-the-counter analgesics. Tender points and tight muscles are usually found in the neck. Deep massage to the muscles at the back of the head and neck helps, as does ultrasound and moist heat to the same area. Supplement options include valerian root and passionflower for stress reduction, and magnesium and calcium for muscle tension.

Cervicogenic Headache
Cervicogenic headaches often present with a reduction in neck motion and associated neck pain. They are due to referred pain from the soft tissues and joints in the neck. The headache is usually worse with head movement. The primary recommended form of treatment is chiropractic manipulation of the neck.

Cluster Headache
These headaches, which are felt around the eyes, are more common in middle-aged males. They “cluster” over days or weeks and then end, and appear again several weeks or months later. Cluster headaches typically begin at the same time each day or night. They are short-lived, lasting an average of 30 minutes, but they are extremely intense. During an attack, there is often tearing and a runny nose on the same side as the headache. There is usually a history of smoking and possible alcohol abuse. The cause of cluster headaches is unknown. Cluster headaches generally decrease in frequency and intensity as the individual ages. Conservative management includes moist heat, trigger point therapy, ultrasound, and spray-and-stretch to reduce muscle tension, cervical and upper thoracic chiropractic adjustments to decrease contributing joint dysfunction, avoidance of screen glare from computers and televisions, and stress reduction.

Hypertensive Headache
These headaches are pulsing and occur early in the morning. They are associated with high blood pressure, obesity, stress, lack of exercise, high sodium diets, drug sensitivity, kidney disease, and heart disease. Hypertensive headaches come on when blood pressure is 200/120 mm Hg or higher. The headache may become worse when reclining and is less severe when seated. Management includes dietary modifications (high fiber, low salt); avoidance of caffeine, high fat, sugar, and alcohol; and exercise.

Sinus Headaches
These headaches are attributable to inflammation of the mucosa of the sinuses from allergies or bacterial or viral infections. The headache is generally felt over the forehead and cheeks, and occasionally around the teeth and behind the ears. Sinus headaches are worse in the morning and are aggravated or relieved by head position, which may help or hinder nasal drainage. Conservative treatment options include avoiding known allergens, correcting areas of cervical dysfunction that may hinder sinus drainage, and using a vaporizer or hot compresses on the face to clear sinus congestion. Anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, ginger, and feverfew are of some benefit.

Read More

SIX BACK-SAVING TIPS FOR NEW PARENTS

Becoming a parent brings joy like no other, but it also brings a host of new challenges that test the most patient and nurturing among us. It is no secret that childbirth and the general sleep deprivation that typically accompanies caring for a baby have a profound impact on the body. In fact, musculoskeletal (MSK) complaints like back, neck and shoulder injuries are common among new parents, in part due to extra physical demands on the body. If you are currently pregnant and experiencing back pain, consider chiropractic care to help manage symptoms and improve function so that you are ready for your new arrival. Once you bring your baby home, consider the following tips, as well as talking to your chiropractor to ensure that you stay healthy, mobile and pain free throughout this huge life transition.

1. Lifting the baby

When lifting your baby from a crib, car seat or high chair, make sure to keep a neutral spine and use the proper technique to avoid injury. Use your legs, rather than your back, and bend at the knees and hips to lift gradually. Keep your feet grounded well and shoulder-width apart to balance the weight. Use a similar form when settling the baby into a crib or onto a change table. Also, if possible, try to change the baby’s diaper or clothing on a raised surface rather than on the floor or sitting awkwardly on the couch.

Read More

IMPACT OF COLD WEATHER ON YOUR MUSCLES AND TENDONS

You may find that as the weather gets colder, you may experience more aches and pains, and even feel like your muscles are stiffer. This is even more evident for workers who work outside in the winter or individuals with certain ailments. The cold weather can increase the risk of suffering from musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries and can even increase the intensity of certain MSK conditions.

How Can the Cold Weather Impact Us?

If you live with an arthritic condition you might find that your symptoms may be exacerbated by cold weather conditions, which can keep you away from doing the activities you enjoy. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis may not react well to sudden weather or atmospheric changes, which may worsen symptoms.

Read More

A HEALTHY BACK STARTS WITH YOUR FEET

Contrary to popular belief, many people with foot problems do not have any pain in their feet.  Instead, the area of pain is transferred up the body to the knees, hips, or lowers back.  An example of this is one whose feet roll inward, which causes their pelvis to jut forward.  This, in turn, causes the upper back to “hump” and the head to move forward, all in an attempt to keep the body balanced. In fact, 80% of people over forty years of age experience bodily distortions directly resulting from supinated (rolled out) or pronated (rolled in) feet.  The most common symptom of this problem is not pain, but rather, a general feeling of fatigue.

Orthotics can help stabilize your feet and ankles, thereby alleviating the associated pains.  Orthotics have been shown to help the following conditions:  excessive pronation, arch pain, bunions, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, Morton’s Neuroma, shin splints, Achilles and patellar tendonitis, patellofemoral syndrome, iliotibial band syndrome, hip bursitis, hamstring strains and spasms, stress fractures, ankle sprains, chondromalacia patella, knee collateral ligament injury, vertebral subluxations, lower back pain, leg length inequality, lumbo-sacral strain, lumbosacral facet joint jamming, and pelvic rotation.

Read More

BACKPACKS CAN AFFECT YOUR CHILDREN’S HEALTH

School season is upon us and time to again remind all parents out there about the importance of proper backpacks for kids.  Carrying a heavy load that is unevenly or improperly distributed can result in poor posture; and even distort the spinal column, throwing it out of alignment. This can cause muscle strain, headaches, back, neck and arm pain, and even nerve damage. For example, a heavy backpack carried on one shoulder, forces the muscles and spine to compensate for the uneven weight. This places stress on the mid and lower back, and may increase the likelihood of back problems later in life.

Here are a few pointers to help you help your school age children carry their load comfortably and safely:

Choose the right backpack:
Forget leather! It looks great, but it’s far too heavy. Go for vinyl or canvas. Pick a pack that has two wide, adjustable, padded shoulder straps, along with a hip or waist strap, padded back and plenty of pockets. Make sure the pack fits properly, is not too snug around the arms and under the armpits, and that its size is proportionate to the wearer’s body.

Read More

WEIGTH TRAINING THE HEALTHY WAY

 Light weights, many repetitions effective at building muscle mass.

New research is challenging traditional workout wisdom which says that heavy weight lifting is the best way to build muscle.
In the latest results from a 16-year study by McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, lifting lighter weights many times was found to be as efficient as lifting heavy weights for fewer repetitions.

In the study, two groups of experienced male weight lifters followed a 12-week, whole-body protocol. One group lifted lighter weights (≥50 per cent of maximum strength) for sets of 20-25 repetitions. The other group lifted heavier weights (≥90 per cent of maximum strength) for 8-12 repetitions. Both groups lifted to the point of failure. Gains in muscle mass and muscle fiber size were virtually identical in both groups.

It appears that fatigue is the great equalizer. At the point of fatigue, both groups would have been trying to maximally activate their muscle fibers to generate force. Lift to the point of exhaustion and it doesn’t matter whether the weights are heavy or light.

The findings are published online in the Journal of Applied Physiology:http://jap.physiology.org/content/jap/121/1/129.full.pdf

Read More

Many of us take better care of our automobiles than we do our own bodies… yet the auto has replaceable parts. B. J. Palmer

HEADS UP ON HELMETS

A helmet can reduce your risk of sports injury by 30 percent. Whether you enjoy biking, boarding, or blading in the summer, or skiing, skating and sledding in the winter, pick the right helmet for the job and always wear it.

There are two basic types of helmets: single-impact and multiple-impact. It’s important to select a helmet that fits you properly and that is appropriate to the activity you’re doing. The following tips will help you choose the appropriate helmet:

Read More