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All Posts Tagged: neck pain

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

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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.

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