Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A new study shows the continual support for strengthening the hip abductors or glut medius for PFPS or patellofemoral pain syndrome.  When 3 hip exercises (sidlying leg raise with weights, standing side walking with band around ankles and hip extension with resistance) were added to conventional knee stretching and strengthening, the group with the added hip exercises had significantly less knee pain and better function at 3, 6, and 12 months post treatment! 

This adds to the evidence that knee pain is not always just “knee pain” but often the source can be from the hips, feet, etc. 


reference: J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2012;42(10):823-30.

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“You can’t pick your relatives ” but you can pick your fruits and vegetables. The organic food industry is growing and food manufacturers are becoming more sensitive to the needs of the consumer. We can now buy gluten-free Rice Krispies BUT the rice isn’t organic and there still remains unwanted ingredients. However, it is relatively better and especially for those suffering celiac disease.

Organic food is also relatively better; it’s food the way it was intended to be and was what our great grandparents were able to do in their backyards or near their farmhouses. We could just run into their gardens, yank out a carrot (brush off most of the dirt) and eat it without concern over what was sprayed on it over the previous weeks.

Demand for organic food is growing and whenever possible consumers should opt for this choice. If more people chose organic food the price can eventually come down and even if it’s never quite the same low price as the non-organic equivalent, it’s better in the long run, for our health. Remember that other famous expression, “you are what you eat”. Our bodies depend on what we put into it to accomplish all the amazing things it does on a day-to-day basis. Be kind to it.

In their June 2011 issue, VITAJOURNAL, has compiled a list of items which tend to be high in chemicals and pesticides if not farmed organically. They have also indicated those non-organic foods that are relatively low in contamination. The following “Dirty Dozen” when purchased non-organic, tend to have higher concentrations of chemicals and additives, sometimes up to 47 different varieties!

Celery, Domestic Blueberries, Cherries, Peaches, Nectarines, Potatoes, Strawberries, Sweet Bell Peppers, Imported Grapes, Apples, Spinach(Kale,Collard Greens), Lettuce

You will be safer buying the following fruits and vegetables, even if they are grown non-organically. These are referred to as the “Clean Fifteen”.

Onions, Sweet Peas, Cantaloupes, Avocados, Asparagus, Watermelon, Sweet Corn, Kiwi Fruit, Grapefruit, Pineapples, Cabbage, Sweet Potatoes, Mangos, Eggplants, Sweet Onions

To assist you in your consideration of which produce should be bought organic, and which conventional, consider the following:

  • How thick is the outer, protective layer of skin? Ex: mushrooms are like a sponge, so they may be better bought organically, whereas you discard the peel of a banana, so they can be bought conventionally.
  • How difficult is it to wash, or do I generally wash this item? You should wash all produce, this reduces, but does not completely eliminate contaminants.

Tasty Raw Kale Salad & Raspberries      from Vitajournal June 2011

  • 1 bunch of kale, washed and de-stemmed
  •  ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, split into two
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 1 container organic raspberries
  • half cup raw goat cheese
  • half cup toasted or raw pine nuts
  • ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar

Directions: Take half of the olive oil and the two tsp. of sea salt and mix together in a small bowl. Use that mixture to massage the leaves of the kale. This will soften it so that it tastes much better. Chop kale, add raspberries, pine nuts, and cheese. Toss with the remaining olive oil, vinegar, and lemon and serve!

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This book just released 2 weeks ago is a practical at home or office guide on how to treat much of your pain right where you are.
Written by Chet Yoder MPT, it has chapters specifically on the low back, neck, knee, and shoulder among others. Many pictures make the exercises easy to follow from home.
Available online: http://www.chetyoder.com
or if you are in Brandon at Hedley’s Health in the Mall or here at Westman Rehab.

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Saving the Trees

Westman Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center is going paperless! With the use of new computer software and IPad’s, we are reducing the use of paper in our office significantly, while offering our clients an innovative new therapy experience. We are now able to email any exercises directly to you – so you don’t have to worry about misplacing them! We also carry our IPad’s with us so we can use various apps to show you the anatomy behind your condition, enhancing your understanding of what is happening, as well as the goals of our therapy. This new technology allows us to tailor both our assessment procedure and rehab exactly to you and your needs – we can enhance each exercise specifically to reflect your condition or injury situation. For complete, personalized care, stop by or give us a call and book your appointment!

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Did you know that acupuncture can be used on a variety of conditions? Acupuncture can be used on everything from digestive issues to muscle and joint pain. You can also get multiple benefits from an acupuncture point; therefore how the treatment points are combined can change the results. There are also a variety of modalities that can be combined with acupuncture, including cupping, which is the application of suction cups over the body to help relieve tension, and electro-acupuncture, in which a low level of electrical current is used to help maximize the benefits of the needle treatment, as well as provide pain relief similar to that provided by a TENS machine.

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COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease leads to severe shortness of breath, and it can in some cases, lead to death. The World Health Organization predicts that by the year 2030, COPD will be the leading cause of death on the planet. Despite its increasing prevalence, many people have never heard of this disease. Dr. Brian Goldman recently spoke on CBC news about this disease and its increasing occurrence.

Recently, a Canadian study was published in The Lancet, which looked at COPD and it’s prevalence in our population. The study looked at everyone in Ontario between the ages of 35 and 80 who had not been diagnosed with COPD in 1996. The study followed these people for 14 years to see what happened to them in terms of respiratory disease. At the end of the study 580,000 Ontarians contracted COPD. These numbers were used to calculate the risk of developing this disease, which they found was 27 percent, or a 1 in 4 risk of developing this disease over your lifetime. This is a very serious disease, and can prove fatal. A man age 65 who currently smokes, and is diagnosed with severe COPD, could lose 6 years off his life expectancy. As compared to other diseases, the risk of developing heart failure is lower than the risk of developing COPD, and for a 35 year old woman, her chance of developing COPD is three times higher than her chances of developing breast cancer. This same risk holds true for a 35 year old man in regards to his risk of developing prostate cancer. Diabetes is the only similar disease with the same likelihood of development.

So if it’s so common, why haven’t we heard of it? This is partially due to the fact that many doctors are unaware of its prevalence, and it is sometimes under diagnosed. The biggest factor in its relative obscurity is the fact that many people feel that it is a disease that is self-inflicted, that it is caused solely by smoking, and only smokers develop COPD. This is not always the case, as the rates of smoking are decreasing due to the success of smoke cessation programs, however the rates of COPD are increasing. Researchers are not sure why this is, however they are currently looking at the incidence of asthma early in life and the rates of COPD development as we age, and any links that may exist between the two. As more and more non-smokers develop COPD, it becomes increasingly apparent that this is not a self-inflicted disease.

What does this mean for Canada as a whole? More and more people are developing this disease, which means more hospital admissions due to shortness of breath, bronchitis and other conditions which may require hospital treatment and antibiotics. Also more and more people with end stage COPD may have to be treated by putting them on ventilators. Not only is this difficult due to the fact that it is very hard to then get off the ventilator, but in the future the use of these machines is predicted to increase, and we may need more of them, as more people’s health and lives will depend on them.

There is no cure for this disease, and more research is needed to fully understand the causes. Right now COPD is still linked to smoking, so the continuation of smoking cessation programs is key. If you are a smoker right now, it’s never too late to quit, and prevent any further damage to your lung function.

The information for this topic was taken from CBC radio. Provided below is the link to this audio clip, as well as a link to the Lancet, which is where the research from this study is published.



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Fall Clean Up

It’s that time of year again, time to rake and bag the leaves, clean up the flower beds and clean out the eavestroughs. While you’re undertaking all these tasks, make sure you don’t forget to take care of your back. Be sure you are using good posture, activate your core muscles to take the strain off your spine, and rest as needed – Rome wasn’t built in a day!

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Omega-3 Fatty acids are commonly taken to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. There are two primary types of Omega-3 acids, Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA plays a large role in neurological development and increased levels of DHA have been linked to decreased progression of age related macular degeneration. Increased EPA is associated with moderately decreased high blood pressure, decreased triglyceride levels and increased HDL levels. One study showed that an increased consumption of EPA reduced the risk of major coronary events by 18% over a five year period. Studies also strongly suggest that an increased consumption of Omega-3 fatty acid decreases joint inflammation which can reduce pain often caused by arthritis.

As a dietary supplement, Omega-3 acid is ideal for patients whose joints are inflamed and are unable to maintain a healthy weight. An increased consumption of Omega-3 acids will allow these patients to improve their cardiovascular health and decrease the inflammation on weight bearing joints.

Omega-3 acids are considered dietary supplements by the EPA so they are safe for healthy individuals to include in their diet. Omega-3 acid has only a few minor gastric side effects for healthy individuals.

Large amounts of Omega-3 acids can be found in fish and some nuts. Flaxseed has an especially high amount of Omega-3 acids although there is some concern that flaxseed and it’s oil may not have as much of the desired benefits as fish oil.

Adapted from materials provided by Mayo Clinic.

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In a recent study, of university students, staff, and faculty the relationship between mobile device use and musculoskeletal symptoms was assesed.
Basic result number one: There was a direct and significant association between total time spent using a mobile device and pain in the base of the right thumb.
Basic result number two:There was a direct and significant association between total time spent using a mobile device and pain the the right shoulder and back!
It goes without saying that the more time one is using a hand held electronic device, the less time one is likely to be active and moving.
Hope you can enjoy some sunshine and better weather outside moving!

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