Thursday, April 12, 2018


If you’ve ever suffered from an injury – such as a back injury, knee injury, or have injured another part of your body – then you know that it can sometimes take a bit of time before your body is back to feeling like it was before that injury occurred; and, in some cases, you might never fully get back to feeling 100%. Things like pain medications, such as anti-inflammatories, and other over-the-counter products such as ointments and numbing agents, can and do provide relief, but they’re only a temporary band-aid. In the event that you do develop an injury and don’t heal within the timeframe expected, or your pain worsens, that’s where a physiotherapist comes in. 

A physiotherapist is a trained professional who works to help patients regain ability, as well as treat different diseases and disorders, through different types of physical manipulation. While most people think that physiotherapists strictly work with muscle and other sport-related injuries, they’re actually adept in many different areas and treat individuals of all ages – from children, to adults, to seniors. There are also generally three different classifications of physiotherapy: 

  • Musculoskeletal
  • Neurological
  • Cardiothoracic

Musculoskeletal physiotherapy, which is the most common type of physiotherapy today, treats things like arthritis, sprains and strains, back pain, sports injuries, workplace injuries, and bursitis. Individuals who have had surgery may experience reduced mobility post-op, and will sometimes require musculoskeletal physiotherapy as a result. Neurological physiotherapy treats certain disorders associated with the nervous system – for example, patients who’ve had strokes, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and acquired brain injuries. Cardiothoracic physiotherapy is used to help treat things like emphysema, asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory-related disorders. The main goal of a physiotherapist to improve a patient’s quality of life by restoring their function, and alleviating pain, and reducing symptoms. If the patient has a permanent injury, then they work to reduce the effects of any dysfunction they might be experiencing.

The type of physiotherapy that someone will receive depends solely on their requirements. Physiotherapy can be manual, which may include things like stretching, resistance training, spinal mobilization, as well as joint manipulation, or it can also include electrotherapy techniques consisting of ultrasound, laser therapy, and more commonly, TENS – also known as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. When it comes to actually receiving physiotherapy, the biggest misconception people have is that that they think they will feel better immediately following treatment, when in fact it’s not at all uncommon for symptoms to intensify following your first session. When a patient decides to enter into physiotherapy, it is usually because the methods they’ve tried themselves haven’t been successful. A physiotherapist, on the other hand, has different approach to their techniques, and they are techniques and certain manipulations that the body may not be used to, hence why it’s normal to have some discomfort during the first few sessions. Once your body starts to get used to those new techniques, the pain eventually decreases.

Generally, physiotherapy sessions last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the injury and area of the body that is being worked on. Similarly, how many physiotherapy sessions a person needs also depends on those same circumstances.

For more information on physiotherapy, speak with your family physician or visit the Canadian Physiotherapy Association’s website at

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Sliced Roast Beef Recall Following Listeria Concerns

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a recall for Deli Classic brand seasoned cooked roast beef produced by Mississauga’s Erie Meat Products limited with best before dates from April 10th and April 17th . The recall was first issued back on March 28th for the same product sold at Druxy’s Famous Deli restaurants, but the CFIA is now saying that meat was sold on a much larger scale than initially thought – including in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, with a strong possibility of it also making its way to other Provinces and Territories across Canada. The CFIA goes on to say that while illnesses have been reported, they’re still in the midst of conducting lab testing to determine just how many of those illnesses are linked to the contaminated meat.

Listeria, also known as Listeria monocytogenes, is food-borne disease-causing bacteria that causes a condition called listeriosis which travels through the blood stream. It is commonly associated with things like deli meat, soft cheeses, unpasteurized milk, uncooked fruits and vegetables, and seafood that is kept refrigerated. 

The most common symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle/body aches, headache, vomiting and diarrhea. Listeriosis, in rare cases, can also cause blood infections and meningitis. In most cases, symptoms will start anywhere from 1 to 14 days after being exposed to listeria. However, in pregnant women it may take as long as 4 weeks before any symptoms develop. For otherwise healthy individuals, the symptoms of listeriosis are usually mild. However, it can be very serious for other individuals such as those with weakened immune systems, those of a certain age (such as seniors), or women who are pregnant – i.e. causing premature birth or stillbirth.

In order to determine whether or not a patient has listeria, Dr. Ali Ghahary will pay close attention to the symptoms that the patient is exhibiting and will also refer them for blood work as this is generally the most effective way to make a firm diagnosis. Other bodily fluid, such as spinal fluid or the placenta, can also be tested for the detection or non-detection of listeria monocytogenes. If it is confirmed that listeria monocytogenes are present, it can be treated by one of two ways: No treatment, as most people with mild symptoms will not require any medical intervention and their bodies will clear the infection within 7 days. Or, it can be treated with antibiotics. If pregnant, prompt antibiotic treatment (usually via intravenous) can help prevent the infection from affecting an unborn baby. How long you will need to be on antibiotics depends on the severity of the infection itself. For example, in mild cases, patients may need to be on antibiotics for 10 to 14 days, while antibiotic treatment may last as long as 6 weeks in cases where meningitis develops as a result of the listeriosis.

To prevent listeria, Dr. Ali Ghahary recommends the following:

•  Make sure raw foods such as poultry, beef and pork, as well as vegetables, are washed and cooked thoroughly.

•  Keep vegetables and uncooked meats separate from each other as well as separate from foods that are already cooked and ready for consumption.

•  Wash hands as well as all cooking utensils one you have finished handling uncooked foods.

•  Consume cooked foods as soon as possible and do not leave them sitting.

•  Do not eat luncheon or deli meats unless they are steaming hot.

•  Avoid eating pâtés or meat spreads that have been refrigerated, smoked seafood that has been refrigerated, as well as products made from unpasteurized milk.

Monday, April 9, 2018

How Eating Hot Peppers Could Send You to the Hospital

When it comes to healthy eating, we all known that things like fried food, carbohydrates, and sugar are all bad for our health. They can increase the risk of diabetes, cause cardiovascular problems and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as contribute to significant weight gain – but those aren’t the only bad foods making headlines these days. A 34-year-old man recently made news across the globe after being sent to hospital following a chili pepper eating contest in upstate New York. The culprit? The “Carolina Reaper.”

First cultivated in a Rock Hill, South Carolina greenhouse by Ed Currie, the Carolina Reaper was certified as the world’s hottest chili pepper by the Guinness World Records on August 7th, 2013. But just how hot is it? According to the Scoville scale, a pepperoncini is approximately 1,000 units on the Scoville scale and a jalapeno is approximately 8,000 units, while the Carolina Reaper is said to be more than 2 million units – with some even suggesting they’re as high as 10 million units. Regardless, they’re hotter than the average pepper. 

So what does it actually feel like to eat a Carolina Reaper? Like many peppers, the heat from a Carolina Reaper starts as a slow burn and may even trick you into thinking you’re out of the woods, but it eventually increases into what can only be described as feeling as though your mouth and face are on fire. Saliva production also increases, and the body will also begin to sweat. Following consumption of the pepper, the man began dry heaving almost immediately. He then developed intense neck pain as well as pain in the back of the head, which eventually spread across his entire head – but it didn’t stop there. Over the course of the next couple of days, he would begin to experience thunderclap headaches. A thunderclap headache is a severe headache in which the onset is sudden and where the pain only takes seconds to minutes to reach its maximum capacity. In many cases, a sudden and severe headache is often a sign of a medical emergency – such as a brain aneurysm – and can be fatal. Luckily this was not the case for the man from New York. However, the pain was severe enough to send him to the emergency room. After running a series of tests, the ER staff were able to rule out a brain aneurysm as the cause of the man’s headaches. They did, however, discover that arteries in his head were constricted and cutting off blood flow, and diagnosed him with a condition called Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome – also known as RCVS. Its main symptom? Thunderclap headaches as a result of narrowed arteries; and while it’s a condition that has known to be happen as a result of use of certain medications like decongestants, antidepressants and illicit drug use, doctors had never before seen a case where a chili pepper was the cause of RCVS – until now.

Along with RCVS, hot peppers have also been known to lead to other health problems. In 2016, a San Francisco man was sent to hospital with a 1-inch hole in his esophagus after he’d consumed a paste made out of ghost peppers. A ghost pepper is anywhere from 100 to 400 times hotter than a jalapeno, and 10 times hotter than a habanero pepper. Chili peppers can also lead to or worsen heartburn, ulcers, and can even cause the skin to become inflamed.

The oils from the Carolina Reaper and other hot peppers can be difficult to get off your skin, and sometimes scrubbing your hands with simple hand soap and water won’t always do the drink. Instead, healthcare professionals like Dr. Ali Ghahary recommend washing your hands with dish soap. Unlike the average bar of soap, many dish soaps have oil-dissolving properties. Wiping your hands down with a small amount of rubbing alcohol can also get rid of the chili oil. If you’re looking to relieve your mouth and throat of that burning sensation, keep in mind that capsaicin isn’t soluble in water, so if you do drink a cold glass of water and that burning sensation is still lingering, don’t be surprised. Milk is a better, more effective option.

Remember, if you experience a sudden and severe headache, don’t wait to seek out medical treatment, as it could be a matter of life or death. Call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. For information on other types of headaches, including migraines, click here