Most Common Groin Pain

Groin pain can be annoying, especially if you are a runner! Being a soccer player (and I think a really good one!), I tend to see fellow soccer players in my clinic complaining of groin pain all the time. The purpose of this blog post is for you to understand that not all groin pains are the same; it could be as serious as an infction, or as “simple” as a pulled muscle or strain.

Some Red Flags (more serious diseases) for the hip and groin can be:

  • Arthritis
  • Inguinal Hernia
  • Impingement Syndrome
  • Infection
  • Avascular Necrosis

and on and on!   

I will leave it up to your doctor to diagnose your condition, since diagnosing your condition over the internet may be a difficult task for me! 

One of the most common types of hip and groin pain I see in my clinic is called a Psoas Syndrome. Psoas the primary hip flexor muscle, starts from your lower spine and attaches to your leg. 


  •  Low back, groin and hip pain.
  • Occasional radiation (shooting pain) towards the inner thigh.
  • Increased difficulty in walking, specially going up a hill or upstair

The spasm of Psoas muscle when over worked, too weak, or due to repetitive injuries will cause Psoas syndrome. When this muscle is in spasm, its tendon will “snap” over the hip bone, sometimes causing an audible popping noise, called Snapping Hip Syndrome.

The most common methods of treatments are stretching, physiotherapy modalities such as Ultrasound, TENS (electrical impulses), and some exercises. Some really good stretches are posted on my Facebook page, if you like to see.

Some patients complain that these methods are not working for them, or if it has, it is very short lived. The reason for this can be due to the anatomical location of the Psoas muscle. Psoas muscle is a very deep muscle. In some cases, stretching will not affect the muscle itself, and it will only stretch the fascias around it. Therefore a more direct method of treatment such as Active Release Technique is required.

Try their website and find a practitioner near you.

Again, there are many conditions that resemble the condition I mentioned above but are more serious. Please do not self-diagnose yourself and talk to your doctor.

Dr. Ali Masoumi


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How to not get the flu this fall and winter

Patients are starting to trickle in, slowly but surley, with the first of this season’s sniffles.  The dreaded fall cold/flu symptoms are among (some of) us.  What are some of the best ways to prevent a cold, or catch it just in time, before it develops into something dreadful?  Here are some helpful tips:

1.  Drink water and/or tea with lemon throughout the day.  The extra vitamin C gives your immune system a boost.

2.  Avoid sugar.  Yes its hard sometimes.  But the less the better.  Eating sugar depresses your immune system activity and makes you prone to catching a cold.

3.  Add pumpkin seeds and pumpkin butter to your diet.  They are full of zinc, a mineral critical to proper functioning of your immune system.

4.  Sleep.  We all know that when we feel tired and run down, we are more likely to catch a cold.

5.  Take helpful supplements daily: vitamin D and a probiotic.

6. If you have sick people around you at home or work, add Echinacea (we love MediHerb Echinacea, it stimulates white blood cells of your immune system), or another favourite BioVegetarian by Purity One.

7. Should you start with a sore throat or a cough, come in for a Myer’s Vitamin Shot, then go straight home and get under the covers.  Don’t forget to pick up chicken soup on your way home at Lonsdale Quey.  :)

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Our Patients LIKE Us :)

It is always wonderful to receive a complement.  As health care practitioners we do what we do because we want to help others live happier lives.  We try to problem solve, research, encourage and educate.  We work with our patients in their journey to health.  One of our patients wanted us to know how she felt after receiving care at the clinic, and wanted us to share it on the website.

“I was referred to the CareMed Integrative Health Centre, by Victoria’s Health Store, due to an ongoing health issue, that was not being resolved.  I was in dire distress, when I first met with both Dr. Kennett and Dr. Matusik.  I found both Doctors to be Professional, extremely knowledgeable in their field of Medicine, and attentive, caring and compassionate listeners.

Due to the specific nature of my health issue, I worked with Dr. Kennett, and was awestruck that in 2 days of her Protocol of Treatment, I was experiencing relief for the first time in 13 years!!!  I continue to work with her, and my health just continues to improve every day, in every way.

I feel truly blessed to have been referred to these incredible Naturopathic Doctors, and highly recommend them, if you feel you are not getting answers or resolution to your health issues.

In Gratitude…….

Tricia A”


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Senior’s “Living Well Fair On Lonsdale”

This past Friday September 7th, we attended the Living Well On Lonsdale Senior’s Fair a the John Braidwaithe Community Centre.  It was a well attended, providing important information about various community services available to residents of the Lower Lonsdale area.  Did you know that seniors can obtain a free smoke alarm for their place of residence from the North Vancouver Fire Department?  They will even come and install it for you!  Other services represented were the RCMP, St. John’s Ambulance, Royal Bank and others.

Our table featured information about health services at the clinic, including pamphlets and handouts on health conditions specifically relevant to senior’s health issues.  Next year we hope to add a short presentation.   A topic of interest that kept coming up was drug and nutrient/herb interactions.  This is an important topic for seniors as many take various health supplements without understanding how this may impact medications they are taking concurrently.


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Get a PAP, prevent Cervical Cancer

October 22-28 is PAP Awareness Week in BC.  During this week, women can get free PAP test at various health clinics all over BC.  PAP tests are used to screen for cervical cancer. Early detection of abnormal cervical cells can lead to treatment and prevention of cervical cancer.

Normally this test is recommended every 2 years in sexually active women.  Many women shy away from going to their doctor to have this test.  Most find it uncomfortable but necessary part of their health care routine.  There are also those women who have never had this test done for various reasons.  Some are scared it will be painful, others are embarassed to talk to their doctor about it, some don’t even have a family doctor to be able to do the test for them.  The LACE Campaign is hoping to lift some of these barriers in the week of October 22-28.  All participating clinics are listed on their website.

CareMed integrative Health Centre is also a participating clinic.  During PAP Awareness Week women can book free PAP test with one of our Naturopathic Physicians.  The appointment takes about 30 minutes, during which a PAP exam is performed.  We also take a brief health history and answer any questions you may have in a comfortable and relaxed environment.  Please help spread the word.  For more information, visit the LACE Campaign website:  To book a PAP please call us at 604-971-5006.

Dr. Agnieszka Matusik, ND


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Pregnancy Massage Therapy in North Vancouver

Pregnancy (or ‘Prenatal’) Massage Therapy is a form of treatment specifically tailored for the expectant mother’s needs. The mother’s body is properly positioned and supported during the massage using pillows and padding. Proper positioning ensures comfort and safety for the mother and baby. During the massage, specific techniques are used, modified or avoided depending on the stage and state of the pregnancy as well as the health of the mother.

During the first trimester, the expectant mother may experience a number of symptoms related to her pregnancy such as nausea, frequent urination, mood swings and altered taste or smell. However, the most change that occurs during the first trimester is within the musculoskeletal system: the muscles, bones, joints and related structures such as tendons and connective tissue that function in the movement of body parts and organs. These changes result under the influence of hormones (estrogen, progesterone and relaxin). Relaxin affects the composition of collagen in the joint capsules, ligaments and fascia to allow greater elasticity. This enables more movement in the joints and creates greater yield within the abdomen for the growing fetus. While all joints are affected, the most vulnerable are those of the pelvis (pubic symphysis and sacroiliac joint) and those that bear weight such as the ankle and joints of the foot. Throughout the second and third trimester, the musculoskeletal changes decrease by 20% and remains at that level until labour.

Months four through six are known as the “quiet months” where the expectant mother experiences the reality of the fetus: hearing the fetal heartbeat, viewing the fetus through ultrasound and feeling fetal movement. Most of the symptoms experienced during the second trimester continue through to the third trimester and may include:


Compression syndromes (such as thoracic outlet and carpel tunnel syndromes

Back ache

Sacroiliac sprain (intense pain over the sacrum, often worse with rotational movements)

Leg cramps

Pelvic discomfort

Costal margin (rib cage) pain as the pregnancy advances and the uterus compresses the lower ribs

Pregnancy Massage Therapy has been found to relieve the symptomatic aches and pains within the muscles and joints (as listed above), reduce stress on weight-bearing joints, enhance the pliability of skin and underlying tissues, decrease swelling in the arms and legs by increasing blood and lymph circulation, induce relaxation and reduce stress. In addition, pregnancy massage can improve the outcome of labor and eases labor pain.

A study that was published in August 2006 demonstrated that the regular administration of massage from 36 weeks of pregnancy until birth greatly reduced the mother’s perception of labor pain, thus reducing the amount of anesthesia requested during labor.

Another study reported in the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology evaluated the effect of massage on pregnant women. Researchers found that a 20-minute massage twice a week resulted in reduced anxiety, improved mood, better sleep, less back pain and fewer complications during labor.

Not only can pregnancy massage be physically beneficial, but the human touch can be comforting and provide the mother-to-be emotional support during pregnancy. Furthermore, massage therapy has been found to reduce anxiety and depression.

A study completed by Field T, Diego M, Hernandez-Reif M, Deeds O, Figueiredo B.Infant Behav Dev. in July 2009 tested the hypothesis that Prenatal Massage reduces prematurity, low birth weights and postpartum depression. The results confirmed thatnot only had Massage Therapy reduced depression during the pregnancy, but also had reduced depression and cortisol levels during the postpartum period. Newborns were also less likely to be born prematurely and of low birth weight. In addition, they too had lower cortisol levels and performed better on the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment habituation, orientation and motor scales.

Regardless of individual circumstances of the expectant mother, a pregnant woman’s body is challenged, changed and stressed in many ways. Massage Therapy gives special attention to the mother-to-be and also nurtures the new life growing within her. Regular massage therapy improves posture, muscle tone and flexibility, all of which train the body for labor. By helping the body cope with all of the imminent body changes occurring, massage therapy can cause an expectant mother to have a more positive pregnancy and labor experience.

Jessica Nielsen, RMT specializes in prenatal and postnatal massage therapy in North Vancouver.  To book an appoitment, please call us at 604-971-5006

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Muscle Cramps!

Almost everyone will experience muscle cramp sometimes in their life!

Experiencing muscle cramps are definitely not enjoyable. I used to experience muscle cramps regularly playing soccer. Before getting into the potential causes of muscle cramps, something needs to be clear! There are many different types of cramps, which could be the result of a serious diseases (Don’t panic, these are not too common!), so please, don’t self diagnose yourself and don’t allow me to diagnose you online!

Let’s now talk about some common causes of muscle cramps, like the ones I used to get playing soccer! (By the way, soccer challenges are always welcome!)

  • Hydration: Make sure you hydrate yourself before a physical activity. Physical activity could mean a soccer game for an athlete, or perhaps walking for individuals that are not active.
  • Potassium and Magnesium: low levels of potassium and magnesium can produce muscle cramps. A banana, full of magnesium and potassium, will also give you a boost of energy prior to your activity due to its high levels of natural sugars, vitamin C, A1, B6, B12, and iron.
  • Lack of stretching or muscle injuries:  persistent muscle cramps can be a protective mechanism by your body due to injury/small tear (micro-tear) to that specific muscle. Lack of stretching before the exercise will definitely increase your risk of producing small tears in your muscle.
  • Fatigue: If you feel tired, take a break! That’s all I need to say about this one!  
  • Medication: an example of these medications can be the medications used for the removal of body fluid (diuretic medications). These medications can produce muscle cramps as an adverse reaction. (Talk to your physician)

Now it’s time for some potential diseases causing cramps. In recent studies, there seems to be a direct correlation with Cirrhosis (Liver disease) and muscle cramps which really has to do with the decrease in effective circulation volume to and from liver.     

Another example of a serious disease can be a bacterial infection causing Tetanus disease, which is a disease of nerves and your nervous system. I am not really trying to scare you, but you need to know that self diagnosis is really not the best path to take.

Dr. Ali Masoumi, DC

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Eggs: What do Egg labels mean?

As a Naturopathic Doctor I see it as my job to educate my patients and give them the facts about food production and nutrition. Unfortunately I see so many marketing schemes which are fooling people into purchasing the “wrong” product.

When it comes to eggs, we often see this as a very important part of many diets. Eggs contain protein and high quality fats. The fats found in egg yolk are very important for a developing child’s brain. The proteins in egg whites are very important for a balanced diet.

Please find below some information on eggs. I hope that you find it useful!

If you are looking for eggs from hens not raised in cages (cage-free), here are a few helpful tips:

Certified Organic:
Hens raised free-range (access to roam outdoors, weather permitting). Hens are given perches, nest boxes and dust bathing areas. Provides the most space per bird. Farms are independently audited for animal welfare.

SPCA Certified:
Hens raised either free-range (access to roam outdoors, weather permitting) or free-run (roam freely inside a barn – no outdoor access). Hens are given perches, nest boxes and dust bathing areas. Farms are independently audited for animal welfare.

Hens have access to the outdoors (weather permitting). If not “certified”, farm is not independently audited for animal welfare standards. Visit the farm or check references for guarantees.

Hens roam freely inside a barn – no outdoor access. If not “certified”, farm is not independently audited for animal welfare standards. Visit the farm or check references for guarantees.

All other eggs:
Are from battery-caged hens. These hens are crammed 5 hens per cage into tiny wire cages so small they can barely move, let alone flap even one wing.

Watch out for misleading labels that only say “Omega-3″, “Farm fresh”, “Natural”, or “Vegetarian Feed”, as they all come from battery-caged hens.

Even though cage-free hens are not kept in cages, it does not mean that egg production is completely humane.

THIS POST IS FROM Chicken Out! at THE VANCOUVER HUMANE SOCIETY. For more information please contact or visit their website at

Dr. Jolene Kennett, ND

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Time to Take an X-ray?

The appropriate time for X-ray and other imaging such as MRI and CT scan is debatable. MRI and CT scan being more expensive (minimum of $800 for MRI), are a lot harder to get done. There is about a 4 months wait list in Canada to get an MRI of your knee for a suspected tear, but if you know someone that knows someone in a hospital, you might be able to get it done in about 2 weeks!
Before going into details, let’s answer a very common question regarding the differences between X-ray, MRI and CT.
For the sake of simplicity, X-ray is good to see bones (fractures), MRI is good to see soft tissues such as muscles, discs (disc herniation), nerves and CT scan is good to see structures such as lungs, sinuses, abdomen and heart. Again, it is not as simple as I explained above, your doctor will ask for a specific imaging based on what he or she would like to see!
   A CT scan of ankle 
 An x-ray of ankle
An MRI of ankle
So when is a good time to take an X-ray? Rule #1, TRAUMA! A trauma can be a fall, a hit or any impact to your body. For example, if an object falls on your toe, depending on the object, there can be pain, swelling, bruising and potentially a fracture! Rule #2, weight bearing is hell! You cannot support the weight of your body on the injured limb. Rule #3, usually with broken bones, the pain will not get better and sometimes it will potentially get worst even with treatments. Rule #4, you are suffering from some sort of bone disease (metabolic disease) such as Osteoporosis.
1.       Trauma
2.       Cannot stand on it
3.       Getting worst or staying the same
4.       Underlying bone diseases such as Osteoporosis
True Case at the clinic:
63 years old female comes in the clinic with rib pain after coughing. The pain is not going away. She has a history of Osteoporosis. She was diagnosed after taking x-ray with rib fracture! YES! A fracture with just coughing! So please talk to your doctor.       
Dr. Ali Masoumi
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“Arthitis” is not THAT bad!

Before going into the specifics of Arthritis, let’s break the word down into its parts! Arthro- means joints and anything with a suffix of –itis means inflammation. So YES the inflammation of tonsils are tonsillitis and the inflammation of pancreas is pancreatitis! This was a little secret into the “big medical word” dictionary!
I have recently discovered that many of patients being diagnosed by “Arthritis” don’t really know much about it. The word “Arthritis” seems to also have some effects on their mental state, preventing them from the normal activities of daily living or ADL. There are many types of arthritis, each having different signs and symptoms and different effects on your body.
The most common type of arthritis (and I mean THE most common type) is Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis (and now known as Degenerative Joint Disease) is a type of arthritis mostly associated with aging. What I mean by aging is not someone over 90, but anyone after the age 25 can have potentially some sings of Osteoarthritis. This is caused by “wear and tear” of bones and the increased friction between them causing pain. You can have osteoarthritic changes in your bone without knowing it. Sometimes I send a patient to get an x-ray for a potential fracture and I find out that they have some osteoarthritic changes!   There are different types of medications that help with OA (Osteoarthritis) and usually supplements such as Glucosamine Sulfate, Chondroitin Sulfate and MSM (which needs about 6-8 weeks to get absorbed and for you to feel the effects) help with symptoms. (Talk to your doc for specific doses!)
Although there are many types of arthritis such as Rheumatoid , Psoriatic and many more (which you can ask me if you like), with varying degrees of disability, it seems wrong to me that a patient would allow this to limit their horseback riding, hiking, snowboarding and running!
So, the reason for this blog was for you to realize there are MANY types of arthritis and the most common type being Osteoarthritis COULD have minimal effects on your life and you should NEVER stop being active and do things you like since you have been diagnosed with “arthritis”.
Please ask your doctor to clarify the type of arthritis you may have for you!
Dr. Ali Masoumi
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