Can You Guess Which Two Symptoms Weighted Blankets Reduce?

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, knows that lack of sleep can affect more than just your energy. Not getting enough sleep can cause accidents due to lack of attention and low energy. These accidents can happen at work, home or worse yet- while driving.

Nearly 10% of Americans are affects by a sleep disorder, and 18% of the population lives with an anxiety disorder. Studies have shown that ADHD could be attributed to lack of sleep as well.

Gravity Blanket

So, what does a weighted blanket have to do with any of this?

Using a weighted blanket can stimulate pressure points across your body. This is called proprioceptive input, or deep touch stimulation. The result relaxes the nervous system, which increases serotonin and melatonin levels while decreasing cortisol levels. Studies have shown that this deep pressure stimulation has a calming influence, similar to swaddling an infant. Decreased stress, improved sleep and overall boosts in mental health. Sign me up!

So, where do I buy one? The Gravity Blanket recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help people who might be interested. The Kickstarter is running until the beginning of June. To learn more about the blanket and science behind proprioceptive input, click this link.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we offer effective pain relief from Pressure Point Releases. Our therapists are trained professionals who provide hands on Pressure Point Releases to focus on the root causes of the pain.  To schedule an appointment with an expert physical therapist, call us at (714) 997-5518.

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town and Country Rd., Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

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PT and OT: Differences and Similarities

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Have you ever wondered what the differences are between occupational and physical therapy? While many aspects of occupational and physical therapy do overlap, they are not exactly the same. Continue reading as Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, explains the differences and similarities of physical and occupational therapy.

Occupational therapy (OT) originally began as a method to treat the mentally ill. OT has transformed into a field that helps people live independently in many different ways. Today, occupational therapists work in many diverse settings, from prosthetic and adaptive aids to assisted living care. The key word to keep in mind when thinking of occupational therapy would be “independence”.

Physical therapy (PT), on the other hand, involves treating an actual impairment. Reasons you might see a physical therapist could be rehabilitation after an injury, strengthening to prevent injury, balance rehabilitation, and TMJ- just to name a few. The goal of physical therapy is to restore mobility, decrease pain and educate. This minimizes the need for expensive surgery or long-term reliance on medications. Physical therapists also teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so they can secure long-term health benefits.

At times, occupational and physical therapists do work together. This type of program would involve the PT focusing on the impairment, while the OT helps the patient complete necessary tasks with the impairment. For instance, a worker injures his hand and is unable to work or care for himself. A physical therapists would help compose an exercise program, select and use adaptive equipment, regain mobility, and ultimately get the worker back to his job. An occupational therapist would help the worker re-learn how to dress himself, cook for himself, and cleanse himself.

The examples posted here are a very small list of the differences and similarities between OT and PT. The three largest similarities between them is that they have the same goal- to get patients healthy, happy, and live life to the fullest.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our mission is to inspire, educate and motivate clients by providing affordable treatment while promoting healing in an environment that fosters integrity and respect.

If you are experiencing pain, discomfort, or lack of mobility, call us at (714) 997-5518 to schedule an evaluation with one of our expert physical therapists.

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town and Country Rd., Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

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Two Ways to Keep Knee Pain in Check

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, shares that patients seen for knee injuries find dramatic results by a few life style changes. Research shows that knee injury patients who utilize physical therapy, along with these tips listed below, find greater, longer lasting relief.

stock-photo-81368917-runner-touching-painful-knee-athlete-runner-training-accident

  • Be conscious of your footwear

    • Women might love the look of those high-heels, and men the comfort of sandals, however these types of shoes are just as unsupportive as they look. One wrong step in heels or sandals could be disastrous, not only for the ankle, but the knee as well. The same misstep in ergonomic footwear, may be correctable and more forgiving on the knee. Women should also know that “the higher the heel, the more the knee will bend when the foot hits the floor. This put a lot of strain on the knee joint, especially for women who are overweight.”  (Christensen 1)
  • Maintain a healthy body weight

    • Overweight men are five times more likely (and women four times more likely) to experience knee osteoarthritis. Research shows that a “loss of at least 10% of body weight is associated with moderate to large clinical improvements in joint pain.(Asay 1)

To see the second part of this article, “Three areas of exercise to reduce knee pain”  featured on our blogger website, click the link.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have the ability to help address all of the potential variables that may be causing knee pain. We look at the “whole person” when treating knee pain to provide insights as to why one might be experiencing excess strain on their knees but also in the hip, ankles and even a weak “Core”. We also look at our patients Body Mass Index as well as the daily activities demand.

We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in a fun and healing environment. Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule an appointment with an expert and caring physical therapist!

1111 W. Town and Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA92868

Phone: 714-997-5518

References:
Christensen. Ann Rheum Dis. 2007 Apr; 66(4): 433–439. PMCID: PMC1856062. Effect of weight reduction in obese patients diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta‐analysis
Asay JL, Favre J, Titchenal MR, et al. Effects of high heel wear and increased weight on the knee during walking. Journal of Orthopaedic Research. 2014.
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Balance Testing at Home in 30 Seconds

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Did you know that one in four adults are at risk of becoming injured through a fall? Every 20 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants to inform you that there is a simple test to gauge your balance at home!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the 30-second Chair Stand Test. The test is a quick way to identify any leg strength and endurance deficiencies that could contribute to poor balance.

 

How the Test is Done

The CDC recommends a chair with a straight back and height of at least 17 inches. It is recommended that you conduct the test under the supervision of someone who can help you if need be. If you have a history of falling, do not try this test without first speaking to your doctor.

Sit in the chair with arms folded across the shoulders. Next, stand up and sit down as many times as you can in 30 seconds. Keep your feet flat and your back straight during the test.

 

Interpreting Results

Adults between 70 and 74 years old should be able to complete 10 sit-stand cycles for women and 12 for men. For a more detailed view of target results, see the link here.

 

If you have fallen, or feel you are risk for falling, call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to start your personalized plan of care for balance rehabilitation with an expert physical therapist!

 

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

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Two Immediate Actions to Take Against Sprained Ankles

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Ankle sprains are common, but what can you do about them?

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist researched and found that every day in the U.S., 25,000 people sprain their ankle, and more than 1 million people visit emergency rooms each year because of ankle injuries whether it be due to athletic incidents or every day stumbles.[1] Usually, a sprain will heal by the next day if it is minor enough. However, if you suffer from symptoms such as the ones listed below; make sure to go to the hospital for an X-ray or at least refer to your physician.

Symptoms of a Sprained Ankle

ankle ligament

A sprain is the term that describes damage to ligaments when they are stretched beyond their normal range of motion[2]

  • Swelling/inflammation
  • Redness or unusual warmth
  • Increased sensitivity of the nerves
  • Unbearable pain while attempting to move the ankle, stand or walk

If you have sprained your ankle, Take Immediate Action!

  • Apply ice as quickly as possible to reduce inflammation. Ice also helps reduce pain, redness and warmth
  • Rest your ankle as much as possible and elevate it above your heart

This will expedite healing and allow your body to absorb the fluid that has flooded into the tissue surrounding the injured area.

Our team of experts at Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center will work closely with you to help prevent re-injury due to shortened and tightened muscles surrounding the injured area.

For an appointment with an expert physical therapist call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center at 714-997-5518.

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town and Country Rd., Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

[1] http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/ankle-injuries-causes-and-treatments

[2] www.webmd.com

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2 Unrelated Conditions Attributed to TMJ Syndrome

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to be aware of the dangers of untreated TMJ syndrome. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the area that connects the jaw to the rest of the skull. If this joint becomes irritated or inflamed the pain can become unbearable. Due to the location of the joint, once inflammation begins the pain can spread to the mouth, teeth, ears, neck and shoulders.

TMJ disorder is easily aggravated by many daily tasks such as eating, talking and yawning. As a result, anyone who suffers from TMJ syndrome should obtain treatment from an experienced TMJ professional right away.

TMJ disorder is painfully and irritating. If it is not resolved quickly, additional dental issues may arise. Many people who suffer from TMJ disorder show signs of premature wear from grinding or clenching their teeth. This can occur without knowledge or during sleep.

Teeth grinding and clenching can lead to fractured teeth and worn down enamel. Many people who grind tend to favor one side of their jaw over the other which can cause swelling on one side of the face, which can cause unsymmetrical muscle growth over a long period of time. This can give the patient’s jawline an uneven appearance.

While tooth grinding probably does seem like a tangible effect of TMJ disorder, did you know that TMJ disorder can also lead to tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or even permanently compromised hearing? Since the temporomandibular joint is directly under the ears, some TMJ sufferers complain of pain in their ears. Inner ear problems can lead to problems with balance and recurring dizziness (vertigo).

Success Story:

“I had no hope that my TMJ could be helped. I was pleased to find that Walker Physical Therapy had a procedure to address TMJ. I was elated to experience actual relief and improvement after a short course of treatments. Everyone involved has been interested, helpful and pleasant to work with. Thank you to all.”

-C. Law

If you suffer from TMJ syndrome or Jaw Pain, call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center at (714) 997-5518 to set up and evaluation and begin treatment with our expert physical therapists!

 

See our blog “Do’s and Don’ts for TMJ and Jaw Pain“!

 

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town and Country Rd., Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

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New Research: Laser Therapy Reduces Work Injuries by 65%

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   Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, is a big supporter of laser therapy. New research has been revealed concerning laser therapy at a worksite in British Colombia, Canada. The results are both encouraging and exciting.

The largest and most modern Kraft pulp mills in Canada employs approximately 400 people. The mill operates 24-hours-per-day and seven-days-per-week. The site sees so many work injuries that a physical therapy program was implemented in 2005.

With the high costs associated with worksite injuries, it is essential to reduce occupational injury rates. Along with regular therapy treatments, laser therapy has recently was introduced in 2015. The results speak for themselves!

   “To determine return-on-investment for therapy laser, and whether the (laser) modality had an impact on injures per year, we compiled data from 2004 through 2015. Our data showed that prior to implementing therapy laser (2002-2014), we experienced an average of 35.17 injuries per year. During the year following the addition of laser to the physical therapy program, we only had 12 MSI, constituting a decrease of 65%. Thus, during the first year of implementation, this program can be estimated to have saved nearly half a million dollars.”

, author- Laser Therapy for Industrial Rehab

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we utilize the ML830 Laser. The ML830 Laser sends light (photons) into your injured tissues and can penetrate 2 inches without being absorbed by the skin, fat, or blood. No heat is generated so it is safe for use anywhere (except for eyes) on the body. The 830 Laser stimulates the cells to repair and strengthen at a remarkably fast rate. It is effective and FDA approved.

This treatment does NOT wear off like most medicines, electrical stimulation, heat or ice. It increases your body’s own healing power and enhances that process-true healing. It you don’t re-injure the area, the pain should not return.

Dr. Walker announces, “By pairing the 830 laser therapy with physical therapy treatment, I have seen an increase of up to 80% in our patients’ recovery time. The 830 laser stimulates cells and accelerates the healing process by reducing pain, reducing inflammation, and increasing tissue healing. The laser has proven successful in helping many of our patients return to a full level of functioning after a fall, a car accident, or any other type of personal injury. The 830 laser therapy was even voted the modality of choice by the New England Patriots, who won the Superbowl, and the USC football team for treating painful injuries.”

Success Story: “I came into Walker Physical Therapy with severe pain in my right shoulder. I couldn’t remember the last time I slept through the whole night without waking up in excruciating pain several times. After the complimentary laser treatment on my first visit, I was able to sleep on my back without experiencing as much pain as usual. After 9 laser treatments along with my physical therapy program, my shoulder pain went from a level 10 to a level 2. I can now sleep through the whole night without waking up once in pain. If you are suffering with shoulder pain go see Walker PT & Pain Center!”                                                                   

 -Kathy Smith

If you are interested in the benefits of laser therapy, feel free to give us a call. We offer affordable laser treatment packages so that you get the most benefits. To schedule a consultation with one of our expert physical therapists, or to book your first laser treatment session call us at (714) 997-5518.

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town and Country Rd., Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

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New Research Concerning to the 70% of Adults Affected by Neck Pain

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Sportsman in pain

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, has reviewed a recent study that examined how effective physical therapy was for patients with neck pain. Guess what they found? Physical therapy was successful in treating neck pain. They used 3 methods: electrotherapy, kinesiotherapy, and manual massage. Results showed a combination of the 3 methods was the most effective.

“Neck pain is a common health problem in the United States. It has been estimated that about 70% of adults are afflicted by neck pain at some time in their lives, 10 to 15% of adults report neck pain that has persisted more than 6 months in the past year, and 5% of adults are currently experiencing disabling neck pain.(Sherman 233)

Neck pain often stems many things; from something severe such as a traumatic injury, to prolonged poor exposure while working or driving. However one thing you might not have known is that injuries affecting other parts of the body, such as the shoulders, back and even hips, may be the root cause of neck injury.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have an effective program for our patients with neck pain. We look at the “root cause” when treating neck pain to provide insights as to why you are experiencing pain, instead of just a quick fix! We also look at our patients BMI and then look at the daily activities demand.

We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in an affordable, fun and healing environment. Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule an appointment with an expert and caring physical therapist!

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town and Country Rd. Ste. 1

 Orange, CA92868

 Phone: 714-997-5518

.

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5 Important Points of Trumps Healthcare Proposal for 2018

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Since President Trump has been elected, many of us have been eager to see how his proposed policies will impact federal departments and services related to healthcare. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, recently reviewed a blueprint that was released by President Trump. Now, we have gotten a glimpse of potential changes to come. We won’t have the details until the full budget proposal is released in May, but key points of focus have been published.

 

Specifics are unclear. There are several proposed cuts. Obviously, being healthcare providers, we are closely watching the proposed reduction of funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS). According to the blueprint, the president’s 2018 budget requests $69 billion for HSS. That would a 17.9% ($15 billion) reduction from the annualized continuing resolution (CR) level.

 

 

Below are 5 important points concerning President Trump’s proposed 2018 Budget for HHS:

  • Supports direct healthcare services that act as a safety net for providers who deliver critical healthcare services to vulnerable, low-income populations.
  • Attention concerning Medicare and Medicaid by investing in activities to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse while promoting efficient and high quality health care. The budget proposes $751 million in 2018 for the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control (HCFAC) program, which is $70 million higher than the 2017 annualized CR level.
  • Supports spending on highest priority activities necessary to effectively operate programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Children Health Insurance Program.
  • Supports substance abuse treatment services for the millions of Americans who struggle with substance abuse issues. The budget includes a $500 million increase compared to the 2016 budget for substance abuse.
  • Reduces the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) spending to $25.9 billion ($5.8 billion reduction). The budget includes a major reorganization of NIH’s institutes and centers to help focus on the highest priority research and training activities.

 

In time, we will see if these blueprints are a success or failure. Whether we are providers or patients, we must stay current and learn how these changes could impact each and every one of us. At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we are prepared to adapt to change and ensure the means to provide the highest quality of care and services to our patients!

 

 

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town and Country Rd., Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

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New Medical Equipment to Help Regain Hand Movement After Stroke

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   Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, has some very exciting news for those who might be affected by stroke. People who are affected by a stroke sometimes have to relearn to talk and walk again, dress themselves, and pick up objects on their own. The recovery from stroke can be exhausting both mentally and physically. Though it is difficult, it is not impossible. Especially with the help of an expert physical therapist.

When someone has a stroke, blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. The result is the brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When those cells die, the area that the brain controls, such as speech or movement, is affected. According to stroke.org, each year, nearly 800,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke. Occupational therapist Shelly Kitrell says that, “brain cells that weren’t affected by stroke can be trained to perform functions that the damaged brain cells once did. Repetitive physical tasks help the brain tap into this ability.”

   New assistive devices and medical equipment are exciting. It is always impressive to see how medical equipment is designed and redesigned to reflect newly released evidence-based research.

   Enter the SaeboFlex. The SaeboFlex is a device that is fitted over the palm and forearm. It uses spring tension to assist the fingers in movement in an effort to retrain the brain. It works off the same principles that an assisted-pull up machine works, if that helps makes sense. If the device was attached to someone who had full range of motion and strength, it would feel like they were able to lift or curl their finger with minimal effort.

   Why is this important? Shelly Kitrell says “(those affected by stroke) can start rewiring or retraining the brain to be able to open and close the hand… The more you go without the use of one side (of your body), the more your brain says, ‘I don’t really have that arm. It doesn’t work anymore… You have to fool the brain to rewire it so that you can get the function back again.”

Once a patient is able to move their fingers, they can begin to build strength in their forearm. Once they build forearm strength, they can begin working on elbow and upper arm strength. Once they have gained upper arm strength, they can start shoulder strengthening. Starting to get the idea?

   At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our expert physical therapists specialize in stroke rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is recovering from stroke, feel free to call us at (714) 997-5518. We not only specialize in physical therapy treatment, but are current on new evidence based research and assistive medical equipment to make your recovery as swift as possible.

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town and Country Rd., Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

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