Headaches: The Cause and Your Treatment

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“Headaches are often the result of pain from the upper cervical extensor muscles” Says Grace Walker, physical & occupational therapist and nutritionist.

Stress is often a component of this. When  a person undergoes stress, he/she tends to tense his/her body into a poor posture; a head forward position adopted with chin jutting and upper cervical extension. This position is also seen in most people who have jobs that require them to sit down for long periods of time. The associated upper cervical muscles tighten, trigger points can be palpated and referred pain may be experienced behind the eyes and/or in the occipital, frontal or temporal areas.

Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center’s program for headaches includes:

  • Strengthening of the scapular muscles to support the head and neck
  • Soft tissue and joint mobilization
  • Pressure Point Release to occipital, sub occipital, upper trapezei, and levator scapulae muscles
  • Modalities for pain relief including the 830MLaser and ice
  • A Comprehensive home exercise program

Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule an appointment with an expert physical therapist!

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste.1

Orange, CA 92868

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6 Tips to Prevent Falls

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, knows that falling can cause serious injuries and, for older adults, can even be life threatening. We wanted to provide 6 tips that will help reduce the risk of falls and possible injuries.

How to prevent slips, trips and falling:

  1. Always use a hand rail– Whether you are going up the stairs or standing in your shower, it is important to keep a hand on a stable surface while doing activities that challenge your balance. Consider installing them on your porch or any other areas that may not have them.
  2. Be aware of your surroundings – Avoid situations where you are unable to see well. Try and move through a well-lit area and always scan your path at least six feet ahead of you for hazards.
  3. Keep a clear path– Falling at home is the most common place to experience a nasty spill. Whether its extension cords, uneven tiles, lifted carpet or a small water or grease spill there are many hazards at home that are easily preventable. Make your home safe by moving furniture around, covering loose cords or sticking the corner of the carpet back to the floor and cleaning up any messes immediately.
  4. Wear slip resistant shoes– Shoes with rubber or neoprene soles are best. Add external traction cleats to your shoes when walking out during the rain and snow.
  5. Make an eye appointment– Get your vision checked regularly and be aware of any medication that can negatively affect your vision or balance.
  6. Maintain or build strength and balance through exercises and physical therapy– Physical therapists can properly treat any balance or vestibular issues you may have to help prevent falls and injury.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center we develop specific exercise programs for specific patients, along with a variety of specialized treatments to regain range of motion and strength. We look at the “root cause” when treating patients to provide insight as to why the patient is experiencing unsteadiness, instead of just a quick fix!

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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Neil Diamond Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease

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On Monday, January 22nd 2018, Neil Diamond announced that he will no longer be touring. Diamond has been forced to retire due to his recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Recently turned 77, yesterday on January 24, Diamond known for his famous song “Sweet Caroline” says he plans to continue to write and record despite his inability to tour. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants to share with you a little information on Parkinson’s and why Diamond can no longer continue to tour.

What is Parkinson’s disease?

According to the Ceadars-Sinai Health Library, Parkinson’s is a “…degenerative disease caused by the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells.” This causes the body to lose control of motor functions.

Symptoms include:

Tremors of arms, jaw, legs or face

– Slurred speech or lack of facial expressions

– Stiffness or ridged muscles

– Impaired balance and coordination

Parkinson’s has no known cause but it is suspected that in some cases, genetics can be involved as well as exposure to environmental hazards like heavy metals, pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Parkinsons is a chronic disease that gets worse over time and unfortunately there is no known cure but there are steps you can take to slow down the process and reduce symptoms. Medications that mimic the effects of dopamine can be administered in conjunction with exercise and physical therapy.

Why physical therapy?

Working with a physical therapist can teach you how to increase mobility, strength and balance as well as guide you through the changes happening in your body. This will allow people to be more independent in their own lives. It is important to consult a physician or neurologist to gain a referral to an expert physical therapist, to ensure you have a specific program designed to your needs.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our staff of trained physical therapists are here to help you and your loved ones design and carry out supervised exercise programs. We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in an affordable, fun, healing environment.

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center for any questions or concerns.

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

Orange, CA 92868

Phone: (714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

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How to Prevent Hamstring Strains

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, knows living in the modern world of television, cars and just technology overall, most people spend a good amount of time sitting on their butt! This habit of constantly sitting causes our glutes and hamstrings to become weak and inactive. Even if you are an active person, it is easy to gain imbalances in our muscle groups especially when in come to our quads and hamstrings. Your quadriceps or “quads” are made up of four major muscles located on the front of your thigh which are responsible for hip flexion and knee extension. Your hamstrings are made up of three major muscles on the back of your thigh and are responsible for knee flexion and hip extension.

Most strains are seen in high speed sports like soccer, track, rugby, etc. Even the most trained athletes can have muscular imbalances, though they may feel like their legs are properly trained. If you do have an imbalance with your hamstrings and quads, only a consistent and specific strength-training routine that focuses on the isolation of the hamstrings and glutes can reduce quad dominance. Just a 20% difference in strength between your quads and hamstrings leaves you being 4 times more prone to becoming injured.

Simple Hamstring focused exercises include:

– Bridges ( with or without weight or single leg)

– Romanian Deadlifts

– Swiss ball hamstring curls

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center we have EXPERT physical therapists who can help you identify any imbalances you may have and how to properly train your body! We provide personalized programs for each patient to provide results that are tailored to your needs 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, CA 92868

Phone: 714-997-5518

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Be Free from Your TMJ and Jaw Pain

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical & occupational therapist and nutritionist says: “We are physical therapy experts in providing effective TMJ & Jaw pain relief.”

Here is what you should and shouldn’t do if you have jaw pain:

  • DO use hot pack or ice pack before bed
  • DO use chin under fist when yawning or coughing
  • DO use correct posture
  • DON’T chew gum, ice, or tough, crunchy foods like steak
  • DON’T rest your chin/cheek in the palm of your hand when sitting or lying on one side
  • DON’T eat, read, or watch TV in bed
  • DON’T clench your teeth when tense, jogging, or sleeping etc.
  • DON’T lick your teeth with your tongue, bite your nails or lips, lick your lips, or bite or suck your cheeks
  • DON’T talk or sing for prolonged periods of time

Our Be Free from TMJ & Jaw Pain Program uses non-painful treatments and the latest technology of cold laser therapy to get you chewing your food and yawning again without fear of horrible pain. We work closely with your healthcare provider to solve the source of the problem instead of merely treating the symptoms.

Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule an appointment with an EXPERT physical therapist to get advanced treatments and strategies to maintain results and pain relief.

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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3 Shoulder Exercises to Reduce Pain

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shoulder pain

Have you noticed your shoulders achecrunch, or flat out prohibit you from doing normal daily activities? Has dressing yourself, opening doors, or lifting objects become problematic? If so, read on! Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, will help you understand why shoulder pain can occur, and what you can do. Your shoulders are one of the most intricate parts of your body. For that reason, they can be one of the easiest areas to injure. Some of the smallest muscles in the shoulder are actually the most important. For instance, the rotator cuff includes four small muscles that are vital to its movement in each direction. If these muscles become weak or injured, the humerus bone can actually make contact with the socket of the shoulder blade.

What can I do about my hurting shoulders?

  1. Postural exercises to align shoulders– Shoulder pain and injury is commonly a result of poor posture. Extended periods of poor posture at work, home, and even while driving can change the mechanics of the joint movement.
  2. Rotator cuff strengthening– Strong rotator cuffs will help your shoulders get through your daily activities with less pain. Less pain leads to less opportunity for an inflammatory response to occur. One simple exercise that can be done at home is as follows: Begin by lying down on your side with your top arm point straight to the ceiling. Next, swing your arm down 90 degrees so that your hand is flat on your hip. Repeat this 10-15 times a day, twice a day. This exercise is meant to build rotator cuff strength simple by using gravity as resistance. If you have difficulty completing this exercise without pain, please speak with one of our therapist.
  3. Build scapular stability- The scapula, or shoulder blades, are a crucial part of your shoulder complex. They are composed of many different small muscles used to guide your shoulder through its entire range of motion; pulling, pushing, and reaching. An exercise you can do at home to improve scapular stability is done standing against a wall and gently trying to pinch your shoulder blades together while keeping your arms relaxed. Do this for 10-15 repetitions, holding for five seconds each time. This can also be done twice each day.

By working these 3 simple actions into your daily routine, you can be on your way to reducing or overcoming shoulder painAt Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have trained therapist to help design physical therapy programs to increase shoulder strength. We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in a fun and healing environment.

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center to schedule an appointment with an expert and caring physical therapist!

 1111 W. Town and Country Rd., Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

Phone: (714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

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The 3 Grades of Ankle Sprains

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Dr. Grace Walker, occupational and physical therapist and nutritionist, wants to inform you on the three different grades or severities of ankle sprains. Spraining your ankle can be really scary and at first you may be unsure of how badly you’ve damaged the ligaments in your ankle.

The three grades of ankle sprains are:

– Grade 1: A light or mild sprain consists of a slight overstretching of the ligaments that may result in micro-tears. This type of sprain results in mild swelling and discomfort or soreness.

– Grade 2: This moderate sprain will have your ankle swollen and bruised with tenderness to the touch. At this level partial but not full tears of your ligaments have occurred.

– Grade 3: This severe injury occurs when the ligament(s) have completely torn and result in severe swelling, bruising and tenderness. Surgery may be required.

The best immediate care for ankle sprains is to follow the RICE protocol:

Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate

Icing should be done no more than 15-20 minutes at a time 3-4 times a day. Ankle should then be wrapped in an ace wrap (not too tight) for compression and then elevated above your heart to reduce swelling. If the sprain worse than a slight injury and is swollen and painful when walking, an xray may need to be taken to ensure that no bones have been fractured.

To regain full range of motion and function back in your ankle as quickly as possible physical therapy is highly recommended and sometimes necessary to return to daily living.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we develop specific exercise and stretching programs for specific patients, along with a variety of specialized treatments to reduce pain and regain range of motion and strength. We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results that are tailored to your needs 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, CA 92868

Phone: 714-997-5518

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6 Causes of Sciatica and Why you Dont Need Surgery

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist want to inform you that patients that suffer with sciatica don’t always have to turn to surgery. Sciatica us a common issue that is caused by the irritation from the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body. Pain from sciatica is usually felt from the lower back to behind the thigh and radiates below the knee. This pain can make walking, sitting or standing up an issue.

6 causes of sciatica include:

  1. Trauma– car accidents, falls and sports injuries.
  2. Piriformis syndrome– When the piriformis muscle is tight, injured or stressed, it can compress the sciatic nerve and cause symptoms of sciatica.
  3. Spinal tumors– Tumors, though they are not as common, can compress nerves causing pain in the hip, thigh and groin.
  4. Herniated disk– Disks that are located in between the vertebrae of our spine can become displaced and bulge inward or outward pressing on part of the sciatic nerve. This is one of the most common causes of sciatica.
  5. Lumbar spinal stenosis– Narrowing of the passageways that major nerves pass through in the spine will irritate and compress the nerves.
  6. Spondylolisthesis– When the vertebrae slip out of alignment with the rest of the spine due to disease, previous injuries or surgeries, or excessive physical stress, symptoms of sciatica may occur.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy, physical therapy can offer the same results for patients with sciatica who have had spinal surgery. The academy reports from the British Medical Journal and states that studies have only shown short-term improvement in patients who have had surgery. After 6 months to 2 years, the difference between surgery patients and physical therapy patients diminishes.

Surgery is not only costly, but risky.

“The significance of this study is that patients may be able to avoid surgery if they realized they can expect a similar improvement in symptoms if they use other ways to manage the pain for 6 months,”

says Dr. Timothy Flynn of Regis University in Denver, CO, and President of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT).

Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist encourages patients to become educated about their sciatic and back pain. She agrees with Timothy Flynn in his statement:

“Patients should be aware that surgery is not the only option to reduce the symptoms of sciatica.”

Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule an appointment. Treatment is affordable and effective!

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste.1

Orange, Ca 92868

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5 Reasons to Try Physical Therapy Before an Injury

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist wants you to consider visiting a professional physical therapist even though you may not be injured! Here are 5 benefits on visiting a physical therapist before you feel pain.

  1. Reassurance– Physical therapists can give you the green light you needed in order to feel completely comfortable working out again. If you’ve had a previous injury that’s been healed but still have that slight doubt, a licensed therapist can check that area and ensure that it has returned to normal function. Fear and hesitation in the gym or out on the field can lead to injuries.
  2. Prevention– Prevention, is the best cure for any injury or illness. A full evaluation by a physical therapist can evaluate where you may be prone to injuries and how to avoid those injuries by evaluating strength, proper muscle function, flexibility, range of motion (ROM) and much more.
  3. Education– Therapy is much more than what you do in the clinic but also what you walk away with. Physical Therapy can give you a better understanding of your specific body’s needs and how to better it. You will learn new exercises as well as proper form and aftercare to enhance your own personal wellness.
  4. Saving time and money– Healthcare is not cheap. With prevention and education you can eliminate a lot of unnecessary cost you would usually spend at the doctor. Therapists can also determine whether pain is from a joint or muscle with confidence allowing patients to possibly avoid the high costs of an MRI, x-ray or CT scan in non-emergency situations.
  5. Empowerment– Knowing more about how your body functions can be an amazing feeling. Physical therapy tends to lead patients to a healthier and happier life!

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center we have expert we develop specific exercise and stretching programs for specific patients, along with a variety of specialized treatments to reduce pain and regain range of motion and strength. We look at the “root cause” when treating patients to provide insight as to why the patient is experiencing pain, instead of just a quick fix! 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, CA 92868

Phone: 714-997-5518

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Chronic Pain, The Invincible Illness

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 Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, refers to chronic pain as the “invincible illness”. Chronic pain can persist for weeks, months, or even years and affects over 100 million people in the U.S. Of those suffering from chronic pain, sixty percent are between the ages of 18 and 64. Sometimes the effects of chronic pain is obvious when canes, wheelchairs, crutches or walkers have to be used for mobility. Other times the pain is less obvious and kept quiet to avoid being labeled as “rude” or a “nag”.

Causes of chronic pain:

  • Sprained back
  • Serious infection
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Past injury or evidence of body damage

 Common chronic pain complaints include:

  • Headaches– 45 million people suffer from headaches every year
  • Low back pain– 65 to 85 percent of all people have back pain at some time in their life. Degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, and sciatica are the leading cause for back pain.
  • Cancer pain- 11 million people each year suffer chronic pain because of cancer
  • Arthritis pain– affects more than 40 million Americans each year
  • Sciatic or other radiating pain into the legs or arms

The most common mistake people make is assuming they “just have to live with it.” Pain is not a lifestyle. They may not know physical therapy treatments are available to lessen most types of pain.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we develop specific exercise and stretching programs for specific patients, along with a variety of specialized treatments to reduce pain and regain range of motion and strength. We look at the “root cause” when treating patients to provide insight as to why the patient is experiencing pain, instead of just a quick fix!

We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in a fun and healing environment. If you or someone you know is living in constant pain 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, CA 92868

Phone: 714-997-5518

 

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