Sciatica Pain Meets Physical Therapy

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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.”

Click here to read more.

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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National School Backpack Awareness Day: 4 Back-to-School Tips

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Today, September 21st, 2016 is recognized as National School Backpark Awareness Day!

Did you know that 64% of American students ages 11 to 15 years reported back pain related to heavy backpacks? Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, has a few tips to share with you to help you and your loved ones utilize proper bag usage. Here are a 4 tips to follow to save your body!

Adorable 3 year old child knocked backwards from a heavy back pack over white background.

 

  1. Keep the Weight Down– A backpack should weigh no more than 10% of the students total body weight. Use those lockers!

 

  1. Keep the Straps Tight– Keep the backpack close to your body. It should extend from approximately 2 inches below the shoulder blades to slightly about the waist.

 

 

  1. Evenly Distribute the Weight– Always wear the backpack on both shoulders so that the weight is evenly distributed. Put heavier items closer to your back.

 

  1. Keep an Eye Out– If you or your child is adjusting his or her posture while carrying a backpack, it is too heavy. Also, catching any aches and pains head on it the best way to avoid potential serious injury.

 

Here at Walker PT & Pain Center, we strive for success and freedom from pain in every area of the body. With our revolutionary techniques based on over ten years of research, and team of dedicated, caring staff, we provide fast, effective solutions for pain in a fun and healing environment. Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center today at 714-997-5518 to set up your initial appointment to get you back on track towards a fun-filled, action-packed, and pain free school year!

 

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town and Country Blvd, Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

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Osteoporosis Research Analysis: Who, What, and How You Can Prevent and Maintain With Physical Therapy

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Dr. Grace Walker, nutritionist, physical and occupational therapist, is aware that osteoporosis is the most common metabolic bone disorder. Approximately 200 million people are affected by osteoporosis.

 

Bone medical health questions and osteoporosis illustration concept as a close up diagram of the inside of human skeletal hip bones with a magnification glass showing a normal healthy condition degrading to abnormal unhealthy anatomy as a question mark.

What is osteoporosis?

The National Osteoporosis Foundation explains, “Osteoporosis means ‘porous bone.’ Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. As a result, bones become weak and may break from a fall or, in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps. Viewed under a microscope, healthy bone looks like a honeycomb. When osteoporosis occurs, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much larger than in healthy bone. As bones become less dense, they weaken and are more likely to break.”

 

Who is at risk of osteoporosis?

A recent study published by The Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies states that “risk factors include age, Caucasian, smoking, female gender, medications, physical inactivity, and others… Each year, nearly 300,000 hip fractures, 547,000 vertebral fractures and almost 1,054,000 other fractures occur due to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis imposes more than 432,000 hospital admissions, 2.5 million medical office visits, and 180,000 nursing home admissions to the healthcare systems.” Those are some scary statistics!

 

What can I do to prevent or maintain my osteoporosis?

The study posted by The Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies is very clear-cut, and explains that, “many studies have documented which have shown that people who exercise regularly have higher bone density than the inactive individuals.” The benefit of exercise is the repeated loading and stress upon the bones, which in turn, strengthens them.

Along with exercise, diet, supplements, medications and therapy consisting of a combination of these treatment options, prevention and maintenance of osteoporosis is possible. If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis by your doctor, come see what Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center has to offer. Our expert and caring physical therapists put together individualized treatment plans to meet your goals in an affordable, fun and healing environment! Visit our website and call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center to schedule an appointment, or even start with a free 30 minute consolation with one of our expert therapists!   

 

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

Orange, CA 92868

Phone: (714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

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Physical Therapy for Headache Relief

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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. 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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Physical Therapy- The Keystone of Lower Back Pain Treatment

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical & occupational therapist and nutritionist shares findings from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy.

The American Pain Society released the second part of a practice guideline for the management of low back pain.

The scientific review concluded that most invasive interventions, including spinal joint injections, radiofrequency denervation, and intradiscal electrothermal therapy demonstrated no evidence of effectiveness.

Chiropractor“The expert panel reaffirms its previous recommendation that all low-back pain patients stay active and talk honestly with their physicians about self care and other interventions. “In general, non-invasive therapies supported by evidence showing benefits should be tried before considering interventional therapies or surgery,” said Dr. Roger Chou.” Physical therapy, including spinal manipulation and exercise, was noted as a centerpiece component of effective low back pain care by the panel’s 2007 study.

 “The key in chronic low back pain is avoiding too much medicine. There is no magic bullet, but a combination of hands-on care and an active exercise offer the best solution.”-Timothy W. Flynn PT, PhD, President of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists

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

(714) 997-5518

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste.1

Orange, CA 92868

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Spending too much time on your buns? Try these three exercises.

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Close-up Of Young Businesswoman On Chair Having Backpain In Office

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, is very familiar with pain developed from prolonged sitting. Too much time sitting can lead to muscle atrophy, or shrinking muscle tissue. Also, when you stay in one position for too long, your bones actually press against the muscle and skin in your bottom. This pushes the blood away from your skin. If you stay like this too long, you get what’s called a decubitus ulcer, or bedsore.

On the more extreme side, Mayo Clinic has reported that sedentary lifestyle attributes to nearly 50% increased risk of death from any cause, and 125% increased risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease, such as chest pain or heart attack.

If these statistics are a wake-up call for you, here are three exercises to get you body feeling better!

  1. Crab Hip Hold– Jeremy Frisch, U.S.A.W., owner and director of Achieve Performance Training, says this move is “perfect for zeroing in on all the muscles that don’t see any action when you’re sitting all day: hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and shoulders.”
  2. Resisted Rows– Working over a stack of books or computer all day causes your shoulders to slump forward and your back to hunch. To stretch and strengthen these muscle, check out this instructional guide for rows.
  3. Half Frog Stretch– This yoga pose focuses on the thighs, shoulders, and upper back. These areas are prone to becoming tight after sitting for extended amounts of time.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have the ability to identify the factors that may be causing pain, and correct them. Our therapists work to understand your activities of daily living to develop personalized exercise programs for you during treatment, home, and work, too.

We develop physical therapy programs for each patient to provide results in an affordable, fun and healing environment. Visit our website WalkerPT.com and 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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Food For Thought: Helmetless Training

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical therapist, occupational therapist, and certified ImPACT concussion therapist has reviewed an article you may find interesting. If you have had a chance to review our most recent article on concussions, you are aware of their prevalence and seriousness. It wasn’t until professional athletes in the limelight began suffering from the effects of years of concussive damage, that society realized how dangerous concussions can be.

A football helmet and doctors hand holding a stethoscope on the crown of the helmet. Sports Concussion Concept, and related conditions, CTE, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's.

What is a Concussion?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies a concussion as “a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.”

 

The Study

The recent article published by Advance Healthcare Network for Physical Therapy and Rehab Medicine makes an interesting, debatable discovery. The article states that, “helmetless training, often referred to as HuTT (helmetless tackling training), is a training method emphasizing proper tackling technique”  and “HuTT reduced head impacts by 30% in one season.”

“Helmetless training is based on a theory termed risk compensation, in which individuals modify their behavior based on perceived level of risk. In competitive sports, athletes become more careful when they sense greater risk and are less careful if they feel more protected.”

 

The Debate

While the study is certainly interesting, it does seem to be comparable to the idea that driving without a seat belt will make you a more cautious and aware driver (please don’t). Can an athlete truly rely on other players in the game to practice “proper tackling technique”? If you did get a chance to read our most recent article, we explained that concussions do not always stem from an impact of the actual skull. They can be the result of any acceleration on the body that causes the brain to impact with the inside of the skull.

Ultimately, the choice is up to a team and coaches to consider pro’s and con’s whether they choose to wear helmets and practice proper tackling technique.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have trained therapists to help design physical therapy programs to increase neck strength, which is a factor in reducing concussions. 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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Home Exercises: Handigrip Exercise for Hand Strength

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapists, specializes in hands and upper extremities. If you have hand weakness, physical therapy can be beneficial to increase strength in your muscles around your forearm, hand and fingers.

 

Common problems that lead to hand weakness include:

  1. Stroke
  2. Fractures
  3. Carpal tunnel syndrome
  4. Arthritis
  5. Extended time in a cast or sling leads to muscle atrophy (decrease in muscle mass)

 

A simple exercise you can do at home, once diagnosed and cleared by a doctor or physical therapist, is the towel handigrip exercise. This is an isometric exercise, meaning the muscles are activated, even though movement is limited by the towel. Isometric exercises might be more desirable for those who have limited range of motion, or if pain is associated with forming a closed fist.

 

Here is how you do it.

  1. Get yourself an kitchen or hand towel.
  2. Fold the towel in half, then roll it into a small cylinder like the one pictured.
  3. Grip the towel in one hand on a table top.
  4. Elbow should be close to 90 degrees, with the shoulder relaxed.
  5. Firmly squeeze the towel in your hand, holding the pressure for 5 seconds.
  6. Relax and repeat for 10-15 repetitions, twice daily.

Handigrip towel

 

If you experience any pain, consult your doctor or physical therapist.

By incorporating the towel handigrip into your exercise program, you can be on your way to increasing hand strength! At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have trained therapist to assess your injuries and goals to design a physical therapy program to increase your hand strength. We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in a fun, affordable, healing environment. Call Walker Physical Therapy and 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, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

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Kinesiotape: You’ve seen it on Olympians, now experience it yourself!

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Kinesiotape on KneeGrace Walker, Physical and Occupational Therapist & Nutritionist, recommends the Kinesio Tape Method to treat pain due to sports injuries, postoperative complications, various orthopedic, neuromuscular, and other medical conditions.

The Kinesio Taping Method is a rehabilitative taping technique that is intended to aid the body’s natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints without limiting the body’s range of motion (ROM).[1]

The method can be used as a regular treatment or added to previous treatment for myofascial pain. Its advanced purpose is to continue the benefits of manual therapy administered within the clinical setting to home care and activity of daily living.

Symptoms of Myofascial Pain

  • Deepaching pain in a muscle

  • Trigger points that are tender to the touch

  • Pain that persists or worsens

  • A tender knot in the muscle

  • Difficulty sleeping due to pain

The main purpose of the Kinesio Tape method is to elevate the space under the skin and soft tissue, so that the space for movement can be enlarged, the circulation of blood and lymph fluid can be facilitated, and healing rate of tissue can be increased.[2]

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

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

Orange, CA 92868

714-997-5518

 

[1] http://www.kinesiotaping.com/about/kinesio-taping-method

[2] http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/950519/

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4 Ways You’re Making Your Knee Pain Worse

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Do you ever ask yourself, “Am I doing the right things to reduce my knee pain?” or, “Are the things I’m doing making my knee pain worse?” Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, has worked with countless patients who suffer from knee pain. Everyone who has dealt with knee pain is aware how much it slows life down.

Senior man suffering for osteoarthritis of the knee

 

Before you go on diagnosing yourself (we’ve all done it), it is important to see a doctor or physical therapist to give you a correct diagnosis. Without one, you could be doing more bad, than good.

Read through this list and ask yourself, again, whether you are taking the right steps to reducing your knee pain.

 

 

  1. Running on hard surfaces

If you were running multiple miles on the regular, and have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis or another cause of knee pain, it might be time to adjust your fitness regimen.  The impact caused by running, especially on hard surfaces, is very hard on your knees. If you are committed to running, and find your knee pain is becoming unbearable, consider running on a softer surface. Many schools have padded running surfaces on their tracks.

 

  1. Taking it too easy

Rest is a crucial part of recovering from a knee injury. However, if your doctor clears you for exercise, it might mean it’s actually time to start.

Start with low impact exercises, such as swimming or cycling. Activities such as tai-chi or yoga help increase flexibility. For inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, stiffness improves with activity. For those with RA, it is important to find the threshold of rest and movement. A physical therapist can help you design a strengthening program to build and maintain the muscles that support your knees, too.

 

  1. Every pound counts

If you are overweight, there are plenty of reasons to try and change that. Knee pain is one of them. It’s pretty straight forward– less weight equals less joint damage equals less pain.

If you are overweight, you are at a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis and other conditions.  However, losing weight can slow the progression of arthritis one you have it.

 

  1. Get the right gear

We’ve discussed it before- your flip-flops, Uggs, and flat-soled Vans are not the best footwear to take walking or exercising.  Shoes with support, such as athletic shoes, will be more accommodating.

The same goes for that drug-store knee brace. Relying on generic braces may be putting a bandage on a major wound. If you have recurring pain, talk to your doctor about getting fitted for a proper, load-bearing brace.

 

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 hips,  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 us at (714) 997-5518 if you would like to discuss out program in detail.

 

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