How Can Trigger Point Therapy Help Me?

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Dr. Grace Walker, a physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, is the director of Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center in Orange County, California. She holds doctoral degrees in both physical and occupational therapy from the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.

In her work as an occupational and a physical therapist, Dr. Grace Walker routinely uses pressure point release techniques (Trigger Point Therapy). Pressure point release techniques provide that gentle but firm pressure  on these points and can help to relieve pain and inflammation.

 A common cause of persistent and strange aches and pains that usually go under-diagnosed are pressure points , or muscle knots. Most of these trigger points (TrPs) are common and, on condition that you are educated on where each trigger point is, they can be massaged at home! These TrPs are the most useful and satisfying areas to apply pressure to muscle.

Even without symptoms, pressure point techniques on these muscles is still important since they usually harbor latent pressure points— points not obvious until they are pressed. These are also normally responsible for stiffness, vague discomfort, and aching.

For an appointment with an expert physical therapist call Walker Physical Therapy and 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

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Could You Benefit From Kinesio Tape?

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Grace 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 PainKinesiotape on Knee

  • 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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Beware: Consequences of Sedentary Lifestyles

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 sedentary

As the director of Orange County California-based Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center, occupational and physical therapist, and nutritionist, Dr. Grace Walker offers wellness advice to her patients and through her practice’s blog. Physical therapist Dr. Grace Walker believes strongly in the power of movement and cautions against a sedentary lifestyle. According to ABC News, a number of Americans currently spend as much as 15.5 hours daily in a sitting position.

Studies have shown that excessive sitting links to a variety of illnesses, including metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

In fact, Dr. Hidde van der Ploeg and the University of Sydney in Australia have found that 11 or more hours of daily sitting can lead to a 40 percent increase in one’s risk of death.

Researchers have found these risks exist even if the frequent sitter incorporates a daily exercise regime, which suggests that sitting itself is the contributing cause.

Physiology supports such a claim. When the lower half of the body is still, the brain receives signals to increase blood sugar and decrease its reliance on stored fat for fuel. At the same time, metabolism reduces to less than 34 percent as compared to periods of activity. Data also suggests that every two hours of sitting correlates with a 7 percent increase in diabetes risk, while this sedentary time also contributes to the weakening of spinal support muscles and tightening of the hamstrings and hip flexors. It seems that only a lifestyle that incorporates regular standing and moving can mitigate these risks and help the body’s systems work optimally.

For an appointment with an expert physical therapist call Walker Physical and Therapy and 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

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New Research: Common Over-the-Counter Medication is not Very Effective for Back Pain

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A new study published February 2, 2017, in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, has found the painkillers like aspirin, Aleve, and Advil don’t help most people with back pain. A previous study suggested Tylenol (acetaminophen) isn’t very useful either!

Investigators examined 35 studies of the use of common over-the-counter medications to treat back pain. The study, which tracked about 6,000 people,” showed that commonly used NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) have only small effects on pain relief and improvement of function…moreover, these small effects may not be perceived as important for most patients with spinal pain.”

While you might know that medications such as aspirin and Tylenol are hard on your body, you might not know to what extent. Researchers found that participants taking the drugs were 2.5 times more likely to experience gastrointestinal side effects!

Recently, we published a blog the covered the dangers of using prescription narcotic medication as well, and the dangers of addiction and overdose using such substances. Since 1999, opioid overdoses have actually quadrupled. These types of medication are only a band-aid; on their own they do nothing to help treat the root cause of pain.

You may be asking yourself, if there are no medications that can effectively ease back pain, what can I do? Well, physical therapy, of course! Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist says, “The happiest back pain patients she has encountered have been ones who use complementary treatments such as physical therapy, and continuing self-care with a home exercise and stretching program.”

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have the ability to address the root causes that may be triggering pain, and correcting them.

We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in an affordable, 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

 

Link to studies and articles mentioned:

Annals of Rheumatic Diseases

Opioid Overdoses Quadruple Since 1999

 

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3 Tips for Better Great Toe Mobility

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Dr. Grace Walker, Physical and Occupational Therapist and Nutritionist shares 3 tips from Russ Manalastas, injury zone blogger, on how to improve great toe mobility.

Many runners are well aware that the foot/ankle area is important for a runner. It initiates contact with the ground and is important for the launch-off phase of running/walking to set you in motion.

However, the great toe is an area that often goes unattended. Most people are aware of maintaining proper mobility through the ankle, but the role the great toe plays during the launch-off phase of running can’t be overlooked, since a lack of mobility in this area can lead to other complications. This is why great toe extension is paramount!

Due to range of motion limitations in the great toe, the absence of great toe extension exercises can lead to the plantar fascia having to do more work during the launch off phase of running, which can lead to overburdening the tissue and causing irritation.

Normal range of motion in the great toe can be anywhere from 70 to 90 degrees, so anything that is less than that can lead to increased stiffness in the joint over time..

3 TIPS TO IMPROVE GREAT TOE MOBILITY

Tip 1

Check your mobility in your great toe by pulling up on the toe (foot on the ground) to see if you have any limitations. The key is to keep your other toes relaxed as there is a tendency to want to extend all the toes to gain any extra range of motion. This easy test should give you a good idea of whether or not you may need to work on regaining mobility.

Tip 2

Address soft tissue restrictions through the calf and also the bottom of the foot. Any increased restrictions or tightness through these areas may restrict your great toe from moving into end range extension.

Tip 3

PT Erson Religioso III recommends end range great toe flexion to help reset the great toe and to allow it to move into extension without trying to force that motion over and over again.

Russ Manalastas is a licensed physical therapist and clinical director for Lattimore of Spencerport Physical Therapy.

Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to make an appointment with one of our expert physical therapists!

(714)997-5518

1111 W. Town and Country Rd.

Orange, CA 92868

Article Link:

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/lifestyle/her/blogs/community/2015/08/27/the-injury-zone-great-toe-mobility/32469435/

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Physical Therapy: The Safe Alternative for Those at Risk of Heart Disease

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Grace Walker, physical & occupational therapist & nutritionist shares Timothy Flynn’s press release on the American Heart Association’s findings regarding heart disease and physical therapy.

The American Heart Association released a statement that implored doctors to change their approach for treating  patients with or at risk of heart disease. They recommended that doctors begin prescribing physical therapy instead of the COX-2 inhibitors as their first line of treatment– actually, they suggested that such pharmacologic treatments should come last in the line of treatment!

“We advise physicians to start with non-pharmacologic treatments such as physical therapy and exercise, weight loss to reduce stress on joints, and heat or cold therapy. If the non-pharmacologic approach does not provide enough pain relief or control of symptoms, we recommend a stepped-care approach when it comes to prescribing drugs.”

AHA

“This recommendation comes as no surprise to physical therapists, research has repeatedly shown the value of early physical therapy for patients with musculoskeletal conditions. We are glad to see that the AHA’s recommendations of physical therapy as a safe and effective alternative to drugs are consistent with these findings. It only makes sense to see your physical therapist before trying drugs and surgery.”

Timothy Flynn, President of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT)

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

To read full article click here

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Bursitis: How Treatment has Changed Throughout the Years

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, has an interesting history lesson for you regarding bursitis. Bursitis affects many men and women all over the world. In the past, bursitis used to be an easy way to write of pain that was difficult to diagnose. Ancient methods were utilized to treat symptoms. These techniques could be painful, and down-right scary!

 

What is bursitis?

Bursitis is the inflammation (-itis) of a bursa. The bursa is a sac filled with lubricating fluid, located between tissues such as bone, muscle tendons and skin. The job of a bursa is to decrease rubbing, friction, and irritation. Bursitis often occurs in (but is not limited to) shoulders, elbows, hips or knees.

Symptoms can build gradually, or have sudden onset. Severe loss of motion and joint pain may be a sign to go take a visit to the doctor, and get a proper diagnosis. Chronic inflammation can lead to calcification and bone spurs, which can be extremely aggravating and may need surgery to be removed.

 

What treatments are available for bursitis?

In the past, people were using a treatment that dates back to ancient Greece for removing bursitis known as bloodletting. Just as it sounds, it involves draining blood from the area. It was believed that removing blood from different areas could cure diseases and relieve pain. The practice was recommended by physicians and carried out by barbers! This is why barbers have red-and-white poles; red is for blood, white is for bandages. Of course, this practice is no longer carried out in modern medicine (not is America, at least). If you do find someone who offers to perform bloodletting on you, there’s no evidence it will heal your bursitis; and remember, your insurance probably won’t cover it!

Since the development of evidence-based medicine has come into the picture, treatment for bursitis has progressed. Some options include oral and injectable steroids, and physical therapy. The steroids that are used can be helpful, but also might have their own set of complications. Orally, they can cause weight gain, and alter hormone balance. If injected, they can cause damage to soft tissue, which could cause a bursa to be weakened or rupture.

Physical therapy is frequently performed. Modalities, safe exercise, and hands on treatment from trained physical therapist can often be enough to reduce and break the cycle of inflammation. Inflammation is the root cause of bursitis, once it is reduced, pain will be decreased and range of motion will increase. Beyond that, physical therapy does not have the complications that come with steroid treatment.

 

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our professional therapists are experienced in treating bursitis. They will not only help you understand you condition, they will teach you how to identify and interpret pain triggers and patterns.

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

(714) 997-5518

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

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

 

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Slipped Discs: Is There Such a Thing?

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Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutrition, asks what do you know about intervertebral discs? You probably do know that they are commonly associated with words like pain or discomfort. Perhaps you’ve heard some say “I’ve ‘slipped’ a disc in my back”. Many people believe that discs are fragile, but how much truth is there to that? Keep reading and you may be surprised!

If you’ve read the title, and you suffer from back pain, you might have done a double-take. The point is– discs don’t simply “slip” out of place. If you have the picture in your head that discs slip like a bar of soap in the shower, you’ve got the wrong idea.

 

What is the function of the disc?

Every segment of your spine has discs, except for the last few vertebrae in the top of your cervical (neck) spine. Discs are composed of several layers of cartilage that surround an inner gel-like center material, called the nucleus pulposus. The end plate which connects to the actual vertebrae is both bony and cartilaginous, and creates an exceptionally strong connection. This makes it IMPOSSIBLE for discs to ‘slip’. They do not slip out of place like a banana peel! The nucleus pulposus, can however ooze out and press on a nerve root.  This is called a protrusion.  This protrusion can break of and become a herniation.

 

Can discs become injured?

Yes. Can discs heal? Yes. Are they strong? More than you know! A study examined the results of strength tests in both younger and older populations. They found it takes 740 lbs. of force to compress the disc height 1mm in young subjects and 460 lbs. in older patients. Ultimately, it was concluded that the discs are VERY strong. However, we know that shearing forces, that might be experienced while lifting and twisting, or blunt force trauma, from things such as car accidents, are much more likely to injure discs.

 

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we provide personalized therapy programs for each patient. Our trained therapists have will assess your injuries, old and new, and goals to design a physical therapy program to help you overcome injuries.

 

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

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

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

Visit our website for more valuable information and helpful tips www.walkerpt.com

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Cause and Effect: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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Grace Walker, Physical and Occupational Therapist & Nutritionist affirms!

Everyone has a carpal tunnel, but not everyone has carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpals: the eight bones that make up your wrist, and are located at the base of your palm. The joint formed with the forearm hand bones forms the carpal tunnel.

Before learning about what carpal tunnel syndrome is, it is essential to first become acquainted with what the carpal tunnel is, and everyone has a carpal tunnel, but not everyone has carpal tunnel syndrome.

The eight bones that make up your wrist, and are located at the base of your palm are called carpals.  These bones form a joint with the forearm hand bones, and this forms the carpal tunnel.

Inside this tunnel are nine tendons and one nerve.  The tendons are what allow you to flex your fingers.

The median nerve crosses the carpal tunnel and is what causes your muscles to contract.

The median nerve also tells the brain what sensations you experience on the thumb, index, middle, and half of your ring finger.

Now that you are aware of your carpal tunnel, we can discuss Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by the compression of the median nerve, typically from swelling of the tendons around it.

The first symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are usually:

  • Numbness and tingling of the thumb, index, and middle finger
  • Pain in that area

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Anything that causes pressure on the carpal tunnel– there is no one cause.  

Do you believe your workplace environment is causing you pain and have symptoms? A physical therapist can work with you to identify  the reason for your symptoms and create a personalized treatment to bring relief.

What are you waiting for?

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

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town and Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, Ca 92868

Click on the link to find out more about carpal tunnel and hand therapy.

http://www.lbhandtherapy.com/

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New Year, New You, New Posture! One Important Number to Keep in Mind

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What does perfect sitting posture look like? If the name of the title hasn’t given it away yet, 90° is the magic number to keep in mind!

What does that mean exactly? Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, shares 5 quick tips below will give you a better idea.

  1. 90° angle at your neck and shoulder
  2. 90° angle at your back and legs
  3. 90° angle at your lower and upper knee
  4. 90° angle at your foot and ankle
  5. 90° angle above and below your elbow
favi ergo 2 final

Walker PT Office Manager, Faviloa, demonstrates the “90 degree rule”.

While seated at your desk at home or work, keep these important postural cues in mind. Sitting down and working all day, one might find their head and shoulders begin to lean forward and their lower trunk begins to tilt backwards, creating a ‘slouched’ position.

This leads to none of the foundational postural muscles to engage, leaving the spine and shoulders vulnerable to injuries. Sitting with bad posture over a long period of time can also lead to nervous system problems.

By incorporating these 5 quick tips into your postural awareness, you can be on your way to reducing incorrect posture and pain! At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have trained therapist to help assess your posture and design physical therapy programs to increase postural 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!

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

Orange, CA 92868

Phone: (714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

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