3 Exercises to Combat Knee Pain and Arthritis

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You may be asking yourself, “What is arthritis, and what can I do to relieve my symptoms?” Dr. Grace Walker, Physical and Occupational therapist, has helped countless patients with arthritis over the last 30 years. If you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis, or are experiencing symptoms listed below, keep reading to find out some simple things you can do at home to relieve pain.

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What is arthritis?

Mayo Clinic defines arthritis as “inflammation of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis causes cartilage — the hard, slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint — to break down. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that first targets the lining of joints (synovium).”

What can I do to reduce symptoms?

The main objectives of arthritis treatments are to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

Here are 3 exercises to begin with to build knee strength and increase stamina. If you have pain or difficulty performing these exercises, consult your doctor or one of our trusted physical therapists. 

  1. Standing Leg Lifts– Targets hips and glutes (buttocks).
  • Stand against a wall to ensure proper posture.
  • Raise a leg to the side without rotating the foot.
  • Avoid leaning to stationary side.
  • Lower leg down.
  • Repeat 15-20 times each side.
  1. Sit and stand– Targets Quadriceps and glutes.
  • Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Cross arms in front of chest.
  • Stand up fully, while keeping control.
  • Slowly sit down.
  • Repeat for one minute, minding your posture.
  1. Kick-backs– targets hamstrings.
  • Stand up straight
  • Lift one foot off the floor with knee bent, bringing your heel as close to your buttocks as possible.
  • Hold for a count of five, then lower down.
  • Knee should be aligned and posture straight.
  • Repeat 10-25 times each day, 2-3 times per day.

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.

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

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

Orange, CA 92868

 www.walkerpt.com

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More Than Just Your Feet: 5 Things High Heels are Hurting

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It was Cinderella that said “one shoe can change your life”, but we don’t think wearing only one shoe would help your posture much, either. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, can agree that the right shoe can change your life.

High heels have been one of the biggest trends in women’s fashion. For good reason to; we can’t deny what a beautiful pair of shoes can do! To anyone who has worn a pair of high heels and experienced the discomfort, it’s probably not much of a surprise how hard they can be on your body. They affect the lower extremities (feet, ankles and legs), and also a few other areas that might surprise you.

  • Ankles Injuries: First, let’s review what might be the most obvious. High heels are more prone to accidents. It’s hard to deny that when you’re walking on miniature stilts all day. The lack of surface area and balance in high heels make accidents more likely. A sprained ankle might be tangible, but did you know that knee and hip injuries are also possible? Since heels have very little support, recovering from a minor trip becomes a much more difficult task.
  • Deformities: The pointy shoe is cute and in style, but  you can’t say it’s comfortable. Shoes with a pointed toe cause issues such as hammer toe and bunions.
  • Heel Pressure: A three-inch heel raises pressure on the heel 75%. A one-inch heel raises heel pressure 22%. If you’re going to remain loyal to the oh-so-trendy heel, consider a pair that aren’t too high.
  • Muscle Shortening: Walking in high heels simulates walking up a hill. This causes an increased load on the calf and Achilles. Prolonged use causes the calf muscle to shorten and tighten to compensate. The result is increased stress along the plantar surface of the foot which can cause conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
  • Terrible Posture: While your posture might feel sexy and confident in those high heels, it’s probably too much. Normally the spine is an s-curve. This design is meant to act like a shock absorber. High heels drastically alter the curve in your back. The results in the chest being pushed out too far, the lower back being pushed forward (causing misalignment in the spine), and excess pressure on the knees.

If your body is starting to feel the effects of those heels, it might be time to give yourself a break! If you are committed to the heel-life, consider less height and work a calf stretch into you daily routine.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we specialize in injuries from head to toe including balance and jaw pain. For a consultation from one of our 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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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.

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  • 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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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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Trained Ankles: Less Likely to Become 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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