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.

stock-photo-51727404-man-knee-injured-and-sprained

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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Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center Memorial Day Remembrance

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Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, remembers those who have served our great country on Memorial Day.

 

“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.”

                – President Harry S. Truman

 

In observance of Memorial Day and in honor of those who have served our incredible country, Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center will be closed on Monday May 29th, 2017.

 

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

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

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5519

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It’s Obvious These Four Celebrities Love Physical Therapy

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Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images

 

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist at Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center is pleased to share this article recently published InStyle magazine.

From infrared saunas to freezing in the sub-zero temperatures of a cryotherapy machine, celebs and the fitness-obsessed will try just about anything to maintain their inner glow. And often times it’s Hollywood that introduces the rest of us to the hottest wellness trends that are about to make it mainstream. Case in point: physical therapy. This once daunting pain management therapy reserved for this recovering from surgery or injury has shifted its place in the wellness space, becoming a hot new addition to celebrities’ workout routines, whether they are injured or not.

The physical therapy guru behind Jennifer Aniston’s fit frame and P. Diddy’s healthy lifestyle is Dr. Karen Joubert. We asked Joubert why her clients are turning to physical therapy as a compliment to their workout routines, and how it’s changing their bodies.

“The clientele I work with are under an enormous amount of pressure and in many cases, this will manifest itself physically,” she says. “Artists can perform 4-7 shows a week along with traveling and trying to maintain a healthy diet, it’s a lot for anyone to handle. Physical therapy teaches them proper mechanics whether its basic posture on the screen and or extreme dance moves on stage. Education and maintenance provide them with longevity and prevention of injuries. In the long run, it’s a win-win for everyone.”

But why the sudden shift in how people are viewing the benefits of physical therapy, as opposed to just having to go to a session to heal an injury? “The desire for wellness and longevity has really helped to bring physical therapy to the forefront,” she says. “Recently, there has been a huge push in the longevity and prevention aspect of medicine. The public is turning more and more to physical therapy to help them understand and manage their pain. Who doesn’t want to feel better and do it with the guidance of a good physical therapist instead of popping addictive medications? Becoming in touch with the body can be a game changer in every aspect of one’s life.”

As for her favorite clients who dedicate themselves to regular sessions, she has a few in mind. “My favorites, include Puffy, Jennifer Aniston, Cher, and Serena Williams,” she says. “I challenge anyone to follow their daily raegimen. I can’t even keep up! They are so disciplined in all aspects of their lives, no wonder they are all successful! And YES, they all do physical therapy 3-5 times a week!

If you are interested in managing or preventing pain with the help of physical therapy, call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center at (714) 997-5518 to have 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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Selfie Elbow- Yes, We’re Serious

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Walker PT & Pain Center Office Manager, Faviola, might be needing some treatment for that Selfie Elbow!

Selfie elbow, the latest tech-related injury. Yet another injury add to the list alongside the smartphone claw, neck injuries from using tablets, and carpal tunnel from typing. Hoda Kotb, the host of “Today”, told Elle that her doctor believes that her selfie addiction has caused her elbow pain. The awkward grip she was using while extending her arm is the perfect concoction of contorted movement to cause pain.

Doctor Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist says, “These injuries are nothing new. They are variations of old fashioned repetitive strain injuries that have been around as long as there have been jobs. The movement that most people use to take selfies is similar to many movements done by mechanics, electricians, and other workers. This movement shouldn’t irritate people who only take a few selfies. People who take multiple selfies everyday should keep an eye on the symptoms listed below.

Similar to golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow, selfie elbow got its name by the movement or action that causes the pain. Symptoms are the result of inflammation of the tendons that pass through the elbow. This pain can occur in anyone who strains the tendons of the forearm and is not limited to selfie addicts.

Symptoms of selfie elbow are-

  • Tenderness in the elbow.
  • Elbow pain when using your arms (such as lifting, writing or driving).
  • Numbness or tingling in the elbow down to the hand.

So, what can you do if you are affected by selfie elbow? The first thing you should do is stop with the selfies! You’re not likely to have a repetitive motion injury if you stop repeating a motion! Selfie elbow, like golfer and tennis elbow, is caused by inflammation of the tendons that run through the elbow. To reduce inflammation, limit movement, use ice (especially after movement) and start stretching. Some good stretches to combat pain are tendon glides and forearm stretches. Tendon glides and stretches allow the tendon to reach its greatest amount of movement and help reduce swelling.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we specialize in repetitive motion injuries. Whether you have become injured from work, sports, or other activities (selfies), we have a rehabilitation program for you. Call us at (714) 997-5518 to set up 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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Is Sciatica Pain Making Work Unbearable?

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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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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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Physical Therapy: Essential to Recovery from Sports Injuries

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Grace Walker, physical & occupational therapist and nutritionist agrees with author Darice Britt from South University who states that rehabilitation of an injured athlete should be carefully evaluated and monitored on a daily basis.

Physical therapists carefully examine the injured athlete to determine whether there are weak or inflexible muscles in the body that could cause future injury. They are trained to target specific joints and muscles in the body through exercise, manual therapy, and pressure point release techniques that help rebuild strength and movement of the body after injury.

Since injuries are time-dependent, the normal healing process follows a pattern of acute phase, subacute phase, and chronic phase.

“Each phase dictates a different treatment approach and it is the physical therapist’s responsibility to accurately diagnose which phase and what treatment the patient should receive”  Says Apostolos Theophilou, DPT, clinical coordinator of the Physical Therapist Assisting program at South University

Theophilou also says:

“Through the years, therapists have been successfully able to log the ‘steps’ for each phase, thus now we have collective treatment protocols that have a complete analysis of what activities and treatments the athlete should be receiving based on his current phase”

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

To read the full article, click here

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

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New Research: Physical Therapy to Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s

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You may already be asking yourself- What does Dementia and Physical Therapy have to do with each other? More than you might know! Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, has reviewed two new studies that you might want to know about.

Elder woman exercising outdoors with free-weights and smiling

  • What is Dementia, and how does Alzheimer’s disease differ?

This is one of the most common questions which can be answered quite simply. Dementia is an umbrella term for symptoms such as impaired memory or thinking. It is commonly associated with the cognitive decline of aging. Many conditions cause dementia such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.

Alzheimer’s disease, as of now, has no cure. It is caused by abnormal protein deposits in the brain which form plaques and tangles in the brain. Connections between the neurons (communication cells) in the brain are lost and begin to die. The lack of communication between cells in the brain causes the symptoms of dementia.

Brenda Vrkljan, associate professor of occupational therapy at McMaster University in Hamilton, has found the “clock-drawing test” to be a useful screening tool to measure cognitive impairment in patients with signs of dementia. It has been proven so useful that Ontario adopted this test for its senior drivers. Poor scores do not result in the license being revoked, however, they do signal the need for a closer look at the drivers physical and cognitive condition.

Vrkljan warns against family members administering this test at home as “there is a standardized approach to how you score it.” So don’t try to make your grandfather try to draw a clock after you’ve read this- he might not be too excited about you testing his clock-drawing abilities, anyhow.

  • Prevention and regulation of symptoms is possible.

Recent studies have shown that exercise programs can help reduce the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and regulate symptoms of dementia. This is done a few different ways.

  1. Slow mental decline– exercise has been shown to slow brain atrophy (degeneration), especially in the hippocampus, which can influence memory and spatial navigation.
  2. Reduce the risk of falls– changes in judgement and spatial control contribute to tendency to fall. Exercises improve balance and reduce the fear of falling.
  3. Improve physical function– mobility, balance, coordination, and strength.
  4. Improve sleep– sleep disorders are common in dementia patients. Exercise can help one fall into a normal sleep pattern.

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 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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Physical Therapy Roles in Treating Fibromyalgia

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants to assure you that if you have been fighting the pain of fibromyalgia, you are not alone. Five million people in the United States suffer from fibromyalgia. Symptoms that are associated with this condition such as chronic pain, fatigue, and stiffness. These symptoms are thought to be caused by increased sensitivity of the central nervous system.

Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are congruent with chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and hypothyroidism. Fibromyalgia sufferers may also experience anxiety, depression, digestive issues, and cognitive and memory problems.

There are no cures or lab tests that detect fibromyalgia. Those who suffer from the condition may feel overwhelmed going from doctor to doctor before they finally receive a diagnosis, much less, relief from their symptoms. Now, the American Physical Therapy Association and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are recommending physical therapy to those seeking relief from the symptoms of fibromyalgia. (1)

 

Fibro 2017

 

Beginning with Exercise

Many of those with fibromyalgia express that when they are in pain, the last thing they want to do is exercise. However, even a small amount of aerobic excise such as stretching, swimming, or walking can help reduce pain, stiffness and improve your quality of sleep. Physical therapists will help design a personalized exercise program that allows you to start at your own pace, while gradually building muscle strength and endurance. (2)

 

 

Understanding a Physical Therapists Role in Treatment

Your physical therapist may give you ice and heat packs, along with deep tissue massages to release scar tissue, and improve blood and oxygen circulation. Research has shown that various types of massage can reduce pain and stiffness, and also ease symptoms of depression and anxiety related to fibromyalgia. (3) 

Therapists may also mobilize your joints to reduce pain, increase flexibility and range of motion. Some patients also experience relief from electric stimulation and paraffin baths.

 

 

Managing Your Pain

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our professional therapists are experienced in treating fibromyalgia. 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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Grace Walker Physical therapist looks at expert speakers at upcoming APTA conference.

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Dr. Grace Walker, the director of Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, treats patients for spinal pain, sports injuries, and balance conditions as a physical therapist. Dr. Grace Walker also has expertise as an occupational therapist, helping individuals cope with neck and back pain and as a nutritionist. In order to offer the best care possible, she stays actively involved with the American Physical Therapy Association.

National PT Month 2015 Logo - Blue

At the beginning of each year, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) holds its Combined Sections Meeting. In 2015, the association held the meeting in Indianapolis. The program consisted of sessions on business management, interventional pain medicine, sports injury treatments, and research. Professionals with backgrounds ranging from acute care to physical therapy gave topical presentations over the course of four days. Continuing education units (CEUs) were awarded for courses completed and for attendance at the Combined Sections Meeting.

The APTA looks to offer the same level of informative sessions and expert speakers at its 2016 meeting in California, which takes place at the Anaheim Convention Center and two supplemental sites at the Anaheim Hilton and the Anaheim Marriot. The forum commences on February 17th and continues through the 20th.

For an appointment with an expert physical therapist call 714-997-5518. 1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Orange, Ca.

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