3 Ways to Sleep Comfortably Without Straining Your Back

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist knows that getting a good night’s sleep can directly affect a person’s physical and mental health. Though, most people have their preferred position, its normal for people to move around in their sleep. Sleeping in any position for extended periods of time can cause back pain to worsen. Therefore, making adjustments in your sleep can help alleviate pressure. Body positioning is crucial to how we feel the next morning and people usually sleep in one or a combination of three positions; on your stomach, side, or back. Here are three variations to these positions that may help reduce stiffness and pain:

  1. “Back sleepers” may find that placing a pillow underneath your knees will relieve stress by correcting the hyperextension that may occur in your lower back and bringing your spine back to its natural curve.
  2. “Side sleepers” may find relief by putting a pillow (body pillows are great for this) between their knees and bringing their knees slightly towards their chest.
  3. Though “stomach sleepers” are in the most difficult position for sleep, due to the rotation of the neck and flattened spine, you can still find relief by positioning a pillow underneath your abdomen to bring your spine back to its normal positioning.

Back pain often stems from many things; from something severe such as a traumatic injury, to prolonged poor exposure while working or driving. However, one thing you might not have known is that injuries affecting other parts of the body, such as the shoulders, neck and even hips may be the root cause of a back injury.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have an effective program for our patients with back pain. We look at the “root cause” when treating back pain to provide insights as to why you are experiencing pain, instead of just a quick fix! We develop physical therapy 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! Visit our WordPress blog for more tips and information!

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

Orange, CA 92868

Phone: (714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

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Research says Physical Therapy is Vital to Recovering!

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Dr. 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!

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714-997-5518

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

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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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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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Low Back Exercises for Strengthening at Home

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, has a simple lower-back exercise you can do at home without any special equipment. Before you try these exercises at home, especially if you have any history of pain, it is important that you be cleared by your doctor or physical therapist.

The “superman” exercise is useful to people who are beginning a lower-back strengthening regimen. There are also variations of the “superman” for those who may need an intermediate exercise.

This particular group of exercises focuses on training the back, buttock, thigh and shoulder muscles. It can be done prone, kneeling, and on an exercise ball. Prone Superman is the best position to start out. It takes pressure of the knees and pelvis, making it ideal for those with sore knees, hips, or poor stability.

Starting Position

  • Lying prone on a stable surface, a rug or carpet is preferred. Elbows bent with forehead resting in your hands.
  • Place a pillow under your hips for comfort.

Into Action

  • Start with a single backwards leg raise. Raise only a few inches, your hips should not come off the pillow. Simultaneously extend the opposite arm upwards with the thumb pointing towards the ceiling, this way the shoulder muscles become engaged.
  • Make sure to keep your eyes pointed at the floor so your neck is neutral. Your hips should also be pointed at the ground, and not rotating during movement.
  • Hold for a 5-10 seconds, then lower the arm and shoulder at the same time.
  • Alternate sides.

The endurance required to hold the core supported is the main focus of this exercise. As you feel the need to progress the exercise, try holding each position for longer periods of time. Once you have mastered the prone position, you can move on to the kneeling position, pictured below.

superman final

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we provide personalized therapy programs for each patient. Our staff works with every patient to build a therapy programs tailored to their goals. 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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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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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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Superman Exercises: Lower Back Strengthening

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Dr. Walker, physical and occupational therapist, has a simple lower-back exercise you can do at home without any special equipment. Before you try these exercises at home, especially if you have any history of pain, it is important that you be cleared by your doctor or physical therapist.

The “superman” exercise is useful to people who are beginning a lower-back strengthening regimen. There are also variations of the “superman” for those who may need an intermediate exercise.

This particular group of exercises focuses on training the back, buttock, thigh and shoulder muscles. It can be done prone, kneeling, and on an exercise ball. Prone Superman is the best position to start out. It takes pressure of the knees and pelvis, making it ideal for those with sore knees, hips, or poor stability.

 

Starting Position

  • Lying prone on a stable surface, a rug or carpet is preferred. Elbows bent with forehead resting in your hands.
  • Place a pillow under your hips for comfort.

Into Action

  • Start with a single backwards leg raise. Raise only a few inches, your hips should not come off the pillow. Simultaneously extend the opposite arm upwards with the thumb pointing towards the ceiling, this way the shoulder muscles become engaged.
  • Make sure to keep your eyes pointed at the floor so your neck is neutral. Your hips should also be pointed at the ground, and not rotating during movement.
  • Hold for a 5-10 seconds, then lower the arm and shoulder at the same time.
  • Alternate sides.

 

The endurance required to hold the core supported is the main focus of this exercise. As you feel the need to progress the exercise, try holding each position for longer periods of time. Once you have mastered the prone position, you can move on to the kneeling position, pictured below.

superman final

 

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we provide personalized therapy programs for each patient. Our staff works with every patient to build a therapy programs tailored to their goals. 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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Physical Therapy- a keystone of low back pain care.

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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 butt? These 3 exercises can help!

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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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