You Might Be Suffering from TMD and Not Even Know It!

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Do you know what TMD is? Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or also known as TMJ disorder, is a common problem that affects 12% of the population. But most people, and even medical professionals, don’t seem to acknowledge the condition. So how many people does it REALLY affect? Good thing that Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to understand TMJ because you might be suffering from it and not even know it!

Complaints of

  • headaches
  • earaches
  • ear ringing
  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • neck pain
  • numbness and tingling of the hands and fingers

Signs of

  • bite might be off
  • teeth collapsing inward
  • suffer from constant jaw pain
  • teeth aches
  • tires quickly when talking

These symptoms are experienced by a lot of people but sadly their providers rarely realize their jaw is involved in their diagnosis.

There is a “TMJ merry-go-round” of an unending cycle of provider visits that leaves the patient even more confused than before seeking medical help. The sad reality is that physicians aren’t typically experienced in jaw problems, where medicine tends to consider it being a dentist’s domain; but dentists often lack the understanding of the joint because their work is focused more around teeth, not orthopedics. The good news is Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center is experienced and has treated TMJ pain problems for over 20 years!

Physical therapy can help our patients by relaxing their face and neck muscles with manual manipulation, teach everyday exercises to strengthen the supporting muscles, and teach behavior or diet modifications to keep pain away! At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our expert physical therapists are the perfect provider to help you live pain free from TMD!  

Call us today to book an appointment! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Road Ste 1

Orange, CA 9268

www.walkerpt.com

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3 Reasons to Stand Tall – Part 2

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sedentary

We hope you have been checking your posture throughout your day since our Part 1 post! Posture can affect your health in many ways! Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know 3 ways that poor posture affects your health:

  1. Thoracic outlet syndrome – Poor forward head posture and slouched shoulders restrict nerves and blood flow in the lower neck and upper chest that limits the blood supply to your arms. Patients with thoracic outlet syndrome experience mild tingling and or numbness in the arms, causing pain and bad circulation.
  2. StressPosture can affect you mentally too! The pain you experience due to poor posture can translate into mental stress, decreased motivation, and overall mood.
  3. ArthritisIn the long run, poor posture can be extremely detrimental to your joint health and be a contributing factor to developing arthritis. Small changes in posture can help to prevent long term problems in the future.

Correcting your posture throughout your day is key! At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our expert physical therapists are experienced with working with patients who suffer from the symptoms of bad posture. By correcting your posture, you can help to correct your overall health. Our caring, compassionate, and empowering therapists are here to teach you simple stretches, exercises and modifications to make correct posture second nature.

Call to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Road Ste 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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3 Reasons to Stand Tall – Part 1

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Whether it’s a long work day at the computer or you are sitting at your child’s baseball game, most of us aren’t consciously checking our posture. But we should! Posture can affect your health in ways you probably aren’t aware of. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know 3 ways that poor posture affects your health:

  1. Headaches – Many things can trigger a headache and posture is definitely one of them! Although there are many types of headaches, cervicogenic headaches are due to poor posture. These headaches start in the base of the neck and pain radiates upward. People who work on a computer should be aware of cervicogenic headaches when it comes to placing your monitor in the right position for yourself.
  2. FatiguePoor posture can make you feel more tired throughout your way. When practicing poor posture, your body must work harder to maintain the body upright requiring more energy and leaving a patient tired.
  3. Hip, Knee, or Ankle PainYes, posture can affect your lower body too! Because the joints, muscles, and nerves of the upper extremities and lower extremities are interconnected, your spine and posture does affect your lower body. Altered posture and muscle imbalances puts strain on your hips, knees, and even feet.

Being aware of your posture, and trying to correct your posture, is important every day! Simple stretches, exercises, and making few modifications in the work place can greatly improve your posture and overall health. At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our physical therapists are experts in pain relief and can teach you how to correct your posture. Stay tuned for our second post on how poor posture can affect your health coming later this week!

 

Call to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Road Ste 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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Socks that go the extra mile for you!

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Everyone walks throughout their day; why not put those steps towards good use? Students at Old Dominion University in Virginia have created Fitbit-like socks that track your steps and activity level. The purpose of their research is to use the information gathered from these socks to help people with neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s Disease.

 

These are washable and re-useable socks that measure the person’s walking speed, foot pressure, and steps. The information is sent to an application that turns the person’s movements into useable data. Because Parkinson’s patients’ medication affects their physical activity, these socks are the key to doctors tracking their patients’ physical activity and effectiveness of their medication regime outside of the doctor’s office. Right now, the research is at the beginning phase but Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to keep an eye out for these innovative socks!

 

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our expert physical therapists can teach you daily exercises that our patients suffering from neurological diseases can perform.

 

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Road

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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Runners with Knee Pain? It could be IT Band Syndrome!

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Are you suffering from an annoying pain on the outside of your knee? This is a common symptom that runners, cyclists, or any similar activity suffer from! Although some believe that IT Band Syndrome is felt as a pain running up and down the side of your thigh, it isn’t. Your IT Band (Iliotibial band) is a thick sheet of connective tissue that attaches the muscles of your leg to your hip and to the side of your knee. The pain you are feeling is coming directly from the friction between your IT band and the bone of your knee. This pain only increases as your muscles and IT band become more tense.

Couple Running

For most runners, the repetition of bending and straightening your knee while your IT band is tense causes the annoying pain you are suffering from. The key isn’t to limit or stop the movement of bending and straightening your leg, but it’s about the tension of your IT band! Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know 3 exercises that can help ease your pain:

 

  1. Resisted side steps – Place a resistance band around your feet and knees. With a slight bend in your knees (similar to a squat position) step laterally to your right and then to your left until you are fatigued.
  2. “Fire-hydrants” –  Position yourself in a “table-top position” where your hands are placed on the ground and your two knees are placed on the ground. Extend your knee out to the side while maintaining a L-shape with your knee. Alternate legs until fatigued.
  3. IT Band stretch – With your hands on your hips, cross your left foot over your right. Then extend your hip towards the left side (laterally) until you feel a stretch. Then alternate legs and cross your right foot over your left foot, and extend your hip towards the right side until you feel a stretch.

 

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our expert physical therapists will create a personalized plan of exercises such as these! By combining these exercises with manual therapy and KT taping, you will be back to running miles and miles again!

Call Walker Therapy and Pain Center to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Road Ste 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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5 Reasons Why Outpatient Surgery Could Be for You

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With hip and knee replacement surgeries becoming more technologically advanced, our care after these procedures have come a long way. People think that a joint replacement means lying in a hospital for weeks on end… that’s not the case anymore. With outpatient surgery most patients are home and up and walking around in a few days! Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know the advantages of outpatient surgery (if your doctor thinks you are a good candidate):

  1. Less Pain – Don’t worry about self-administered medications or IV pain killers! Outpatient surgery normally uses a long-lasting local anesthetic spinal injection that helps to control your pain up to two days afterwards.
  2. Fewer transfusions – Patients are less likely to need a blood transfusion in an outpatient procedure due to advanced surgical technique and better patient optimization.
  3. Lower infection risk – Hospitals are full of people who are sick, with outpatient surgery you lower the chances of infection in your surgery site.
  4. Better recovery at home – Not having to stay in the hospital means you can heal in the comfort of your own home! It’s known that recovery is better in a familiar environment and in a place where you are more likely to get a good night’s sleep.
  5. Fast, more aggressive physical therapy – After surgery, you are working with a physical therapist the day of your surgery or within a day of you returning home. Your therapist will show you exercises to regain full function in your “new” joint.

 

You would be surprised the difference outpatient surgery has on the recovery time! Outpatient surgery is only good for certain patients and their situations. If you are motivated, mobile (independent), healthy, and have a good support group to assist you… outpatient surgery might be for you! At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our expert physical therapists will help you recover from your outpatient surgery! Our personalized programs will get you back to moving freely after your joint replacement.

 

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center for our post-surgery program! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Road Ste 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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Pain and stiffness in your shoulder? It may be frozen!

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When we say frozen, it’s not a reference to the cold weather but a possible diagnosis for your shoulder pain! Have you felt a decrease in the ability to use your arm or shoulder, leading to pain that limits your tolerance to lift your arm or reach behind your back? Other than a rotator cuff tear or severe arthritis, these symptoms yell out frozen shoulder (or the medical term is adhesive capsulitis)!

 

Frozen shoulder is the loss of ability to reach your arms overhead, reach behind your back, lift objects, throw a ball, as well as, other daily activities that you never thought use your shoulder and arms. What you’re experiencing is the strong connective tissue inside your shoulder joint, which connects your arm to the shoulder socket, becoming very tight. This tension doesn’t allow the ball of your shoulder to move in the socket freely. If you suffer from these symptoms, Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, want you to know there are three things you can do:

 

  1. Have a professional provide joint mobilizations to stretch the joint capsule so that the ball of the shoulder can move more readily.
  2. Have a professional stretch your arm and shoulder properly to stretch the supporting muscles in the arm, shoulder blades, and shoulders. These muscles typically become tense and shorten due to the lack of activity they experience from frozen shoulder.
  3. Have a professional show you the correct strengthening exercises to restore strength to the shoulder and its supporting muscles.

 

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our expert physical therapists are experienced in frozen shoulder. Our professional and caring staff will teach you how to relieve the pain you’re suffering from. We will develop a specialized program to get your shoulder warm and ready for your active life!

 

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Road Ste 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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Zap Your Pain Away with Our Laser!

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From TMJ to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and from shoulder strains to knee injuries, muscle and joint pain can seem like an unsolvable and despairing burden. Thankfully, Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, and her expert physical therapists at Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center have discovered the miraculous ML830 Cold Laser for these and many other troublesome conditions.

 

Dr. Chadwick Smith, professor of Orthopedics at USC says, “the ML830 Cold Laser has clearly proven its clinical value treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and had become the industry standard”. But how can a laser be so effective?

The ML830 Laser…

  • Reduces pain sometimes after one treatment. Most conditions take between 2-9 treatments to completely alleviate symptoms. Chronic conditions may require more treatment.
  • Reduces inflammation By following instructions from your therapist, you can prevent further injury and prevent pain.
  • Increase tissue healing by sending photons (light) into injured tissues without being absorbed by skin, fat, or blood.
  • Increases tissue cell repair and strengthens the tissue.

 

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our knowledgeable and caring staff uses the laser for many of our patient’s injuries and painful conditions.

 

Call us today to schedule one free treatment with the ML830 Laser! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Ste 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

 

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Physical Therapy is for athletes too!

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Being a competitive athlete puts a toll on the body. The day-in and day-out demanding physical activity brings sore bodies and painful muscles, but most athletes revert to the mindset of “no pain, no gain”. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, stands behind physical therapy exercises as a form of pain relief for athletes. The story of Sydney DriggsOrange Coast College’s women’s basketball star, is the perfect example of how physical therapy helps athletes!

Sydney’s perseverance throughout her basketball career is impressive! What some think of as a nightmare is a normal day for the 19-year-old athlete. She experiences sharp pain that can range from her knees up towards her spine from simple day-to-day activities like sitting down and walking. On top of this chronic pain is the ongoing physical demand that a collegiate sport entails! Sydney learned that taking care of her body is top priority to ensure a long and healthy career. She would ice her body after every practice and game, with hours of regular physical therapy, taking steroidal and epidural injections, Sydney managed her pain throughout two herniated disks in her spine! Sydney explains that “I do a lot of physical therapy in the training room which helped me get through the season”. The impact of physical therapy exercises was apparent at the end of her 2018 season. Knowing it was her last year playing basketball, she said that she wanted to “finish off strong, so whether before, during or after games I work with the trainers, whatever keeps me going”. Facing daily pain was one thing, but the mental fortitude she kept throughout her career is inspiring. Despite her injuries, Sydney led her team in scoring and her stat line ranks in the top 5% in the Orange Empire Conference for three-point percentage and scoring. Sydney didn’t let muscle pain stop her from her goals… and you shouldn’t either!

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our physical therapists are experts in creating personalized programs to manage any pain you suffer from.

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center for any questions or to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518

1111  W Town and Country Rd Ste 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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Do you practice good posture at work? Follow the 90 Degree Rule!

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

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, shares 5 quick tips to follow the 90 degree rule.

  1. 90° angle at your neck and shoulders
  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

While seated at your desk at home or work, keep these important postural cues in mind! Sitting down and working all day, you might find your head and shoulders begin to lean forward and their lower trunk begins to tilt backwards, creating a ‘slouched’ position. That’s what we are trying to avoid! 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 work day, you can be on your way to reducing incorrect posture and pain! At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have expert physical therapists to help to increase your postural strength and relieve any pain that comes along with sitting all day at your desk. We create 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! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Road Ste 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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