These Boots are Made for Walkin’: 8 Benefits of Walking for Exercise

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Sorry for stealing your song title, Nancy Sinatra! Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist says, “Walking is a great form of exercise. It is low impact, requires no special skills or equipment, and is simple to do!

Some of the benefits of walking include:

  • Reduced risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes
  • Reduced high blood pressure
  • Good for your brain- may reduce risk of developing dementia
  • Reduced risk of breast and colon cancer
  • Helps alleviate symptoms of depression
  • Good for your bones
  • Relief from fibromyalgia pain
  • May help reduce medications (with prescribing-physicians approval)

Studies suggest that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day, such as brisk walking, is necessary to see health benefits.  Exercise does not need to be done 30 minutes at a time, but can be broken up into three separate 10 minute blocks, too.

Some ideas to mix up your own walking routine can be to include adding some headphones and music, walking alongside friends or with your dog, and walking around your business while you’re on break. When you’re just beginning your walking routine, start slow and gradually increase your intensity and duration.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our mission is to inspire, educate and motivate clients. Our staff can help you with many physical ailments that might be impeding you from starting or continuing your exercise routine that is so vital to your health. To schedule an evaluation with one of our expert physical therapists 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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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!

To read the full article, click here

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

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PT and OT: Differences and Similarities

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Have you ever wondered what the differences are between occupational and physical therapy? While many aspects of occupational and physical therapy do overlap, they are not exactly the same. Continue reading as Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, explains the differences and similarities of physical and occupational therapy.

Occupational therapy (OT) originally began as a method to treat the mentally ill. OT has transformed into a field that helps people live independently in many different ways. Today, occupational therapists work in many diverse settings, from prosthetic and adaptive aids to assisted living care. The key word to keep in mind when thinking of occupational therapy would be “independence”.

Physical therapy (PT), on the other hand, involves treating an actual impairment. Reasons you might see a physical therapist could be rehabilitation after an injury, strengthening to prevent injury, balance rehabilitation, and TMJ- just to name a few. The goal of physical therapy is to restore mobility, decrease pain and educate. This minimizes the need for expensive surgery or long-term reliance on medications. Physical therapists also teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so they can secure long-term health benefits.

At times, occupational and physical therapists do work together. This type of program would involve the PT focusing on the impairment, while the OT helps the patient complete necessary tasks with the impairment. For instance, a worker injures his hand and is unable to work or care for himself. A physical therapists would help compose an exercise program, select and use adaptive equipment, regain mobility, and ultimately get the worker back to his job. An occupational therapist would help the worker re-learn how to dress himself, cook for himself, and cleanse himself.

The examples posted here are a very small list of the differences and similarities between OT and PT. The three largest similarities between them is that they have the same goal- to get patients healthy, happy, and live life to the fullest.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our mission is to inspire, educate and motivate clients by providing affordable treatment while promoting healing in an environment that fosters integrity and respect.

If you are experiencing pain, discomfort, or lack of mobility, call us at (714) 997-5518 to schedule 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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2 Unrelated Conditions Attributed to TMJ Syndrome

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to be aware of the dangers of untreated TMJ syndrome. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the area that connects the jaw to the rest of the skull. If this joint becomes irritated or inflamed the pain can become unbearable. Due to the location of the joint, once inflammation begins the pain can spread to the mouth, teeth, ears, neck and shoulders.

TMJ disorder is easily aggravated by many daily tasks such as eating, talking and yawning. As a result, anyone who suffers from TMJ syndrome should obtain treatment from an experienced TMJ professional right away.

TMJ disorder is painfully and irritating. If it is not resolved quickly, additional dental issues may arise. Many people who suffer from TMJ disorder show signs of premature wear from grinding or clenching their teeth. This can occur without knowledge or during sleep.

Teeth grinding and clenching can lead to fractured teeth and worn down enamel. Many people who grind tend to favor one side of their jaw over the other which can cause swelling on one side of the face, which can cause unsymmetrical muscle growth over a long period of time. This can give the patient’s jawline an uneven appearance.

While tooth grinding probably does seem like a tangible effect of TMJ disorder, did you know that TMJ disorder can also lead to tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or even permanently compromised hearing? Since the temporomandibular joint is directly under the ears, some TMJ sufferers complain of pain in their ears. Inner ear problems can lead to problems with balance and recurring dizziness (vertigo).

Success Story:

“I had no hope that my TMJ could be helped. I was pleased to find that Walker Physical Therapy had a procedure to address TMJ. I was elated to experience actual relief and improvement after a short course of treatments. Everyone involved has been interested, helpful and pleasant to work with. Thank you to all.”

-C. Law

If you suffer from TMJ syndrome or Jaw Pain, call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center at (714) 997-5518 to set up and evaluation and begin treatment with our expert physical therapists!

 

See our blog “Do’s and Don’ts for TMJ and Jaw Pain“!

 

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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3 Shoulder Exercises for Relief at Home

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shoulder pain

Have you noticed your shoulders ache, crunch, or flat out prohibit you from doing normal daily activities? Has dressing yourself, opening doors, or lifting objects become problematic? If so, read on! Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, will help you understand why shoulder pain can occur, and what you can do.

Why do my shoulders hurt?

Your shoulders are one of the most intricate parts of your body. For that reason, they can be one of the easiest areas to injure. Some of the smallest muscles in the shoulder are actually the most important. For instance, the rotator cuff includes four small muscles that are vital to its movement in each direction. If these muscles become weak or injured, the humerus bone can actually make contact with the socket of the shoulder blade.

What can I do about my hurting shoulders?

  1. Postural exercises to align shoulders– Shoulder pain and injury is commonly a result of poor posture. Extended periods of poor posture at work, home, and even while driving can change the mechanics of the joint movement.
  2. Rotator cuff strengthening– Strong rotator cuffs will help your shoulders get through your daily activities with less pain. Less pain leads to less opportunity for an inflammatory response to occur. One simple exercise that can be done at home is as follows: Begin by lying down on your side with your top arm point straight to the ceiling. Next, swing your arm down 90 degrees so that your hand is flat on your hip. Repeat this 10-15 times a day, twice a day. This exercise is meant to build rotator cuff strength simple by using gravity as resistance. If you have difficulty completing this exercise without pain, please speak with one of our therapist.
  3. Build scapular stability- The scapula, or shoulder blades, are a crucial part of your shoulder complex. They are composed of many different small muscles used to guide your shoulder through its entire range of motion; pulling, pushing, and reaching. An exercise you can do at home to improve scapular stability is done standing against a wall and gently trying to pinch your shoulder blades together while keeping your arms relaxed. Do this for 10-15 repetitions, holding for five seconds each time. This can also be done twice each day.

By working these 3 simple actions into your daily routine, you can be on your way to reducing or overcoming shoulder pain. At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have trained therapist to help design physical therapy programs to increase shoulder strength. We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in a 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

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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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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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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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Knee Arthritis: What is it, and what can I do?- 3 Vital Stretches. Part 2 of 4.

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Welcome to part two of our knee arthritis segment! We will be covering three stretches to gain flexibility.

To view Knee Arthritis: What is it, and what can I do? 3 Starter Exercises for Knee Arthritis. Part 1 of 3. click the link.

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,  keep reading to find out some simple things you can do at home to relieve pain.

Here three stretches for increasing knee flexibility. Stretches might be uncomfortable but should never be painful. If pain occurs, schedule an evaluation with one of our professional physical therapists.

Male athlete lying on the ground and suffering a tibia fracture. Grabbing his painful leg with two hands.

 

  1. Seated leg cross stretch- targets the entire leg, especially the quadriceps.
  • Cross your ankles over while contracting the thighs.
  • Hold for 10-30 seconds.
  • Switch sides.
  • Repeat 4 times on each side.

 

  1. Quadriceps stretch– targets quadriceps.
  • Lie down on your stomach.
  • Place right forearm in front for support.
  • Bend your left knee and grab the ankle or shin with left hand.
  • Gently lift your knee off the floor until you feel a slight stretch.
  • Hold for a count of fire, repeating alternative sides a few times.
  • Switch sides.

 

  1. Hamstrings Stretch– targets hamstrings.
  • Lie down on your back with your legs extended.
  • Bend the right knee and grab the back of the thigh with both hands.
  • Gently pull the leg towards your chest.
  • Straighten this leg toward the ceiling, or as much as possible.
  • Repeat on both legs, 10 times each leg.

 

 

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 (710) 997-5518 if you would like to discuss out program in detail.

 

Check back in for our next installment! Knee Arthritis: 3 Low-Impact Knee Exercises. Part 3 of 4.

 

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Knee Arthritis: What is it, and what can I do? 3 Starter Exercises for Knee Arthritis. Part 1 of 4.

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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.

This is part 1 of 4 of our knee arthritis postings. Check back for the next installments, including stretches, intermediate exercises and a success story of one of our very patients, Shirley Moretti!

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. Our next blog will feature intermediate exercises for those who are comfortable with these exercises. 

  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.

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