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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Less Bacon and More Nuts: 700,000 Deaths Annually Linked to Unhealthy Diet

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Bacon: the latest craze. Bacon-this and bacon-that, bacon infused with bacon, bacon ice-cream; just about everything you can think of these days has some type of bacon spin off. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, has reviewed some new research, and has something to say about the latest trend.

So, we’re eating too much bacon. What are we not eating enough of? Nuts! These are types of food habits that new research links with deaths from heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. Overeating or not eating enough healthy foods and nutrients contribute to nearly half of U.S. deaths from these causes.

Good foods that were under-eaten include nuts, seeds, seafood’s that contain omega-3 fats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Bad foods that were being over-eaten include salt and salty-foods, processed meats such as bacon, bologna and hot dogs, red meats and sugary drinks.

The research that the information comes from is based on U.S. government data showing there were about 700,000 deaths in 2012 from heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The analysis originated from a national health survey that asked participants about their eating habits. The results were published two weeks ago (February 28, 2017) in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

So, specifically bacon and nuts; what’s the deal? The foods and nutrients were singled out because of research linking them with the causes of death studied. Studies have shown that excess salt can increase blood pressure, causing the arteries and heart to work much harder. Nuts contain more fats that can improve cholesterol levels. Bacon and other processed meats contain saturated fats that can raise levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center we have found that patients who eat healthy recover faster. To schedule an appointment with an 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 92626
(714) 997-5518
www.walkerpt.com

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New Year, New You, New Posture! One Important Number to Keep in Mind

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

What does that mean exactly? Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, shares 5 quick tips below will give you a better idea.

  1. 90° angle at your neck and shoulder
  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
favi ergo 2 final

Walker PT Office Manager, Faviloa, demonstrates the “90 degree rule”.

While seated at your desk at home or work, keep these important postural cues in mind. Sitting down and working all day, one might find their head and shoulders begin to lean forward and their lower trunk begins to tilt backwards, creating a ‘slouched’ position.

This leads to none of the foundational postural muscles to engage, leaving the spine and shoulders vulnerable to injuries. 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 postural awareness, you can be on your way to reducing incorrect posture and pain! At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have trained therapist to help assess your posture and design physical therapy programs to increase postural strength. We come up with 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 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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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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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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Dr. Grace Walker shares two lifestyle tips to reduce knee pain

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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.

stock-photo-81368917-runner-touching-painful-knee-athlete-runner-training-accident

 

  • 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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Physical therapy researcher affirms study on muscle strength and inactivity

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Grace Walker Physical and Occupational Therapist at Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center finds this study interesting:

Inactivity Saps Muscle Strength in Younger and Older People Equally: Study
Published on June 26, 2015

 

In just 2 weeks of not using their legs, young people lose a third of their muscle strength; putting their muscle strength at a level comparable to a person 40 to 50 years their senior, new research says. The research stems from a study conducted by the Center for Healthy Aging and the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.

A university news release reports that researchers sought to examine what happens to the muscles in younger and older men after a period of high inactivity, by way of so-called immobilization with a leg pad. Andreas Vigelsø, PhD, the Center for Healthy Aging and the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, outlines the researchers’ findings. “Our experiments reveal that inactivity affects the muscular strength in young and older men equally. Having had one leg immobilized for 2 weeks, young people lose up to a third of their muscular strength, while older people lose approximately one fourth. A young man who is immobilized for 2 weeks loses muscular strength in his leg equivalent to aging by 40 or 50 years,” Vigelsø says in the release. The release notes that when immobilized for 2 weeks, young men lose 485 grams of muscle mass on average, while older men lose approximately 250 grams. It also states that the participants’ physical fitness was also reduced while one leg was immobilized in the pad.

 

Martin Gram, researcher at the Center for Healthy Aging and the Department of Biomedical Sciences, points out that the more muscle mass an individual has, the more they will lose. This means, “if you’re fit and become injured, you’ll most likely lose more muscle mass than someone who is unfit, over the same period of time. But even though older people lose less muscle mass and their level of fitness is reduced slightly less than in young people, the loss of muscle mass is presumably more critical for older people, because it is likely to have a greater impact on their general health and quality of life,” Gram says.

The release reports that following 2 weeks of immobilization, the participants bicycle-trained three to four times a week for 6 weeks. Yet Vigelsø states that unfortunately, bicycle training was not enough for the participants to regain their original muscle strength. “Cycling is, however, sufficient to help people regain lost muscle mass and reach their former fitness level. If you want to regain your muscular strength following a period of inactivity, you need to include weight training,” Vigelsø adds. [Source: University of Copenhagen]

If a physical injury is keeping you from your daily exercise routine, call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule an appointment with one of our expert physical therapists!

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town & Country Dr.

Orange, CA 92868

 

 

 

 

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