3 Home Exercise to Relieve Shoulder Pain

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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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Knee Pain: Two Ways to Get Dramatic Results

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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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4 Ways You’re Making Your Knee Pain Worse

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Do you ever ask yourself, “Am I doing the right things to reduce my knee pain?” or, “Are the things I’m doing making my knee pain worse?” Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, has worked with countless patients who suffer from knee pain. Everyone who has dealt with knee pain is aware how much it slows life down.

Senior man suffering for osteoarthritis of the knee

 

Before you go on diagnosing yourself (we’ve all done it), it is important to see a doctor or physical therapist to give you a correct diagnosis. Without one, you could be doing more bad, than good.

Read through this list and ask yourself, again, whether you are taking the right steps to reducing your knee pain.

 

 

  1. Running on hard surfaces

If you were running multiple miles on the regular, and have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis or another cause of knee pain, it might be time to adjust your fitness regimen.  The impact caused by running, especially on hard surfaces, is very hard on your knees. If you are committed to running, and find your knee pain is becoming unbearable, consider running on a softer surface. Many schools have padded running surfaces on their tracks.

 

  1. Taking it too easy

Rest is a crucial part of recovering from a knee injury. However, if your doctor clears you for exercise, it might mean it’s actually time to start.

Start with low impact exercises, such as swimming or cycling. Activities such as tai-chi or yoga help increase flexibility. For inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, stiffness improves with activity. For those with RA, it is important to find the threshold of rest and movement. A physical therapist can help you design a strengthening program to build and maintain the muscles that support your knees, too.

 

  1. Every pound counts

If you are overweight, there are plenty of reasons to try and change that. Knee pain is one of them. It’s pretty straight forward– less weight equals less joint damage equals less pain.

If you are overweight, you are at a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis and other conditions.  However, losing weight can slow the progression of arthritis one you have it.

 

  1. Get the right gear

We’ve discussed it before- your flip-flops, Uggs, and flat-soled Vans are not the best footwear to take walking or exercising.  Shoes with support, such as athletic shoes, will be more accommodating.

The same goes for that drug-store knee brace. Relying on generic braces may be putting a bandage on a major wound. If you have recurring pain, talk to your doctor about getting fitted for a proper, load-bearing brace.

 

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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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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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, shares common problems that lead to neck pain, with a common solution.

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Sportsman in pain

You may have read the recent study that examined how effective physical therapy was for patients with neck pain. Guess what they found? Physical therapy was successful in treating neck pain. They used 3 methods: electrotherapy, kinesiotherapy, and manual massage. Results showed a combination of the 3 methods was the most effective.

“Neck pain is a common health problem in the United States. It has been estimated that about 70% of adults are afflicted by neck pain at some time in their lives, 10 to 15% of adults report neck pain that has persisted more than 6 months in the past year, and 5% of adults are currently experiencing disabling neck pain.(Sherman 233) Neck pain often stems 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, back and even hips, may be the root cause of neck injury.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have an effective program for our patients with neck pain. We look at the “root cause” when treating neck pain to provide insights as to why you are experiencing pain, instead of just a quick fix! We also look at our patients BMI and then look at the daily activities demand.

We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in an affordable, fun and healing environment. Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule an appointment with an expert and caring physical therapist!

 

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town and Country Rd. Ste. 1

 Orange, CA92868

 Phone: 714-997-5518

 

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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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A whole body workout

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Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist & nutritionist says that functional fitness is the way to go.

If you are trying to lose weight or just tone up; and especially if you want to avoid injury while playing sports or during your simple daily routine, functional training provides a whole body workout.

Some of the training exercises involve squatting, lunging, bending, twisting, pushing or pulling.

Training this way helps condition your body to move more efficiently through your daily living or real-life activities which helps prevent injury.

All areas of our body are connected and movement occurs across three planes:

  • The right and left sides of the body
  • The front and back of the body
  • The transverse plane which divides the body into top and bottom and is where most rotational movement occurs.

A functional deficit in one area can negatively affect movement patterns in another. This is why it is beneficial to look at the whole body to improve health and achieve optimal performance.

Angie Ferguson from news-press.com says:

The key to proper and effective functional training is assessment… Assessments should include a thorough health history, lifestyle factors, postural assessment and training analysis. Extra attention should be paid to any postural and muscular imbalances and movement restrictions. Once these have been determined, flexibility and core strength can be addressed.

Angie Ferguson is an exercise physiologist from Fort Myers. She is a USA Triathlon Advanced Level 2 coach, USA Cycling coach and has a Specialty in Sports Nutrition certification. 

Angie tells us some benefits of functional training:

  • Ultimate time management. Multi-joint exercises (like a squat) work a multitude of muscles at the same time, making your workout more efficient. Ideal for a busy lifestyle.

  • Challenge. These types of workouts challenge you because a lot of the movements are multi-planer or move through multiple motions, as we do in life.
  • Massive core-strengthening benefits. It engages the body’s core stabilizing and balancing muscles. These types of exercises put less stress on your muscles and joints, and help improve coordination, balance, and stability.

  • Can be very sport specific and therefore enhance your skills in any sport. The bottom line is functional fitness training is all about getting stronger.

Contact Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule an assessment with one of our expert physical therapists!

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town and Country Rd. Ste.1

Orange, Ca 92868

 

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Damp days, blankets and joint pain from arthritis

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Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist wants you to know what you can do to ease your joint pain from arthritis in cold weather…. (even if it may not really be the weather causing the pain.)

Maisha Rumelia Rahman from The Daily Star states that,joints

There is no conclusive scientific evidence to support that fact. Some studies have found little or no link between weather and joint pain, while others have found a strong relation between cold, damp days and arthritic flare-ups.

Regardless of how the pain got there, Grace Walker, director of Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center approves of these tips from the Daily Star, to tame the pain:

Stay warm.  This may sound like a no-brainer but dress up in layers, keep your home warm and warm up the car before you get in to ease pain related to cold weather. Add extra layers over knees and legs so that you can remove them or put them on.

Eat healthy and stay hydrated  Load up on foods rich in –

Omega-3 fatty acids: These can be found in fish and nuts and may help as they seem to reduce the level of inflammation.

Vitamin K: Make your meals greener with fresh spinach and cabbage, which are abundant in winter, to take advantage of their soothing properties.

Vitamin C: Add color to your diet with juicy winter oranges and tomatoes to help prevent painful cartilage loss that comes with arthritis.

Vitamin D: Low levels of vitamin D play a role in how sensitive you are to arthritis pain. Vitamin D deficiency also increases the risk for osteoporosis. Get your daily vitamin D fix from cheese, milk and healthy cereals.

Also make sure to drink enough water as even mild dehydration may make you more sensitive to pain.

Keep moving.  One of the obvious reasons why cold weather may cause joint pain is that people are less likely to work out when it’s really cold. Though your duvet may seem too comfortable to get out of, try to go on your morning walks as exercise helps lubricate joints and prevent pain.

If you feel that it is too cold outside, bring your workout indoors. However, do not overdo it! Choose low impact exercises which are easy on joints and can enhance your range of motion, like yoga or tai-chi. Lifting weights may help as well because it builds joint-supporting muscles.

This applies throughout the year – if you are overweight, try to shed a few pounds. The pain and effort you put into losing weight will go a long way in reducing joint pain.

Pamper yourself.  Finally, some good news after all that talk about eating healthy and tedious work-outs! According to the Arthritis Foundation, warm baths can soothe joints. Also consider indulging yourself in a massage to relieve pain in muscles surrounding the joints.

(Rahman M. , 2016)

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

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, Ca 92868

 

To read the entire article, click here

 

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Physical therapy can help you stay active and fit

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Grace Walker, Physical & Occupational Therapist and Nutritionist, endorses physical therapy for those who want to stay healthy, lose weight and stay in shape.

With the dawn of the New Year and the countless New Years’ resolutions to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, Physical Therapy seems to be an emerging new trend amongst senior citizens who are serious about staying healthy in 2016.

El Paso Plus news released an article titled, “It’s time to get physical!” featuring a senior El Paso couple, Curtis and Jacquelyn Spier, who regularly attend their physical therapy sessions with a lifestyle approach to stay active and fit.

… nine or so years into retirement, he found he had 219 pounds arranged on his 6-foot-4 frame. He got out of breath just bending over to tie his shoelaces.

So last spring he went on a diet that in two months helped the pounds drop. Luckily, he could eat the same foods, just in smaller amounts.

Curtis also started exercising and became a convert to the benefits of exercise combined with weight loss. Late last fall, he was down to about 190 pounds.

He’d had physical problems – knee surgery, shoulder-joint injuries, arthritis. Some of that was just a normal part of aging.

Initially, he had limited motion in his joints, but physical therapy has helped keep those joints, particularly his shoulders, loose and happy. Spier’s physical therapy routine is aimed at maintaining flexibility in his joints, the upper extremities in particular. While he does bending-over-to-pick-up-weights therapy, modified sit-ups, and hip exercises that involve Thera-Band stretches, his regimen also includes exercises with medicine balls and the Swiss ball.

Weight training? He does a light weights/more reps program to tone up and maintain muscles, not build size and bulk. This program tags his shoulders, lower back, triceps and biceps, among other muscle groups.

(Rick Hassler El Paso Plus, 2016)

There are no limits to what you can do to stay healthy and fit. Schedule an appointment at Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center with an expert physical therapist today!

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, Ca 92868

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3 Tips to Improve Great Toe Mobility

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Dr. Grace Walker, Physical and Occupational Therapist and Nutritionist shares 3 tips from Russ Manalastas, injury zone blogger, on how to improve great toe mobility

Democrat & Chronicle, Russ Manalastas, injury zone blogger  9:04 a.m. EDT August 27, 2015

Many runners are well aware that the foot/ankle area is important for a runner. It initiates contact with the ground and is important for the launch-off phase of running/walking to set you in motion

However, the great toe is an area that often goes unattended. Most people are aware of maintaining proper mobility through the ankle, but the role the great toe plays during the launch-off phase of running can’t be overlooked, since a lack of mobility in this area can lead to other complications. This is why great toe extension is paramount!

Due to range of motion limitations in the great toe, the absence of great toe extension exercises can lead to the plantar fascia having to do more work during the launch off phase of running, which can lead to overburdening the tissue and causing irritation.

Normal range of motion in the great toe can be anywhere from 70 to 90 degrees, so anything that is less than that can lead to increased stiffness in the joint over time..

3 TIPS TO IMPROVE GREAT TOE MOBILITY

Tip 1

Check your mobility in your great toe by pulling up on the toe (foot on the ground) to see if you have any limitations. The key is to keep your other toes relaxed as there is a tendency to want to extend all the toes to gain any extra range of motion. This easy test should give you a good idea of whether or not you may need to work on regaining mobility.

Tip 2

Address soft tissue restrictions through the calf and also the bottom of the foot. Any increased restrictions or tightness through these areas may restrict your great toe from moving into end range extension.

Tip 3

PT Erson Religioso III recommends end range great toe flexion to help reset the great toe and to allow it to move into extension without trying to force that motion over and over again.

 

Russ Manalastas is a licensed physical therapist and clinical director for Lattimore of Spencerport Physical Therapy.

 

Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to make an appointment with one of our expert physical therapists!

(714)997-5518

1111 W. Town and Country Rd.

Orange, CA 92868

 

 

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/lifestyle/her/blogs/community/2015/08/27/the-injury-zone-great-toe-mobility/32469435/

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