Physical Therapy: Essential to Recovery from Sports Injuries

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

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

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather

Easy Home Exercises for Hand Weakness- No Equipment Required!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapists, specializes in hands and upper extremities. If you have hand weakness, physical therapy can be beneficial to increase strength in your muscles around your forearm, hand and fingers.

Common problems that lead to hand weakness include:

  1. Stroke
  2. Fractures
  3. Carpal tunnel syndrome
  4. Arthritis
  5. Extended time in a cast or sling leads to muscle atrophy (decrease in muscle mass)

A simple exercise you can do at home, once diagnosed and cleared by a doctor or physical therapist, is the towel handigrip exercise. This is an isometric exercise, meaning the muscles are activated, even though movement is limited by the towel. Isometric exercises might be more desirable for those who have limited range of motion, or if pain is associated with forming a closed fist.

Here is how you do it.

  1. Get yourself an kitchen or hand towel.
  2. Fold the towel in half, then roll it into a small cylinder like the one pictured.
  3. Grip the towel in one hand on a table top.
  4. Elbow should be close to 90 degrees, with the shoulder relaxed.
  5. Firmly squeeze the towel in your hand, holding the pressure for 5 seconds.
  6. Relax and repeat for 10-15 repetitions, twice daily.

Handigrip towel

If you experience any pain, consult your doctor or physical therapist.

By incorporating the towel handigrip into your exercise program, you can be on your way to increasing hand strength! At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have trained therapist to assess your injuries and goals to design a physical therapy program to increase your hand 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!

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

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

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather

Why Knee Replacements Will Increase 600% by 2030

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

 

 

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, has a little bit of a history lesson for you concerning knee replacements, their evolution, and the future of surgeries. Nearly everyone in the modern world knows someone who has had a knee replacement. Over the years, the surgery has become quite streamlined. With a good surgeon and physical therapist, recovery from a knee replacement is much easier than it was in the past; considering it is such a traumatic surgery. It might make you wonder what knee surgery and recovery was like in earlier years.

When John N. Insall, MD, became the chief of the HSS Knee Clinic in 1969, there was no reliable knee implant on the market. The best relief for patients with debilitating knee arthritis was the temporary relief provided by pain medicine. Dr. Insall worked with fellow surgeons and biomechanical engineers to develop the modern total knee implant.

Although the first hip replacement came more than 25 years before knee replacements, there was still some fine tuning required concerning materials and design. Today, knee replacement implants are often made of cobalt-chromium and titanium (fancy), with a bearing portion made of high-grade. Wear resistant plastic that was not available in the early years of knee replacement surgery. There are other types of materials used in knee replacement surgery; however they are all proven, and much better than the materials being used in early knee replacement surgeries.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, in 1993 there were 195,684 total knee replacements in the U.S. Dr. Thomas Muzzonigo, a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, says “There are a total of more than 600,000 knee replacements, and that number is expected to rise 600 percent (by 2030)”.

600%!? Why such a big increase?

There may be several reasons. People are living longer, there is an epidemic of morbid obesity that stresses weight-bearing joints, improved implant materials, and people unwilling to give up active lifestyles. “Thirty years ago, people were not getting a total joint replacement until their mid-70s, now the age could be 55.” said Dr. Douglas P. Kirkpatrick, an orthopedic surgeon at North County Orthopedics in Queensbury.

So, you or someone close to you has scheduled a knee replacement surgery. Have you and your doctor discussed a recovery plan? The European Journal of Physical Rehabilitation Medicine published a report concerning total knee replacement that concluded “outpatient physical therapy performed in a clinic under the supervision of a trained physical therapist may provide the best long-term outcomes after the surgery”.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have the ability to work with your surgeon to develop a plan for rehabilitation for post-operation knee replacement therapy. We look at the “whole person” when treating pain to provide insight 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.

If you do have knee pain related to arthritis, feel free to review our blog post Entry-Level Excercises for Knee Arthritis.

 

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

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

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

(714) 997-5518

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather

How Can Trigger Point Therapy Help Me?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

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

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather

New Research: Common Over-the-Counter Medication is not Very Effective for Back Pain

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

A new study published February 2, 2017, in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, has found the painkillers like aspirin, Aleve, and Advil don’t help most people with back pain. A previous study suggested Tylenol (acetaminophen) isn’t very useful either!

Investigators examined 35 studies of the use of common over-the-counter medications to treat back pain. The study, which tracked about 6,000 people,” showed that commonly used NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) have only small effects on pain relief and improvement of function…moreover, these small effects may not be perceived as important for most patients with spinal pain.”

While you might know that medications such as aspirin and Tylenol are hard on your body, you might not know to what extent. Researchers found that participants taking the drugs were 2.5 times more likely to experience gastrointestinal side effects!

Recently, we published a blog the covered the dangers of using prescription narcotic medication as well, and the dangers of addiction and overdose using such substances. Since 1999, opioid overdoses have actually quadrupled. These types of medication are only a band-aid; on their own they do nothing to help treat the root cause of pain.

You may be asking yourself, if there are no medications that can effectively ease back pain, what can I do? Well, physical therapy, of course! Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist says, “The happiest back pain patients she has encountered have been ones who use complementary treatments such as physical therapy, and continuing self-care with a home exercise and stretching program.”

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have the ability to address the root causes that may be triggering pain, and correcting them.

We come up with personalized 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!

 

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

Orange, CA 92868

Phone: (714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

 

Link to studies and articles mentioned:

Annals of Rheumatic Diseases

Opioid Overdoses Quadruple Since 1999

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather

Slipped Discs: Is There Such a Thing?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

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

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather

Glued to the Desk all day? These 3 Exercises are for you!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

 

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, 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.

Close-up Of Young Businesswoman On Chair Having Backpain In Office

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. 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

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather

Physical Therapy Roles in Treating Fibromyalgia

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

 

 

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants to assure you that if you have been fighting the pain of fibromyalgia, you are not alone. Five million people in the United States suffer from fibromyalgia. Symptoms that are associated with this condition such as chronic pain, fatigue, and stiffness. These symptoms are thought to be caused by increased sensitivity of the central nervous system.

Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are congruent with chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and hypothyroidism. Fibromyalgia sufferers may also experience anxiety, depression, digestive issues, and cognitive and memory problems.

There are no cures or lab tests that detect fibromyalgia. Those who suffer from the condition may feel overwhelmed going from doctor to doctor before they finally receive a diagnosis, much less, relief from their symptoms. Now, the American Physical Therapy Association and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are recommending physical therapy to those seeking relief from the symptoms of fibromyalgia. (1)

 

Fibro 2017

 

Beginning with Exercise

Many of those with fibromyalgia express that when they are in pain, the last thing they want to do is exercise. However, even a small amount of aerobic excise such as stretching, swimming, or walking can help reduce pain, stiffness and improve your quality of sleep. Physical therapists will help design a personalized exercise program that allows you to start at your own pace, while gradually building muscle strength and endurance. (2)

 

 

Understanding a Physical Therapists Role in Treatment

Your physical therapist may give you ice and heat packs, along with deep tissue massages to release scar tissue, and improve blood and oxygen circulation. Research has shown that various types of massage can reduce pain and stiffness, and also ease symptoms of depression and anxiety related to fibromyalgia. (3) 

Therapists may also mobilize your joints to reduce pain, increase flexibility and range of motion. Some patients also experience relief from electric stimulation and paraffin baths.

 

 

Managing Your Pain

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our professional therapists are experienced in treating fibromyalgia. They will not only help you understand you condition, they will teach you how to identify and interpret pain triggers and patterns.

 

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

 

(714) 997-5518

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

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather

Rainy Days, Blankets and 4 Important Vitamins for Arthritis Pain

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

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

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather

Shopping Tips From Santa

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Ho, Ho, Ho! Happy Holidays! The North Pole sure is busy with toy making and Holiday shopping.

Santa’s elves like to make all the toys but he likes to do some Holiday shopping as well. Last year, all the shopping caused him some pain, especially on his Santa On Treadmillback! This year he got some excellent tips from Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center. Now he knows how to avoid back pain when he does his Holiday shopping this year.

Some Shopping Tips from Grace Walker, Physical & Occupational Therapist and Nutritionist:

  • Distribute the weight of shopping bags equally on both sides of your body.
  • Consider using a fanny pack or small back pack.
  • Wear comfortable shoes; carrying packages while wearing high heels on hard surfaces can contribute to foot and ankle injuries.
  • Don’t lug overstuffed shopping bags for extended periods.
  • Test an object’s weight before you lift it by pushing with your foot
  • If an object is too heavy for you to lift, then ask someone for help

DO’S AND DON’TS FOR BACK PAIN:

  • DO use ice 20-30 minutes before bed.
  • DO pull your belly button into your spine (iso-abs) and breathe.
  • DO this with all exertion.
  • DON’T twist while holding something in your arms.
  • DON’T bend at the waist, squat in instead.
  • DON’T hold your breath while exerting force.

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

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather