3 Ways to Sleep Comfortably Without Straining Your Back

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist knows that getting a good night’s sleep can directly affect a person’s physical and mental health. Though, most people have their preferred position, its normal for people to move around in their sleep. Sleeping in any position for extended periods of time can cause back pain to worsen. Therefore, making adjustments in your sleep can help alleviate pressure. Body positioning is crucial to how we feel the next morning and people usually sleep in one or a combination of three positions; on your stomach, side, or back. Here are three variations to these positions that may help reduce stiffness and pain:

  1. “Back sleepers” may find that placing a pillow underneath your knees will relieve stress by correcting the hyperextension that may occur in your lower back and bringing your spine back to its natural curve.
  2. “Side sleepers” may find relief by putting a pillow (body pillows are great for this) between their knees and bringing their knees slightly towards their chest.
  3. Though “stomach sleepers” are in the most difficult position for sleep, due to the rotation of the neck and flattened spine, you can still find relief by positioning a pillow underneath your abdomen to bring your spine back to its normal positioning.

Back pain often stems from 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, neck and even hips may be the root cause of a back injury.

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

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Myth Busted! Cracking Your Knuckles

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist recently reviewed an article written by Michael Curtis on knuckle cracking. Whether the horror stories of early onset arthritis are true or just an old tale passed down from our elementary school teachers and parents.

To answer this question, no studies have shown that habitual knuckle crackers are any more prone to osteoarthritis than anyone else.

Lying between your knuckles and most of your moving joints is a lubricant called synovial fluid. This fluid, when put under a certain amount of pressure, creates vapor cavities that collapse and release gas. The collapse of these cavities is what creates the “cracking” sound. This occurrence is called cavitation. The gas released from this area doesn’t reabsorb for another 20-30 minutes, which is why joints won’t crack again right away. These sounds were shown in a 2015 study to have been more directly related to the formation of the cavity, rather than the collapse.

Though this study has found no harm to us habitual knuckle crackers, if you are experiencing any pain or instability with the cracking or popping of your joints it is crucial to further investigate your situation. Here at Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we specialize in injuries from head to toe including balance and jaw pain. For a consultation from one of our 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 92868

(714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

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5 Tips: How to Combat Knee Pain

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist understands how frustrating it can be to treat a knee injury. Arthroscopic surgery and injections might help with your pain, but they aren’t always a sure thing.

Jane E. Brody wrote, “For those who underwent five or more courses, the injections delayed the average time to a total knee replacement by 3.6 years, whereas those who had only one course average 1.4 years until knee replacement, and those who had no injections had their knees replaced after an average of 114 days.

We understand that these options may be out of reach or scary to some people, so we’ve listed the following approaches from Dr. Siemieniuk that may help people avoid surgery:

  1.  Shed extra weight– Though it may seem easier said than done, losing weight reduces the pressure on your knees and can help lessen pain while doing daily activities such as walking or climbing stairs.
  2. Learn more about your body– Do you notice any activities that might cause extra stress on your knees? When does your pain become noticeable? What were you doing before this pain occurs? Try to avoid any unnecessary activities that might increase discomfort like squatting or sitting for long periods of time.
  3. Over-the-counter help– If your pain has become debilitating take the recommended dosage of over-the-counter pain reliever. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) like ibuprofen or naproxen can reduce pain and inflammation in the irritated area.
  4. Take the time to see help– Making an appointment to see a physical therapist that specializes in knee pain can drastically reduce pain and discomfort while strengthening the affected area. It’s also important to do all of the recommended exercises at home to be able to experience the benefits fully.
  5. Small lifestyle changes– Consulting a physical therapist who can teach you how to modify your daily activities to minimize discomfort will help you live your best life!

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have an effective program for our patients with knee pain. We look at the “root cause” when treating knee 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 their daily activities demand.

 

We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in an affordable, fun and healing environmentCall 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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6 Things to Avoid if You Suffer From TMJ or Jaw Pain

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Grace Walker, physical & occupational therapist and nutritionist says: “We are physical therapy experts in providing effective TMJ & Jaw pain relief.”

Here is what you should and shouldn’t do if you have jaw pain:

  • DO use hot pack or ice pack before bed
  • DO use chin under fist when yawning or coughing
  • DO use correct posture
  • DON’T chew gum, ice, or tough, crunchy foods like steak
  • DON’T rest your chin/cheek in the palm of your hand when sitting or lying on one side
  • DON’T eat, read, or watch TV in bed
  • DON’T clench your teeth when tense, jogging, or sleeping etc.
  • DON’T lick your teeth with your tongue, bite your nails or lips, lick your lips, or bite or suck your cheeks
  • DON’T talk or sing for prolonged periods of time

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

www.walkerpt.com

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Stanley Cup Finals: Hockey Players need Super Shoulders!

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So, California didn’t get any of their teams into the Stanley Cup Finals. We are all a little sad here, even though the Ducks almost made it! Hockey players are known for loosing teeth. concussions, and shoulder injuries. If you’ve got a weak shoulder or an injured, keep reading. You will probably find this information helpful!

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, finds physical therapy to be extremely effective in treating shoulder pain and injuries. Current researchers agree. Many people will report shoulder pain at one point or another, statistically between 7 and 26% of the population report shoulder problems at any one time. Up to 50% of patients who have been diagnosed with shoulder pain are referred to a physical therapist for treatment.  (Dolder 50)

Young man having shoulder joint pain

The effects of techniques employed by physical therapist “have been shown to have an immediate effect on patient pain, range of motion, and disability.” (Dolder 54) If you are experiencing mild onset of shoulder pain, these three quick tips, listed below, may be used to try to avoid the worsening of symptoms.

  1. Strengthen the supporting muscle groups

    • Strengthening of the muscles that innervate (intersect) the shoulder and rotor cuff, such as those originating from the chest, under the arms, and back. Strength in these areas will increase foundational support necessary for the shoulder to go through the entire range of motion, pain-free.
  2. Shoulder stretches

    • Many common stretches, often utilizing a doorway or wall corner, before and after strenuous activity.
  3. Icing

    • Immediately after any activities that may be impactful to reduce the chances and severity of inflammation.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have an effective program for patients with shoulder pain. We develop specific exercise and stretching programs for specific patients, along with a variety of specialized treatments to reduce pain and regain range of motion and strength. We look at the “root cause” when treating the shoulder to provide insight as to why the patient is experiencing pain, instead of just a quick fix!

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, CA 92868

Phone: 714-997-5518

Refrences:
Dolder. J Man Manip Ther. 2010 Mar; 18(1): 50–54. doi:  10.1179/106698110X12595770849687 PMCID: PMC3103116.
Is soft tissue massage an effective treatment for mechanical shoulder pain? A study protocol.
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3 Exercises to Combat Knee Pain and Arthritis

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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.

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. If you have pain or difficulty performing these exercises, consult your doctor or one of our trusted physical therapists. 

  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.

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

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

Orange, CA 92868

 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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More Than Just Your Feet: 5 Things High Heels are Hurting

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It was Cinderella that said “one shoe can change your life”, but we don’t think wearing only one shoe would help your posture much, either. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, can agree that the right shoe can change your life.

High heels have been one of the biggest trends in women’s fashion. For good reason to; we can’t deny what a beautiful pair of shoes can do! To anyone who has worn a pair of high heels and experienced the discomfort, it’s probably not much of a surprise how hard they can be on your body. They affect the lower extremities (feet, ankles and legs), and also a few other areas that might surprise you.

  • Ankles Injuries: First, let’s review what might be the most obvious. High heels are more prone to accidents. It’s hard to deny that when you’re walking on miniature stilts all day. The lack of surface area and balance in high heels make accidents more likely. A sprained ankle might be tangible, but did you know that knee and hip injuries are also possible? Since heels have very little support, recovering from a minor trip becomes a much more difficult task.
  • Deformities: The pointy shoe is cute and in style, but  you can’t say it’s comfortable. Shoes with a pointed toe cause issues such as hammer toe and bunions.
  • Heel Pressure: A three-inch heel raises pressure on the heel 75%. A one-inch heel raises heel pressure 22%. If you’re going to remain loyal to the oh-so-trendy heel, consider a pair that aren’t too high.
  • Muscle Shortening: Walking in high heels simulates walking up a hill. This causes an increased load on the calf and Achilles. Prolonged use causes the calf muscle to shorten and tighten to compensate. The result is increased stress along the plantar surface of the foot which can cause conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
  • Terrible Posture: While your posture might feel sexy and confident in those high heels, it’s probably too much. Normally the spine is an s-curve. This design is meant to act like a shock absorber. High heels drastically alter the curve in your back. The results in the chest being pushed out too far, the lower back being pushed forward (causing misalignment in the spine), and excess pressure on the knees.

If your body is starting to feel the effects of those heels, it might be time to give yourself a break! If you are committed to the heel-life, consider less height and work a calf stretch into you daily routine.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we specialize in injuries from head to toe including balance and jaw pain. For a consultation from one of our 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 92868

(714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

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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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Physical Therapy: Essential to Recovery from Sports Injuries

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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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