Work Out Your Way to Reducing the Onset of Alzheimer’s

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You may already be asking yourself- What does Dementia and Physical Therapy have to do with each other? More than you might know! Dr. Grace Walkerphysical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, has reviewed two new studies that you might want to know about.

Elder woman exercising outdoors with free-weights and smiling

  • What is Dementia, and how does Alzheimer’s disease differ?

This is one of the most common questions which can be answered quite simply. Dementia is an umbrella term for symptoms such as impaired memory or thinking. It is commonly associated with the cognitive decline of aging. Many conditions cause dementia such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.

Alzheimer’s disease, as of now, has no cure. It is caused by abnormal protein deposits in the brain which form plaques and tangles in the brain. Connections between the neurons (communication cells) in the brain are lost and begin to die. The lack of communication between cells in the brain causes the symptoms of dementia.

Brenda Vrkljan, associate professor of occupational therapy at McMaster University in Hamilton, has found the “clock-drawing test” to be a useful screening tool to measure cognitive impairment in patients with signs of dementia. It has been proven so useful that Ontario adopted this test for its senior drivers. Poor scores do not result in the license being revoked, however, they do signal the need for a closer look at the drivers physical and cognitive condition.

Vrkljan warns against family members administering this test at home as “there is a standardized approach to how you score it.” So don’t try to make your grandfather try to draw a clock after you’ve read this- he might not be too excited about you testing his clock-drawing abilities, anyhow.

  • Prevention and regulation of symptoms is possible.

Recent studies have shown that exercise programs can help reduce the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and regulate symptoms of dementia. This is done a few different ways.

  1. Slow mental decline– exercise has been shown to slow brain atrophy (degeneration), especially in the hippocampus, which can influence memory and spatial navigation.
  2. Reduce the risk of falls– changes in judgement and spatial control contribute to tendency to fall. Exercises improve balance and reduce the fear of falling.
  3. Improve physical function– mobility, balance, coordination, and strength.
  4. Improve sleep– sleep disorders are common in dementia patients. Exercise can help one fall into a normal sleep pattern.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our staff of trained physical therapists are here to help you and your loved ones design and carry out supervised exercise programs. We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in an affordable, fun, 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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6 Tips For Better Bike Fitment

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Woman sets height of bicycle saddle before cycling - studio shoot

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, knows seat discomfort can be the difference between an enjoyable ride, and a miserable one. It can stop both men and women from riding all together! Why can seat pain be such a pain in the butt?

The bones that are used when sitting, ischial tuberosities (aka- sits-bones), are not utilized by most bicycle seats.

You may have a perfectly comfortable saddle, however there are many variables involved in bike fitting; you might find some of these variables are affecting your comfort. Some quick things to check that may be affecting your comfort are as follows.

  1. Poor or Worn Saddle
  2. Improper Saddle Tilt
  3. Saddle is Too High
  4. Saddle is Positioned Too Far Back
  5. The Drop Between the Saddle and Handlebars is Too Much
  6. The Handlebar Reach is Too Far

Some preventative measures that can be implemented to increase comfort are

  1. Building strength in areas that are in contact with your saddle
  2. Reduce Your Weight
  3. Protective Bike Short
  4. Get off the Saddle Regularly
  5. Allow time to adapt to your equipment

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we provide personalized programs to help you lose weight and build strength in the areas you need to comfortably cycle or enjoy any sport for years to come. Whether you are recovering from an injury, or simply interested in a maintenance program to continue doing the activities you love, our therapists will work with you to design an affordable treatment program specifically for you!

Visit our website at WalkerPT.com and call our office at Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center today to schedule an appointment with an expert and caring therapist today!

1111 W. Town and Country Rd.

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

See Three Steps to Saddle Comfort By Tom Demerly and Saddle Discomfort—Solutions for Women Cyclists for more detailed information on saddle comfort tips!

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It’s Obvious These Four Celebrities Love Physical Therapy

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Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images

 

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist at Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center is pleased to share this article recently published InStyle magazine.

From infrared saunas to freezing in the sub-zero temperatures of a cryotherapy machine, celebs and the fitness-obsessed will try just about anything to maintain their inner glow. And often times it’s Hollywood that introduces the rest of us to the hottest wellness trends that are about to make it mainstream. Case in point: physical therapy. This once daunting pain management therapy reserved for this recovering from surgery or injury has shifted its place in the wellness space, becoming a hot new addition to celebrities’ workout routines, whether they are injured or not.

The physical therapy guru behind Jennifer Aniston’s fit frame and P. Diddy’s healthy lifestyle is Dr. Karen Joubert. We asked Joubert why her clients are turning to physical therapy as a compliment to their workout routines, and how it’s changing their bodies.

“The clientele I work with are under an enormous amount of pressure and in many cases, this will manifest itself physically,” she says. “Artists can perform 4-7 shows a week along with traveling and trying to maintain a healthy diet, it’s a lot for anyone to handle. Physical therapy teaches them proper mechanics whether its basic posture on the screen and or extreme dance moves on stage. Education and maintenance provide them with longevity and prevention of injuries. In the long run, it’s a win-win for everyone.”

But why the sudden shift in how people are viewing the benefits of physical therapy, as opposed to just having to go to a session to heal an injury? “The desire for wellness and longevity has really helped to bring physical therapy to the forefront,” she says. “Recently, there has been a huge push in the longevity and prevention aspect of medicine. The public is turning more and more to physical therapy to help them understand and manage their pain. Who doesn’t want to feel better and do it with the guidance of a good physical therapist instead of popping addictive medications? Becoming in touch with the body can be a game changer in every aspect of one’s life.”

As for her favorite clients who dedicate themselves to regular sessions, she has a few in mind. “My favorites, include Puffy, Jennifer Aniston, Cher, and Serena Williams,” she says. “I challenge anyone to follow their daily raegimen. I can’t even keep up! They are so disciplined in all aspects of their lives, no wonder they are all successful! And YES, they all do physical therapy 3-5 times a week!

If you are interested in managing or preventing pain with the help of physical therapy, call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center at (714) 997-5518 to have 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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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: The One Difference and 3 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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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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Could You Benefit From Kinesio Tape?

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Grace Walker, Physical and Occupational Therapist & Nutritionist, recommends the Kinesio Tape Method to treat pain due to sports injuries, postoperative complications, various orthopedic, neuromuscular, and other medical conditions.

The Kinesio Taping Method is a rehabilitative taping technique that is intended to aid the body’s natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints without limiting the body’s range of motion (ROM).[1]

The method can be used as a regular treatment or added to previous treatment for myofascial pain. Its advanced purpose is to continue the benefits of manual therapy administered within the clinical setting to home care and activity of daily living.

Symptoms of Myofascial PainKinesiotape on Knee

  • Deepaching pain in a muscle

  • Trigger points that are tender to the touch

  • Pain that persists or worsens

  • A tender knot in the muscle

  • Difficulty sleeping due to pain

The main purpose of the Kinesio Tape method is to elevate the space under the skin and soft tissue, so that the space for movement can be enlarged, the circulation of blood and lymph fluid can be facilitated, and healing rate of tissue can be increased.[2]

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

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

Orange, CA 92868

714-997-5518

[1] http://www.kinesiotaping.com/about/kinesio-taping-method

[2] http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/950519/

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Bursitis: How Treatment has Changed Throughout the Years

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, has an interesting history lesson for you regarding bursitis. Bursitis affects many men and women all over the world. In the past, bursitis used to be an easy way to write of pain that was difficult to diagnose. Ancient methods were utilized to treat symptoms. These techniques could be painful, and down-right scary!

 

What is bursitis?

Bursitis is the inflammation (-itis) of a bursa. The bursa is a sac filled with lubricating fluid, located between tissues such as bone, muscle tendons and skin. The job of a bursa is to decrease rubbing, friction, and irritation. Bursitis often occurs in (but is not limited to) shoulders, elbows, hips or knees.

Symptoms can build gradually, or have sudden onset. Severe loss of motion and joint pain may be a sign to go take a visit to the doctor, and get a proper diagnosis. Chronic inflammation can lead to calcification and bone spurs, which can be extremely aggravating and may need surgery to be removed.

 

What treatments are available for bursitis?

In the past, people were using a treatment that dates back to ancient Greece for removing bursitis known as bloodletting. Just as it sounds, it involves draining blood from the area. It was believed that removing blood from different areas could cure diseases and relieve pain. The practice was recommended by physicians and carried out by barbers! This is why barbers have red-and-white poles; red is for blood, white is for bandages. Of course, this practice is no longer carried out in modern medicine (not is America, at least). If you do find someone who offers to perform bloodletting on you, there’s no evidence it will heal your bursitis; and remember, your insurance probably won’t cover it!

Since the development of evidence-based medicine has come into the picture, treatment for bursitis has progressed. Some options include oral and injectable steroids, and physical therapy. The steroids that are used can be helpful, but also might have their own set of complications. Orally, they can cause weight gain, and alter hormone balance. If injected, they can cause damage to soft tissue, which could cause a bursa to be weakened or rupture.

Physical therapy is frequently performed. Modalities, safe exercise, and hands on treatment from trained physical therapist can often be enough to reduce and break the cycle of inflammation. Inflammation is the root cause of bursitis, once it is reduced, pain will be decreased and range of motion will increase. Beyond that, physical therapy does not have the complications that come with steroid treatment.

 

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our professional therapists are experienced in treating bursitis. 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

 

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Four Real Reasons You Should Try A Standing-Desk

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Have you ever wondered whether the “standing desk movement” has any long-term benefits? Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, has reviewed research from the University of Iowa regarding the new trend.

The study was conducted on subjects who worked eight-hour work days over a period of six months. The benefits of a standing desk are…

  • Burn an average of 87 calories per day
  • Walked an additional six minutes each day
  • 32% of subjects reported reduced back pain
  • Overall decrease in risk factors attributed to sedentary lifestyle (blood pressure, weight, lean mass, BMI)

oristand-standing-desk-4

oristand_dimensions

Are you curious which standing desk is best for you? The cost of a new desk can be daunting. If you want to give the standing desk craze a try without breaking the bank, the Oristand might be the ticket. The Oristand is a heavy-duty, uncoated cardboard desk. It can support 60 pounds of weight, and it weighs only two pounds. The Oristand is also collapsible, and can easily be stored when not in use. MSRP is $29. We are not financially affiliated with Oristand, however if you would like more information, visit their website.

If you find you do like the standing position, there are endless options of standing and sit-stand convertible desks in all different designs.

 

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!

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

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

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

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A Guide To Functional Fitness

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