4 Ways to Avoid Injury

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist knows that exercise is great for your body and mind. Whether you play sports, go to the gym or cycle on the weekends, physical activities come with the risk of injury. However, this shouldn’t stop you from getting your exercise on! Whether you are starting a new sport or have been an athlete for years, injuries are preventable.

Returning to any activity after an injury or starting from scratch can be scary.  It’s important to build your confidence and knowledge to reach your goals!

Here are 4 ways you can avoid injury and gain the confidence you need:

  1. Pace yourself– Returning after an injury or starting a new workout routine or sport can be exciting, but professional athletes are not created overnight. Gradually building your intensity, duration and frequency over time ensures that you are getting the most out of your workout with less risk.
  2. Get heated Warming up is a necessity. Five to ten minutes of cardio or dynamic stretching reduces your chance of injury and prepares your body for optimal performance.
  3. Talk to your doctor– Having an open discussion with your physician about your fitness level and abilities are important! This could help you better strategize your workouts and plan ahead.
  4. Ask for help– Whether you’re trying to gain that confidence back after an injury or starting fresh, a certified trainer or physical therapist can teach you proper form and techniques. These professionals will create a safe and fun learning environment that will help guide you through your goals!

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have trained therapist to help design 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

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These Boots are Made for Walkin’: 8 Benefits of Walking for Exercise

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Sorry for stealing your song title, Nancy Sinatra! Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist says, “Walking is a great form of exercise. It is low impact, requires no special skills or equipment, and is simple to do!

Some of the benefits of walking include:

  • Reduced risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes
  • Reduced high blood pressure
  • Good for your brain- may reduce risk of developing dementia
  • Reduced risk of breast and colon cancer
  • Helps alleviate symptoms of depression
  • Good for your bones
  • Relief from fibromyalgia pain
  • May help reduce medications (with prescribing-physicians approval)

Studies suggest that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day, such as brisk walking, is necessary to see health benefits.  Exercise does not need to be done 30 minutes at a time, but can be broken up into three separate 10 minute blocks, too.

Some ideas to mix up your own walking routine can be to include adding some headphones and music, walking alongside friends or with your dog, and walking around your business while you’re on break. When you’re just beginning your walking routine, start slow and gradually increase your intensity and duration.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our mission is to inspire, educate and motivate clients. Our staff can help you with many physical ailments that might be impeding you from starting or continuing your exercise routine that is so vital to your health. To schedule an evaluation with one of our expert physical therapists 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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Behind the Ear Headaches: Why Do I Get Them and What Do I Do?

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If you’re human, you’ve probably had a headache. They happen all over- front, back, side, and behind the ears. There are actually three hundred different types of headaches that have been studied. They all have their own symptoms, regions affected, and severity. Often times, stress and simple forward head posture are to blame.

There are a number of reasons the notorious behind the ear headache may occur.

Causes

It might not be possible to identify why a headache occurs. Pain behind the ear may narrow down the potential causes.

Occipital neuralgia: The result of an injury or pinched nerves in the neck. This can happen if your neck is bent for a long period of time. Arthritis in the neck or shoulders might also be the culprit. Some people feel pain in the forehead or behind the eyes. Pain usually starts at the neck and travels upward.

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ): The TMJ helps your jaw open and close. If the joint is misaligned, injured, affected by arthritis, the action of opening and closing the jaw becomes distressed. TMJ and jaw pain can be painful. This condition can lead to behind the ear headaches. At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center we treat TMJ and jaw pain. See our most recent TMJ and jaw pain blog for more information.

Mastoditis: The mastoid bone is located behind the ear. If it becomes inflamed or infected, it leads to a condition called mastoiditis. Untreated infection of the middle ear is what usually leads to this condition. Headaches, fever, and loss of hearing are common symptoms.

Diagnosing

When you are trying to find the cause of your headaches, there are a few things to keep in mind. Remembering where the headache occurs, severity, recent injuries, and activities leading up to the headache are important. If you suffer from consistent headaches, keeping a log book with some notes might help you and your doctor diagnose your symptoms.

If your headaches are severe and regular, a physical exam with your doctor is recommended. By pressing on the base of the skull, your doctor will be able to confirm whether or not you have occipital neuralgia. If your doctor feels it is necessary, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan can be done.  Looking for symptoms of infection will also help rule out conditions like mastoiditis.

Treatment

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we specialize in treating headaches.  Our headache program includes:

  • Strengthening of the scapular muscles to support the head and neck
  • Soft tissue and joint mobilization
  • Pressure Point Release to occipital, sub occipital, upper trapezei, and levator scapulae muscles
  • Modalities for pain relief including the 830MLaser and ice
  • A Comprehensive home exercise program

Call us at (714) 997-5518 to schedule an appointment with one of our expert physical therapists today!

 

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

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

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5519

www.walkerpt.com

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3 Shoulder Exercises to Loosen Frozen Shoulders

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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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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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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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PT and OT: Differences and 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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Two Ways to Keep Knee Pain in Check

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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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Balance Testing at Home in 30 Seconds

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Did you know that one in four adults are at risk of becoming injured through a fall? Every 20 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants to inform you that there is a simple test to gauge your balance at home!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the 30-second Chair Stand Test. The test is a quick way to identify any leg strength and endurance deficiencies that could contribute to poor balance.

 

How the Test is Done

The CDC recommends a chair with a straight back and height of at least 17 inches. It is recommended that you conduct the test under the supervision of someone who can help you if need be. If you have a history of falling, do not try this test without first speaking to your doctor.

Sit in the chair with arms folded across the shoulders. Next, stand up and sit down as many times as you can in 30 seconds. Keep your feet flat and your back straight during the test.

 

Interpreting Results

Adults between 70 and 74 years old should be able to complete 10 sit-stand cycles for women and 12 for men. For a more detailed view of target results, see the link here.

 

If you have fallen, or feel you are risk for falling, call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to start your personalized plan of care for balance rehabilitation with an expert physical therapist!

 

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

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Two Immediate Actions to Take Against Sprained Ankles

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Ankle sprains are common, but what can you do about them?

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist researched and found that every day in the U.S., 25,000 people sprain their ankle, and more than 1 million people visit emergency rooms each year because of ankle injuries whether it be due to athletic incidents or every day stumbles.[1] Usually, a sprain will heal by the next day if it is minor enough. However, if you suffer from symptoms such as the ones listed below; make sure to go to the hospital for an X-ray or at least refer to your physician.

Symptoms of a Sprained Ankle

ankle ligament

A sprain is the term that describes damage to ligaments when they are stretched beyond their normal range of motion[2]

  • Swelling/inflammation
  • Redness or unusual warmth
  • Increased sensitivity of the nerves
  • Unbearable pain while attempting to move the ankle, stand or walk

If you have sprained your ankle, Take Immediate Action!

  • Apply ice as quickly as possible to reduce inflammation. Ice also helps reduce pain, redness and warmth
  • Rest your ankle as much as possible and elevate it above your heart

This will expedite healing and allow your body to absorb the fluid that has flooded into the tissue surrounding the injured area.

Our team of experts at Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center will work closely with you to help prevent re-injury due to shortened and tightened muscles surrounding the injured area.

For an appointment with an expert physical therapist call Walker Physical Therapy & 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

[1] http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/ankle-injuries-causes-and-treatments

[2] www.webmd.com

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