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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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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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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Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center Memorial Day Remembrance

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Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, remembers those who have served our great country on Memorial Day.

 

“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.”

                – President Harry S. Truman

 

In observance of Memorial Day and in honor of those who have served our incredible country, Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center will be closed on Monday May 29th, 2017.

 

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

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

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5519

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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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Can You Guess Which Two Symptoms Weighted Blankets Reduce?

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, knows that lack of sleep can affect more than just your energy. Not getting enough sleep can cause accidents due to lack of attention and low energy. These accidents can happen at work, home or worse yet- while driving.

Nearly 10% of Americans are affects by a sleep disorder, and 18% of the population lives with an anxiety disorder. Studies have shown that ADHD could be attributed to lack of sleep as well.

Gravity Blanket

So, what does a weighted blanket have to do with any of this?

Using a weighted blanket can stimulate pressure points across your body. This is called proprioceptive input, or deep touch stimulation. The result relaxes the nervous system, which increases serotonin and melatonin levels while decreasing cortisol levels. Studies have shown that this deep pressure stimulation has a calming influence, similar to swaddling an infant. Decreased stress, improved sleep and overall boosts in mental health. Sign me up!

So, where do I buy one? The Gravity Blanket recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help people who might be interested. The Kickstarter is running until the beginning of June. To learn more about the blanket and science behind proprioceptive input, click this link.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we offer effective pain relief from Pressure Point Releases. Our therapists are trained professionals who provide hands on Pressure Point Releases to focus on the root causes of the pain.  To schedule an appointment with an 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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New Research: Physical Therapy to Reduce Risk 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 Walker, physical 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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Slipped Discs: Is There Such a Thing?

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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

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Cause and Effect: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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Grace Walker, Physical and Occupational Therapist & Nutritionist affirms!

Everyone has a carpal tunnel, but not everyone has carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpals: the eight bones that make up your wrist, and are located at the base of your palm. The joint formed with the forearm hand bones forms the carpal tunnel.

Before learning about what carpal tunnel syndrome is, it is essential to first become acquainted with what the carpal tunnel is, and everyone has a carpal tunnel, but not everyone has carpal tunnel syndrome.

The eight bones that make up your wrist, and are located at the base of your palm are called carpals.  These bones form a joint with the forearm hand bones, and this forms the carpal tunnel.

Inside this tunnel are nine tendons and one nerve.  The tendons are what allow you to flex your fingers.

The median nerve crosses the carpal tunnel and is what causes your muscles to contract.

The median nerve also tells the brain what sensations you experience on the thumb, index, middle, and half of your ring finger.

Now that you are aware of your carpal tunnel, we can discuss Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by the compression of the median nerve, typically from swelling of the tendons around it.

The first symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are usually:

  • Numbness and tingling of the thumb, index, and middle finger
  • Pain in that area

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Anything that causes pressure on the carpal tunnel– there is no one cause.  

Do you believe your workplace environment is causing you pain and have symptoms? A physical therapist can work with you to identify  the reason for your symptoms and create a personalized treatment to bring relief.

What are you waiting for?

Call Walker Physical Therapy & 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

Click on the link to find out more about carpal tunnel and hand therapy.

http://www.lbhandtherapy.com/

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Super Bowl Players Need Super Shoulder! 3 Tips for Sore Shoulders.

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Super Bowl 51 is around the corner! Consider the following when you see your favorite players putting their shoulders down and taking hits!

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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