3 Shoulder Exercises for Relief at Home

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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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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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Easy Home Exercises for Hand Weakness- No Equipment Required!

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

Common problems that lead to hand weakness include:

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

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

Here is how you do it.

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

Handigrip towel

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

By incorporating the towel handigrip into your exercise program, you can be on your way to increasing hand strength! At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have trained therapist to assess your injuries and goals to design a physical therapy program to increase your hand strength. We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in a fun, affordable, healing environment.

 

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

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

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

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

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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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Why Knee Replacements Will Increase 600% by 2030

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

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

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

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

600%!? Why such a big increase?

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

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

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have the ability to work with your surgeon to develop a plan for rehabilitation for post-operation knee replacement therapy. We look at the “whole person” when treating pain to provide insight as to why one might be experiencing excess strain on their knees, but also in the hips,  ankles and even a weak “Core”. We also look at our patients Body Mass Index as well as the daily activities demand.

We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in a fun and healing environment. Call us at (714) 997-5518 if you would like to discuss out program in detail.

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

 

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

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

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

(714) 997-5518

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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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Beware: Consequences of Sedentary Lifestyles

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 sedentary

As the director of Orange County California-based Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center, occupational and physical therapist, and nutritionist, Dr. Grace Walker offers wellness advice to her patients and through her practice’s blog. Physical therapist Dr. Grace Walker believes strongly in the power of movement and cautions against a sedentary lifestyle. According to ABC News, a number of Americans currently spend as much as 15.5 hours daily in a sitting position.

Studies have shown that excessive sitting links to a variety of illnesses, including metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

In fact, Dr. Hidde van der Ploeg and the University of Sydney in Australia have found that 11 or more hours of daily sitting can lead to a 40 percent increase in one’s risk of death.

Researchers have found these risks exist even if the frequent sitter incorporates a daily exercise regime, which suggests that sitting itself is the contributing cause.

Physiology supports such a claim. When the lower half of the body is still, the brain receives signals to increase blood sugar and decrease its reliance on stored fat for fuel. At the same time, metabolism reduces to less than 34 percent as compared to periods of activity. Data also suggests that every two hours of sitting correlates with a 7 percent increase in diabetes risk, while this sedentary time also contributes to the weakening of spinal support muscles and tightening of the hamstrings and hip flexors. It seems that only a lifestyle that incorporates regular standing and moving can mitigate these risks and help the body’s systems work optimally.

For an appointment with an expert physical therapist call Walker Physical and 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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New Research: Common Over-the-Counter Medication is not Very Effective for Back Pain

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

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

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

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

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

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

We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in an affordable, fun and healing environment. Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center to schedule an appointment with an expert and caring physical therapist!

 

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

Orange, CA 92868

Phone: (714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

 

Link to studies and articles mentioned:

Annals of Rheumatic Diseases

Opioid Overdoses Quadruple Since 1999

 

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3 Tips for Better Great Toe Mobility

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Dr. Grace Walker, Physical and Occupational Therapist and Nutritionist shares 3 tips from Russ Manalastas, injury zone blogger, on how to improve great toe mobility.

Many runners are well aware that the foot/ankle area is important for a runner. It initiates contact with the ground and is important for the launch-off phase of running/walking to set you in motion.

However, the great toe is an area that often goes unattended. Most people are aware of maintaining proper mobility through the ankle, but the role the great toe plays during the launch-off phase of running can’t be overlooked, since a lack of mobility in this area can lead to other complications. This is why great toe extension is paramount!

Due to range of motion limitations in the great toe, the absence of great toe extension exercises can lead to the plantar fascia having to do more work during the launch off phase of running, which can lead to overburdening the tissue and causing irritation.

Normal range of motion in the great toe can be anywhere from 70 to 90 degrees, so anything that is less than that can lead to increased stiffness in the joint over time..

3 TIPS TO IMPROVE GREAT TOE MOBILITY

Tip 1

Check your mobility in your great toe by pulling up on the toe (foot on the ground) to see if you have any limitations. The key is to keep your other toes relaxed as there is a tendency to want to extend all the toes to gain any extra range of motion. This easy test should give you a good idea of whether or not you may need to work on regaining mobility.

Tip 2

Address soft tissue restrictions through the calf and also the bottom of the foot. Any increased restrictions or tightness through these areas may restrict your great toe from moving into end range extension.

Tip 3

PT Erson Religioso III recommends end range great toe flexion to help reset the great toe and to allow it to move into extension without trying to force that motion over and over again.

Russ Manalastas is a licensed physical therapist and clinical director for Lattimore of Spencerport Physical Therapy.

Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to make an appointment with one of our expert physical therapists!

(714)997-5518

1111 W. Town and Country Rd.

Orange, CA 92868

Article Link:

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/lifestyle/her/blogs/community/2015/08/27/the-injury-zone-great-toe-mobility/32469435/

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