Do You Know the Difference Between a Sprain and a Strain?

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist wants you to know, though, sprains and strains have similar signs and symptoms they actually occur on different parts of the body. To know the difference between these injuries you have to know the difference between ligaments and tendons and how they work in your body! Sprains are the stretching or tearing of ligaments which are bands of tissue that connect bones to other bones at a joint. Strains are related to the tearing or stretching of a muscle or tendon and a tendons purpose is to attach muscles to bones.

Sprains commonly occur at when walking on an uneven surface and you ankle twists or at the knee while cutting and pivoting during sports. When sprains occur, a pop is commonly heard and felt in the injured area. Strains happen when a muscle is suddenly stretched or overused in prolonged repetitive movements. Strains can be identified if a muscle spasm follows the injury.

Similar signs and symptoms include:

– pain

– swelling

– bruising

– reduced mobility

Due to similar symptoms, sprains and strains have the same initial treatment following an injury. RICE, which stands for, rest, ice, compression and elevation, should be implemented immediately. Giving your body plenty of rest allows for a quick recovery without compromising the healing process. Using ice can help with pain and reduce swelling when done for no more than twenty minutes at a time. Keeping the injury compressed by wrapping or adding pressure to the area can reduce swelling and improve stability. Finally, elevating your injury above the level of your heart is key to reducing and preventing any edema.  If symptoms persist, it is important to seek a professional to ensure there are no further complications.

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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3 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Hip Fractures

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Dr. Grace Walker, nutritionist, physical and occupational therapist, is aware that at the age of 40, everybody begins to slowly lose bone mass. Women between the ages of 60 to 90 are most likely to experience a hip fracture due to the loss of bone density that occurs after menopause. You may be able to slow down this process by simply building as much bone mass as you can before this occurs, which will leave you with more “in stock”.

Ways to increase bone density and reduce the risk of hip fractures include:

  • Weight bearing exercises
    • Running
    • walking
    • Resistance training
  • Classes that improve balance and strength
    • Yoga
    • Tai chi
    • Pilates
  • Proper nutrition

Factors for losing bone density and increasing the risk of hip fractures is:

  • Smoking
  • Excessive drinking of alcohol (multiple drinks a day)
  • Having low body weight

It is important to pay close attention to your bone health if you identify with any factors that increase the risk of hip fractures. It is recommended that women at the age of 65 and men the age of 70 monitor their bone health with a bone density scan. Fractures usually happen with everyday accidents like tripping around the house. Patients with repaired fractures can begin weight-bearing exercises right away with physical therapy to return to their daily activities as soon as possible.

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

714-997-5518

Orange, CA 92868

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Why You Should Try Kinesio Tape

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Grace Walker, Physical and Occupational Therapist & Nutritionist, recommends the Kinesio Tape Method to treat pain due to sports injuriespostoperative complications, various orthopedicneuromuscular, 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 Pain

  • 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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3 Treatments for the Root Cause of Your Neck Pain

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, knows that neck pain can make everyday activities, like driving, an obstacle. Though neck stiffness may fade within a few days, some people may experience symptoms that are long lasting. Physical Therapists can target a specific classification of neck pain such as, mobility deficits, headaches, sprains, etc. Evidence proves that this treatment has a better outcome than just general neck pain treatment.

Specific treatments include:

  1. Manipulation/mobilization of the cervical or thoracic spine- The neck is a very vulnerable area and mobilization techniques can be less invasive and just as effective, in reducing pain, as cervical thrust manipulation. It has been proven that these techniques can improve neck pain and function.
  2. Strengthening- Treatments combined with exercise can be extremely beneficial. Increasing the strength and endurance of the muscles that support the neck, called the Deep Neck Flexor Muscles, can reduce the amount of stress on stiff joints while improving the coordination of movements in the neck.
  3. Stretching- Neck pain is usually accompanied by lack of flexibility in neck muscles. Therefore, including stretching in your treatment can increase neck mobility. In a study, neck stiffness was seen to improve in patients who practiced stretching almost as much as patients that underwent manual therapy.

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

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

 

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town and Country Rd. Ste. 1

 Orange, CA 92868

 Phone: 714-997-5518

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50 Million Americans Suffer from Osteoarthritis; Are you One of Them?

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know that one in five adults in the United States suffers from some form of arthritis, the most common type being osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the breakdown of the cartilage found between joints. This cartilage is used as a barrier between joints to prevent friction from bone to bone which can cause pain and improper joint function. Though any joint is at risk for osteoarthritis, it is most often seen in the hips, knees and spine.

The main causes of this disease are not limited to but include:

  • Family history
  • Old age
  • Obesity
  • Overuse
  • Injuries around the joint.

Symptoms (ranging from mild to severe):

  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Pain or dull aches that progress over time
  • Pain in the morning and tapers off with activity
  • Pain that flares with vigorous activity

Treatment depends on each patient’s individual needs. Mild osteoarthritis may be treated with conservative methods like weight loss (for overweight patients only), low impact exercises, anti-inflammatory drugs, injections and physical therapy. If pain persists and quality of life is being affected, joint replacement surgery may be an option.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or have concerns about your joint health, it is important to consult a professional!

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have the ability to help address all of the potential variables that may be causing joint pain. We look at the “whole person” when treating joint pain to provide insights as to why one might be experiencing excess strain on their joints.

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 our program in detail.

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4 Reasons Why You Have Heel Pain

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, knows that pain in your heels can put your life at a standstill. If you find yourself on your feet for long periods of time or do repetitive activities without the proper shoes, you may have experienced strain on the ligaments of the foot. Early treatment is important to ensure relief or pain may become chronic. There are many underlying reasons to heel pain, but there are four major causes: Achilles tendinitis, bursitis, nerve pain and plantar fasciitis.

  1. Achilles tendinitis– The inflammation of the Achilles tendon mostly occurs in athletic patients participating in high-impact sports. Quick repetitive motions can lead to micro injuries of thetendon that cause heel pain.
  2.  Bursitis– The bursa, a fluid-filled sac located in the heel, can become inflamed from repetitive motions or irritated from improper footwear.
  3. Nerve pain– Described as a burning or electrical pain, nerve pain, is a less common cause of heel pain. Though, there are medications that may help with the pain, most need a decompressive surgery to relieve the nerve.
  4. Plantar fasciitis– Inflammation of the band of tissue that reaches from the heel to the toes, called the plantar fascia, is the most common cause of heel pain. This is usually due to mechanical issues going on inside of the foot.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center we make sure to incorporate a variety of methods to ensure that your pain is covered from all areas. Our Flex N Move program improves flexibility and strength while our soft tissue and joint mobilization works out spasms, tightness and pain. We implement manual therapy to reduce inflammation and use Kinesio Tape to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while providing stability and support to muscles. Finally, we make sure our patients’ healing is sustained through a home exercise program.

Success Story: “I was treated for plantar fasciitis. After a cortisone shot failed to help I decided to give physical therapy a try. When I first came in my foot was very painful and after four weeks of therapy (two visits a week), my foot was healed completely. I leave here painless. Thank you Walker Physical Therapy!”     – Beverly H

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

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste.1

Orange, CA 92868

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5 Steps to Reduce Chronic Pain

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Millions of people live day to day with chronic pain. Though medication can help mask the pain for a few hours, these drugs are highly addictive and can damage your organs over time. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know that medication is not your only option. There are better alternatives that can lead into a pain free life because pain is not a lifestyle! We would like to share with you five self-care actions you can add to your everyday life to help manage pain.

  1. Start a healthy lifestyle– Taking care of your body by eating the right foods, cutting out bad habits, and exercising regularly releases endorphins and strengthens your muscles to prevent further injury. You will sleep better, feel stronger and the body is able take care of itself and repair any damage a lot more efficiently with less outside help.
  2. Meditate– Stress has been proven to take a physical toll on your body. It is important to keep a positive attitude; daily meditation with deep breathing exercises will help remove your thoughts from your pain and lead to relief for your body and mind.
  3. Find Support– It is important to know that you are not alone! Joining a group and meeting other people who are going through the same struggle is comforting. You can also get helpful advice from others on how they deal with their pain.
  4. Invest in a professional massage– Massages improve blood circulation and release your body’s natural pain reliever, serotonin.
  5. Physical Therapy– Therapy can help kick start a healthy lifestyle. Trained therapist can help guide you through you pain by finding the source, teaching you how to train your body to fix it as well as provide massages to promote healing.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, 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 patients 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

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Angelina Jolie Opens Up About Her Health

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist understands that life can be extremely stressful. Finding time to take care of yourself may be the last thing on your mind but we are here to tell you, this is no longer an option!

Vanity Fair recently released an interview with actress, Angelina Jolie, revealing her diagnosis of Bell’s Palsy last year. Bell’s Palsy is a type of temporary facial paralysis caused by damage to the facial nerve. This inhibits signals to and from the nerve causing drooping on either side of the face. Bell’s Palsy has been linked to high amounts of stress and people with high blood pressure, like Jolie, are vulnerable.

“Sometimes women in families put themselves last, until it manifests itself in their own health.” Says Jolie.

Symptoms appear suddenly and reach their peak within 24 hours and may include one or a combination of the following:

  • Impaired speech
  • Droopiness of the eyes or mouth (compared to opposite side)
  • Excessive salivation
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of taste
  • Inability to eat or drink properly
  • Sensitivity to sound
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness

Don’t wait until it is too late to take care of your health! Here at Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center we deal with more than just healing injuries but focus on fighting issues from the source. Educating people on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle with proper body mechanics will maintain longevity and prevent injuries in the future! Prevention is the best form of medicine and understanding your pain and the proper way to manage it is the best favor you can do for yourself.

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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Myths Busted! 6 Things You Thought You Knew About Joint Pain

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Follow along as Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, explains the Six Myths of Joint Pain. If you or anyone in your family is in pain and you’re looking for somebody to help you, you’ll be able to make a more educated decision with your new understanding of joint pain.

man knee pain

Myth #1- Pain is your enemy.

  • This is a myth. Pain is a natural warning that alerts you that something is wrong in your body.

Myth #2- Joint pain is just wear and tear and there is nothing else you can do about it.- 

  • Yes there is, especially if you follow our Be Free From Pain Program.

Myth #3- You need to take ongoing medications, such as pain killers and anti-inflammatories.

  • Medications simply mask the pain, while the joints continue to deteriorate. Even doctors will tell you about how these drugs will affect your intestines.  Did you know that these medications can also make your blood pressure go up? The American Heart Society just issued a report advising doctors to recommend physical therapy for joint pain instead of medication. Some of these joint pain reducing medications have been linked to heart attacks which resulted in death.

Myth #4- Diagnosis Dilemmas

  • How many times have you heard of a test showing a problem when there wasn’t actually a problem?  Often times, you feel the need to get extensive testing such as blood work and x-rays or an MRI.  While these tests can be informative, many times they can lead to false positives.  For example, studies have shown that many people exhibit a bulging disc on an MRI even though they have no pain at all.

Myth #5- You feel that surgery is the only answer.

  • Many times, that’s simply not true.  Remember your friend Carole’s doctor?  He recommended that she try physical therapy first.  Surgery was the absolute last resort and it should be. However, if you ignore the pain for an extended period of time and don’t see a physical therapist then surgery may be the only option left for you.

Myth #6- The pain is life-changing

  • You feel that if you have pain you should curtail your activity instead of getting treatment. That’s not always true!  Work with a professional who knows how to help you with your pain.  Often times, inactivity or “curtailing of activity” leads to more rapid deterioration of your joints.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have the ability to help address all of the potential variables that may be causing joint pain. We look at the “whole person” when treating joint pain to provide insights as to why one might be experiencing excess strain on their joints. 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.

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3 Ways to Sleep Comfortably Without Straining Your Back

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

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

Back pain often stems from many things; from something severe such as a traumatic injury, to prolonged poor exposure while working or driving. However, one thing you might not have known is that injuries affecting other parts of the body, such as the shoulders, neck and even hips may be the root cause of a back injury.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have an effective program for our patients with back pain. We look at the “root cause” when treating back pain to provide insights as to why you are experiencing pain, instead of just a quick fix! We develop physical therapy programs for each patient to provide results in an affordable, fun and healing environment. Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center to schedule an appointment with an expert and caring physical therapist! Visit our WordPress blog for more tips and information!

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

Orange, CA 92868

Phone: (714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

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