3 Reasons to Stand Tall – Part 1

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Whether it’s a long work day at the computer or you are sitting at your child’s baseball game, most of us aren’t consciously checking our posture. But we should! Posture can affect your health in ways you probably aren’t aware of. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know 3 ways that poor posture affects your health:

  1. Headaches – Many things can trigger a headache and posture is definitely one of them! Although there are many types of headaches, cervicogenic headaches are due to poor posture. These headaches start in the base of the neck and pain radiates upward. People who work on a computer should be aware of cervicogenic headaches when it comes to placing your monitor in the right position for yourself.
  2. FatiguePoor posture can make you feel more tired throughout your way. When practicing poor posture, your body must work harder to maintain the body upright requiring more energy and leaving a patient tired.
  3. Hip, Knee, or Ankle PainYes, posture can affect your lower body too! Because the joints, muscles, and nerves of the upper extremities and lower extremities are interconnected, your spine and posture does affect your lower body. Altered posture and muscle imbalances puts strain on your hips, knees, and even feet.

Being aware of your posture, and trying to correct your posture, is important every day! Simple stretches, exercises, and making few modifications in the work place can greatly improve your posture and overall health. At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our physical therapists are experts in pain relief and can teach you how to correct your posture. Stay tuned for our second post on how poor posture can affect your health coming later this week!

 

Call to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Road Ste 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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Running Injuries

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Top 6 Running Injuries and How To Avoid Them

Walking, jogging and running are excellent activities to promote health and wellness. Are you an avid jogger or runner? If so, could the way you run be hurting you?

When you run, jog or walk, each step sends shock waves up to the feet, knees, hips, and lower back. Overuse injuries are common, especially with running. The good news is, we can help avoid overuse injuries. Some causes of running induced injuries include:image

  • Training errors
  • Improper running shoes
  • Poor weight-bearing or running dynamics

In an injury does occur, physical therapy can get you back on track (pun intended) in a short time. Here are SOME of the most common injuries that occur with running:

  1. Plantar Fascitis: Inflammation of fibrous connective tissue on the sole of the foot, leading to pain on the bottom of the heel.
  2. Achilles tendinitis: Heel pain, or pain in the Achilles, due to too much running or running uphill. This can lead to pain and tightness in the calf.
  3. Shin splints: Often a result of imbalance in the calf and shin muscles. Pain is along the front side of the lower leg (the shin).
  4. Stress fracture: Repeated pounding of the legs can lead to stress fractures, with local pain over the affected bone.
  5. Hamstring strain: Too much running can lead to a hamstring pull.
  6. Patello-femoral pain or “Runner’s knee”: Increase running distance too soon can lead to pain behind the patella, or kneecap.

If you have any of these injuries mentions above, there are tips and treatment that can help relieve pain and recover from the injury:

  • Rest, anti-inflammatory medication and icing the injured area.
  • Stretching muscles that are tight (i.e. – calf for Achilles tendinitis)
  • Strengthening exercises to restore muscle balance.
  • In some cases, taping works like a charm – talk to your therapist.
  • Orthotics may help alter the forces going into your joints. Talk to one of our therapists to see if this is best for you.
  • Remember, if it hurts, don’t do it. For example, if running hurts, try jogging. If jogging hurts, walk instead.

Are  your shoes to blame?

Before starting a running program, ask yourself:

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  • Are your shoes worn out?
  • Are they the right fit for your feet?
  • Do you have flat feet? Are you shoes stable enough?
  • If your feet are rigid, you need a pair with good cushioning.

All these questions need to be answered. To tell if a shoe can still be used, look at its sole. If it is worn out, its time for a new pair! If they twist too easily, it another sign they may be worn.

Runners are very susceptible to injuries, especially with changes in training, including speed, frequency, distance, and surface.Talk to a physical therapist at Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to evaluate your feet and minimize or treat injuries.

Your Feet Will Thank You

Most runners fail to take necessary steps to avoid injury. This is where we come in. After the initial initial evaluation, we teach you how to:

  • Get the right pair of shoes – we evaluate the muscles of your feet and guide you to the right shoes.
  • Stretch out properly – we evaluate your requirements and make sure you stretch out your muscles properly before exercise.
  • Strategically structure your running – we teach you the right warm up, stretch, and exercise sequence and coach you through  the process of building up your running time gradually. Remember, your running shoes will last about 500 miles before they need to be replaced.
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If you are a runner or just happen to walk regularly, you need to call us to evaluate your technique right away. As they say, prevention is better than the cure. Our highly experienced staff will design a plan to protect your joints and optimize your efforts. Call us today for an appointment. Your feet will thank you.

Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, Orange County, CA 92868

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Ankle Sprains

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Ankle Sprain Explained

The ligaments surrounding the ankle are surprisingly fragile. A seemingly harmless motion has the potential to cause serious sprains. Ankle ligaments are elastic structures that hold the ankle joint together to prevent (or minimize) excessive twisting and turning that can lead to injury. These ligaments are able to stretch slightly to accommodate normal movements, but as with everything, they have an inherent limit. When they are stretched beyond their natural limits, the result is a painful sprain.

You probably know the feeling…

Anyone can suffer from ankle sprains, from trained athletes to a regular Joe. A few actions that can lead to ankle sprains are:

  • Running, particularly if you plant your foot at an awkward angle
  • Walking on uneven surfaces
  • Missing a step while climbing stairs

You can even sprain your ankle just from stepping out of bed, if you happen to step down on something that twists your ankle at an unnatural angle. In fact, 25,000 U.S. citizens sprain their
ankles every day, both from athletic activities and day-to-day missteps.

When you sprain your ankle, here’s whaimaget happens:

Blood rushes into the injured area, causing inflammation. The
ankle swells up, causing increased sensitivity of the nerves, leading to pain. Attempting to move the ankle, standing or walking on it can be extremely painful. The injured ankle might also become red and overly warm because of the increased blood flow.

Typically, a sprain is minor enough to heal by itself by the next
day. However, if the ankle gets swollen and standing or walking on it becomes unbearable, a fracture needs to be ruled out. So be sure to go to the hospital and seek an X-ray or consult your physician at the very least.

Take The First Steps To Recovery!

The main goal in the early stages is to reduce inflammation. An  important step after the injury is to apply ice as quickly as possible, in order to minimize swelling. Ice also helps to reduce the pain, redness, and warmth common to ankle sprains. It’s also important to rest the ankle as much as possible, and to elevate it above your heart. All this will facilitate healing and help your body absorb the fluid that has flooded into the tissue surrounding the injured area.

We Can Help!

The muscles surrounding a sprained ankle often tighten and shorten, resulting in decreased range of motion. As a result, your ankle is more prone to re-injury unless you stretch and strengthen those muscles.

This is where we come in to help you.

Our staff will work with you closely, every step of the way to carefully retrain the muscles and ligaments surrounding the injured area in order to help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. We know how frustrating it can be, and want to assure you that we are committed to your rehabilitation and exercise needs.

One stretching activity we normally recommend during the process of recovery is a calf stretch.
Here’s how to perform it:

  1. Stand leaning against wall (or a piece of furniture that  won’t move)image
  2. Take one step forward with the uninjured leg. Shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles point straight to the wall.
  3. Bend the front knee slightly, and bring the hips forward. Make sure the back leg is straight and the heel is on the ground.
  4. Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds.
  5. Repeat 3-5 times.

Quick Notes:

  • Be careful not to perform any stretches that cause immediate or intense pain, as you could cause injury to the already-tender muscles and ligaments.
  • Use smooth, slow movements and remain within the limits of pain.
  • When in doubt, err on the side of caution.

We can help you create a customized stretching plan that will restore flexibility in your muscles, provide pain relief and minimize the likelihood of further injury. Please call us at (800) 916 – 96210 to schedule a consultation today. We look forward to hearing from you.

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