5 Important Tips for New and Returning Runners

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Running can be one of the simplest sports to start; all you need is a decent pair of shoes and a little self-motivation. If you’re completely new to the sport or have been on a break for a while it can take a huge  toll on your body. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, has 5 crucial tips that can make the transition into running a lot easier than you think.

  1. Start slow– Starting a new workout plan can be exciting but it’s important to remember that your body needs time to adapt to the new changes it is about to experience. Don’t think that you have to run 7 days a week in order to get in shape faster. Starting off too hard can quickly lead to injuries.
  2. Run on soft surfaces– Running on softer surfaces like grass, sand, a padded track or even a treadmill will put less pressure on the foot and the rest of the body than running on hard pavement. Start with a softer surface and gradually work up to harder surfaces if you can.
  3. Wait for your muscle– It takes around 6 weeks for your body to begin to build muscle. Allow at least this much time before you really add on the mileage or else you’ll be on the road to injury before you know it.
  4. Run-walk method– Running can be difficult, don’t be afraid to walk a little if you’re feeling exhausted. Try having a set amount of time that you run and a set amount of time that you walk to recover. As you build your endurance, you can reduce the amount of recovery time you need to fit your fitness level.
  5. RECOVER– Planning your recovery days is just as important as exercise itself. Exercise causes micro tears in your muscles that need rest days to heal back stronger. Make sure you’re stretching out those muscles to keep your mobility, resting to regain your energy and let your muscles heal, and eating a 3-to-1 ratio of carbs to protein within an hour after you run for optimal recovery.

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 a free consultation 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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More Than Just Your Feet: 5 Things High Heels are Hurting

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It was Cinderella that said “one shoe can change your life”, but we don’t think wearing only one shoe would help your posture much, either. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, can agree that the right shoe can change your life.

High heels have been one of the biggest trends in women’s fashion. For good reason to; we can’t deny what a beautiful pair of shoes can do! To anyone who has worn a pair of high heels and experienced the discomfort, it’s probably not much of a surprise how hard they can be on your body. They affect the lower extremities (feet, ankles and legs), and also a few other areas that might surprise you.

  • Ankles Injuries: First, let’s review what might be the most obvious. High heels are more prone to accidents. It’s hard to deny that when you’re walking on miniature stilts all day. The lack of surface area and balance in high heels make accidents more likely. A sprained ankle might be tangible, but did you know that knee and hip injuries are also possible? Since heels have very little support, recovering from a minor trip becomes a much more difficult task.
  • Deformities: The pointy shoe is cute and in style, but  you can’t say it’s comfortable. Shoes with a pointed toe cause issues such as hammer toe and bunions.
  • Heel Pressure: A three-inch heel raises pressure on the heel 75%. A one-inch heel raises heel pressure 22%. If you’re going to remain loyal to the oh-so-trendy heel, consider a pair that aren’t too high.
  • Muscle Shortening: Walking in high heels simulates walking up a hill. This causes an increased load on the calf and Achilles. Prolonged use causes the calf muscle to shorten and tighten to compensate. The result is increased stress along the plantar surface of the foot which can cause conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
  • Terrible Posture: While your posture might feel sexy and confident in those high heels, it’s probably too much. Normally the spine is an s-curve. This design is meant to act like a shock absorber. High heels drastically alter the curve in your back. The results in the chest being pushed out too far, the lower back being pushed forward (causing misalignment in the spine), and excess pressure on the knees.

If your body is starting to feel the effects of those heels, it might be time to give yourself a break! If you are committed to the heel-life, consider less height and work a calf stretch into you daily routine.

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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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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Trained Ankles: Less Likely to Become 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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Recover from a Sprained Ankle

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Anyone from trained athletes to the average Joe can suffer from ankle sprains.

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 in Orange, California at 714-997-5518.

 

 

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

[2] www.webmd.com

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Walker’s Foot & Ankle Pain Program

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Feet play a very active and important role with your balance and support. According to Grace Walker, PT, DPT, OTD, your feet are your base and problems or pain with your feet and ankles can lead to knee, hip, and back pain as well. Physical therapy plays a key role in decreasing pain and symptoms. Resistance exercises, along with stamina and mobility training are important aspect of treatment and aid patients in regaining normal levels of activity and exercise.

The physical therapy experts at Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center can analyze your body’s structure, alignment, and movement and create a personalized treatment program for your foot and ankle pain.

Our most common treatments include:

  • Post-op ConditionsSenior couple beach, foot and ankle
  • Fractures
  • Tendon Repair
  • Neuromas
  • Sprains/Strains
  • Weak Ankles
  • Shin Splints
  • Hammer Toes
  • Posterior Tibialis Dysfunction
  • Achilles Tendonopathy
  • Bunions
  • Ankle Arothroscopies
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Flat Feet
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Foot & Ankle Pain Do’s and Dont’s:

  • DO wear cushioned shoes with a good base of support.
  • DO use an ice pack 30 minutes before bed.
  • DO follow your doctor’s instructions.
  • DON’T wear flip flops, sandals, or shoes with little support.
  • DON’T walk on uneven surfaces.

Success Story: “When I began physical therapy, I was extremely apprehensive and didn’t have faith in the process, but after 2 sessions, I was put at ease. I was unable to walk on my right foot after having surgery, but after a few physical therapy treatments I was able to walk correctly. Everyone was always encouraging me. The whole Walker team really works well together; they were all very supportive when I was having difficulty. I am really impressed by everyone. Thank you all for your caring approach to health.”                                      ~Sister F. Bovy

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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:

image

  • 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.
  • image

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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