8 Activities that are Hurting Your Spine

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants to warn you on 8 activities that may be hurting your spine health and causing pain.

  1. Carrying heavy Bags- Having a purse or wearing a backpack with only one strap causes uneven weight distribution leading to your spine curving to one side more than the other which can cause neck and back pain and spine damage. Always use both straps on your backpack and if you are carrying a heavy purse try to hold it close to the center of your body.
  2. Text Neck- Yes, it is actually a big problem. Leaning forward or tilting your head down to look at your phone puts your neck under 60lbs of excess pressure. Try to keep your phone at eye level when using it or take a break from your phone and only use it when necessary.
  3. High Heels- Prolonged wear of high heels causes the spine to be out of alignment leading to lower back and leg pain. Reducing the amount of time you spend in heels or switching to flats will protect your back, legs and feet from injury.
  4. Tummy Sleepers- Sleeping on your stomach can cause a lot of excess pressure on the spine and neck. This sleeping position can also cause numbness and tingling in the body. Sleeping on your back is the best position for your spine.
  5. Watching TV for long periods of time- Its easy to get lost in a TV show and lose track of how long you’ve been resting your neck on the arm of your couch. Lying on the couch while watching TV can put your body in strange positions and if you are not mindful of how your back is aligned you could be in for some serious neck and back strains.
  6. Improper form while exercising– Keeping your spine in its natural alignment is one of the most important things to watch out for while working out. Many injuries, like disc damage, are caused due to improper form while lifting in the gym.
  7. Chores– No, I’m not here to tell you its okay to stop doing household chores but we do want to warn against bad posture while you mop, vacuum, wash dishes or whatever you have on your To-do list. Keeping your spine in a neutral position and never bending at the waist to lift heavy buckets or dishes will prevent back pain and spinal strain.
  8. Cycling– Cycling is an amazing cardiovascular exercise but riding a bike for a few hours that is not fit to your height can bring pain to your neck and back . Try getting your bike fitted to your body type or use a stationary bike with longer handle bars closer to your body so you’re not reaching too far forward.

Warming up before chores or any physical activity can reduce the amount of strain on your muscle supporting your spine. Try to always keep your posture in mind while doing day to day activities. If you are experiencing acute or chronic back pain, it might be a good idea to consult an expert on the issue.

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! 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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5 Key Exercises for Spinal Stenosis

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Dr. Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants to share with you the five best exercises for people who suffer from spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the foramina in your spine. Foramina are passageways for nerves and other vascular structures that travel up and down your spine.  Narrowing of those passageways can cause pain, tension and weakness in the back and legs.

5 Exercises

  1. Lumbar rotation stretch

– Start by lying on your side with your top knee crossed in front of you and the bottom leg straight

– Bring your top hand up and back behind you while rotating your spine until a stretch is felt

– Hold for 10 seconds and return to starting position

– Repeat multiple times on both sides

  1. Knee-to-chest

– Lie on your back with knees bent

– Pull both knees, one at a time, to chest until stretch is felt

– Hold for thirty seconds and release one knee at a time

– Repeat multiple times

  1. Quadruped Thoracic extensions

– Start on elbows and knees with neutral spine

– Brace your abdominals

– Sink your chest to the floor while keeping a neutral spine and begin to drop your hips back slowly and then return to starting position

-Repeat multiple times

  1. Hip Flexor Stretch

– Start standing with one foot on top of a chair (knee should be aligned with hips)

– Brace abdominals and lean forward keeping the opposite foot planted into the floor slightly behind you

– Squeeze glutes and feel a gentle stretch in front of the hip

– Repeat multiple times on both sides

  1. Bridges

– Lie on your back with knees bent and arms flat on the floor beside you

– Gently brace the abdominals, squeeze glutes and slowly lift hips up so that your lumbar and thoracic spine lifts off the floor

– hold and drop back down to the starting position

– repeat until fatigue

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. 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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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 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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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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Sore After Work? Here are Five Ways to Fix That

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What does perfect sitting posture look like? If the name of the title hasn’t given it away yet, 90° is the magic number to keep in mind!

What does that mean exactly? Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, shares 5 quick tips below will give you a better idea.

  1. 90° angle at your neck and shoulder
  2. 90° angle at your back and legs
  3. 90° angle at your lower and upper knee
  4. 90° angle at your foot and ankle
  5. 90° angle above and below your elbow
favi ergo 2 final

Walker PT Office Manager, Faviloa, demonstrates the “90 degree rule”.

While seated at your desk at home or work, keep these important postural cues in mind. Sitting down and working all day, one might find their head and shoulders begin to lean forward and their lower trunk begins to tilt backwards, creating a ‘slouched’ position.

This leads to none of the foundational postural muscles to engage, leaving the spine and shoulders vulnerable to injuries. Sitting with bad posture over a long period of time can also lead to nervous system problems.

By incorporating these 5 quick tips into your postural awareness, you can be on your way to reducing incorrect posture and pain! At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have trained therapist to help assess your posture and design physical therapy programs to increase postural 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!

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

Orange, CA 92868

Phone: (714) 997-5518

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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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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National School Backpack Awareness Day: 4 Back-to-School Tips

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Today, September 21st, 2016 is recognized as National School Backpark Awareness Day!

Did you know that 64% of American students ages 11 to 15 years reported back pain related to heavy backpacks? Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, has a few tips to share with you to help you and your loved ones utilize proper bag usage. Here are a 4 tips to follow to save your body!

Adorable 3 year old child knocked backwards from a heavy back pack over white background.

 

  1. Keep the Weight Down– A backpack should weigh no more than 10% of the students total body weight. Use those lockers!

 

  1. Keep the Straps Tight– Keep the backpack close to your body. It should extend from approximately 2 inches below the shoulder blades to slightly about the waist.

 

 

  1. Evenly Distribute the Weight– Always wear the backpack on both shoulders so that the weight is evenly distributed. Put heavier items closer to your back.

 

  1. Keep an Eye Out– If you or your child is adjusting his or her posture while carrying a backpack, it is too heavy. Also, catching any aches and pains head on it the best way to avoid potential serious injury.

 

Here at Walker PT & Pain Center, we strive for success and freedom from pain in every area of the body. With our revolutionary techniques based on over ten years of research, and team of dedicated, caring staff, we provide fast, effective solutions for pain in a fun and healing environment. Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center today at 714-997-5518 to set up your initial appointment to get you back on track towards a fun-filled, action-packed, and pain free school year!

 

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town and Country Blvd, Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

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Physical Therapy- The Keystone of Lower Back Pain Treatment

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical & occupational therapist and nutritionist shares findings from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy.

The American Pain Society released the second part of a practice guideline for the management of low back pain.

The scientific review concluded that most invasive interventions, including spinal joint injections, radiofrequency denervation, and intradiscal electrothermal therapy demonstrated no evidence of effectiveness.

Chiropractor“The expert panel reaffirms its previous recommendation that all low-back pain patients stay active and talk honestly with their physicians about self care and other interventions. “In general, non-invasive therapies supported by evidence showing benefits should be tried before considering interventional therapies or surgery,” said Dr. Roger Chou.” Physical therapy, including spinal manipulation and exercise, was noted as a centerpiece component of effective low back pain care by the panel’s 2007 study.

 “The key in chronic low back pain is avoiding too much medicine. There is no magic bullet, but a combination of hands-on care and an active exercise offer the best solution.”-Timothy W. Flynn PT, PhD, President of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists

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

(714) 997-5518

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste.1

Orange, CA 92868

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