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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2017 World Series: Dodgers vs. Astros Game 6 #ThisTeam

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The Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center staff showing off our LA pride! After 29 years, our LA Dodgers made it back to the World Series! Game 6 tonight will definitely be a nail bitter as the Houston Astros carry the lead at 3-2 but we know #ThisTeam will not go down without a fight, especially at our home stadium. Lets bring this to Game 7 boys!

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

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

Orange, CA 92868

(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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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 Tips: How to Combat Knee Pain

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist understands how frustrating it can be to treat a knee injury. Arthroscopic surgery and injections might help with your pain, but they aren’t always a sure thing.

Jane E. Brody wrote, “For those who underwent five or more courses, the injections delayed the average time to a total knee replacement by 3.6 years, whereas those who had only one course average 1.4 years until knee replacement, and those who had no injections had their knees replaced after an average of 114 days.

We understand that these options may be out of reach or scary to some people, so we’ve listed the following approaches from Dr. Siemieniuk that may help people avoid surgery:

  1.  Shed extra weight– Though it may seem easier said than done, losing weight reduces the pressure on your knees and can help lessen pain while doing daily activities such as walking or climbing stairs.
  2. Learn more about your body– Do you notice any activities that might cause extra stress on your knees? When does your pain become noticeable? What were you doing before this pain occurs? Try to avoid any unnecessary activities that might increase discomfort like squatting or sitting for long periods of time.
  3. Over-the-counter help– If your pain has become debilitating take the recommended dosage of over-the-counter pain reliever. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) like ibuprofen or naproxen can reduce pain and inflammation in the irritated area.
  4. Take the time to see help– Making an appointment to see a physical therapist that specializes in knee pain can drastically reduce pain and discomfort while strengthening the affected area. It’s also important to do all of the recommended exercises at home to be able to experience the benefits fully.
  5. Small lifestyle changes– Consulting a physical therapist who can teach you how to modify your daily activities to minimize discomfort will help you live your best life!

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

 

We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in an affordable, fun and healing environmentCall 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, CA92868

Phone: 714-997-5518

 

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6 Things to Avoid if You Suffer From TMJ or Jaw Pain

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Grace Walker, physical & occupational therapist and nutritionist says: “We are physical therapy experts in providing effective TMJ & Jaw pain relief.”

Here is what you should and shouldn’t do if you have jaw pain:

  • DO use hot pack or ice pack before bed
  • DO use chin under fist when yawning or coughing
  • DO use correct posture
  • DON’T chew gum, ice, or tough, crunchy foods like steak
  • DON’T rest your chin/cheek in the palm of your hand when sitting or lying on one side
  • DON’T eat, read, or watch TV in bed
  • DON’T clench your teeth when tense, jogging, or sleeping etc.
  • DON’T lick your teeth with your tongue, bite your nails or lips, lick your lips, or bite or suck your cheeks
  • DON’T talk or sing for prolonged periods of time

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

www.walkerpt.com

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These Boots are Made for Walkin’: 8 Benefits of Walking for Exercise

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Sorry for stealing your song title, Nancy Sinatra! Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist says, “Walking is a great form of exercise. It is low impact, requires no special skills or equipment, and is simple to do!

Some of the benefits of walking include:

  • Reduced risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes
  • Reduced high blood pressure
  • Good for your brain- may reduce risk of developing dementia
  • Reduced risk of breast and colon cancer
  • Helps alleviate symptoms of depression
  • Good for your bones
  • Relief from fibromyalgia pain
  • May help reduce medications (with prescribing-physicians approval)

Studies suggest that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day, such as brisk walking, is necessary to see health benefits.  Exercise does not need to be done 30 minutes at a time, but can be broken up into three separate 10 minute blocks, too.

Some ideas to mix up your own walking routine can be to include adding some headphones and music, walking alongside friends or with your dog, and walking around your business while you’re on break. When you’re just beginning your walking routine, start slow and gradually increase your intensity and duration.

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 an evaluation 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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