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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Hip Arthritis

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There’s Nothing Hip About It

Hip arthritis generally results from osteoarthritis, or “wearand-
tear” arthritis. In a nutshell, osteoarthritis progressively wears away the cartilage of the joint it affects. Without cartilage in the joint to make movements smoother, the hip bones begin to grind and cause pain. Hip arthritis is typically found in individuals who are:

  • Over 50 years old
  • Overweight – in fact, weight loss has a tendency to lessen the symptoms of hip arthritis.
  • Genetics – if the condition runs in your family, your chances of developing it are much greater.
  • Trauma – injuries to the hip, including fractures, can increase risk.

There’s no way to tell for sure who will develop hip arthritis, but there are a few measures you can take to avoid this debilitating condition:

  • Lose weight. More weight = more compression on all joints. Weight loss can dramatically decrease symptoms. Seek the help of your physical therapist. We can teach you exercises to better distribute the pressure on your joints from everyday movements.
  • Modify your activities. Limit activities that are painful. Continue with ones that are not. Aquatic exercise is a great option to perform exercises without increasing joint compression. Use walking aids. We can show you the right way to use a cane/crutch to help alleviate your pain.
  • Ask your doctor about trying anti-inflammatory medications.
  • In severe cases, you may need to talk to your doctor about hip replacement surgery.

As soon as you start feeling the symptoms of hip arthritis, including limited range of motion, joints stiffness, and pain in the hip area, see your doctor. If you receive a diagnosis of hip arthritis, following the steps outlined above. The goal is to avoid a hip replacement surgery, which should always be your last resort. Our well trained staff will help you make the most of your
condition so you can carry out your day to day activities with less pain.

Becoming a Couch Potato Won’t Save Your Hipimage

It’s a common misconception that less activity (being sedentary) will “save” your hip from further decay. On the  contrary, medical experts recommend that you remain as active as your comfort level will allow.You certainly don’t want to force activities that will result in more pain down the road.

If you or a loved one have any hip discomfort, it is IMPERATIVE that you consult our staff right away for recommendations on exercises and activities that will be right for your condition.

The Importance of Heat and Stretching

Before exercising, use heat to loosen the muscles in preparation for stretching exercises. The best method is a warm shower or bath for 10-15 minutes. You can also use a heating pad or a towel warmed in the microwave, but remember, warm heat gets into the joint better than dry heat! Then, STRETCH daily! Some common stretching we recommend include:

  • Knee-to-chest pulls. Start in a comfortable position lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bring one knee to your chest and hold it with your hands for 10 seconds. Do not bounce. Lower your leg and repeat the process with the other leg. Repeat the sequence 5 times.
  • Hamstring stretch. Lie on your back in a doorway, with one leg through the open door. Slide your leg up the wall to straighten your knee. You should feel a gentle stretch down
    the back of your leg. Hold it for 10 seconds. Be careful to not arch your back, or bend either knee. Remember to keep one heel touching the floor and the other heel touching the wall. Do not point your toes. Repeat with your other leg.

Physical therapy is a critical step in the management of pain associated with hip arthritis. We will work with you to create a treatment plan that includes exercise and other specialized techniques to relieve your pain.

Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, Orange County, CA 92868

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