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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Socks that go the extra mile for you!

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Everyone walks throughout their day; why not put those steps towards good use? Students at Old Dominion University in Virginia have created Fitbit-like socks that track your steps and activity level. The purpose of their research is to use the information gathered from these socks to help people with neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s Disease.

 

These are washable and re-useable socks that measure the person’s walking speed, foot pressure, and steps. The information is sent to an application that turns the person’s movements into useable data. Because Parkinson’s patients’ medication affects their physical activity, these socks are the key to doctors tracking their patients’ physical activity and effectiveness of their medication regime outside of the doctor’s office. Right now, the research is at the beginning phase but Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to keep an eye out for these innovative socks!

 

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our expert physical therapists can teach you daily exercises that our patients suffering from neurological diseases can perform.

 

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Road

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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Runners with Knee Pain? It could be IT Band Syndrome!

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Are you suffering from an annoying pain on the outside of your knee? This is a common symptom that runners, cyclists, or any similar activity suffer from! Although some believe that IT Band Syndrome is felt as a pain running up and down the side of your thigh, it isn’t. Your IT Band (Iliotibial band) is a thick sheet of connective tissue that attaches the muscles of your leg to your hip and to the side of your knee. The pain you are feeling is coming directly from the friction between your IT band and the bone of your knee. This pain only increases as your muscles and IT band become more tense.

Couple Running

For most runners, the repetition of bending and straightening your knee while your IT band is tense causes the annoying pain you are suffering from. The key isn’t to limit or stop the movement of bending and straightening your leg, but it’s about the tension of your IT band! Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know 3 exercises that can help ease your pain:

 

  1. Resisted side steps – Place a resistance band around your feet and knees. With a slight bend in your knees (similar to a squat position) step laterally to your right and then to your left until you are fatigued.
  2. “Fire-hydrants” –  Position yourself in a “table-top position” where your hands are placed on the ground and your two knees are placed on the ground. Extend your knee out to the side while maintaining a L-shape with your knee. Alternate legs until fatigued.
  3. IT Band stretch – With your hands on your hips, cross your left foot over your right. Then extend your hip towards the left side (laterally) until you feel a stretch. Then alternate legs and cross your right foot over your left foot, and extend your hip towards the right side until you feel a stretch.

 

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our expert physical therapists will create a personalized plan of exercises such as these! By combining these exercises with manual therapy and KT taping, you will be back to running miles and miles again!

Call Walker Therapy and Pain Center 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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Pain and stiffness in your shoulder? It may be frozen!

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When we say frozen, it’s not a reference to the cold weather but a possible diagnosis for your shoulder pain! Have you felt a decrease in the ability to use your arm or shoulder, leading to pain that limits your tolerance to lift your arm or reach behind your back? Other than a rotator cuff tear or severe arthritis, these symptoms yell out frozen shoulder (or the medical term is adhesive capsulitis)!

 

Frozen shoulder is the loss of ability to reach your arms overhead, reach behind your back, lift objects, throw a ball, as well as, other daily activities that you never thought use your shoulder and arms. What you’re experiencing is the strong connective tissue inside your shoulder joint, which connects your arm to the shoulder socket, becoming very tight. This tension doesn’t allow the ball of your shoulder to move in the socket freely. If you suffer from these symptoms, Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, want you to know there are three things you can do:

 

  1. Have a professional provide joint mobilizations to stretch the joint capsule so that the ball of the shoulder can move more readily.
  2. Have a professional stretch your arm and shoulder properly to stretch the supporting muscles in the arm, shoulder blades, and shoulders. These muscles typically become tense and shorten due to the lack of activity they experience from frozen shoulder.
  3. Have a professional show you the correct strengthening exercises to restore strength to the shoulder and its supporting muscles.

 

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our expert physical therapists are experienced in frozen shoulder. Our professional and caring staff will teach you how to relieve the pain you’re suffering from. We will develop a specialized program to get your shoulder warm and ready for your active life!

 

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center 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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Physical Therapy is for athletes too!

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Being a competitive athlete puts a toll on the body. The day-in and day-out demanding physical activity brings sore bodies and painful muscles, but most athletes revert to the mindset of “no pain, no gain”. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, stands behind physical therapy exercises as a form of pain relief for athletes. The story of Sydney DriggsOrange Coast College’s women’s basketball star, is the perfect example of how physical therapy helps athletes!

Sydney’s perseverance throughout her basketball career is impressive! What some think of as a nightmare is a normal day for the 19-year-old athlete. She experiences sharp pain that can range from her knees up towards her spine from simple day-to-day activities like sitting down and walking. On top of this chronic pain is the ongoing physical demand that a collegiate sport entails! Sydney learned that taking care of her body is top priority to ensure a long and healthy career. She would ice her body after every practice and game, with hours of regular physical therapy, taking steroidal and epidural injections, Sydney managed her pain throughout two herniated disks in her spine! Sydney explains that “I do a lot of physical therapy in the training room which helped me get through the season”. The impact of physical therapy exercises was apparent at the end of her 2018 season. Knowing it was her last year playing basketball, she said that she wanted to “finish off strong, so whether before, during or after games I work with the trainers, whatever keeps me going”. Facing daily pain was one thing, but the mental fortitude she kept throughout her career is inspiring. Despite her injuries, Sydney led her team in scoring and her stat line ranks in the top 5% in the Orange Empire Conference for three-point percentage and scoring. Sydney didn’t let muscle pain stop her from her goals… and you shouldn’t either!

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our physical therapists are experts in creating personalized programs to manage any pain you suffer from.

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center for any questions or to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518

1111  W Town and Country Rd Ste 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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Running with back pain? Focus on your CORE!

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Americans who are recreational runners and distance walkers are susceptible to low back pain. According to the Journal of Southern Orthopedic Association, 14 percent of American runners suffer from back pain. A recent study by Ohio State University proved a correlation between deep core muscle weakness and low back pain in runners. The study had adults go through a simulation that showed weakened deep core muscles, especially the deep erector spinae, which seems to be most responsible for controlling running kinematics.

Research concludes that the best way to reduce the likelihood of low back pain in runners is to focus their training, strengthening, and stabilizing on their core muscles. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know that physical therapy can properly address these running impairments. Our expert physical therapists can develop a plan of care to improve function, decrease pain, regain mobility and improve your quality of life. At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our therapists will evaluate your symptoms and create the best plan of recovery for you!

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center for any questions or 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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It’s the First Day of Spring – Garden the RIGHT Way

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With warm weather around the corner, gardening becomes the perfect past time! But the sad reality is that many people find gardening to be painful to their backDr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to practice these basic body mechanics as you work in your yard!

  1. Know what correct posture is and learn how to check posture throughout the day – back pain normally is result from continuous poor posture habits leading to a loss of flexibility and decreased physical fitness. By understanding how to maintain correct posture, you will protect your spine, muscles, and joints.
  2. Yes, you should warm up before gardening – without preparing your muscles for physical activity, your muscles act like cold rubber bands which aren’t easy to move. By stretching your neck, shoulders, arms, back and legs, you will warm up your muscles to reduce the risk of pain or injury during your time in the garden.
  3. Take breaks – Be easy to your body! Taking breaks every 15 minutes, either for a cool-down stretch or for a glass of water, will help to keep you gardening longer.

These basic habits are important to avoid pain or injury! By practicing these techniques, you will be sure to be gardening all spring long! At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our expert physical therapists are here to help you with these everyday techniques and teach you specific exercises to manage your pain symptoms.

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center for any questions or to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Rd Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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How Kinesio Tape Works and Why You Should Try It!

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Maybe you have seen an athlete wearing large brightly colored strips of tape on their body… do you know what they’re for? It’s not the newest fashion statement – its kinesio tape! Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know how to use kinesio tape correctly.

Kinesio tape (or kinesiology tape or elastic therapeutic tape) is an elastic strip that has an acrylic adhesive. This tape is used by many physical therapists and athletic trainers to treat pain and improve performance in sports. It isn’t like standard athletic tape that is normally used to immobilize a joint, this tape is used more to support the body part it’s attached to. Kinesio tape is used to improve range of motion, decreases over-extension, improves blood flow and decreases inflammation.

Research shows that kinesio tape can help to relieve pain for patients who suffer from chronic musculoskeletal pain, but it’s not recommened to use kinesio tape as the first line of defense for muscle pain. Although there has yet to be research done to prove its long-term effects, kinesio tape has been shown in short-term rehabilitation. Kinesio tape wont be the only thing you are going to need to manage your symptoms, but adding kinesio tape to profesionaly supervised therapy programs will help! At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our expert physical therapists will develop an exercise program to treat your injury and apply kinesio tape every visit!

 

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center for any questions or to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518

 

1111 W Town and Country Rd Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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Four Common Sports Injuries and How We Treat Them

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Professional athletes aren’t the only people who suffer from exercise injuries, everyone does! Actually, the most susceptible people to exercise injuries are people who have just started exercising or people who play sports at a recreational level. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to be aware of these injuries:

  1. Sprains: A sprain is caused when the ligament that connects a bone to another bone is stretched or torn. Falling or a blow to the body that knocks a joint out of position are typical ways a sprain occurs. The most common sprains occur at the ankle, knee or wrist.
  2. Strains: A strain is caused when a muscle or tendon is pulled, torn, or twisted. Overstretching during physical activity is a common way a strain occurs. Muscle spasms are considered a muscle strain too! The most common strains occur at the black and neck.
  3. Knee pain: According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the knee is the most common injured joint of the body. Common knee pain is result of knee tendonitis or iliotibial band syndrome. More severe knee injuries include bone bruises and damage to the cartilage and ligaments.
  4. Shin splints: Shin splints are caused when the tendon along the bottom of your food is inflamed and causes pain along the front side of your shinShin splints are common among runners. Common reasons for shin splints are poor alignment of the body, weakness in leg muscles, or poor arch support in your shoes.

Regardless of what you’re suffering from, we can use physical therapy programs to treat many orthopedic and repetitive motion injuries without the need of surgery! On top of proper training, strengthening and stretching to prevent injuries, physical therapy programs can teach you supplemental exercises to treat your symptoms. At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our expert physical therapists will develop specific exercise programs to treat your sport injury.

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center for any questions or to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518

1111 W. Town and Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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The 6 Steps to Headache Relief Without Medication

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know that over-the-counter medication is not the only solution to your headaches. For many people the road to headache relief has only been through over-the-counter medication. Little do they know, there are solutions that may relieve you from chronic headaches LONG TERM.

We wrote down the six steps to headache relief:

  1. Drink water– Staying hydrated is key to proper brain function and the removal of waste from your body. Things like coffee, tea and soda cause your body to eliminate water and can lead to dehydration. When you are dehydrated, waste and toxins cannot be properly expelled leading to an increased vulnerability to a headache.
  2. Breathe– Stress not only causes unnecessary tension in your body but can cause you to take shallow breaths. This could lead to an excess of carbon dioxide in your blood which can throw off the pH of you blood along with other chemical processes in your body. Take a few moments throughout the day to focus on breathing through your diaphgram.
  3. Posture– The average head weighs around 10-12 pounds when in proper alignment with your neck. With poor posture, your head leans forward off balanced with its base of support causing up to 60 pounds of strain on your neck muscles. This, leads to excessive strain on your neck, back and shoulders which could be a major cause in your headaches.
  4. Strengthen your bodyWeak back muscles are usually the cause to poor posture and force your body to compensate in other areas such as your neck, making you prone to headaches. Strengthen these weakened areas to improve your posture and reduce the chances of headaches.
  5. Stretch it out- Sitting at a desk all day or driving a car, the tendency for many people is to slouch forward. This is what causes our back muscles to weaken and our chest and neck muscles to tighten up. While building strength in our back it is important to also stretch and relax your chest and neck. The muscles in these areas can hold a lot of tension and we can help release this by stretching for a couple of minutes throughout the day.
  6. See a physical therapist– Physical therapists are trained to find the root cause of your headaches. Therapists can examine posture, muscular imbalances and correct improper alignment of the spine. They can also educate you on how to properly fix these problems at home and give you information that can help you for life!

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center we have EXPERT physical therapists who can help you identify any imbalances you may have and how to properly train your body! We provide personalized programs for each patient to provide results that are tailored to your needs in a fun and healing environment. Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule an appointment with an expert and caring physical therapist!

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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