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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Headaches: The Cause and Your Treatment

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“Headaches are often the result of pain from the upper cervical extensor muscles” Says Grace Walker, physical & occupational therapist and nutritionist.

Stress is often a component of this. When  a person undergoes stress, he/she tends to tense his/her body into a poor posture; a head forward position adopted with chin jutting and upper cervical extension. This position is also seen in most people who have jobs that require them to sit down for long periods of time. The associated upper cervical muscles tighten, trigger points can be palpated and referred pain may be experienced behind the eyes and/or in the occipital, frontal or temporal areas.

Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center’s program for headaches includes:

  • Strengthening of the scapular muscles to support the head and neck
  • Soft tissue and joint mobilization
  • Pressure Point Release to occipital, sub occipital, upper trapezei, and levator scapulae muscles
  • Modalities for pain relief including the 830MLaser and ice
  • A Comprehensive home exercise program

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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6 Tips to Prevent Falls

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, knows that falling can cause serious injuries and, for older adults, can even be life threatening. We wanted to provide 6 tips that will help reduce the risk of falls and possible injuries.

How to prevent slips, trips and falling:

  1. Always use a hand rail– Whether you are going up the stairs or standing in your shower, it is important to keep a hand on a stable surface while doing activities that challenge your balance. Consider installing them on your porch or any other areas that may not have them.
  2. Be aware of your surroundings – Avoid situations where you are unable to see well. Try and move through a well-lit area and always scan your path at least six feet ahead of you for hazards.
  3. Keep a clear path– Falling at home is the most common place to experience a nasty spill. Whether its extension cords, uneven tiles, lifted carpet or a small water or grease spill there are many hazards at home that are easily preventable. Make your home safe by moving furniture around, covering loose cords or sticking the corner of the carpet back to the floor and cleaning up any messes immediately.
  4. Wear slip resistant shoes– Shoes with rubber or neoprene soles are best. Add external traction cleats to your shoes when walking out during the rain and snow.
  5. Make an eye appointment– Get your vision checked regularly and be aware of any medication that can negatively affect your vision or balance.
  6. Maintain or build strength and balance through exercises and physical therapy– Physical therapists can properly treat any balance or vestibular issues you may have to help prevent falls and injury.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center we develop specific exercise programs for specific patients, along with a variety of specialized treatments to 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 unsteadiness, instead of just a quick fix!

If you have fallen, or feel you are risk for falling, call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to start your personalized plan of care for balance rehabilitation with an expert physical therapist!

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

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Neil Diamond Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease

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On Monday, January 22nd 2018, Neil Diamond announced that he will no longer be touring. Diamond has been forced to retire due to his recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Recently turned 77, yesterday on January 24, Diamond known for his famous song “Sweet Caroline” says he plans to continue to write and record despite his inability to tour. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants to share with you a little information on Parkinson’s and why Diamond can no longer continue to tour.

What is Parkinson’s disease?

According to the Ceadars-Sinai Health Library, Parkinson’s is a “…degenerative disease caused by the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells.” This causes the body to lose control of motor functions.

Symptoms include:

Tremors of arms, jaw, legs or face

– Slurred speech or lack of facial expressions

– Stiffness or ridged muscles

– Impaired balance and coordination

Parkinson’s has no known cause but it is suspected that in some cases, genetics can be involved as well as exposure to environmental hazards like heavy metals, pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Parkinsons is a chronic disease that gets worse over time and unfortunately there is no known cure but there are steps you can take to slow down the process and reduce symptoms. Medications that mimic the effects of dopamine can be administered in conjunction with exercise and physical therapy.

Why physical therapy?

Working with a physical therapist can teach you how to increase mobility, strength and balance as well as guide you through the changes happening in your body. This will allow people to be more independent in their own lives. It is important to consult a physician or neurologist to gain a referral to an expert physical therapist, to ensure you have a specific program designed to your needs.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our staff of trained physical therapists are here to help you and your loved ones design and carry out supervised exercise programs. We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in an affordable, fun, healing environment.

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center for any questions or concerns.

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

Orange, CA 92868

Phone: (714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

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How to Prevent Hamstring Strains

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, knows living in the modern world of television, cars and just technology overall, most people spend a good amount of time sitting on their butt! This habit of constantly sitting causes our glutes and hamstrings to become weak and inactive. Even if you are an active person, it is easy to gain imbalances in our muscle groups especially when in come to our quads and hamstrings. Your quadriceps or “quads” are made up of four major muscles located on the front of your thigh which are responsible for hip flexion and knee extension. Your hamstrings are made up of three major muscles on the back of your thigh and are responsible for knee flexion and hip extension.

Most strains are seen in high speed sports like soccer, track, rugby, etc. Even the most trained athletes can have muscular imbalances, though they may feel like their legs are properly trained. If you do have an imbalance with your hamstrings and quads, only a consistent and specific strength-training routine that focuses on the isolation of the hamstrings and glutes can reduce quad dominance. Just a 20% difference in strength between your quads and hamstrings leaves you being 4 times more prone to becoming injured.

Simple Hamstring focused exercises include:

– Bridges ( with or without weight or single leg)

– Romanian Deadlifts

– Swiss ball hamstring curls

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!

1111 W. Town and Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

Phone: 714-997-5518

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Be Free from Your TMJ and Jaw Pain

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Dr. 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

Our Be Free from TMJ & Jaw Pain Program uses non-painful treatments and the latest technology of cold laser therapy to get you chewing your food and yawning again without fear of horrible pain. We work closely with your healthcare provider to solve the source of the problem instead of merely treating the symptoms.

Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule an appointment with an EXPERT physical therapist to get advanced treatments and strategies to maintain results and pain relief.

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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3 Shoulder Exercises to Reduce Pain

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shoulder pain

Have you noticed your shoulders achecrunch, or flat out prohibit you from doing normal daily activities? Has dressing yourself, opening doors, or lifting objects become problematic? If so, read on! Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, will help you understand why shoulder pain can occur, and what you can do. Your shoulders are one of the most intricate parts of your body. For that reason, they can be one of the easiest areas to injure. Some of the smallest muscles in the shoulder are actually the most important. For instance, the rotator cuff includes four small muscles that are vital to its movement in each direction. If these muscles become weak or injured, the humerus bone can actually make contact with the socket of the shoulder blade.

What can I do about my hurting shoulders?

  1. Postural exercises to align shoulders– Shoulder pain and injury is commonly a result of poor posture. Extended periods of poor posture at work, home, and even while driving can change the mechanics of the joint movement.
  2. Rotator cuff strengthening– Strong rotator cuffs will help your shoulders get through your daily activities with less pain. Less pain leads to less opportunity for an inflammatory response to occur. One simple exercise that can be done at home is as follows: Begin by lying down on your side with your top arm point straight to the ceiling. Next, swing your arm down 90 degrees so that your hand is flat on your hip. Repeat this 10-15 times a day, twice a day. This exercise is meant to build rotator cuff strength simple by using gravity as resistance. If you have difficulty completing this exercise without pain, please speak with one of our therapist.
  3. Build scapular stability- The scapula, or shoulder blades, are a crucial part of your shoulder complex. They are composed of many different small muscles used to guide your shoulder through its entire range of motion; pulling, pushing, and reaching. An exercise you can do at home to improve scapular stability is done standing against a wall and gently trying to pinch your shoulder blades together while keeping your arms relaxed. Do this for 10-15 repetitions, holding for five seconds each time. This can also be done twice each day.

By working these 3 simple actions into your daily routine, you can be on your way to reducing or overcoming shoulder painAt Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have trained therapist to help design physical therapy programs to increase shoulder strength. We come up with 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

www.walkerpt.com

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