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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Don’t Let Your Phone be a Pain in the Neck

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know that most adults spend on average around two to four hours a day on their phone. That averages to be 700 to 14,000 hours a year! This has doctors coining a new term called “text neck” or “tech neck”. Text neck is caused by prolonged neck strain from looking downwards towards you phone, computer, tablet, etc. This causes a strain on your neck muscles, whose purpose is to support an upright posture. This strain causes serious neck and shoulder pain as well as headaches.

The average human head weighs about ten to twelve pounds and is hardly noticed when sitting upright and aligned with its base of support, the neck. As soon as you tilt your head forward, backward or side to side you will notice a shift of weight that makes the head feel heavier. The farther away your head moves from its base of support the more difficult it is to keep this weight up. Therefore, neck muscles, if not strengthened regularly will become strained if you look towards the floor for long periods of time.  Simply flexing your neck forward sixty degrees can feel like you are supporting sixty pounds!

Tips to avoid “text neck”:

  • Bring your laptop to a table– Working on your computer placed in your lap forces your head to look downward causing strain
  • Buy a stand– Buying a stand and placing it on a table where you can comfortably use your tablet or even read a book can help you avoid text neck
  • Ignore the urge– It is so common in todays world to have your phone on deck for any quiet moments in your life, people feel this need to check their phone every time boredom comes around. Try to resist any urge to check your cell unnecessarily and take in your surroundings, you will be surprised what you’ve been missing.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have an effective program for our patients with neck pain. We can help you strengthen your neck muscles and work on any postural issues you may be concerned with!

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, CA92868

 

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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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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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70% of Adults Complain of Neck Pain, Do You?

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Sportsman in pain

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, has reviewed a recent study that examined how effective physical therapy was for patients with neck pain. Guess what they found? Physical therapy was successful in treating neck pain. They used 3 methods: electrotherapy, kinesiotherapy, and manual massage. Results showed a combination of the 3 methods was the most effective.

“Neck pain is a common health problem in the United States. It has been estimated that about 70% of adults are afflicted by neck pain at some time in their lives, 10 to 15% of adults report neck pain that has persisted more than 6 months in the past year, and 5% of adults are currently experiencing disabling neck pain.” (Sherman 233)

Neck pain often stems 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, back and even hips, may be the root cause of neck injury.

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 also look at our patients BMI and then look at the daily activities demand.

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, CA92868

 Phone: 714-997-5518

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3 Shoulder Exercises to Loosen Frozen Shoulders

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shoulder pain

Have you noticed your shoulders ache, crunch, 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, will help you understand why shoulder pain can occur, and what you can do.

Why do my shoulders hurt?

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 pain. At 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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It’s Obvious These Four Celebrities Love Physical Therapy

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Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images

 

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist at Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center is pleased to share this article recently published InStyle magazine.

From infrared saunas to freezing in the sub-zero temperatures of a cryotherapy machine, celebs and the fitness-obsessed will try just about anything to maintain their inner glow. And often times it’s Hollywood that introduces the rest of us to the hottest wellness trends that are about to make it mainstream. Case in point: physical therapy. This once daunting pain management therapy reserved for this recovering from surgery or injury has shifted its place in the wellness space, becoming a hot new addition to celebrities’ workout routines, whether they are injured or not.

The physical therapy guru behind Jennifer Aniston’s fit frame and P. Diddy’s healthy lifestyle is Dr. Karen Joubert. We asked Joubert why her clients are turning to physical therapy as a compliment to their workout routines, and how it’s changing their bodies.

“The clientele I work with are under an enormous amount of pressure and in many cases, this will manifest itself physically,” she says. “Artists can perform 4-7 shows a week along with traveling and trying to maintain a healthy diet, it’s a lot for anyone to handle. Physical therapy teaches them proper mechanics whether its basic posture on the screen and or extreme dance moves on stage. Education and maintenance provide them with longevity and prevention of injuries. In the long run, it’s a win-win for everyone.”

But why the sudden shift in how people are viewing the benefits of physical therapy, as opposed to just having to go to a session to heal an injury? “The desire for wellness and longevity has really helped to bring physical therapy to the forefront,” she says. “Recently, there has been a huge push in the longevity and prevention aspect of medicine. The public is turning more and more to physical therapy to help them understand and manage their pain. Who doesn’t want to feel better and do it with the guidance of a good physical therapist instead of popping addictive medications? Becoming in touch with the body can be a game changer in every aspect of one’s life.”

As for her favorite clients who dedicate themselves to regular sessions, she has a few in mind. “My favorites, include Puffy, Jennifer Aniston, Cher, and Serena Williams,” she says. “I challenge anyone to follow their daily raegimen. I can’t even keep up! They are so disciplined in all aspects of their lives, no wonder they are all successful! And YES, they all do physical therapy 3-5 times a week!

If you are interested in managing or preventing pain with the help of physical therapy, call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center at (714) 997-5518 to have an evaluation with one of our expert physical therapists!

 

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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Research says Physical Therapy is Vital to Recovering!

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical & occupational therapist and nutritionist agrees with author Darice Britt from South University who states that rehabilitation of an injured athlete should be carefully evaluated and monitored on a daily basis.

Physical therapists carefully examine the injured athlete to determine whether there are weak or inflexible muscles in the body that could cause future injury. They are trained to target specific joints and muscles in the body through exercise, manual therapy, and pressure point release techniques that help rebuild strength and movement of the body after injury.

Since injuries are time-dependent, the normal healing process follows a pattern of acute phase, subacute phase, and chronic phase.

“Each phase dictates a different treatment approach and it is the physical therapist’s responsibility to accurately diagnose which phase and what treatment the patient should receive”  Says Apostolos Theophilou, DPT, clinical coordinator of the Physical Therapist Assisting program at South University

Theophilou also says:

“Through the years, therapists have been successfully able to log the ‘steps’ for each phase, thus now we have collective treatment protocols that have a complete analysis of what activities and treatments the athlete should be receiving based on his current phase”

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

To read the full article, click here

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

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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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Are You Affected by one of the Leading Causes of Headaches?

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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.

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, explains that, “Headaches are often related to stress”. 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. 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!

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste.1

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

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