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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8th Annual Food Drive at Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

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   Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, is asking for your help to donate to our 8th annual food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County!

   Don’t let local families go hungry this holiday season! Our office is an official donation site; feel free to drop of canned or packaged foods with us!

 

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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Beware: Consequences of Sedentary Lifestyles

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sedentary

As the director of Orange County California-based Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center, occupational and physical therapist, and nutritionist, Dr. Grace Walker offers wellness advice to her patients and through her practice’s blog. Physical therapist Dr. Grace Walker believes strongly in the power of movement and cautions against a sedentary lifestyle. According to ABC News, a number of Americans currently spend as much as 15.5 hours daily in a sitting position.

Studies have shown that excessive sitting links to a variety of illnesses, including metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

In fact, Dr. Hidde van der Ploeg and the University of Sydney in Australia have found that 11 or more hours of daily sitting can lead to a 40 percent increase in one’s risk of death.

Researchers have found these risks exist even if the frequent sitter incorporates a daily exercise regime, which suggests that sitting itself is the contributing cause.

Physiology supports such a claim. When the lower half of the body is still, the brain receives signals to increase blood sugar and decrease its reliance on stored fat for fuel. At the same time, metabolism reduces to less than 34 percent as compared to periods of activity. Data also suggests that every two hours of sitting correlates with a 7 percent increase in diabetes risk, while this sedentary time also contributes to the weakening of spinal support muscles and tightening of the hamstrings and hip flexors. It seems that only a lifestyle that incorporates regular standing and moving can mitigate these risks and help the body’s systems work optimally.

For an appointment with an expert physical therapist call Walker Physical and Therapy and Pain Center at 714-997-5518.

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

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

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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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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National Physical Therapy Month #ChoosePT

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants to warn the public about the dangers of the over prescription of pain killers. Pain killers can be amazing for short term pain relief but when used by patients with chronic pain for long periods of time, addiction is seen by those who don’t think they have any other options. The medical community is trying to begin the switch from pain-killers to more long-term management solutions like physical therapy. October happens to be National Physical Therapy Month and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) started the hashtag, #ChoosePT. #ChoosePT is an opioid awareness campaign and encourages consumers to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to pick safer alternatives like physical therapy. Help fight this epidemic by spreading awareness so we may move ahead of the ongoing opioid addiction.

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!

We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results 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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5 Facts that Will Make you WANT to Exercise

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants to shed some light on the importance of exercise. According to The World Confederation for Physical Therapy, 70% of adults spend most of their time sitting, resulting in 6% of deaths. Physical activity is an essential part to a healthy life and avoiding exercise completely can lead to many complications along the way.

Here are 5 reasons to engage in physical activity on a regular basis:

  1. It keeps the pounds off– People who are overweight, due to lack of exercise, deal with more health complications than people who maintain a healthy body by engaging in physical activity.
  2. Increases your energy– Do you ever feel groggy in the middle of the day or even become tired from the easiest household chore? Regular exercise and physical activities boost your energy levels and reduce fatigue over time.
  3. Improve your sleep patterns– Exercise during the day allows for less restless nights and a deeper sleep during the night.
  4. Release more endorphins– Physical activity and exercise is not only beneficial to your physical well-being, but can greatly improve your mental health as well.
  5. Better your sex life– Regular exercise increases confidence, energy, and stamina, giving your sex life the boost that it needs.

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 a free consultation 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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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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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 Steps to Reduce Chronic Pain

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Millions of people live day to day with chronic pain. Though medication can help mask the pain for a few hours, these drugs are highly addictive and can damage your organs over time. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know that medication is not your only option. There are better alternatives that can lead into a pain free life because pain is not a lifestyle! We would like to share with you five self-care actions you can add to your everyday life to help manage pain.

  1. Start a healthy lifestyle– Taking care of your body by eating the right foods, cutting out bad habits, and exercising regularly releases endorphins and strengthens your muscles to prevent further injury. You will sleep better, feel stronger and the body is able take care of itself and repair any damage a lot more efficiently with less outside help.
  2. Meditate– Stress has been proven to take a physical toll on your body. It is important to keep a positive attitude; daily meditation with deep breathing exercises will help remove your thoughts from your pain and lead to relief for your body and mind.
  3. Find Support– It is important to know that you are not alone! Joining a group and meeting other people who are going through the same struggle is comforting. You can also get helpful advice from others on how they deal with their pain.
  4. Invest in a professional massage– Massages improve blood circulation and release your body’s natural pain reliever, serotonin.
  5. Physical Therapy– Therapy can help kick start a healthy lifestyle. Trained therapist can help guide you through you pain by finding the source, teaching you how to train your body to fix it as well as provide massages to promote healing.

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!

We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results 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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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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