Chronic Pain, The Invincible Illness

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 Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, refers to chronic pain as the “invincible illness”. Chronic pain can persist for weeks, months, or even years and affects over 100 million people in the U.S. Of those suffering from chronic pain, sixty percent are between the ages of 18 and 64. Sometimes the effects of chronic pain is obvious when canes, wheelchairs, crutches or walkers have to be used for mobility. Other times the pain is less obvious and kept quiet to avoid being labeled as “rude” or a “nag”.

Causes of chronic pain:

  • Sprained back
  • Serious infection
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Past injury or evidence of body damage

 Common chronic pain complaints include:

  • Headaches– 45 million people suffer from headaches every year
  • Low back pain– 65 to 85 percent of all people have back pain at some time in their life. Degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, and sciatica are the leading cause for back pain.
  • Cancer pain- 11 million people each year suffer chronic pain because of cancer
  • Arthritis pain– affects more than 40 million Americans each year
  • Sciatic or other radiating pain into the legs or arms

The most common mistake people make is assuming they “just have to live with it.” Pain is not a lifestyle. They may not know physical therapy treatments are available to lessen most types of pain.

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. If you or someone you know is living in constant pain 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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How Kinesio Tape May Help You Heal Faster

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Grace Walker, Physical and Occupational Therapist & Nutritionist, recommends the Kinesio Tape Method to treat pain due to sports injuriespostoperative complications, various orthopedicneuromuscular, and other medical conditions.

The Kinesio Taping Method is a rehabilitative taping technique that is intended to aid the body’s natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints without limiting the body’s range of motion (ROM).[1]

The main purpose of the Kinesio Tape method is to elevate the space under the skin and soft tissue, so that the space for movement can be enlarged, the circulation of blood and lymph fluid can be facilitated, and healing rate of tissue can be increased.[2]

The method can be used as a regular treatment or added to previous treatment for myofascial pain. Its advanced purpose is to continue the benefits of manual therapy administered within the clinical setting to home care and activity of daily living.

Symptoms of Myofascial Pain:Kinesiotape on Knee

  • Deepachingpain in a muscle
  • Trigger points that are tenderto the touch
  • Pain that persists or worsens
  • A tender knot in the muscle
  • Difficulty sleeping due to pain

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

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

Orange, CA 92868

714-997-5518

[1] http://www.kinesiotaping.com/about/kinesio-taping-method

[2] http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/950519/

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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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50 Million Americans Suffer from Osteoarthritis; Are you One of Them?

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know that one in five adults in the United States suffers from some form of arthritis, the most common type being osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the breakdown of the cartilage found between joints. This cartilage is used as a barrier between joints to prevent friction from bone to bone which can cause pain and improper joint function. Though any joint is at risk for osteoarthritis, it is most often seen in the hips, knees and spine.

The main causes of this disease are not limited to but include:

  • Family history
  • Old age
  • Obesity
  • Overuse
  • Injuries around the joint.

Symptoms (ranging from mild to severe):

  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Pain or dull aches that progress over time
  • Pain in the morning and tapers off with activity
  • Pain that flares with vigorous activity

Treatment depends on each patient’s individual needs. Mild osteoarthritis may be treated with conservative methods like weight loss (for overweight patients only), low impact exercises, anti-inflammatory drugs, injections and physical therapy. If pain persists and quality of life is being affected, joint replacement surgery may be an option.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or have concerns about your joint health, it is important to consult a professional!

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have the ability to help address all of the potential variables that may be causing joint pain. We look at the “whole person” when treating joint pain to provide insights as to why one might be experiencing excess strain on their joints.

We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in a fun and healing environment.

Call us at (714) 997-5518 if you would like to discuss our program in detail.

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Myths Busted! 6 Things You Thought You Knew About Joint Pain

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Follow along as Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, explains the Six Myths of Joint Pain. If you or anyone in your family is in pain and you’re looking for somebody to help you, you’ll be able to make a more educated decision with your new understanding of joint pain.

man knee pain

Myth #1- Pain is your enemy.

  • This is a myth. Pain is a natural warning that alerts you that something is wrong in your body.

Myth #2- Joint pain is just wear and tear and there is nothing else you can do about it.- 

  • Yes there is, especially if you follow our Be Free From Pain Program.

Myth #3- You need to take ongoing medications, such as pain killers and anti-inflammatories.

  • Medications simply mask the pain, while the joints continue to deteriorate. Even doctors will tell you about how these drugs will affect your intestines.  Did you know that these medications can also make your blood pressure go up? The American Heart Society just issued a report advising doctors to recommend physical therapy for joint pain instead of medication. Some of these joint pain reducing medications have been linked to heart attacks which resulted in death.

Myth #4- Diagnosis Dilemmas

  • How many times have you heard of a test showing a problem when there wasn’t actually a problem?  Often times, you feel the need to get extensive testing such as blood work and x-rays or an MRI.  While these tests can be informative, many times they can lead to false positives.  For example, studies have shown that many people exhibit a bulging disc on an MRI even though they have no pain at all.

Myth #5- You feel that surgery is the only answer.

  • Many times, that’s simply not true.  Remember your friend Carole’s doctor?  He recommended that she try physical therapy first.  Surgery was the absolute last resort and it should be. However, if you ignore the pain for an extended period of time and don’t see a physical therapist then surgery may be the only option left for you.

Myth #6- The pain is life-changing

  • You feel that if you have pain you should curtail your activity instead of getting treatment. That’s not always true!  Work with a professional who knows how to help you with your pain.  Often times, inactivity or “curtailing of activity” leads to more rapid deterioration of your joints.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have the ability to help address all of the potential variables that may be causing joint pain. We look at the “whole person” when treating joint pain to provide insights as to why one might be experiencing excess strain on their joints. We also look at our patients Body Mass Index as well as the daily activities demand.

We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in a fun and healing environment.

Call us at (714) 997-5518 if you would like to discuss out program in detail.

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Myth Busted! Cracking Your Knuckles

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist recently reviewed an article written by Michael Curtis on knuckle cracking. Whether the horror stories of early onset arthritis are true or just an old tale passed down from our elementary school teachers and parents.

To answer this question, no studies have shown that habitual knuckle crackers are any more prone to osteoarthritis than anyone else.

Lying between your knuckles and most of your moving joints is a lubricant called synovial fluid. This fluid, when put under a certain amount of pressure, creates vapor cavities that collapse and release gas. The collapse of these cavities is what creates the “cracking” sound. This occurrence is called cavitation. The gas released from this area doesn’t reabsorb for another 20-30 minutes, which is why joints won’t crack again right away. These sounds were shown in a 2015 study to have been more directly related to the formation of the cavity, rather than the collapse.

Though this study has found no harm to us habitual knuckle crackers, if you are experiencing any pain or instability with the cracking or popping of your joints it is crucial to further investigate your situation. Here at Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we specialize in injuries from head to toe including balance and jaw pain. For a consultation from one of our expert physical therapist, 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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Stanley Cup Finals: Hockey Players need Super Shoulders!

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So, California didn’t get any of their teams into the Stanley Cup Finals. We are all a little sad here, even though the Ducks almost made it! Hockey players are known for loosing teeth. concussions, and shoulder injuries. If you’ve got a weak shoulder or an injured, keep reading. You will probably find this information helpful!

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist, finds physical therapy to be extremely effective in treating shoulder pain and injuries. Current researchers agree. Many people will report shoulder pain at one point or another, statistically between 7 and 26% of the population report shoulder problems at any one time. Up to 50% of patients who have been diagnosed with shoulder pain are referred to a physical therapist for treatment.  (Dolder 50)

Young man having shoulder joint pain

The effects of techniques employed by physical therapist “have been shown to have an immediate effect on patient pain, range of motion, and disability.” (Dolder 54) If you are experiencing mild onset of shoulder pain, these three quick tips, listed below, may be used to try to avoid the worsening of symptoms.

  1. Strengthen the supporting muscle groups

    • Strengthening of the muscles that innervate (intersect) the shoulder and rotor cuff, such as those originating from the chest, under the arms, and back. Strength in these areas will increase foundational support necessary for the shoulder to go through the entire range of motion, pain-free.
  2. Shoulder stretches

    • Many common stretches, often utilizing a doorway or wall corner, before and after strenuous activity.
  3. Icing

    • Immediately after any activities that may be impactful to reduce the chances and severity of inflammation.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have an effective program for patients with shoulder pain. 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 the shoulder 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

Refrences:
Dolder. J Man Manip Ther. 2010 Mar; 18(1): 50–54. doi:  10.1179/106698110X12595770849687 PMCID: PMC3103116.
Is soft tissue massage an effective treatment for mechanical shoulder pain? A study protocol.
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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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PT and OT: Differences and Similarities

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Have you ever wondered what the differences are between occupational and physical therapy? While many aspects of occupational and physical therapy do overlap, they are not exactly the same. Continue reading as Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, explains the differences and similarities of physical and occupational therapy.

Occupational therapy (OT) originally began as a method to treat the mentally ill. OT has transformed into a field that helps people live independently in many different ways. Today, occupational therapists work in many diverse settings, from prosthetic and adaptive aids to assisted living care. The key word to keep in mind when thinking of occupational therapy would be “independence”.

Physical therapy (PT), on the other hand, involves treating an actual impairment. Reasons you might see a physical therapist could be rehabilitation after an injury, strengthening to prevent injury, balance rehabilitation, and TMJ- just to name a few. The goal of physical therapy is to restore mobility, decrease pain and educate. This minimizes the need for expensive surgery or long-term reliance on medications. Physical therapists also teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so they can secure long-term health benefits.

At times, occupational and physical therapists do work together. This type of program would involve the PT focusing on the impairment, while the OT helps the patient complete necessary tasks with the impairment. For instance, a worker injures his hand and is unable to work or care for himself. A physical therapists would help compose an exercise program, select and use adaptive equipment, regain mobility, and ultimately get the worker back to his job. An occupational therapist would help the worker re-learn how to dress himself, cook for himself, and cleanse himself.

The examples posted here are a very small list of the differences and similarities between OT and PT. The three largest similarities between them is that they have the same goal- to get patients healthy, happy, and live life to the fullest.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our mission is to inspire, educate and motivate clients by providing affordable treatment while promoting healing in an environment that fosters integrity and respect.

If you are experiencing pain, discomfort, or lack of mobility, call us at (714) 997-5518 to schedule 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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