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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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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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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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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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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Selfie Elbow- Yes, We’re Serious

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Walker PT & Pain Center Office Manager, Faviola, might be needing some treatment for that Selfie Elbow!

Selfie elbow, the latest tech-related injury. Yet another injury add to the list alongside the smartphone claw, neck injuries from using tablets, and carpal tunnel from typing. Hoda Kotb, the host of “Today”, told Elle that her doctor believes that her selfie addiction has caused her elbow pain. The awkward grip she was using while extending her arm is the perfect concoction of contorted movement to cause pain.

Doctor Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist says, “These injuries are nothing new. They are variations of old fashioned repetitive strain injuries that have been around as long as there have been jobs. The movement that most people use to take selfies is similar to many movements done by mechanics, electricians, and other workers. This movement shouldn’t irritate people who only take a few selfies. People who take multiple selfies everyday should keep an eye on the symptoms listed below.

Similar to golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow, selfie elbow got its name by the movement or action that causes the pain. Symptoms are the result of inflammation of the tendons that pass through the elbow. This pain can occur in anyone who strains the tendons of the forearm and is not limited to selfie addicts.

Symptoms of selfie elbow are-

  • Tenderness in the elbow.
  • Elbow pain when using your arms (such as lifting, writing or driving).
  • Numbness or tingling in the elbow down to the hand.

So, what can you do if you are affected by selfie elbow? The first thing you should do is stop with the selfies! You’re not likely to have a repetitive motion injury if you stop repeating a motion! Selfie elbow, like golfer and tennis elbow, is caused by inflammation of the tendons that run through the elbow. To reduce inflammation, limit movement, use ice (especially after movement) and start stretching. Some good stretches to combat pain are tendon glides and forearm stretches. Tendon glides and stretches allow the tendon to reach its greatest amount of movement and help reduce swelling.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we specialize in repetitive motion injuries. Whether you have become injured from work, sports, or other activities (selfies), we have a rehabilitation program for you. Call us at (714) 997-5518 to set up 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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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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Two Immediate Actions to Take Against Sprained Ankles

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Ankle sprains are common, but what can you do about them?

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist researched and found that every day in the U.S., 25,000 people sprain their ankle, and more than 1 million people visit emergency rooms each year because of ankle injuries whether it be due to athletic incidents or every day stumbles.[1] Usually, a sprain will heal by the next day if it is minor enough. However, if you suffer from symptoms such as the ones listed below; make sure to go to the hospital for an X-ray or at least refer to your physician.

Symptoms of a Sprained Ankle

ankle ligament

A sprain is the term that describes damage to ligaments when they are stretched beyond their normal range of motion[2]

  • Swelling/inflammation
  • Redness or unusual warmth
  • Increased sensitivity of the nerves
  • Unbearable pain while attempting to move the ankle, stand or walk

If you have sprained your ankle, Take Immediate Action!

  • Apply ice as quickly as possible to reduce inflammation. Ice also helps reduce pain, redness and warmth
  • Rest your ankle as much as possible and elevate it above your heart

This will expedite healing and allow your body to absorb the fluid that has flooded into the tissue surrounding the injured area.

Our team of experts at Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center will work closely with you to help prevent re-injury due to shortened and tightened muscles surrounding the injured area.

For an appointment with an expert physical therapist call Walker Physical Therapy & 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

[1] http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/ankle-injuries-causes-and-treatments

[2] www.webmd.com

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3 Shoulder Exercises To Alleviate Pain, Aches, Pops, and Crunches

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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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Hope for Painful Hip Arthritis Affecting Americans

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I help people living with diabetes who are struggling, frustrated and overwhelmed. I will partner with you to create lasting strategies that increase your energy, build your confidence and return your zest for

Grace Walker, Physical and Occupational Therapist. Nutritionist and Director of Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center found this article in the New York Daily News by Katie Charles to be educational.  please see link below.

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/daily-checkup-hip-arthritis-strikes-americans-article-1.2202361

Daily Checkup: Painful hip arthritis affects many Americans, and it’s treated with physical therapy, medications and, in some cases, hip replacement surgery

BY Katie Charles

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Sunday, May 3, 2015, 2:00 AM

Dr. Darwin Chen is an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Mount Sinai, and performs between 200 and 300 hip and knee replacement surgeries a year.

The Specialist

An assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Mount Sinai, Dr. Darwin Chen performs between 200 and 300 hip and knee replacement surgeries a year, and specializes in using minimally invasive techniques. May is Arthritis Awareness Month.

WHO’S AT RISK

As one of the most common chronic conditions in this country, arthritis affects over 25 million Americans. “Arthritis is a painful joint condition caused by damage to the joints’ lining, usually as the result of wear and tear,” says Chen. “It’s estimated that 15-20% of Americans will suffer from hip arthritis in their lifetime.”

The hip is one of the largest joints in the body. “It’s a ball and socket joint, in which the ball is the upper part of the femur, or thigh bone, and the socket is part of the pelvis bone,” says Chen. “Both the ball and socket bones are covered in cartilage that cushions the impact. With arthritis, the cartilage has worn away, and bone grinds against bone.”

In addition to the normal wear and tear that comes with age, hip arthritis can also be caused by abnormalities in the hip. “Of the two main structural problems for the hip joint, the first is hip impingement — which is when the shape of the ball and socket doesn’t fit well, causing abnormal contact forces in the hip,” says Chen. “The second is hip dysplasia, when the socket itself is too shallow and doesn’t cover the femoral head well, causing cartilage damage of the course of a lifetime.”

Just about anyone can develop hip arthritis, though some people are at increased risk. “Both men and women are affected equally, though men are more likely to be affected by hip impingement and women are more prone to hip dysplasia,” says Chen. “Hip arthritis also affects people from all ethnic backgrounds. There is very likely a genetic component, but it’s not limited to one gene or genetic pattern, it’s multifactorial.”

Aging is also a risk factor for hip replacements. “In most cases, the wear and tear on the hip cartilage accumulates over time, which is why the average age for a hip replacement is 60-65,” says Chen. “However, people of all different ages can be affected — I’ve performed hip replacements for patients from age 19 to 92.”

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Like other forms of arthritis, hip arthritis commonly manifests as pain. “The most common symptom is a deep-seated groin pain, a dull achy pain deep in the joint, which is frequently accompanied by joint stiffness,” says Chen. “The pain can start in the groin and can radiate down the leg, on either the front or side of the thigh; it can also cause pain in the buttock.”

Because the hip joint is essential to many of the tasks of daily life, severe hip arthritis can be debilitating. “Ordinary things can become painful, like standing up, walking, or getting out of a chair,” says Chen. “A classic first sign is difficulty in putting shoes and socks on, because that requires flexibility in the hip joint.” Severe hip arthritis can cause night pain and sleep disturbance.

Another feature of hip arthritis is that it tends to come and go. “Most arthritis patients have good days and bad days, the pain waxes and wanes,” says Chen. “It’s often an insidious onset — where there’s slow deterioration over the period of years, which can really sneak up on people.” In some cases, the spouses will notice a limp before the patient does.”

TRADITIONAL TREATMENT

The diagnosis of hip arthritis isn’t usually a tough call. “We make the diagnosis based on X-rays and physical examination,” says Chen. “On rare occasion an MRI might be called for.”

Doctors take a stepwise approach to treating hip arthritis. “We usually start with a course of conservative therapy, which can include weight loss, physical therapy, and the use of anti-inflammatory medications,” says Chen. “We can also use injections to help control the pain.” Weight loss has a powerful affect on arthritis pain because the pressure of 3 to 4 times the body weight is put on the hips when getting out of a chair or going up the stairs.

When is it time to consider hip replacement surgery? “You’re a candidate for surgery when the bad days outnumber the good and when the pain limits your daily routine,” says Chen. “There are 300,000 hip replacements done each year for advanced arthritis, and it’s one of the safest surgeries we do.”

The new direct anterior surgical approach is minimally invasive — we enter the pelvic joint from the front, which allows for muscle sparing.

There’s a traditional method of doing hip replacements and a new minimally invasive approach. “The traditional hip replacement is called the posterior approach because it entered the hip from the back; it required cutting through some of the muscles around the hip and back and the restriction of activity for a short period of time,” says Chen. “The new direct anterior approach is minimally invasive — we enter the pelvic joint from the front, which allows for muscle sparing. We also use X-rays to allow us to place the implant more precisely.”

Patients recover much more quickly from hip replacement today than they did ten years ago. “Surgery now takes 1-2 hours, and patients get up and out of bed on the same day; they have surgery in the a.m. and start PT in the p.m.,” says Chen. “Most patients are discharged on day 2 or 3, and almost back to normal within 4-6 weeks. There are really dramatic outcomes for hip replacements — patients who could barely walk have a new lease on life.”

RESEARCH BREAKTHROUGHS

Already, surgical improvements like porous implants and rapid rehab protocols are becoming the standard of care across the country. “The next generation of treatments will probably be geared more toward biologic therapy — in which biologic agents will be injected into the hip to cause the cartilage to regenerate,” says Chen. “That is still a ways away, though it might happen within our lifetime.”

QUESTIONS FOR YOUR DOCTOR

If you are diagnosed with early arthritis, ask, “What can I do to extend the longevity of my hip?” Staying active and keeping your weight down are two of the most important things you can do. If you have mild symptoms that are starting to bother you, ask, “What other therapies can I consider for symptom relief?” One of the big questions for surgical candidates both before and after surgery is, “What kind of limitations should I abide by?” Many patients return to tennis, skiing, and even running, though running does place the hip replacement parts under extra pressure. “Hip arthritis is not cancer or stroke or a heart attack — it’s nothing that’s going to kill you, but having a hip replacement does dramatically improve your life in terms of pain and function,” says Chen. “Current-day hip replacement works tremendously well — it gets patients back to the lives they want.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Get informed.

For online information you can rely on, start your web search with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (aaos.org), the Arthritis Foundation (arthritis.org), and Mount Sinai (mountsinai.org/patient-care/service-areas/orthopaedics/orthopaedic-services/joint-replacement-center).

Don’t ignore hip pain.

See you doctor so you can get a proper diagnosis and treatment plain. “You may have a structural problem-knowing that and taking preventives measures can potentially delay the onset of arthritis,” says Chen.

Stay fit.

Leading a healthy active lifestyle in general is the key to healthy joints. Working to improve your flexibility can also help you maintain joint mobility.

See an expert.

If you are considering having a hip replacement, be sure to go to a center with a high volume, low complication rate, and low readmission. Look for a surgeon who specializes in hip and knee surgeries, and does at least 200 a year.

  At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center In Orange California, we treat patients with hip pain and arthritis both pre-operatively and post-operatively patients with hip arthritis. Call to make an appointment with an expert physical therapist occupational therapist call  714-997-5518

 

 

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