3 Reasons to Stand Tall – Part 2

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

sedentary

We hope you have been checking your posture throughout your day since our Part 1 post! Posture can affect your health in many ways! Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know 3 ways that poor posture affects your health:

  1. Thoracic outlet syndrome – Poor forward head posture and slouched shoulders restrict nerves and blood flow in the lower neck and upper chest that limits the blood supply to your arms. Patients with thoracic outlet syndrome experience mild tingling and or numbness in the arms, causing pain and bad circulation.
  2. StressPosture can affect you mentally too! The pain you experience due to poor posture can translate into mental stress, decreased motivation, and overall mood.
  3. ArthritisIn the long run, poor posture can be extremely detrimental to your joint health and be a contributing factor to developing arthritis. Small changes in posture can help to prevent long term problems in the future.

Correcting your posture throughout your day is key! At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our expert physical therapists are experienced with working with patients who suffer from the symptoms of bad posture. By correcting your posture, you can help to correct your overall health. Our caring, compassionate, and empowering therapists are here to teach you simple stretches, exercises and modifications to make correct posture second nature.

Call to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Road Ste 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather

3 Reasons to Stand Tall – Part 1

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Whether it’s a long work day at the computer or you are sitting at your child’s baseball game, most of us aren’t consciously checking our posture. But we should! Posture can affect your health in ways you probably aren’t aware of. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know 3 ways that poor posture affects your health:

  1. Headaches – Many things can trigger a headache and posture is definitely one of them! Although there are many types of headaches, cervicogenic headaches are due to poor posture. These headaches start in the base of the neck and pain radiates upward. People who work on a computer should be aware of cervicogenic headaches when it comes to placing your monitor in the right position for yourself.
  2. FatiguePoor posture can make you feel more tired throughout your way. When practicing poor posture, your body must work harder to maintain the body upright requiring more energy and leaving a patient tired.
  3. Hip, Knee, or Ankle PainYes, posture can affect your lower body too! Because the joints, muscles, and nerves of the upper extremities and lower extremities are interconnected, your spine and posture does affect your lower body. Altered posture and muscle imbalances puts strain on your hips, knees, and even feet.

Being aware of your posture, and trying to correct your posture, is important every day! Simple stretches, exercises, and making few modifications in the work place can greatly improve your posture and overall health. At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our physical therapists are experts in pain relief and can teach you how to correct your posture. Stay tuned for our second post on how poor posture can affect your health coming later this week!

 

Call to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Road Ste 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather

Are You Affected by Headaches?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist says that “headaches are often the result of pain from the upper cervical extensor muscles” and that “headaches are often related to stress”.

When a person is under stress, they tend to tense their body and have poor posture (a head forward position adopted with chin jutting and upper cervical extension). The associated upper back and neck (cervical) muscles tighten, trigger points can be affected and pain may be experienced behind the eyes, towards the sides of your head, or near the temples of your forehead.

 

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

  • Strengthening of the upper back (scapular) muscles to support the head and neck
  • Soft tissue and joint mobilization
  • Pressure point release to the head and neck
  • Manage pain relief. Including the 830MLaser and ice
  • Personalized home exercise program

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center to schedule an appointment with our expert physical therapists that are experienced in pain relief! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Road Ste 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather

Do you practice good posture at work? Follow the 90 Degree Rule!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

What does perfect sitting posture look like? If the name of the title hasn’t given it away yet, 90 degrees is the magic number to keep in mind!

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, shares 5 quick tips to follow the 90 degree rule.

  1. 90° angle at your neck and shoulders
  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

While seated at your desk at home or work, keep these important postural cues in mind! Sitting down and working all day, you might find your head and shoulders begin to lean forward and their lower trunk begins to tilt backwards, creating a ‘slouched’ position. That’s what we are trying to avoid! 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 work day, you can be on your way to reducing incorrect posture and pain! At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have expert physical therapists to help to increase your postural strength and relieve any pain that comes along with sitting all day at your desk. We create 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! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Road Ste 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather

The 6 Steps to Headache Relief Without Medication

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know that over-the-counter medication is not the only solution to your headaches. For many people the road to headache relief has only been through over-the-counter medication. Little do they know, there are solutions that may relieve you from chronic headaches LONG TERM.

We wrote down the six steps to headache relief:

  1. Drink water– Staying hydrated is key to proper brain function and the removal of waste from your body. Things like coffee, tea and soda cause your body to eliminate water and can lead to dehydration. When you are dehydrated, waste and toxins cannot be properly expelled leading to an increased vulnerability to a headache.
  2. Breathe– Stress not only causes unnecessary tension in your body but can cause you to take shallow breaths. This could lead to an excess of carbon dioxide in your blood which can throw off the pH of you blood along with other chemical processes in your body. Take a few moments throughout the day to focus on breathing through your diaphgram.
  3. Posture– The average head weighs around 10-12 pounds when in proper alignment with your neck. With poor posture, your head leans forward off balanced with its base of support causing up to 60 pounds of strain on your neck muscles. This, leads to excessive strain on your neck, back and shoulders which could be a major cause in your headaches.
  4. Strengthen your bodyWeak back muscles are usually the cause to poor posture and force your body to compensate in other areas such as your neck, making you prone to headaches. Strengthen these weakened areas to improve your posture and reduce the chances of headaches.
  5. Stretch it out- Sitting at a desk all day or driving a car, the tendency for many people is to slouch forward. This is what causes our back muscles to weaken and our chest and neck muscles to tighten up. While building strength in our back it is important to also stretch and relax your chest and neck. The muscles in these areas can hold a lot of tension and we can help release this by stretching for a couple of minutes throughout the day.
  6. See a physical therapist– Physical therapists are trained to find the root cause of your headaches. Therapists can examine posture, muscular imbalances and correct improper alignment of the spine. They can also educate you on how to properly fix these problems at home and give you information that can help you for life!

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center we have EXPERT physical therapists who can help you identify any imbalances you may have and how to properly train your body! We provide personalized programs for each patient to provide results that are tailored to your needs in a fun and healing environment. Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule an appointment with an expert and caring physical therapist!

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather

Headaches: The Cause and Your Treatment

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

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

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

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

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

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

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste.1

Orange, CA 92868

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather

3 Shoulder Exercises to Reduce Pain

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

shoulder pain

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

What can I do about my hurting shoulders?

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

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

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

 1111 W. Town and Country Rd., Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

Phone: (714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather

8 Activities that are Hurting Your Spine

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

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

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather

Beware: Consequences of Sedentary Lifestyles

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

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

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather

5 Key Exercises for Spinal Stenosis

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

 

Dr. Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants to share with you the five best exercises for people who suffer from spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the foramina in your spine. Foramina are passageways for nerves and other vascular structures that travel up and down your spine.  Narrowing of those passageways can cause pain, tension and weakness in the back and legs.

5 Exercises

  1. Lumbar rotation stretch

– Start by lying on your side with your top knee crossed in front of you and the bottom leg straight

– Bring your top hand up and back behind you while rotating your spine until a stretch is felt

– Hold for 10 seconds and return to starting position

– Repeat multiple times on both sides

  1. Knee-to-chest

– Lie on your back with knees bent

– Pull both knees, one at a time, to chest until stretch is felt

– Hold for thirty seconds and release one knee at a time

– Repeat multiple times

  1. Quadruped Thoracic extensions

– Start on elbows and knees with neutral spine

– Brace your abdominals

– Sink your chest to the floor while keeping a neutral spine and begin to drop your hips back slowly and then return to starting position

-Repeat multiple times

  1. Hip Flexor Stretch

– Start standing with one foot on top of a chair (knee should be aligned with hips)

– Brace abdominals and lean forward keeping the opposite foot planted into the floor slightly behind you

– Squeeze glutes and feel a gentle stretch in front of the hip

– Repeat multiple times on both sides

  1. Bridges

– Lie on your back with knees bent and arms flat on the floor beside you

– Gently brace the abdominals, squeeze glutes and slowly lift hips up so that your lumbar and thoracic spine lifts off the floor

– hold and drop back down to the starting position

– repeat until fatigue

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. 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

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssby feather