Socks that go the extra mile for you!

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Everyone walks throughout their day; why not put those steps towards good use? Students at Old Dominion University in Virginia have created Fitbit-like socks that track your steps and activity level. The purpose of their research is to use the information gathered from these socks to help people with neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s Disease.

 

These are washable and re-useable socks that measure the person’s walking speed, foot pressure, and steps. The information is sent to an application that turns the person’s movements into useable data. Because Parkinson’s patients’ medication affects their physical activity, these socks are the key to doctors tracking their patients’ physical activity and effectiveness of their medication regime outside of the doctor’s office. Right now, the research is at the beginning phase but Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to keep an eye out for these innovative socks!

 

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our expert physical therapists can teach you daily exercises that our patients suffering from neurological diseases can perform.

 

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518

1111 W Town and Country Road

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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Trying to Get Over a Cold? Know When to Fight It With Exercise!

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A strong immune system is the key to avoid getting sick and to get over a cold. Research has proven that regular exercise will help to build your immune system! By doing physical activity at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes about 3-4 times a week you will increase your body’s production of T-cells. These important cells are your body’s natural defense against infections and bacteria. By building your immune system, you will stay healthy more often and you can continue your exercise regime. But do you know when you’re too sick to work out? Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know how to determine if it’s okay or not to exercise.

She uses the “above the neck- below the neck rule”; if your signs and symptoms are above the neck (stuffy nose, sore throat, ear ache) – you are okay to exercise. If your signs and symptoms are below the neck (vomiting, diarrhea, fever/chills, coughing/chest congestion) – take the day off from exercise.

It’s also important to always keep a few things in mind! You should always avoid physical activity anytime your body temperature rises above 101°. You should also avoid the gym if you are within the first 1-3 days of your cold. Although exercise it’s important, it’s best to do yourself and others a favor and know when to stay home to avoid spreading your germs. If all else fails, there is always at home exercises that you can do to burn some calories!

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center for any questions or to schedule an appointment! (714)997-5518

 

1111 W Town and Country Ste 1

Orange, CA 92868

www.walkerpt.com

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6 Tips to Prevent Falls

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, knows that falling can cause serious injuries and, for older adults, can even be life threatening. We wanted to provide 6 tips that will help reduce the risk of falls and possible injuries.

How to prevent slips, trips and falling:

  1. Always use a hand rail– Whether you are going up the stairs or standing in your shower, it is important to keep a hand on a stable surface while doing activities that challenge your balance. Consider installing them on your porch or any other areas that may not have them.
  2. Be aware of your surroundings – Avoid situations where you are unable to see well. Try and move through a well-lit area and always scan your path at least six feet ahead of you for hazards.
  3. Keep a clear path– Falling at home is the most common place to experience a nasty spill. Whether its extension cords, uneven tiles, lifted carpet or a small water or grease spill there are many hazards at home that are easily preventable. Make your home safe by moving furniture around, covering loose cords or sticking the corner of the carpet back to the floor and cleaning up any messes immediately.
  4. Wear slip resistant shoes– Shoes with rubber or neoprene soles are best. Add external traction cleats to your shoes when walking out during the rain and snow.
  5. Make an eye appointment– Get your vision checked regularly and be aware of any medication that can negatively affect your vision or balance.
  6. Maintain or build strength and balance through exercises and physical therapy– Physical therapists can properly treat any balance or vestibular issues you may have to help prevent falls and injury.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center we develop specific exercise programs for specific patients, along with a variety of specialized treatments to 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 unsteadiness, instead of just a quick fix!

If you have fallen, or feel you are risk for falling, call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to start your personalized plan of care for balance rehabilitation with an expert physical therapist!

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

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Neil Diamond Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease

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On Monday, January 22nd 2018, Neil Diamond announced that he will no longer be touring. Diamond has been forced to retire due to his recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Recently turned 77, yesterday on January 24, Diamond known for his famous song “Sweet Caroline” says he plans to continue to write and record despite his inability to tour. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants to share with you a little information on Parkinson’s and why Diamond can no longer continue to tour.

What is Parkinson’s disease?

According to the Ceadars-Sinai Health Library, Parkinson’s is a “…degenerative disease caused by the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells.” This causes the body to lose control of motor functions.

Symptoms include:

Tremors of arms, jaw, legs or face

– Slurred speech or lack of facial expressions

– Stiffness or ridged muscles

– Impaired balance and coordination

Parkinson’s has no known cause but it is suspected that in some cases, genetics can be involved as well as exposure to environmental hazards like heavy metals, pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Parkinsons is a chronic disease that gets worse over time and unfortunately there is no known cure but there are steps you can take to slow down the process and reduce symptoms. Medications that mimic the effects of dopamine can be administered in conjunction with exercise and physical therapy.

Why physical therapy?

Working with a physical therapist can teach you how to increase mobility, strength and balance as well as guide you through the changes happening in your body. This will allow people to be more independent in their own lives. It is important to consult a physician or neurologist to gain a referral to an expert physical therapist, to ensure you have a specific program designed to your needs.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our staff of trained physical therapists are here to help you and your loved ones design and carry out supervised exercise programs. We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in an affordable, fun, healing environment.

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center for any questions or concerns.

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

Orange, CA 92868

Phone: (714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

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6 Causes of Sciatica and Why you Dont Need Surgery

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist want to inform you that patients that suffer with sciatica don’t always have to turn to surgery. Sciatica us a common issue that is caused by the irritation from the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body. Pain from sciatica is usually felt from the lower back to behind the thigh and radiates below the knee. This pain can make walking, sitting or standing up an issue.

6 causes of sciatica include:

  1. Trauma– car accidents, falls and sports injuries.
  2. Piriformis syndrome– When the piriformis muscle is tight, injured or stressed, it can compress the sciatic nerve and cause symptoms of sciatica.
  3. Spinal tumors– Tumors, though they are not as common, can compress nerves causing pain in the hip, thigh and groin.
  4. Herniated disk– Disks that are located in between the vertebrae of our spine can become displaced and bulge inward or outward pressing on part of the sciatic nerve. This is one of the most common causes of sciatica.
  5. Lumbar spinal stenosis– Narrowing of the passageways that major nerves pass through in the spine will irritate and compress the nerves.
  6. Spondylolisthesis– When the vertebrae slip out of alignment with the rest of the spine due to disease, previous injuries or surgeries, or excessive physical stress, symptoms of sciatica may occur.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy, physical therapy can offer the same results for patients with sciatica who have had spinal surgery. The academy reports from the British Medical Journal and states that studies have only shown short-term improvement in patients who have had surgery. After 6 months to 2 years, the difference between surgery patients and physical therapy patients diminishes.

Surgery is not only costly, but risky.

“The significance of this study is that patients may be able to avoid surgery if they realized they can expect a similar improvement in symptoms if they use other ways to manage the pain for 6 months,”

says Dr. Timothy Flynn of Regis University in Denver, CO, and President of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT).

Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist encourages patients to become educated about their sciatic and back pain. She agrees with Timothy Flynn in his statement:

“Patients should be aware that surgery is not the only option to reduce the symptoms of sciatica.”

Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule an appointment. Treatment is affordable and effective!

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste.1

Orange, Ca 92868

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5 Reasons to Try Physical Therapy Before an Injury

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist wants you to consider visiting a professional physical therapist even though you may not be injured! Here are 5 benefits on visiting a physical therapist before you feel pain.

  1. Reassurance– Physical therapists can give you the green light you needed in order to feel completely comfortable working out again. If you’ve had a previous injury that’s been healed but still have that slight doubt, a licensed therapist can check that area and ensure that it has returned to normal function. Fear and hesitation in the gym or out on the field can lead to injuries.
  2. Prevention– Prevention, is the best cure for any injury or illness. A full evaluation by a physical therapist can evaluate where you may be prone to injuries and how to avoid those injuries by evaluating strength, proper muscle function, flexibility, range of motion (ROM) and much more.
  3. Education– Therapy is much more than what you do in the clinic but also what you walk away with. Physical Therapy can give you a better understanding of your specific body’s needs and how to better it. You will learn new exercises as well as proper form and aftercare to enhance your own personal wellness.
  4. Saving time and money– Healthcare is not cheap. With prevention and education you can eliminate a lot of unnecessary cost you would usually spend at the doctor. Therapists can also determine whether pain is from a joint or muscle with confidence allowing patients to possibly avoid the high costs of an MRI, x-ray or CT scan in non-emergency situations.
  5. Empowerment– Knowing more about how your body functions can be an amazing feeling. Physical therapy tends to lead patients to a healthier and happier life!

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center we have expert 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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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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Why Squatting is More Important Than You Think

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know that health experts agree, people in the United States spend too much of their time sitting or lying down. This sedentary lifestyle has been proven to be a contributing factor in heart disease and decreased range of motion in our joints. Since this problem has been seen as a health epidemic, little adjustments to reduce the amount of time sitting, like standing desks, have become popular in many offices. Though this may help, some experts say that negative health effects can occur when you’re in one position for extended amounts of time, sitting or standing. To counteract this problem it is said that we try to incorporate squatting into our everyday lifestyle as well.

Squatting isn’t just something you do at the gym but a movement you can use day to day while resting, waiting in line, etc. Squatting is a motion that, as the world has evolved and urbanized, our bodies lose the mobility to do. If you have kids or ever seen a young child run around, you would notice that when kids want to rest or pick something up off the floor they go into a full deep squat. This squatting position has children comfortably resting in a squat with both heels in contact with the floor. If this sounds easy, go ahead and try to sit down in a full squat with both heels on the floor and stay in that position for a few minutes, it will hardly feel like a comfortable resting position. Unless, you have maintained amazing flexibility and range of motion in your hips, knees and ankles, this will probably be very difficult for you to do. Squatting is a fundamental movement that almost every person is born to do with ease but, due to the lack of practicing this movement on a daily basis, we lose it.

Squatting regularly and with the correct form can increase your mobility and strength in your lower body as well as improve your health and quality of life as you get older. The key to health is movement which means though squatting is important, it is even more important to avoid staying in one position for long periods of time.

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

 

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Do’s and Don’ts for Achilles Tendinitis

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Dr. Grace Walker. physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, says ” The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to the heel bone, and is the largest tendon in the body. It’s an incredibly strong tendon, though it’s not without its weaknesses. Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendon that is generally caused by overuse and subsequent stress. Although this type of injury isn’t necessarily linked to a specific injury, it may arise out of a sudden change in exercise habits, or from not stretching your calf muscles properly. Occasionally bone spurs can also cause Achilles tendinitis. At Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center, we are experts at treating foot and ankle pains. We commonly see patients with Achilles tendinitis and have come up with a list of do’s and don’ts.

Walker’s Do’s and Don’ts for Achilles Tendinitis:

  • DO wear cushioned shoes with a good base of support.achilles tendinitis
  • DO use an icepack 30 minutes before bed.
  • DO follow your doctor’s instructions.
  • DON’T wear flip flops, sandals, or shoes with little support.
  • DON’T walk on uneven surfaces.

Call for an appointment now at 714-997-5518

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

 

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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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