Hi, I'm Doctor Jo, a licensed Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy. I hope you enjoy my video demos of stretches & exercises for common injuries and syndromes. If you have a question, just ask! Be safe. Have fun. And I hope you feel better soon.

 

Hand Arthritis Stretches & Exercises

Hand arthritis is pretty common, and it can be very debilitating. Since the joints in the hand are small, you don’t have to do much to relieve the pain, you just have to keep them moving. These stretches and exercises should help your hand arthritis feel better.

You can set your arm on a table or flat surface to relax it, or if you don’t have anything available, you can prop your elbow up on your knee or thigh.

Start off with a fist and warm up your wrist. With your palm side facing down, move your fist up and down at the wrist for flexion and extension. Now move it side to side in a radial and ulnar deviation movement. Ten in each direction should be fine since this is just to warm up the muscles.

Next, you will keep your fingers straight, and take your thumb and touch each finger in the middle of your hand, and then spread them all back apart. You can do three times back and forth.

Now bend your fingers at the joint closest to your wrist, still keeping the fingers as straight as you can. Bend down and back up gliding the tendons up and down. Now move to the next joint down the fingers. This time open your fingers, and then curl the top part of your fingers down for the stretch. Finally, go to the last joint farthest down the finger. You might have to hold onto the near part of your finger so just the last joint moves. Just start off with ten of each of these with a continuous movement.

For the last stretch, start with all your fingers close together, and then spread them out as far as you can, just like you are fanning them out. You don’t have to do a lot of these exercises since these are small joints. 2-3 minutes, 2-3 times a day should be plenty.

Related Videos:

Hand & Wrist Stretches for Arthritis Pain Relief

De Quervain's Syndrome Stretches, aka Blackberry Thumb

Real-Time Knee Pain Stretches & Exercises

Knee pain is very common, and osteoarthritis, or OA, is one of the main causes of knee pain. This real-time video will show you a 12 minute stretching and exercising routine you can do to help keep the pressure from tight muscles off your knee joint.

Knee pain can also be caused by weakness, and knee tendonitis, or knee bursitis. In more severe cases, you might have injured your meniscus or ligaments. This routine should help with all of these forms of knee pain as well.

For the first stretch, you are going to stretch your calf muscle, or gastrocnemius muscle. Keep your leg straight, and take the belt or leash and place it on the ball of your foot. Relax your leg and then pull your foot towards you. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, 3 times.

Next is a hamstring stretch. There are many ways to stretch them, and you can check out the hamstring stretches video for other ways to stretch them. Lie down on your back and still keep the strap or leash on your foot. Keeping your leg straight, pull your leg up with the strap as far as you comfortably can. Try not to bend your knee. If it bends, back off a little because you are trying to stretch too hard. Hold for 30 seconds and do it 3 times.

The last stretch will be on your stomach, or in prone. This will stretch your quadriceps muscle. Take a belt or dog leash and wrap around your foot/ankle. Take the strap and gently pull your foot towards your buttocks until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and do it 3 times.

For the exercises, you are going to do a four way hip on the ground. The first exercise is going to be a simple straight leg raise (SLR). You want to squeeze your muscles tight to lock out the knee and pull your toes towards your head to keep the whole leg straight. This will work your hip flexor muscles when you lift your leg off the ground. Now roll over onto your side with the leg you want to work on the ground. You are going to work the bottom leg working your hip adductor muscles. Same as above, keep the leg straight.

Next, is going to be on your stomach, and this works your hip extensors. The last one of the 4 way hip will be on your side. The top leg is going to stay straight and pull your toes up towards you. Keep your body in a straight line as well. This is going to work your hip abductor muscles. Just start of with 10 of these, but go slow and controlled so you are working your muscles and not using momentum.

Related Videos:

Knee Pain Stretches & Exercises

Knee Strengthening Exercises & Stretches

Piriformis Syndrome Stretches & Exercises

Piriformis syndrome is literally a pain in the butt. The sciatic nerve runs underneath the piriformis muscle. When it gets tight and irritated, it often presses on the sciatic nerve causing symptoms of sciatica. These stretches and exercises should help with piriformis syndrome.

To start off, I am going to show you some modified stretches in a chair. These are better if done on the ground, but sometimes, you don’t have an area to lie down or maybe it is too hard or painful to lie on the ground. Seated in the chair, take the leg of the side you want to stretch, and cross it over the other leg just above the knee. This will look like a figure 4 if you are looking down at your legs. You might feel the stretch already, but if you don’t, keeping your back straight, bend forward at your hips. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, and repeat 3 times. Now is the opposite knee to chest stretch. In the same starting position, now take your opposite hand, and pull your knee up and across towards the opposite shoulder. If you are very flexible, you can hug your knee. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, and repeat 3 times.

The rest of the stretches and exercises are on the ground. The first two are like the ones in the chair except your back is on the ground. Cross the leg that is hurting over into a figure 4 position. Pull the good leg up towards your chest by grabbing underneath the knee. You can use a belt or leash to help pull the leg up if your hips are not very flexible. Next, you will keep the figure 4, Grab the knee on the same side of the pain with your opposite hand, and pull it up and across your body to the opposite shoulder. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and perform 3 times.

Now you will do a clamshell exercise. Still lying on your side, bend both knees slightly forward. Try to keep your hips perpendicular to the ground with the top hip towards the ceiling. Slowly lift the top leg up and out, like a clamshell opening up, and then slowly back down. Then you are going to lie on your side with the side you want to strength on the ground. Try to get your body in a straight line, and place your elbow on the ground just below your shoulder. Come up into a side plank. Hold it for 15-20 seconds, and work your way up to a minute. If this is too hard, you can start the side plank on your knees.

Finally, you will roll over onto your stomach. Try to keep your hips down on the ground, and bend your lower leg up at your knee so your foot is towards the ceiling. Slowly lift your leg up to the ceiling. You don’t have to go high because you don’t want to roll your body to the side when lifting. Start off with 10 of these, and work your way up to 20-25.

Related Videos:

Sciatic Nerve Pain Stretches & Exercises

Hip Bursitis Stretches & Exercises

Interviews With My Pups

If you haven't already noticed, I LOVE DOGS! So naturally, when my dogs talk to me (like they often do), I always listen. Today they agreed to talk to the world and answer the hard hitting interview questions I threw at them.

Videos mentioned in this episode:

Dog Knee Stretches After CCL Surgery

Looking for some tasty, homemade dog treats? Try these!

Osteoporosis Exercises

With Osteoporosis, exercising is very important to help slow the process of bone weakening. Weight bearing and muscles strengthening exercises can be very helpful.

Many people who suffer from osteoporosis often have a misunderstanding about impact activities. They can help keep the bones strong. Here are some exercises that might help.

First, you are going to do squats. The best way to do a squat is to give yourself a target like a chair or couch. You can also put a phonebook on the chair if the chair is too low to start. Spread your feet slightly more than shoulder width apart, and make sure your knee does not go in front of your toes. If you need to sit all the way down, you can, but try to just tap the chair with your bottom. Start off with just 10 of these, and try to work your way up to 20.

The next exercise will be a standing hamstring curl. Hold onto something to start off with so you can do the correct form. Keep the top part of your leg even with the leg you are standing on. Pull your heel back to your bottom as far as you can without bringing your knee up or flexing your hip, and slowly come back down. If this is too easy, you can add some ankle weights.

Now is a heel raise off the ground. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, come up on your toes as high as you can. Try not to lean forward, but bring your body straight up and slowly come back down. Push off as much as you can so your heel leaves the ground. Start off with ten and work your way up to 20-25.

Then you will do a bicep curl. You can step on the band, and keep your elbow by your side. Pull all the way up and all the way down. Make sure you are doing the full motion to maximize working the muscle. Make sure you are controlling the band; don't let the band control you!

Finally will be a 4-way hip exercise. These will be without a band or weight, but you can add them as these become easy. Make sure you are holding onto something sturdy for balance, and for correct form. Keep your foot facing forward, and slightly kick out to the side. Then slowly come across your body, swinging your leg from side to side. Then you will kick front to back. Try to keep your leg and upper body straight through out the exercise.

Other Videos:

Knee Arthritis Stretches & Exercises

Herniated Disc Exercises & Stretches

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