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.

Proper Sleeping Position Tips

Sponsored Content: This video represents the honest opinions of Doctor Jo. Thank you to Womfy for providing Doctor Jo with a free Womfy Pillow to use. If you purchase the product from these links/ads, Doctor Jo will receive a commission.

What’s the proper sleeping position? Whether you’re a back sleeper, a side sleeper, or a stomach sleeper, the best sleeping position really depends on what's most comfortable for you, as long as you keep your spine in a neutral position.

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Here are some tips to help keep you in a proper neutral sleeping position while you sleep.

The first tip for if you are lying on your back or on your side is to make a small roll with a towel or extra sheet to help support the curve of your lumbar spine. Once you find the best spot for it, you can put it under the mattress sheet so it doesn’t slide around while you sleep.

The next tip if for when you lie on your back. Take a few pillows and put them under your bent legs. This will help put your pelvis in a neutral position, and take pressure off your low back.

For lying on your side, place a pillow between your knees and legs. This will help put your hips in a neutral position so they don’t slant downward putting pressure on your hips and knees. You can also get a pillow that has holes for your ears if you are a side sleeper. The helps take the pressure directly off your ears for a more comfortable sleep.

Next, put a pillow up at your arms to “hug.” This will help keep your shoulder in a comfortable position without it having so much stress on it. If you get too hot with the pillow, you can rest your arm on your side.

Finally, for stomach sleeping, you don’t want to use a pillow because it will put too much stress on your neck.

By keeping your spine in a neutral position, no matter what position you sleep in, you will get a better night’s sleep.

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Relieve Back Pain & Fatigue at Your Desk

Sponsored Content: This video represents the honest opinions of Doctor Jo. Thank you to FlexiSpot for sponsoring this video and providing Doctor Jo with free Standing Desks to use/review. If you purchase the product from these links/ads, Doctor Jo will receive a commission.

Back pain at your desk can be the result of bad posture while working on the computer all day long. Even though it might feel weird and uncomfortable at first, there are some easy changes you can make to get you in the correct posture.

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When you are sitting, make sure your lower back has a slight arch. If you are slouching, it will cause increased pain in the back. You can sit upright or use a cushion/lumbar support. Many times people also say they feel like their feet or legs are going numb. This is often the result of your chair being too high or too low. You want your knees and hips to be at a 90-degree angle. If the chair is too high, you can place a box underneath your feet. You also want your arms to be in a relaxed neutral position. You can put your keyboard or laptop on books as well until it is in a comfortable position where your shoulders are not hunched up or stretched too far out.

Another great way to help prevent back pain is to have a sit to stand desk. This allows you to sit for awhile, and then stand up and even do exercises while you work. You should stop every 30 minutes to do some simple stretches and exercises to keep your body moving through out the day.

To start out, you can stretch your forearms to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are typing a lot through out the day, these will hopefully feel really good. Start off with your arm straight out in front of you. Bring your wrists downward or into flexion. If you need more of a stretch, push down with the other hand. Hold for about five seconds and alternate sides. Now bring your wrists upward to stretch the opposite side.

Next you will march in place. You don’t have to go high with the march, but you want to keep the blood flowing in your legs. You can start with 10-15 seconds and work your way up to a minute.

Then you will do some heel/toe raises to help prevent DVTs (Deep vein thrombosis). For the heel/toe raises, make sure to go as high up on your toes as you can to work the calf muscles. Then roll back onto the heels and pull your toes up to work the anterior tibialis muscle. Try not to stick your bottom back, just pull your toes up.

Finally you will stretch your hip flexors and calf muscles. These can get tight when you are sitting for a long time. This stretch is called a runner's stretch. You want to lean against your desk or something sturdy. Place the foot you want to stretch behind you. Make sure to keep your heel down and your toes forward pointing towards the wall. With the other foot in front of you, like you are in a lunge position, bend your knee towards the wall until you feel a stretch through your back leg. Try to keep your back leg as straight as possible, and try to keep your upper body straight for the hip flexor stretch. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times.

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I Got Selected for YouTube NextUp 2017!

I'm so excited and honored to tell you all that I got selected for YouTube NextUp 2017! If you're not familiar with the program, click here to read the article announcing the winners with some details about the program.

Getting selected for this amazing program would not have happened without all of you, and I thank you for being part of the AskDoctorJo Family!

Be safe. Have Fun. And I hope you feel better soon!

Knee Pain Relief Exercises & Stretches

Sponsored Content: This video represents the honest opinions of Doctor Jo. Thank you to For-Knees for sponsoring this video and providing Doctor Jo with a free knee sleeve to use/review. If you purchase the product from these links/ads, Doctor Jo will receive a commission.

For knee pain exercises and stretches to work, you must work all the muscles around the knee. There are several that cross over the joint and help with movement. These muscles are the IT band, calf, hamstring, and quad muscles.

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The first stretch will be a calf stretch. Start off with your legs out in front of you. You can bend up the leg you aren’t using towards you in a comfortable position. Keep the leg you want to stretch out in front of you. Take a stretch strap, dog leash, belt, or towel and wrap it around the ball of your foot. Relax your foot, and pull the strap towards you stretching your calf muscle. You should feel the stretch under your leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do three of them.

Next you want to move your kneecap, or patella around. This is important because your patella is attached to your quadriceps tendon and your patellar tendon. When those are tight, it is hard to bend your knee. Your leg needs to be straight and relaxed. You can push the patella up and down, superior and inferior, and side-to-side, medial and lateral. You can do this for 2 to 3 minutes.

Also using a knee sleeve might help with your knee pain. They help provide compression and a little bit of support, but they don’t stop the muscles from doing the work like a brace.

Then you will stretch your hamstrings. You can stretch the hamstring many different ways, and you can check them out in my hamstring stretching video. Today I will show you the stretch with a strap or belt. Put a loop around your foot, and use the strap to bring your leg straight up into a stretch. Try to keep your knee straight, and don’t let it bend. You should feel the stretch in the back of your leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times on each side.

Now you will do an IT band stretch. There are also many ways to stretch the IT band, but if you are already using a strap, you can use it for the IT band as well. Use the same position as the hamstring stretch. Keep your leg straight and gently pull the leg across your body this time. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times on each side.

The last stretch will be on your stomach, or in prone. You can also do this in sidelining, but on your stomach will help keep the thigh straight. 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.

Now for some exercises. The first exercise is a hamstring curl. Stay on your stomach after the quad stretch. This time you will actively bend your knee bringing your foot towards your bottom to strengthen the hamstrings. Start off with 10 controlled repetitions, and you can work up from there.

The last set of exercises will be in standing. Now you will do calf strengthening with heel raises. 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. If that becomes easy, you can do one leg at a time.

Finally you will do squats. This will help strengthen your quads, hamstrings, gluteus muscles, and many others around the hip and knees. The best way to do a squat is to give yourself a target like a chair or couch. Spread your feet about shoulder width apart, and make sure your knees do not go in front of your toes. Stick your buttocks back and keep your back straight. If this is too hard, you can put a box in the chair, so you don’t have to squat as low.

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Shin Splints (Anterior) Treatment

Sponsored Content: This video represents the honest opinions of Doctor Jo. Thank you to Dollar Socks Box for providing Doctor Jo with free socks to use. If you purchase the product from these links/ads, Doctor Jo will receive a commission.

Anterior shin splints are usually felt on the outside of the shin where the anterior tibialis muscle sits. Shin splints are often caused by repeated trauma to the connective muscle tissue around the tibia bone.

Shin Splints usually happen when someone changes their running routine to a different surface or more intensity, or change the type of shoes they usually wear. These stretches & exercises should help.

Keep an eye on my socks in this video. Dollar Socks Box sent me a whole bunch of very stylish socks to wear!

The first stretch will be a calf stretch. Start off with your legs out in front of you. You can bend up the leg you aren’t using towards you in a comfortable position. Keep the leg you want to stretch out in front of you. Place your foot on a roll or hang it off the edge of something to have free movement of your heel. Take a stretch strap, dog leash, belt, or towel and wrap it around the ball of your foot. Relax your foot, and pull the strap towards you stretching your calf muscle. You should feel the stretch under your leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do three of them.

Now you can roll over into the upward dog. Lie down on your stomach, and push up onto the top of your feet, and keep your arms straight with your head up looking forward and drop your buttocks down. If you can, hold the stretch for 30 seconds, doing it three times. If you can’t hold it that long, try for 15 seconds, 5 times.

Next, you will see some stretches with a noodle or foam roll. Place the roll on the top of your knee, and roll it down your shin or anterior tibialis. Apply more body pressure to get more of a stretch.

Now for some strengthening exercises. Start off my propping your ankle up or hang your foot off the bed or table so your heel doesn't touch the floor. Put the band around the ball of your foot for good resistance. First, push your foot down and up. This is called ankle plantarflexion.

Then you can use a table leg or heavy chair as your anchor. Wrap it around and pull the band towards you. Pull your foot up towards your head. This is called ankle dorsiflexion. Start off with 10-15 times. If you get to 20-25 and it is easy, increase the resistive band.

Now you will stand up and do some foot drags. Turn your foot slightly in to get a better stretch and to help strengthen the anterior area. Start off with a little bit of pressure, and add more when you are ready.

Finally, you will walk on your toes, and then walk on your feet. You can walk about 10-15ft for both.

Like the muscle model I used at the beginning of the video? Learn more about the company that made it.

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