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.

Sciatica - Is it Piriformis Syndrome or a Herniated Disc?

Sciatica symptoms can be caused by piriformis syndrome or a herniated disc. Here are some easy ways to help narrow it down, and some treatments for each.

It’s important to know which one is causing the sciatica so you can treat it appropriately.

Piriformis syndrome is when the sciatic nerve is compressed by the piriformis muscle. Since the sciatic nerve runs down behind the leg and under the piriformis, if it is tight and pushing on the nerve, it can cause pain, weakness, numbness and tingling. An easy way to test if your piriformis is tight, is to lie on your stomach with your feet bent up to the ceiling. Let them drop down to the side. If one doesn’t go as far and feels tight, it could be piriformis syndrome.

Some piriformis stretches including the figure 4 and the knee to opposite shoulder should help loosen up the muscle and reduce symptoms.

A herniated disc can compress the sciatic nerve at the spine. To test this, you can lie on your stomach and prop up on your elbows. This might cause pain in the low back, and in the beginning, it might reproduce symptoms, causing pain, weakness, numbness and tingling. Though you might feel pain at first, one of the treatments is to hold this position, and the symptoms should start to go away.

Besides prone props, you can do prone press ups, and a cat/dog stretch in quadruped to help relieve the symptoms.

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Ankle Impingement Stretches & Exercises for Pain Relief

An ankle impingement can be anterior or posterior. While these stretches & exercises are mainly to help with an anterior ankle impingement, they can also help with a posterior ankle impingement.

The first thing to do is get the ankle loosened up with some manual stretching. You can do this by crossing your leg over and stretch it into dorsiflexion, plantarflexion, and eversion. 

Then you will go into some stretches using your body weight. This will put a little more pressure through the ankle into dorsiflexion and plantarflexion.

After you have stretched the area, you want to strengthen it. Using resistive bands are very effective for strengthening the ankle. You can strengthen in dorsiflexion, plantarflexion, eversion, and inversion.

Finally, you will do an ankle mobilization movement with a strap. This helps mobilize the actual joint to help decrease scarring or adhesions, and it helps improve motion.

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Patellar Tendonitis Exercises & Stretches for Pain Relief

Patellar tendonitis, or jumper’s knee, is when there is pain in the knee right at the attachment of the patellar tendon to the kneecap (patella). These stretches & exercises should help with patellar tendonitis.

The first thing is to get the patella loosened up and moving by doing some patellar mobs. Make sure not to push downward when moving the patella.

Then you want to stretch all the muscles around the knee including the quads, hamstrings, and calf muscles. The all can cause a lot of pain in the knee if they are tight.

Finally, you want to strengthen the muscles around the knee and hip. Straight leg raises, sidelying hip abduction, prone hip extension, prone leg lifts, bridges, and clamshells work muscles around the knee and hip including the hip flexors, hip abductors, gluteus medius and maximus, hamstrings, and core muscles.

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Bedtime Stretches to Help You Relax & Fall Asleep Faster

These bedtime stretches can help you unwind after a long day, and they can also help you relax and fall asleep faster. For the best results, do all of these slowly and focus on your breathing.

Starting out with some stretches in sitting, some simple shoulder and neck stretches will help get rid of any tension you might have had through out the day.

Then you will move to your upper back and thoracic area. Stretching this area out will help improve your breathing and relax the back muscles.

Now you will start to move down to your hip area. The butterfly stretch help relax time hip muscles, especially if you have been sitting all day.

Lying down, a prayer stretch or child’s pose and an upward dog will help loosen up the low back. These are also great with some deep breathing exercises. Some other great ones for the low back are a trunk rotation and a double knee to chest.

Finally, is a simple corpse pose. This is a great way to end the stretches and exercises, and doing some diaphragmic breathing will help relax the whole body.

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5 Easy Ways to Reduce Leg Pain & Swelling

Sponsored Content: This video contains paid product placement. Thank you to JOMI Compression for sponsoring this video and providing Doctor Jo with free Compression Stockings to use. If you purchase this product from these links/ads, Doctor Jo will receive a commission.

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Leg pain and/or swelling in the legs can cause a lot of problems, and it can also prevent you from activities and even walking. Here are 5 easy ways to help reduce leg pain and swelling.

The first thing is to elevate the leg. It’s important to elevate it above your heart. This helps move the swelling and fluid back into your main system and work it out of your body.

The second treatment is icing the area. There is a lot of different opinions on how much icing helps. But in my opinion, it helps reduce swelling and scarring/adhesions. Make sure to only ice for 10-15 minutes at a time.

The third way to to help reduce leg pain and swelling is using compression stockings. The folks at JOMI have a great selection of compression stockings with different sizes, colors, and compression amounts for whatever you need. If you can’t get off your feet and prop them up, these compression stockings are a great way to help get your legs feeling better.The fourth treatment is an ankle pump. They are very simple and easy to do, and they are very effective. The calf muscle works as a natural pump to move the fluid out of your legs.

Finally, there is a straight leg raise. This helps activate all the muscles in the leg to not only strengthen the area, but to also reduce the pain and swelling.

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