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.

Top 3 Knee Stretches

Sometimes you will feel or hear a popping, cracking, or clicking in your knee. This often is from osteoarthritis (OA). When you don't have a lot of time to stretch out your knees, you have to pick the most important stretches. This video shows you the top 3 knee stretches. There are three main muscle groups that cross the knee, and it is important to cover each of these.

The first stretch is for the hamstrings. There are many ways to stretch them, and you can check out the hamstring stretches video for other ways to stretch them. The most important part of this stretch is to keep your back straight. Many people try to curl their backs to be able to touch their toes. Your hamstrings are attached to what is called the ischial tuberosity, or your butt bone. So if you bend at your back, you are not going to get a good hamstring stretch. Try to bend at your hips.

The second stretch is for your calf muscle, or gastrocnemius muscle. Keep your leg straight, and now 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. 

The third and last stretch will be on your stomach 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.

 

Tips For Better Computer Posture

Here are some great tips to get you in good posture when you are working on your computer. Many times people will get neck, back, or leg pain when on the computer for awhile. Getting in the proper position will help you feel better.

Bad posture while working on the computer all day long can cause all sorts of pain and problems. 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. You can do a forward head posture test. This is done by placing your finger on your chin while you are sitting upright. Without moving your finger, tuck your chin in for 5 seconds, and then relax. If there is more than 1-inch space between your chin now and your finger, you are not using good posture in everyday life. You can do chin tucks periodically through out the day while on the computer. 

Next, you can take a beach ball or roll up a towel, and place it in the arch of your back to give it 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 some books underneath your feet.

Finally, 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.

 

Hand Stretches for Arthritis

Many people get arthritis in their hands and wrists. Sometimes you might even have a "trigger finger." Here are some great hand stretches to ease the pain and get your wrists and hands moving again.

People often overlook stretching their hands, but they are just as important as the rest of your body. When your hands and fingers get stiff and painful, it can prevent you from doing simple everyday activities. Many times people will get a "trigger finger" which is a snapping of the tendon in your finger. 
 
The first stretches will be to loosen up your wrist. Make a fist, and at your wrist, bend your hand up and down into flexion and extension. Then you can go side-to-side into radial and ulnar deviation. You can open your fist and straighten your hands for an increased stretch. If that doesn't feel like enough stretch, you can give yourself some overpressure by using your other hand and push in the directions you are stretching. Now you are going to work you finger joints from the closest ones, or proximal interphalangeal joints (PIP), to the furthest away, distal interphalangeal joints (DIP). Gently bend at each joint group, and hold the area closest to you in place so movement is only at the desired joint. Lastly, you can get your thumb involved. Touch each finger to your thumb and work your way to each finger and back. 
 

Groin Stretches

When you pull a groin, it can be very painful. You can have a strain or sprain in your inner thigh muscles. Here are some simple stretches to get your groin sprain or strain feeling better.

The first stretch is a simple butterfly stretch. Sit on the ground, and put your feet together pulling them towards your body. If you need more of a stretch, you can place your elbows on your inner thighs, and apply gentle pressure downwards. Hold the stretches for 30 seconds, doing 3 of each set. Next, you are going to sit up on your knees in a tall kneeling position. Bring your good leg out in front of you at a 45-degree angle and the lean forward. If that is not enough stretch, you can lean out to the side over your knee. The last stretch is a standing lunge at a 45-degree angle. Point your toes in the direction you are going, and then lean your knee towards your toes. 

 

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