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

Patellofemoral Syndrome Exercises

Buy the Patellofemoral Syndrome WorksheetHere are some quick and easy exercises you can do if you have been diagnosed with Patellofemoral syndrome

Patellofemoral Syndrome occurs when the patella, or kneecap is not tracking properly on the femur, or thigh bone. Runners commonly get this, and it can literally stop them in their tracks. Many times this is caused by weakness in the inner thigh muscles and tightness in the outer thigh muscles, or IT band. 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. Use slow controlled movements to make sure you are using the muscles and not momentum. Start off with ten, and work your way up.

Next, you are going to lie 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. Then you are going to work the bottom leg working your hip adductor muscles. Same as above, keep the leg straight. The last one of the 4 way hip is going to be on your stomach, and this works your hip extensors. 

Now you are going to work your vastus medialis obliquus (VMO), which is a very important muscle for tracking your patella. You are going to lie on your back again, and perform a SLR, but this time, turn your foot out to the side, or external rotation. Perform they same as you would a SLR. The last stretch is for the IT band. You can check out the IT band stretches video for more in depth stretching. Shown here is one of the many stretches you can do for your IT band. Turn onto your side with the injured leg on top. Pick up your leg and pull it back behind you. Then slowly drop your leg behind you and let it stretch.

 

Best Stretches for Golfers

It is very easy to pull a muscle or "tweek" your back when you are golfing. This video shows you some simple golf stretches to warm up before you take that first swing. First you can use your golf club to do a side to side, or side bending stretch. You can hold the stretch or slowly go back and forth. Next you will twist your body from side to side, or trunk rotation. Next, stretch out your wrist flexors and extensors to help prevent golfer's elbow, or medial epicondylitis. Bring your arm straight out, and pull the wrist up, and then come down into a fist, and push down.

You can check out a more detailed stretch in the elbow pain video. The last stretch is to stretch your lower back or trunk. Lie down on the ground, and bring your leg up and across your body. You can use overpressure for a more intense stretch if needed.

 

Ankle Strengthening Exercises

Buy the Ankle Strengthening WorksheetYour ankles are very important with balance. Many times when your ankles become weak, you get very poor balance, and sometimes even have a hard time walking. This video shows you some exercises to strengthen your ankles.

This is a simple 4-way ankle exercise with a resistive band. 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. Next you want to wrap the band around your other foot. Now you will have resistance pulling out. This is ankle eversion. Next you are going to cross your foot over the foot with the band as seen in the video, and pull your foot inward. This is ankle inversion.

Finally, 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.

 

Improve Your Balance

Buy Balance WorksheetWeak ankles can cause poor balance among other things. This video will show you some great balance exercises to get your ankles and fine motor muscles stronger. Start with progression by holding on with two hands. When that gets easy, go to one hand, then some fingers, and then eventually not hold on at all.

The first exercise is putting your feet as close together as you can. This is called the Rhomberg stance. If that is easy, try closing your eyes. If that is easy, move your head from side to side, and up and down. Then combine them together with head movements and eyes closed. The next balance exercise is called tandem stance. This is with one foot directly in front of the other like you are standing on a tight rope. Follow the same progression as above. Make sure to switch your feet. If all of these become easy, you can try standing on one foot and doing the same progression. For higher level exercises, you can try it with an uneven surface. Try standing on a pillow or a foam cushion and go through all the exercises above. 

 

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