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.

SI Joint Dysfunction

Buy SI Joint WorksheetThe exercises and stretches in this video will help if you have been diagnosed with an SI joint dysfunction. This is when the pelvis is out of alignment with your spine. The sacrum comes together with your iliac bones, and this joint is called the SI joint. 

Your doctor or therapist might tell you that you have a posterior or anterior pelvic rotation. This is also called an innominate rotation. It can cause pain in your hips or pelvis and sacrum area. Many times people will say it hurts in their butt cheek area. It will also be painful while walking or change your gait pattern. Once it is corrected by your therapist, you want to strengthen your hip and pelvic muscles to keep it in place. Occasionally, it will go back out, and here is a good way to self correct it. 

Here are some isometric hip exercises and techniques to get it back in place and keep it in place. Using a combination of hip flexion and extension, and then hip abduction and hip adduction will help rotate the hips back into place. With isometric exercises and all exercises, make sure you are not holding your breath. If you cannot talk while you are performing exercises, then most likely you are holding your breath.

 

Sciatic Nerve Pain

Buy sciatic nerve pain worksheetSciatic nerve pain usually occurs in the buttocks area, and it can often be caused from a tight muscle in the buttocks area called the piriformis muscle. People often describe the pain as achy, shooting, heavy, and just a pain in the butt...literally. This video will show you some simple stretches to keep the pressure off that sciatic nerve!

The first stretch for your piriformis will be on your back. Cross the leg over that is hurting into a figure 4 position. 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. The next stretch, you will keep the figure 4, and pull the good leg up towards your chest. You can use a belt or leash to help pull the leg up if your hips are not very flexible.

Finally, turn over onto all fours, or quadruped and cross the injured side in front of you. This is going to be a big stretch, so only do this if you are not feeling much of a stretch with the other exercises. Once you cross your leg over, lean down towards the floor to the opposite shoulder. 

Knee Stretches

Buy the Knee Stretches WorksheetKnee pain is very common, and OA or osteoarthritis is one of the main causes of knee pain. It can also be caused by weakness, tendonitis, or bursitis. In more severe cases, you might have injured your meniscus or ligaments. This video will show you some great stretches to keep the pressure from tight muscles off your knee joint.

The first stretch is bending the knee, or knee flexion stretch. You can use a belt or dog leash to help you slide your foot towards you. You can do this 10 to 15 times with a little pause at the end stretch. 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. 

Now 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. 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 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. 

 

IT Band Stretches

Buy the IT Band Stretches WorksheetYour IT band is on the outer portion, or the lateral part of your thigh. IT stands for iliotibial band, and it goes from your hip, illium, to the lower part of the knee, tibia. The IT band can get very tight and cause a lot of pain in the knee and hip. Runners often get really tight IT bands when they increase their training. This video will show you some great ways to stretch your IT band.

The first stretch you can do standing. Find a wall to lean against, and stand sideways to the wall with your injured side towards the wall. Cross the injured leg behind the good side, and lean your hip towards the wall. Hold for 30 seconds, and do it three times. The next stretch will be lying down on your back. Grab a belt or dog leash and put it around your foot. Keep your leg straight and gently pull the leg across your body. Then 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.

The last stretch is a very intense stretch and will hurt some people. If you have a noodle or foam roll, lie on your side with the injured side down on the roll. Gently roll/pull your leg up and down from the hip to just past the knee. 

 

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