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.

7 Best Knee Strengthening Exercises

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These knee strengthening exercises don't require using a lot of weights. If you have some knee pain, you might want to use knee compression sleeves. They can help reduce swelling, pain, and give your knee some compression during the exercises while helping the healing process. In this video, I'm using Titan Compression Sleeves.

The first exercise to help strengthen the knee is a short arc quad (SAQ), this is a great way to get started without doing to much to the knee. It helps strengthen the quad muscles with extend or straighten the knee.

The next knee strengthening exercises are a bridging series including a regular bridge, bridging with a band, and bridging squeezing into a ball. These all are great for the hamstrings, glutes, and surrounding muscles of the knee and hips.

Then you will do a long arc quad (LAQ), this is like the SAQ, but it is a longer arch with works the quad muscles in a bigger range of motion.

The final two exercises for the knee are a squat and a squat with a band. Squats do a great job of strengthen all of the lower leg muscles including hamstrings, quads, glutes, hip flexors, and others.

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7 Great Core Strengthening Exercises

Sponsored Content: This video contains product placement. Thank you to King Athletic for providing Doctor Jo with a free Swiss Ball to use. If you purchase this product from these links/ads, Doctor Jo will receive a commission.

Click here to purchase a King Athletic Swiss Ball.

These core strengthening exercises are great for improving your core strength. This can help prevent injury, increase core stability, and improve balance. This video starts off with some beginner core exercises and then progresses to some harder ones.

Progress through these core strength exercises at your own pace. If this is your first time doing core exercises, you may not be ready for the last ones yet. It's better to do the easy ones first and then see how you feel the next day.

The first exercise is a pelvic tilt. This is great to get the core moving, and strengthening the whole pelvic area.

The second core exercise is going into a bridge. This not only works your core, but it also works your glutes and hamstrings. If two legs are easy, you can do them with one leg at a time.

The third exercise is with a Swiss or therapy ball. A prayer plank on the ball is a great way to activate your core. You can do this modified or a full plank.

Next you will do a trunk rotation lying down with your feet on the ball. This is great for your oblique muscles. You can also do the trunk rotation seated on the ball. Using a weight will give you an extra workout, but you don’t have to use one.

Now for some harder ones for core strengthening. This one is in tall kneeling, and you will lean back slightly. You can have someone hold onto your feet, or you can place them under something for support. When you are ready, you can do them without any support. This works your core, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

Finally you will do a standing march with elbow tap. You can do this on the same side or opposite sides. Try not do bend your back forward, and use your core to lift your knees.

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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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Herniated Disc Stretches & Exercises

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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