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.

10 Best Back Pain Exercises & Stretches (Basic)

Buy Back Exercises and Stretches WorksheetBasic back pain exercises and stretches like these can help relieve general back pain.

Once you have mastered these back stretches and exercises, you can try my advance back exercises.

The first exercises for back pain are pelvic tilts and bridges. These are my favorite exercises not only for the back, but also for the hips and knees.

Next are some back stretches. The piriformis figure 4 stretch, child’s pose (prayer stretch), and cat/dog (cat/cow) are great for helping your back, hips, and core.

Then there is the single knee to chest, double knee to chest, and supine trunk rotation. These are great for helping to relax the back even before you get out of bed in the mornings.

The last basic moves to help with back pain are supine hamstring stretch with a strap and supine IT band stretch with a strap. Lying down and using a strap helps you relax your back to get the best stretch.

Related Videos:

Back Pain Relief Exercises & Stretches

Upper Back Pain Exercises & Stretches

10 Best Balance Exercises (Basic)

Purchase a printout of these exercisesThese basic balance exercises can help improve your balance and can also strengthen your hips, knees & ankles. This series is a good place to start for improving your balance.

The Romberg series starts out on the easier side, but can get harder. When you place your feet together, it makes your base of support smaller, and this makes your muscles work harder. You can do Romberg with your eyes open, eyes closed, head turns side to side, head movements up and down, and on an uneven surface.

You can also do all of these with a tandem stance. Tandem is when one foot is directly in front of the other. You can modify this by just placing one slightly ahead of the other.

Related Videos:

Improve Your Balance with Simple Exercises

Balance Exercises for Fall Prevention

Best TENS Unit & Reviews

Best TENS Units

TENS units come in a variety of sizes and configurations, but they all do basically the same thing.

What is a TENS Unit?

TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. TENS units use electrical currents that follow nerve pathways to help decrease pain. Even though this treatment has become popular over the last few decades, electrical stimulation as a way to decrease pain has been around for centuries. Historically, medical practitioners used electrical fish and even static electricity to help decrease pain in their patients.

Which TENS Unit is Best?

There are many different types of TENS units available on the market today. You can get a standard unit that just has TENS functionality, or you can get units with a TENS/EMS combination. TENS units' prices range form very inexpensive at about $30 to over $1,000. But surprisingly, most of the units do about the same thing. As long as you are purchasing your TENS unit from a reputable company, you should get a unit that does what it’s suppose to do (so make sure you check those reviews!). 

If They All Do the Same Thing, Why Are Prices All Over the Board?

The price differences basically boil down to the “bells and whistles” each unit has. Think of TENS units like cell phones. All cell phones make phone calls, but the more you pay for the phone, usually the more and/or better features it will have. You may pay more for things like a better camera, a faster processor, more storage space, a bigger screen, a smaller phone, etc.

That's pretty much how TENS units work. You pay more for additional features. These features can do things like help make the unit easier to use or make it easier to carry around with you.

Make sure you pick the features you think you will benefit from the most. You want the unit’s features to match your lifestyle. If you don’t like fancy things, go simple. But on the other hand, if you love technology and end up getting a basic unit to save a few bucks, you may wish you had more advanced features in the long run.

TENS unit features are seemingly endless. And manufacturers are coming up with new and exciting features all the time. From wired to wireless, touch screen to rotary dials, big to small, rechargeable to traditional batteries, and the list goes on. They even have TENS units that can be controlled with your phone, or that deliver the electric current to the beat of your favorite music!

There are so many options to choose from, so make sure your unit has all the features you want, but also make sure you aren’t paying for features you will never use.

I Like These TENS Units

With that said, since there are so many brands/units out there, it can be really tough to decide which one is right for you.

Luckily, I've had the opportunity to use and review many different brands of TENS units. If you'd like to see some of those reviews and tutorials, here's a TENS Unit playlist I created on YouTube.

If you're looking for a TENS unit that's on the lower budget end, but still does a good job, CUH and Easy @ Home are great choices. See my video featuring a CUH unit here, and my video featuring an Easy @ Home unit here.

If you are looking for a TENS unit with some more bells and whistles, HealthmateForever has many higher end choices including wireless units for extra portability and convenience. They also have some lower budgets units, too, so make sure to check them all out. I have several videos featuring HealthmateForever units. Here's a link to them on YouTube.

NOTE: The product links above are affiliate links. If you purchase a product using those links, Doctor Jo will receive a commission.

The Best TENS Unit is the One You Will Actually Use!

It doesn't really matter which TENS unit you pick, as long as it's from a reputable brand, has good reviews, and you actually use it! After all, it won't do any good at relieving pain if it's always sitting on your counter.

Restless Legs Syndrome Relief (RLS)

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) causes uncomfortable or painful sensations in the legs and an overwhelming urge to move them. It often happens in the evening or when you are trying to go to sleep.

To help relieve restless legs syndrome symptoms, start off by massaging, foam rolling, or using a rolling stick to relax the large muscles in your legs like your quads, hamstrings, and calf muscles.

Once you have massaged them out, you can stretch all of these muscles as well with a stretch strap, dog leash, or belt.

Some exercises like ankle pumps and bridges help work the muscles to fatigued them out. This should help calm them down as well.

Finally, the child’s pose is a great stretch for the whole body, and can really help you calm everything back down before you go to sleep.

Learn how to get on my "Wall of Thanks."

Related Videos:

Calf Pain Relief

7 Best Treatments to Prevent Leg Pain & Fatigue in Runners

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