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.

Using an Inversion Table for Back Pain Relief

Sponsored Content: This video contains paid product placement. Thank you to Teeter for sponsoring this video and providing Doctor Jo with a free FitSpine LX9 Inversion Table to use. If you purchase products from these links/ads, Doctor Jo will earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

Click here to buy a Teeter Inversion Table!

Inversion tables can be a great way to help get traction in your back / spine. This traction can help stretch and open up the spaces in the spine relieving back pain and pressure.

While inversion tables or traction devices are generally safe, there are some important precautions. People with hypertension, circulation disorders, glaucoma, or retinal detachments should not use inversion table therapy due to the pressure to the head and eyes from hanging upside down. There are some other precautions as well, so make sure to check with your doctor or physical therapist before trying one.

The inversion table I’m using in the video is the Teeter FitSpine LX9. It’s a sturdy inversion table that has a lot of nice features and feels smooth while inverting.

When using an inversion table, shorter, more frequent sessions often work better and help the body adapt to the traction. Also, starting at a modest angle (20-30 degrees) for the first few weeks and increasing over time (only as you are comfortable) is the best way to start.

Begin with short 1-2 minute sessions to allow the body to adapt to inversion. Over time, as you feel comfortable, gradually work up to a duration that allows the muscles to fully relax and release so the back can decompress. This should typically take about 3-5 minutes.

Inversion therapy may help with common conditions like general back pain, herniated discs, sciatica, degeneration, muscle spasms, and other things that can cause back pain and discomfort. Check with your doctor or physical therapist to see if inversion therapy is right for your individual situation.

Related Videos:

Lower Back Pain Exercises & Traction

Back Pain Relief Exercises & Stretches

How to Use a TENS Unit for Sciatic Nerve Pain Relief

Sponsored Content: This video contains paid product placement. Thank you to iReliev for sponsoring this video and providing Doctor Jo with a free Wireless TENS/EMS Unit to use. If you purchase products from these inks/ads, Doctor Jo will earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

Click here to buy the iReliev Wireless TENS/EMS Unit!

Sciatic pain or sciatica is pain that radiates down the sciatic nerve. A TENS unit can be a good way to help relieve this pain.

It’s important to know where the sciatic nerve pain is originating from for the best treatment.

When the sciatic nerve is pressed, you might feel pain, numbness, tingling, shooting, or sharp pain. The nerve can get compressed at the spine or at the piriformis muscle. When it’s getting compressed at the spine, it can be from a herniated disc, stenosis, bone spurs, or degeneration. Once you know where the pain is originating from it is easier to target treatment areas.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can be a good way to help relieve sciatic pain so stretches and exercises can be done that are needed to help the healing process. When TENS is used at the spine, it’s best to not feel any muscle contractions.

Wireless TENS units are a great option for the back and spine area because you don’t have to worry about getting the cords tangled. The iReliev TENS / EMS wireless unit is not only wireless, but it also has 14 different modes to help you get the best option for pain relief. Their large pads also make it easy to place over a larger area, like your back, to get the best coverage.

TENS units have channels (usually one or two), each channel controls two electrodes. With a wireless unit, often the channel has one larger electrode for easier placement. If you are using a wired TENS unit, you want each channel to cross in an X pattern to get the best coverage.

Other Ask Doctor Jo Videos:

iReliev Wireless TENS / EMS Therapeutic Wearable System Review

How to Use a Percussion Massager for Shoulder & Neck Pain Relief

Relieve Shoulder Impingement From Bad Posture

Buy shoulder impingement worksheetShoulder impingement is a general term for inflammation in the shoulder between the scapula (shoulder blade) and the rotator cuff, and it often comes from bad posture.

When shoulder impingement comes from poor posture, it’s often because we are lifting and rolling our shoulders forward. These stretches and exercises may help.

Starting off with a simple shoulder or scapular squeeze will help stretch the chest area and strengthen the upper back area.

Next, a levator scapulae stretch is a great way to relax the muscle that gets overworked when we are stressed.

Seated Ts will also help open up the chest and work the upper back muscles as well. A thoracic side bend will help stretch out the latissimus (lats) muscle which can cause pressure on the scapula when tight.

Finally, getting on all fours or in quadruped, a cat/cow or cat/dog and a prayer stretch (child’s pose) at an angle will also help stretch the upper back and lat area.

More Shoulder Videos:

Shoulder Impingement Exercises

Frozen Shoulder Stretches & Exercises

Core Exercises for Back Pain Relief

Buy Core Strengthening WorksheetBack pain can cause the core to become weak, or a weak core can be what’s actually causing the back pain. So it’s important to strengthen the core to help prevent and relieve back pain.

When strengthening the core, it’s not just about the abs in the front, the whole core is the front, sides, and back area muscles. So it’s important to strengthen all of them.

Start off lying down. Pelvic tilts, bridges, and dead bugs are a great way to get started with strengthening the core.

Next modified and full side planks and planks are a great way to work the core without big movements that might hurt the back.

Finally, bird dogs help strengthen the whole area with stability work. Bird dogs can also be modified if they are too difficult.

Related Videos:

Back Pain Relief Exercises & Stretches

10 Best Lower Back Stretches for Low Back Pain Relief


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