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 Neck Exercises for Neck Pain Relief

Neck exercises can help prevent neck pain by strengthening the neck muscles, which can help prevent neck injuries. When our neck muscles are weak, they can press on nerves and cause instability.

These are my favorite neck strengthening exercises.

The first is a chin tuck. Chin tucks are not only a great way to strengthen your neck muscles, but they also help correct bad posture by “resetting” the muscles.

The next exercise is a shoulder squeeze. This does a great job of strengthening the trap muscles as well as the rhomboid muscles, and they help open up the chest.

Cervical isometric exercises including extension, flexion, rotation, and sidebending are a good way to start the strengthening process. These work really well when the full movement is either too painful or when you might not be able to do the movement yet per precautions.

The next two exercises use a resistive band for sidebending, rotation and chin tucks. Resistive bands do a great job of getting the concentric and eccentric movement of the muscles.

The last exercise is a shoulder shrug. You can do these with or without weights, and you can do them by standing on a resistive band.

Thanks to Axis Scientific for giving us Dr. Mo Musclestein. Learn more about this muscle replica model and Axis Scientific's other great products.

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Calf Pain or Strain Stretches & Exercises

Calf pain often comes from a calf strain, which basically means you have torn calf muscle fibers in the lower leg. A calf strain can be mild to severe and will cause various levels of calf pain.

These stretches and exercises for should help relieve the pain.

You can do calf stretches sitting on the floor or standing up. When you are on the floor you can stretch it with a strap, and standing you can do several ways including a runner’s stretch. You can also stretch the soleus muscle, which sits under the calf or gastroc muscle. It’s important to stretch this muscle as well.

While you are on the floor, you can strengthen your calf muscle with a resistive band. Pushing your foot into plantarflexion will help activate and strengthen the calf.

It’s also important to strengthen your glutes and whole leg. When you have a calf strain, it can affect other muscles in the area. Doing a sidelying hip abduction is a great strengthening exercise for this.

Some great simple strengthening exercises in standing are calf raises, and calf eccentric lowers. This helps the muscle heal and strengthen. Balancing on one foot is also a great way to do this.

Some higher level exercises that you might not be ready for in the beginning are squats with a heel raise and “sneaky” lunges on your toes. These require a lot of balance and strength, so don’t try them until you are ready.

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Greater Trochanteric Bursitis, aka Hip Bursitis

Greater trochanteric bursitis or hip bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa on the outside of the hip, which can cause hip pain. The greater trochanter is the bony area it sits on. There are many bursae in the hip which can cause hip pain, but the greater trochanteric is the most common one.

These stretches and exercises should help you find pain relief.

The main muscles to stretch are your hamstrings, IT band, piriformis, and gluteus muscles. When these muscles are tight, they can cause a lot of pressure on the bursa which will irritate it can cause pain.

Strengthening the hip is very important as well because weakness can also cause bursitis. Clamshell and side planks do a great job of strengthening the hip in general and the gluteus medius muscles. Planks are also great to strengthen the core in general, and this will help as well.

Straight leg raises, hip abduction in sidelying, and prone extension are also great ways to strengthen the hip and pelvis area. When you strengthen these muscles, it helps to get everything working normally again.

Finally, a leg extension in quadruped not only helps with hip stability, but it also helps strengthen the core, hamstrings, and glutes.

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10 Best Knee Pain Stretches

Knee pain stretches are great for the several muscles that cross the knee joint and end at the knee joint. When any of them are tight, they can cause knee pain, knee stiffness, and difficulty walking. These are my favorite knee stretches to help relieve knee pain.

The first stretch is really a mobilization of the patella (kneecap). It does a great job of stretching out the muscles/tendons that hold the patella in place.

The next stretch is a heel slide. It also helps strengthen the knee as well. The stretch is a gentle way to stretch the quad muscle.

The next stretches stretch the calf, hamstrings, and IT band. All these muscles cross over the knee joint, so when they are tight, they put extra pressure on the joint.

The quad stretch is important because the quad tendon connects to the patella. If it is tight, it pushes the patella down into the femur bone, which can cause pain and degeneration of the joint.

The next stretches are for the groin, hip flexor, and adductors. Even though they don’t directly cross over the knee joint, if they are tight, they can cause pain and problems walking.

Thanks to Axis Scientific for giving us Dr. Mo Musclestein. Learn more about this muscle replica model and Axis Scientific's other great products.

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Hip Tendonitis Stretches & Exercises

Hip tendonitis stretches and exercises can help relieve many types of hip pain. Hip tendonitis is a very general term basically meaning inflammation in any one of the tendons at and around the hip. Hip tendonitis can cause hip pain, which is usually gradual. It can also cause tenderness in the hip over the affected tendon

These stretches and exercises should help.

A hip flexor and quad stretch in the lunge position is a great way to loosen up the hip joint. When these are tight, they can also cause problems walking and pain in other joints as well.

A figure four stretch for the glutes and piriformis muscles help loosen up the back of the hip. Sometimes this pain is misdiagnosed as sciatica.

After you have stretched, you want to strengthen the hip muscles. One of the best ways to do this is a 4-way hip on the floor. This strengthens the hip flexors, hip abductors, hip extensors, and hip adductors.

While you are on the floor, you can do some higher level exercises. Side planks with a hip drop is a great way to strengthen the hip as well as the core in general. These can also be done modified if you are not quite ready for full ones.

Finally, this stretch/strengthening combination movement really helps with hip strengthening, balance, hip stability, and hip flexibility. Make sure you hold onto something for balance, and you might not want to try this until you are almost ready to return to all activities.

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