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.

Prevent Back Pain with Core Exercises, Quadruped

Core exercises are very important to make the back stronger. Using a swiss ball is a great way to strengthen the core, but not everyone has access to a swiss ball. Some people are also slightly nervous to use one! Here are some great core exercises for your back without having to use any equipment!

Get on your hands and knees in a quadruped position or all fours. Try to keep your back straight like a tabletop, and try to keep your neck in a neutral position so you don't strain anything. Now lift one arm up and bring in straight forward. Alternate your arms, doing 10 on each side. If that is easy, then do the same thing with your legs, and alternate each side 10 times. If it is still easy, then lift your opposite arm and leg and the same time. If that is still too easy for you, then lift the same side arm and leg together. This one is really difficult, so if you can't keep your form, don't try it quite yet!


Stretches for Rhomboid Muscles

The rhomboid muscles are the muscles that pull our shoulder blades together toward the spine. These muscles tend to get overworked and fatigued pretty easily. Often they are the sites of painful trigger points. This video will show you some ways to stretch these rhomboid muscles.

For the first stretch, bring your arm straight across your body. With your other arm, bend it at the elbow, and place it on the elbow to be stretched. It will look almost like a figure four. Hold it for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Next, bring both arms straight out in front of you. Clasp your hands together, and punch forward. Tuck in your chin and arch your back as well. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times. Now with your legs straight out in front of you, cross over the opposite leg of the arm you want to stretch. Twist your trunk toward the leg, and place the elbow of the arm that you want to stretch on the opposite knee. Push forward with your elbow, and hold for 30 seconds repeating 3 times.

Finally, get on all fours or in quadruped. Cross your hands, and then arch your back like a cat. Hold this for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.


How to Lift Heavy Objects Correctly

Lifting something heavy without good technique is one of the most common ways to injure your back. Many times people lift with their back instead of with their legs. This video will show you two different ways to properly lift a moderately heavy object.

As seen in the knee strengthening video, you want to make sure you knees do not go over your toes. Spread your feet about shoulder width apart, and again, make sure your knees do not go in front of your toes. Stick your butt back like you are going to sit in a chair, but try to keep your back straight while bringing your chest forward. Pick up the box or object in a squatted position, and lift with your legs!

The lunge technique is similar to the squat in that you want to make sure your front knee does not go in front of your toes. Keep your back straight, and lean your chest slightly forward so you can pick up the box or object. Lift with your legs!

Getting Up Off the Floor Correctly

"Help, I've fallen and I can't get up" has become a common quote to make fun of, mostly from the over dramatic acting. However, not being able to get up off the floor can be very scary, and not as easy as people would think, especially with an injury or arthritis. This video will show you a simple way to get up off the ground without straining your body

If you are on the ground, get on your bottom with your feet in front of you. Now pull your feet in, and slightly to one side. Once you have done this, roll over onto your feet and knees, and bring your arms forward until you are on all fours, or quadruped. Bring your "good or strong" leg forward with your knee bent into a lunge position. Finally put both hands on your good leg, and push upwards with your arms and legs.


De Quervain's Syndrome Stretches, aka Blackberry Thumb

De Quervain's syndrome is an irritation of the thumb tendons from repetitive movements. Over the last decade, texting has become more popular, and people are having more of these symptoms. Some have even termed it Blackberry thumb.  

It is just as important to stretch the wrist as well as the tendons of the thumb. We will start by stretching your thumb tendons. Take your thumb and cross it over to your pinky finger; bring it back. Now touch it to each finger, returning it to the starting position each time. Next, take your thumb and place it over your pinky finger pressing it to your palm.  Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, and repeat 3 times.

Now it's time to stretch your wrist. Go gently first, bend your wrist down into flexion. Then bend your wrist up into extension. You can use your other hand for some overpressure if you need more of a stretch. Hold each for 30 seconds and do 3 each way.

For the strengthening you can use a can of soup or vegetables. Hold the can and bend your wrist up and down (flexion and extension), then turn your wrist so your thumb is facing up, and go up and down (radial deviation and ulnar deviation). Try 10 each way, and then work your way up as you get stronger.

Take a rubber band and put it around all of your fingers. You can push just your thumb outwards or all of your fingers outwards. Again, start with 10 and then work your way up. Finally take a small ball like a tennis ball or racquet ball, and squeeze it 10 times.




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