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.

Shoulder PNF Exercises

Once you have mastered strengthening your shoulder in one single plane (flexion/extension, abduction/adduction), you can challenge your shoulder with PNF exercises. PNF stands for Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation. This is when you challenge your muscles in different ways and different planes.  

The first motion is called a D2 pattern. Cross your arm over your body and turn your hand like you are grabbing an imaginary sword out of your pocket. Pull your arm up and across your body while turning and opening your hand until it is up in the air on the same side as the arm with your hand and fingers fully open, like your are throwing the imaginary sword up and away from you. Now reverse that pattern going back down.

Then you will perform a D1 pattern. Make a fist with your hand, put your hand across your chest, almost like you are saying the Pledge of Allegiance with your fist closed. Now bring your arm down and back across your body while twisting and open your fist behind you. Then reverse the pattern back upward.

Once you have mastered these, you can add in a resistive band, but remember, these are very difficult, so don't do these until you are ready!

 

Shoulder Strengthening Exercises with Resistive Band

A great way to rehab your shoulder is to do exercises with a resistive band. They come in many different colors so make sure the one you have is the right resistance for you. They can be used if you have been diagnosed with shoulder tendonitis, bursitis, adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder, shoulder impingement, or if you are recovering from a surgery.

The first exercise is going to be rows or scapular retraction. You can use your feet as an anchor. You want to keep your elbows in close to your body and make a rowing motion. Try to squeeze your shoulder blades together when you pull back. Make sure you are using a slow controlled motion. The next exercise is going to be punches or scapular protraction. Wrap the band around you, and keep your arms straight in front of you. Punch forward, but try not to bend your elbows. Now you are going to hold the band in front of you and put your thumbs up on top. Keep your elbows bent by your sides. This exercise is external rotation. Pull your hands apart, but try not to pull your elbows away from your sides.

The final exercises are going to be performed standing. Try to keep your arm straight the whole time and don't bend your elbows. Your thumb is going to be pointed upwards. You are going do put your arm out at a 45 degree angle which we call scaption. Then you are going to do abduction which is out to the side. The last two are front and back which are flexion and extension. You don't need to raise the band way above your head. You can bring it to a 90 degree angle which is where your arm is parallel to the floor. 

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Stretches

Here are some simple Carpal tunnel syndrome stretches. Wrist flexion and extension with radial and ulnar deviation are the stretches to loosen up the scar tissue that has build up in the carpal tunnel. Also you can use overpressure and the prayer stretch to stretch the tendons and vessels running through your carpal tunnel. 

Your carpal tunnel can get irritated and inflamed when working on the computer for a long time or any activity that puts excess pressure on your wrist area. There are many vessels that run through the carpal tunnel, and the nerves can get compressed and cause pain and numbness in the hands. This is called carpal tunnel syndrome. Not only can it be painful, but it also can cause aching, shooting pain, numbness, or just stiffness. Make sure that you have been diagnosed by your doctor that it is truly carpal tunnel syndrome. Many times numbness and pain in the hands can actually be coming from your neck and be misdiagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome.

The first stretches will be to loosen up your wrist. Make a fist, and at your wrist, bend your hand up and down, or flexion and extension. Then you can go side to side, or radial and ulnar deviation. You can open your fist and straighten your hands for an increased stretch. If that doesn't feel like enough stretch, you can give yourself some overpressure by using your other hand and push in the directions your are stretching. Hold these for 30 seconds and do three of each. If you want to stretch the hands together, you can do a prayer stretch by putting your hands together and bending at the wrist.

 

Knee Strengthening Exercises

This video will show you some very simple but effective knee strengthening exercises without having to go to a gym or buy weights. Knee pain can come from many things such as knee weakness, osteoarthritis (OA), tendonitis, or bursitis. 

The first exercise is a step up. You can use books or a step at home. The important part to remember is quality over quantity. Don't go fast with these exercises. Control the movements to make the muscles do the work instead of momentum doing the work. Also make sure with all these exercises that your knee does not go in front of your toes. This puts extra pressure on your knee and can cause damage. Just start with 10 and then work your way up. Once you can do 20-25 easily, add some height to the step. 

The next exercise is a lunge. You can use your books for a target now. Step over the books and try to touch them with your back knee. Once it becomes easy, then you can take the books away until you get to the floor. 

Finally, you are going to do squats. The best way to do a squat is to give yourself a target like a chair or couch. You can also put books on the chair if the chair is too low to start. Spread your feet about shoulder width apart, and again, make sure your knee does not go in front of your toes.

Here are some more Knee Stretches and Exercises.

Basic Gait Exercises in a Pool

One of the best ways to get your walking or gait pattern back after an injury is aquatic gait exercises. Walking in the water not only takes away some of gravity, but it also allows you to concentrate on getting your correct pattern back. It is a great way to get a workout without a lot of impact on your joints. These gait exercises are a good warm-up before you do an aquatic therapy workout.

It is really important to make sure you have good posture when you are in the pool. It is really easy to move your upper body a lot, but you want to try to keep your upper body straight and upright. Squeeze in your abdominals to help keep that upright position. Using ankle weights can be very beneficial.  Not only do they give you some extra resistance, but they also keep your feet on the ground while doing the exercises.

To start off, simply walk forward. Concentrate on a heel to toe walking. When we walk on land, our heels hit first and we roll onto and push off with our toes. Exaggerate this movement while you walk while keeping that upright posture. Then reverse it and go backwards. Now your toes are going to hit first and roll back onto your heels. Try not to lean back when you are doing this, and keep your body upright. 

Next, turn sideways. When you step, it is important to keep your toes pointed forward. If you turn your foot out when you step, you are changing the muscles being worked. Finally, march by bringing your knee up toward the surface of the water getting a bend in your knee and hip. Really try to drive your knee upward to get a good stretch. Again, don't lean forward, try to keep your body upright. 

Depending on how fast you go, these should take you between 5-10 minutes and is used as a warm-up to your exercises.

Always use CAUTION with Exercising in a Pool:

If you can't swim, don't do these exercises unless there is a certified lifeguard on duty. Working out in a pool can be very deceiving. Many times you will feel great while in the pool because gravity is taken away. It feels easy and you want to do a lot, but always start at a baseline. If you have not performed aquatic exercises before, you have to let your body adapt to it no matter what your fitness level. Pool workouts should only start at about 40 minutes, and you shouldn't be in the pool longer than an hour especially if it is a heated pool. Don't let the water fool you!

 

Pages

 


DISCLAIMER: The videos, posts and comments contained on this website are not medical advice or a treatment plan and are intended for general education and demonstration purposes only. They should not be used to self-diagnose or self-treat any health, medical, or physical condition. Don’t use this website to avoid going to your own healthcare professional or to replace the advice they give you. Consult with your healthcare professional before doing anything contained on this website. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Ask Doctor Jo, LLC, its officers, employees, and contractors for any and all losses, injuries, or damages resulting from any and all claims that arise from your use or misuse of this website’s content. Ask Doctor Jo, LLC makes no representations about the accuracy or suitability of this content. Use of this website is at your sole risk. 

AFFILIATE LINK DISCLAIMER: This site contains affiliate links and ads to purchase various products. When you click on links and ads to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the Amazon Associate Program.