Knee & Leg Pain

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.

5 Best Sciatic Stretches for Piriformis Syndrome

Buy Sciatica Stretches WorksheetSciatic pain can be caused by a few different things. These are my 5 favorite stretches for sciatica from a tight piriformis.

The first sciatica stretch is a figure four stretch lying down.  It is a great stretch for the piriformis muscle, and you can modify it if needed.

The next stretch is a knee to opposite shoulder stretch.  This stretches the piriformis in a slightly different way, so it might feel more comfortable than the figure four.

Then there is the trunk rotation in long sitting.  This not only stretches your piriformis muscle, but it also stretches your trunk and low back, so if you are having some pain there too, it might be a good one for you.

Now you will do a modified pigeon stretch.  Sometimes the pigeon stretch is too difficult for people to get in that position.  This one slightly changes the tension, and makes it a little easier to get into.

The last stretch is a seated figure four stretch.  This is great if you don’t have time or the place to lie down on the floor.  It’s also a great alternative for people who have a hard time getting off the floor.

Related Videos:

Sciatica: Is it Piriformis Syndrome or a Herniated Disc?

Piriformis Syndrome Stretches & Exercises

7 Best Knee Strengthening Exercises

Buy Knee Strengthening WorksheetSponsored Content: This video contains paid product placement. Thank you to Titan Compression for sponsoring this video and providing Doctor Jo with frww compression knee sleeves to use. If you purchase this product from these links/ads, Doctor Jo will receive a commission.

Click here to purchase Titan Compression Knee Sleeves.

These knee strengthening exercises don't require using a lot of weights. If you have some knee pain, you might want to use knee compression sleeves. They can help reduce swelling, pain, and give your knee some compression during the exercises while helping the healing process. In this video, I'm using Titan Compression Sleeves.

The first exercise to help strengthen the knee is a short arc quad (SAQ), this is a great way to get started without doing to much to the knee. It helps strengthen the quad muscles with extend or straighten the knee.

The next knee strengthening exercises are a bridging series including a regular bridge, bridging with a band, and bridging squeezing into a ball. These all are great for the hamstrings, glutes, and surrounding muscles of the knee and hips.

Then you will do a long arc quad (LAQ), this is like the SAQ, but it is a longer arch with works the quad muscles in a bigger range of motion.

The final two exercises for the knee are a squat and a squat with a band. Squats do a great job of strengthen all of the lower leg muscles including hamstrings, quads, glutes, hip flexors, and others.

Related Videos:

Knee Strengthening Exercises

Real Time Knee Pain Stretches & Exercises

Sciatica - Is it Piriformis Syndrome or a Herniated Disc?

Sciatica symptoms can be caused by piriformis syndrome or a herniated disc. Here are some easy ways to help narrow it down, and some treatments for each.

It’s important to know which one is causing the sciatica so you can treat it appropriately.

Piriformis syndrome is when the sciatic nerve is compressed by the piriformis muscle. Since the sciatic nerve runs down behind the leg and under the piriformis, if it is tight and pushing on the nerve, it can cause pain, weakness, numbness and tingling. An easy way to test if your piriformis is tight, is to lie on your stomach with your feet bent up to the ceiling. Let them drop down to the side. If one doesn’t go as far and feels tight, it could be piriformis syndrome.

Some piriformis stretches including the figure 4 and the knee to opposite shoulder should help loosen up the muscle and reduce symptoms.

A herniated disc can compress the sciatic nerve at the spine. To test this, you can lie on your stomach and prop up on your elbows. This might cause pain in the low back, and in the beginning, it might reproduce symptoms, causing pain, weakness, numbness and tingling. Though you might feel pain at first, one of the treatments is to hold this position, and the symptoms should start to go away.

Besides prone props, you can do prone press ups, and a cat/dog stretch in quadruped to help relieve the symptoms.

Related Videos:

Sciatica Stretches & Exercises

Herniated Disc Stretches & Exercises

Patellar Tendonitis Exercises & Stretches for Pain Relief

Buy Patellar Tendonitis Worksheet

Patellar tendonitis, or jumper’s knee, is when there is pain in the knee right at the attachment of the patellar tendon to the kneecap (patella). These stretches & exercises should help with patellar tendonitis.

The first thing is to get the patella loosened up and moving by doing some patellar mobs. Make sure not to push downward when moving the patella.

Then you want to stretch all the muscles around the knee including the quads, hamstrings, and calf muscles. The all can cause a lot of pain in the knee if they are tight.

Finally, you want to strengthen the muscles around the knee and hip. Straight leg raises, sidelying hip abduction, prone hip extension, prone leg lifts, bridges, and clamshells work muscles around the knee and hip including the hip flexors, hip abductors, gluteus medius and maximus, hamstrings, and core muscles.

Related Videos:

Real Time Knee Pain Stretches

10 Best Knee Pain Stretches

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