My name is John Andraka. I am a physical therapist.
I’d like to demonstrate a few lower extremity flexibility exercises for individuals with
a diagnosis of arthritis. The first exercise is a hamstring stretch. And we are going to
actually grab a belt which we all have at home. I’m going to wrap this around Bob’s
leg, and we’ll raise his leg up if you can grab onto that belt. So this is a hamstring
stretch. The hamstrings run from the insertion at the hip all the way up to behind the knee.
So it’s a two joint muscle. We’re going to hold this stretch for about thirty seconds
or so. Thirty seconds three times has been found in the research to be the most effective
duration and frequency or I should say number of stretches to increase soft tissue flexibility.
So let’s have you bring this leg back down. Next stretch is a hip rotation stretch. And
in individuals with arthritis, let’s have you bend both legs up, in individuals with
arthritis decreased hip rotation is found very frequently. Especially internal rotation
where your leg is moving in this type of motion here. So, basically, we’ll have you come up,
cross your legs, grab onto your knee. You’re going to pull across towards the opposite
shoulder. So again, this is stretching the deep hip internal, or I’m sorry, the deep
rotator muscles including the piriformis muscle which is a common name for this type of stretch.
Frequency of stretching, I would suggest stretching daily. Some of my clients prefer to stretch
in the morning after a hot shower. Or if you go to the gym and get your workout in and
your muscles are nice and warm, that is also another great time to stretch and stretch
out your joints and your muscles. Thank you very much.