Last year was one hell of a year wasn't it?
While horrible for so many, 2020 provided me with a unique opportunity to dip my toes into something I've long wanted to explore but seldom had the time - YouTube videos.
I created the Your Wellness Nerd channel back in 2013 but decided to upload consistently at the beginning of April 2020. So it's fair to say it's definitely still in its infancy in terms of size and reach.
But I'm proud to see it already showing signs of growth (we hit the coveted 1,000 subscriber mark on Thanksgiving Day, 2020) in such a short amount of time.
YouTube is the perfect platform for those with a passion for education and something helpful to share. And my neverending quest to better understand and solve musculoskeletal injuries is, at least in theory, a great match.
So as 2021 begins I'd like to take a look back over the last 12 months and highlight the 13 most watched videos from the Your Wellness Nerd YouTube Channel in 2020.
I genuinely hope they help you find the missing piece to your pain puzzle in 2021!
13. The Role of Upper Back Stiffness in AC Joint Injuries
Acromioclavicular joint injuries (tip of the shoulder) are traditionally related to direct trauma.
Whether it be the impact from a fall or knock, the process of injuring an AC joint is often pretty straight forward. Trauma meets shoulder and shoulder joint gets injured, right?
Well, what if there was more to this situation than we realize?
Clinically, I find rib cage and upper back stiffness makes the AC joint less able to buffer direct trauma. These restrictions potentially take away our ability to bend and not break.
Here's more on the link between the two and some exercises to help!
Just outside the top 10 is an interesting video on what I've found to be a common cause of gluteal tendonitis - low back dysfunction.
Clinically, I find that joint stiffness and tightness in the upper reaches of the lumbar spine and base of the ribcage can short-circuit gluteal function, setting the gluteal tendons up to fail.
In this video I touch on that very connection and offer up some effective things to add to your traditional rehab for gluteal tendon dysfunction.
11. How to Treat Your Hip Bursitis
Interestingly, this video follows a similar logic the Gluteal Tendon video above. There also appears to be a hidden connection between low back dysfunction and the onset and persistence of hip bursitis.
This may not surprise some as Bursitis and Gluteal Tendonitis are often linked together.
In this video, I again touch on the back-hip connection and how you can go about correcting it.
Focusing more on the back in my hip bursitis treatment has completely revolutionized my patients capscity to improve.
Hope it helps you!
10. The Root Cause of Calf Tears
Like most YWN content, I want to pass on the interesting things I find clinically. I do so in the hope it turns out to be the missing piece to your pain puzzle.
And in terms of soft-tissue injuries we tend to forget that the moment we tear something is often the last straw not the start of something new.
So when dealing with a calf tear, there's usually a bigger picture lurking behind the scenes
In this video, I discuss how ankle and low back dysfunction can set the calf up to fail, and some important exercises to add to any calf tear rehab or prevention program.
9. How to Stop Your Ankles From Clicking
Clicking ankles may not be the biggest issue on this list, but its certainly not the rarest either.
With any unwanted sound effects its easy to assume there might be some underlying joint dysfunction or arthritis. But thankfully an ankle that clicks is more commonly associated with basic mechanical dysfunction than wear and tear.
How do we know this? Well, by improving the associated mechanical dysfunction we can see an immediate change in these symptoms.
Ankle stiffness and any soft-tissue tightness around the joint can force a change in the way things work. Therefore silencing these sounds is often an exercise in hunting for and reducing this somewhat hidden dysfunction.
Here are some exercises you can do to immediately change those clicking ankles.
8. What I've Come to Understand About Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is certainly a unique and complicated topic. As a condition, its both criminally under appreciated and comes with much stigma. Often to the detriment of those with it.
Those battling Fibromyalgia just don't get the same answers to hang their hat on like a knee or ankle injury.
Over the years I've been fortunate to treat a number of people with Fibromyalgia. And I've come to understand some really important concepts surrounding its potential onset and persistence.
Whether it be the effects of a chronically heightened nervous system, the presence of common musculoskeletal issues to the lack of understanding from the general public - there's much we can improve on clinically.
In this video I go through one of the most important features of Fibro and offer up a few options to try for those in need of help.
7. The Root Cause of Patellofemoral Joint Pain
Despite how common patellofemoral joint pain is its another condition that's easy to miss the bigger picture.
Clearly the knee cap is the issue here but understanding why can be the difference between a solution or something reoccurring.
Whether its ankle stiffness, hip tightness, hip muscle weakness or - surprise, surprise, low back dysfunction, we need to make sure we explore both above and below the knee for clues.
Here's what to look for and some corrective exercises.
6. An Effective Hip Impingement Exercise for FAI
Femoro-acetabular impingement (or FAI) can seriously debilitate those with the condition.
We have long thought that bony hip irregularities cause deep hip joint wear, tear, pain and dysfunction if left untreated. Couple this with weak hip and core muscles and FAI can be a disaster.
Interestingly, I find FAI is also closely related to hip joint capsular stiffness. More importantly, I find that one specific hip capsule stretch can help restore normal loading to the area. This extra slack may ultimately improve how things feel.
In many cases there may still be local bone and joint damage. But this improved function can separate who might still need surgery from those who can recover conservatively.
This exercise is a must try for Femoro-acetabular impingement.
5. Osteitis Pubis: Addressing its Underlying Cause
Similar to FAI above, Osteitis Pubis can also be a debilitating condition for many. So much so that it can seriously restrict even the most elite athlete.
However, I find clinically that we again might be missing some crucial pieces to the puzzle.
If you have stiff hips or a restricted low back you can completely change the way you load the pubic bone.
And if all we focus on is core, glute and adductor strength with other muscular stretches - without addressing these rusty hip and spinal sections, we might be allowing the condition to incapacitate many athletes unnecessarily.
Here are two exercises I find really helpful at going after these somewhat hidden aspects of Osteitis Pubis.
4. Important Exercises for Meniscal Injuries
Meniscal injuries, much like patellofemoral joint pain is often a consequence of a breakdown somewhere else.
By going after any hidden ankle stiffness, hip restrictions, hip muscle weakness and even low back dysfunction, we can improve the way the knee functions. This allow the meniscus to exist more happily.
Clearly there's a certain level of meniscal damage that may still need surgical help. But if the original injury occurred due to the presence of these hidden factors then its vitally important to correct them if we want to avoid surgery or restore normal function to the knee post-op.
Here are some exercises that target these broader issues.
3. What You Need to Know (and Do) About a Frozen Shoulder
Like many conditions on this list, Frozen Shoulders can be a long and frustrating experience for so many people.
As a medical industry, I still think we lack the necessary perspective to completely influence every frozen shoulder.
Because of this, many are forced to tolerate the painful "freezing" stage and battle through the frustrating "thawing" stage. All this without feeling a strong sense of control over their fate.
In this video, I discuss what I've come to understand about the cause of Adhesive Capsulitis. I also go through a really helpful exercise to address that painful capsular stiffness associated with frozen shoulder.
2. How to Treat Achilles Tendonitis From Home
Achilles tendonitis (tendinopathy) is yet another common musculoskeletal complaint. So it's no surprise how high up on the list it is.
Unfortunately, many with Achilles tendonitis find it hard to shake.
In this video, I touch on the broader hidden mechanical cause of Achilles dysfunction and why your ankle, hip and low back need just as much of your attention as the Achilles itself.
Hopefully those with Achilles pain find the exercises both helpful and enlightening!
1. Top 3 Exercises to Treat Plantar Fasciitis
Looking back, its no surprise that Plantar Fasciitis tops the list of most watched videos on the Your Wellness Nerd YouTube channel in 2020. It's another issue that seems to affect people of all ages and activity levels. It can also be hard to shake.
Thankfully, a little perspective highlights that plantar fasciitis is more than just a foot problem.
Like Achilles tendonitis, there are a number of hidden features that can cause the plantar fascia to become sore.
Ankle stiffness, hip, or low back dysfunction are important f you're hoping to conquer Plantar Fasciitis long-term.
Here's a really helpful starting point.
Bonus: How to Do the Couch Stretch (Beginners Guide)
I couldn't put a video list together without fitting this one in. Especially since it sat just outside the top 13 at the time of writing.
The Couch Stretch is easily one of the best and most effective stretches you should be doing. It has an insane ability to free up the front of the hip and unload both the knee and lower back.
Not only that, but it can be scaled up or down depending on how tight your anterior hip might be.
Try and get to the point where you can add a band to the stretch. Similarly, also try and do it on the floor up against the wall eventually. If you can, you'll go a long way to correcting a large array of back, hip, knee and even foot/ankle issues.
It's such an impressive mobility exercise to do!
And there we have it!
Hopefully these videos help you in some way.
If you have another issue that didn't make the list or you're just hoping to learn new ways to improve how your body functions, please head over to the Your Wellness Nerd YouTube channel and have a look.
While you are there, please consider subscribing and ring that notification bell to know when a new video goes live.
Furthermore, let me know in the comments what you need help with and I'll cover it in a video. Who knows, it might make its way to the top of the list at the end of 2021!