Do you suffer from pain throughout the day? Maybe you have pain in your lower back or shoulders. Maybe your knees bother you when you walk around during the day. You take over-the-counter pain meds just hoping these aches and pains will subside one day. You tell yourself that you don’t have time for surgery and recovery. If this sounds like you, it might be time to take a look at your pelvis.
You might be thinking, “What does my pelvis have to do with any of my problems?” A pelvis that is out of alignment can be the source of many problems. The pelvis is the center of functional movement in the body. Naturally, it is level, but when one side of the pelvis is higher than the other, it can cause weakness, impaired side-to-side balance, and flare-ups of pain in other parts of the body.
Many people have tilted pelvises, and this condition usually goes unnoticed until it starts to cause pain. Sitting at a desk for long periods of time or having poor posture can cause your pelvis to tilt. The bad news is lots of us sit at desks all day, often hunched over to look at a computer. So, what’s the solution?
Don’t worry; you don’t need to quit your desk job right away. Here are some simple habits and stretches you can incorporate into your day to help alleviate discomfort and level your pelvis over time.
Seated Forward Bend: This is a stretch that you can do anytime throughout the day at your desk to stretch your sacroiliac (SI) joint and back muscles. While sitting in a chair, take a wider-than-normal stance with your legs with your feet flat on the floor. First lengthen your spine and then fold forward at the hips so that your chest is moving forward and down. You can grab your thighs behind the knees to pull yourself farther into the stretch. Hold this for up to 10 seconds and repeat as necessary.
Seated Figure Four Stretch: This exercise stretches your gluteal muscles and SI joint. Begin in a neutral seated position in a chair. Bring your left ankle to your right thigh, creating the shape of a number 4. Grab your left knee with both hands and draw your right shoulder towards it. Try to keep a straight spine, leading the movement with your chest instead of your chin or forehead. Hold for five to ten seconds and then repeat on the opposite side. You can do this exercise as many times as needed throughout the day.
30 Minute Rule: Since sitting for long periods of time causes issues, stand up! Make sure to get up and walk around for a couple minutes once every thirty minutes. While you’re up walking around, look for places around your workspace that you might be able to stand and work. The less sitting you do in a day, the better! Incorporate a short walk during lunch or get in the habit of taking the stairs and parking a little farther away. Anything that gets you moving is a small victory!
For more blogs by Dr.Victor Romano, click here.