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Hip Pain with sitting?

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

A common complaint found among desk workers is hip pain esp with sitting. It can also be felt in the groin, low back or pelvic floor. Much of it has to do with the sitting habits.


My profession always keeps me on my toes and so my understanding of different sitting habits at work comes from my common postures I have seen with different patients over the years.


Most common ones I have found is crossing leg (not the indian style! I am talking about knee on knee, ankle on knee), while sitting and this is one of the big ones to contribute to the above pains. Others postures can be sitting with more weight on one hip than other, leaning on one arm rest and sitting, sitting at the edge of the chair. Other common things for those working on computer is when you have 2 screens or your screen is located at an angle on either side and you have to twist to look at the screen!


A study compared 4 different sitting postures, 1. sitting straight in chair, 2. sitting knee on one, 3. sitting ankle on ankle, 4. ankle on knee.


They found significant postural changes with 2-4. There was increase in the buttock pressure on one side, there was scoliosis of lumbar spine, kyphosis of thoracic and lumbar spine, the pelvic was tilted posteriorly (it should be neutral or slightly anterior) there was asymmetry in the pelvic.


So.. how should you sit? I have made 5 point important checklist for correct sitting to avoid pain, if you already have pain then these will stop it from making it worse. Almost 99% of my patients found this checklist helpful no matter what condition they were seeing me for!


A lot of times rib dysfunction or neck dysfunction can lead to pain in the hip or pelvic floor! There can be a lot of complex connections between you root of the problem and your symptoms manifested, which a qualified PT would be able to assess you for. If you are suffering from any kind of pain whether is stemmed from sitting or sitting is making the already present pain worst, it is best to see a physical therapist who is specialized in orthopedics and pelvic health and treats body as a whole instead of looking at a single joint.


References


1. Ahn, S; Kim, S & Kim, Y.(2013). Biomechanical changes during various crossed-leg sitting postures. ISPGR Congress.


2. Ahn, S; Jeon, H; Kim, S et al.(2013). Asymmetrical change in the pelvis and the spine during cross-legged sitting postures. Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology. 27(11) 3427-3432.



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About Dr. Bhavti Soni 

Founder & CEO, Pelvic Health Specialist

Dr. Soni is a pelvic health expert and has been practicing pelvic physical therapy since 12 years and has been a PT since 15 years. She has extensive education in pelvic health and has been  part of expert panels, global conferences and pelvic health courses where she teaches other Pelvic PTs.  She worked in New York City with leading pelvic pain specialists for 4 years before moving to NJ in 2018 to raise a family and started her own premier Pelvic PT practice. She lives with her husband and 3 year old son.

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