A Cautionary Tale Told by a Reformed Chronic Leg-Crosser
Low Back Pain can reduce even the toughest of tough guys to tears.
For years I suffered (and, yes, I even cried) due to recurring bouts of debilitating low back pain that I could not figure out the cause or cure for. I now know that a major contributing factor was an unconscious habit of sitting with one leg crossed over the other … every day … several hours a day … year after year. Happily, I also found my cure for lower back pain.
If you are a leg-crosser, sit up, uncross your legs and pay attention. The following information might provide you with the keys to liberation from chronic pain.
First, get to know your Quadratus Lumborum (or ‘QL’). Your QL inhabit the space between the bottom rib, the pelvis and the transverse processes of the first four lumbar vertebrae. Best known as the ‘hip hiker’ muscle, its primary function is to bring the hip and rib cage closer together (as in sidebending). It should also be known as a chief culprit in cases of low back pain – and definitely held under suspicion when low back pain is one-sided.
Try this experiment:
Sit in a chair.
Cross your left leg over your right.
Notice: the left hip ‘hikes’ up, making your left side waist (and QL) shorter than the right.
If you sit for a large portion of your day – and you habitually cross your legs one way, BEWARE! You are creating a QL imbalance for which you may suffer (or already be suffering) mightily. Fortunately, you can help yourself.
First: Stop crossing your legs. Be vigilant about it. In fact, put a post-it note on your computer screen that says ‘Uncross your legs’ as a reminder.
Second: do the following QL stretches and Yoga Tune Up At Home poses to restore balance to your QL: Sidewinder Pose, Boomerang at the wall and Triangle in Parallel. Whether you are a chronic leg-crosser or not, if your QL is responsible for the pain in your back, these exercises are your therapy. Practice and enjoy freedom from pain. I am!
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