Symptoms, conditions and causes

Does crossing your legs cause low back pain?

Crossing your legs too much is a cause of low back pain. I explain why, and give you a self-treatment to relieve the pain.

There are two muscles running from the top of your 12th rib to the top of your hip bone; one muscle on each side. The function of this muscle is to raise your hip. If you cross your legs too much only on one side, over time this muscle will shorten, pull your vertebrae out of alignment, and pinch the nerve on the shortened side. This leads to low back pain.

I’ll show you what to do to figure out if this is what’s causing your lower back pain, and how to correct this problem and relieve your pain.

When you sit with one ankle crossed on top of the opposite knee, your femur rotates out and causes the pelvis to drop to one side. It’s not a problem to cross your legs if you make sure to alternate sides. Sit down, cross your leg on one side then the other, and see which one is tighter. Gently stretch the one that’s tight.

Even if you sit with your knees crossed over each other, it will have the same result of dropping your pelvis. Do the same check for tightness as I describe above, and gently stretch the side that’s tight. I also explain how to see if pinched nerves are causing your lower back pain. Stand with one leg on a thick book, then lower your opposite foot to touch the floor, and raise it back up. Check both sides to see which side hurts, and which is tighter.

If the right side is tight, you’re going to work on the left. Stand with your right foot on the book and your right knee locked, lower your left foot to the floor, then raise it as high as you can while keeping your right knee locked. Do this ten times. Or if the left side is tight and painful, reverse this. In other words, you want to stretch the side that’s not tight and painful.

After you do this exercise ten times, reassess the painful side. You should find that the pain has disappeared. You can do this exercise ten times on each side on a regular basis as a preventive, and to strengthen the muscles that raise and lower your hips.

Last updated: Aug 04, 2023 14:07 PM