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Does Crossing Your Ankles Give You Back Pain?

Posted Aug 24 2008 9:44pm

If you're suffering from low back or neck pain and you frequently cross your legs or ankles while sitting at your desk, try uncrossing and see if your pain subsides.

Instead of crossing your ankles or knees while you sit, place both feet flat on the floor and stretch your spine upwards to lift your body weight up out of your waist.

Also, notice if you cross your ankles while watching tv, laying in bed, and at periods of rest in your pilates or yoga classes.

Habitually crossing your legs isn't balanced- it has a domino effect all the way up your spine. If your feet are the base of the body, and they're crossed, a similar twisting and tightening energy travels up into the rest of your body. This tightening rests at points on the way up, specifically in your low back or neck.

As a pilates teacher, I've been taught to notice this. If a student comes in, complaining of neck pain, they are very likely to cross their ankles subconsciously during exercises like Kneeling Chest Expansion and Swan on the tower.

So next time you're sitting at the computer and feel low back or neck pain coming on, stop for a minute and notice how you are sitting and what your feet are doing. If you're sitting like the dude in the photo, get thyself to pilates! Read more!
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