"Protrusions and herniated discs - blame the leg-crossing position". Here's why

Neurologist-vertebrologist and manual therapy specialist, Professor of the UnitelmaSapienza Roman University and the UniCamillus International Medical University, Jalal Saidbegov, explains why sitting cross-legged can have a negative impact on the health of the spine. This position can cause a disruption of the anatomical structures of the intervertebral disc, which can lead to the development of protrusions and hernias in the lumbar region.

Even for healthy individuals, this position is not very beneficial, so it should not be abused. However, there are a number of recommendations that can help reduce the risk of negative consequences:

  • If you cannot avoid this position, try not to sit in it for a long time and not use it too often.
  • Try to sit in this position for no more than five minutes, after which switch legs, making the upper leg the lower one, and vice versa. This will help redistribute the load on the spine and reduce its one-sided tension.
  • Never bend forward or twist when sitting in this position, as this can further increase the load on the intervertebral discs.
  • It is better to spend most of the time sitting in a classic and more useful position, leaning back and resting against the back of the chair, without leaving empty space between the lower back and the lower part of the chair back. Your legs should be able to reach the floor freely. If your chair or armchair is too high, you can use a footrest to achieve a comfortable position.

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Author`s name Petr Ermilin