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pelvic twist / unevenness

derek
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02/21/2010 - 4:46am
pelvic twist / unevenness
Hi,

I sit for a large portion of the day at the computer, either reading or writing.  As I've been trying out the techniques of stretchsitting and stacksitting, I've noticed some issues that I'm not sure how to address.  Namely:
1) I have the feeling often that I'm leaning on one sit bone (often to the right, to reach for the mouse I guess) and have a hard time feeling like I'm sitting evenly on both.  I feel like I have to extend my right leg out and leave my left leg bent at the knee to accomplish this. 
2) I also feel twisted at the pelvis, with my right hip reaching forward and my left hip twisted backward (a counter-clockwise twist). 

Is this a common issue with computer users, or more likely some particular physical issue based on my own physiology?  If it is a common issue, are there any remedial exercises/postures that you might recommend? 

I should note that I also feel the twist while standing.  Especially in balancing yoga postures, when balancing on my right leg I feel a strong pull toward the left.  Balancing on my left leg, there really isn't a corresponding pull toward the right.

Thanks for reading, and thanks also for the 8 steps book.  Stretchsitting has really made my back feel great in the last 2 weeks!

Derek
Krista
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12/10/2009 - 9:48pm
Hi Derek,

Pelvic rotation is very common among computer users. It may be the result of how you are using your upper body (mouse on one side) or your lower body (if one leg turns in constantly). It is most often the result of muscle imbalance rather than physiology, and it can be corrected through exercises and stretches. Even in cases that physiology is the cause, it is vital to minimize the impact on the rest of your body. The fact that you can feel this rotation will be very helpful in correcting it, and you are in the right place.

Have you tried stretchlying yet? As an exercise, try this on a soft mat. It will give you more feedback than a bed. Relaxing for a few minutes in this position will allow your pelvis to settle into a more neutral position. At first you may notice one side feels more in contact with the ground. as you relax, you will feel a bit more balanced.

For stretchsitting, check out the adjustments in Step 12 (starts on page 85), Options C, D, and E. While you may not find yourself slumping, adjusting yourself onto your sitting bones can help you get more evenly placed (although this one is best to do at home).

The wall stretch p208 and paperclip on p210 can also be helpful for reducing rotation. 

Without seeing your posture I can't offer more specific exercises, but here are some further resources:

The Egoscue Method is an exercise program designed to help you identify and correct postural imbalances. There are several books and some videos available.

All books by Pete Egoscue...

Health Through Motion has a set of exercises specifically designed for rotation
- they call it Condition 2. Great resource.

Pain Free at your PC sounds like a good fit for you, too. There are exercises that you can do either at home or at work based on how many hours a day you spend on the computer.

Pain Free has exercises for several types of pain, from carpal tunnel to migraines. I always tell my clients and students to read the first three chapters and then go on to the chapter that best describes their worst pain. There is a 99 cent iPhone app that includes the exercise descriptions and is based on Pain Free...I don't know if it's as helpful if you haven't read the book, but it's an easy to access reference at the very least.

There are also videos - basic and advanced - the Pain Free Workout Series.

Feel free to write back if you have further questions.

Best of luck

Krista
derek
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02/21/2010 - 4:46am
Thanks for the detailed reply Krista.  I actually have some experience with Egoscue (from reading the book, not from direct work with a trainer) and did the exercises faithfully for about 2 years.  However, it took up too much time and I gradually drifted away from them.  Now that I am noticing the twisting more and more (perhaps because i have resolved other structural issues) I will revisit his suggestions.
Lumiel
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04/15/2010 - 3:17pm
Hi, this is my first post, so I'm feeling a bit timid here; hope I'm doing the right thing by trying to continue what Derek began.  My problem is not so much with the computer alone, but with that left leaning tower feeling on the left sitz bone and difficulty stretchsitting.  I used the Egoscue book some years ago but found Hanna Somatics more helpful, so stopped the Egoscue work in the interest of limited time.

I was at a seminar with Esther April 8, and she handed out stretchsit cushions and had everyone attach them to their chairs and sit against them as she gave out instructions.  I think I was the only person in the room to get zero results from my efforts.  I wondered if it's because I'm so scoliotic, my entire rib cage has translated all the way (at least an inch!) to the left, so my sternal notch is about an inch to the left of my belly button.  There's also a pelvic twist involved, to complicate things further, as I suspect my condition has gone on for decades, the first decade being unnoticed even by chiropractors.  So I am writing to ask if this is why I get no results from stretchsitting.

I've put two such cushions (one on top of the other) behind me in my car, and that allows me to drop my shoulders back more naturally, but I doubt I'm getting any stretch in the spine. One didn't seem to have any effect at all.  (At the seminar I heard folks exclaiming that they definitely felt a relaxing stretch in their spines)  I don't have the Costco chair, but I use a flat (nonslanted) wooden chair with a straight back that is comfortable for me at the computer.

What seems to help is stretchlying, which I do several times a day.

Any suggestions for stretchsitting? 

And thanks so much for this entire mission and the website and this forum!
Maya
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09/16/2008 - 4:29pm
Lumiel,

The scoliosis and pelvic twist shouldn't prevent you from Stretchsitting. You should know that not everyone feels the stretch, even if they are doing the right thing and getting a bit of traction. However, if you actually feel the stretch in Stretchlying on the Back but not during Stretchsitting, then perhaps you need a bit of guidance. If you're not local, an online free presentation might be helpful, as the instructor will guide you through how to get the desired traction in Stretchsitting.

One thing to be conscious of that many people do wrong - when you're pressing with your hands and creating the length (before coming back and hooking to the backrest), make sure you don't lift the chest and arch the lower back.  There are photos of what to avoid in the book that you might want to take a look at, just to make sure you're not doing any of those things.

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09/10/2008 - 8:36pm
Hi Lumiel,

I want to add that, with scoliosis, you stand to gain that much more from Stretchsitting as well as the other sustained stretch techniques (stretchlying, inner corset). I second Maya's suggestion to join an online class, preferably with a camera on you so you can show the teacher what you are doing. Of course, you can also schedule a private online session to get more guidance.

Best,
Esther
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