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Stiff and Slow When Rising From Seated Position

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Want to skip ahead?
Here’s a link to my post about
getting relief on your own.

How People Describe This Pain Pattern

These people complain of painful stiffness on rising from a chair or getting out of the car. The longer that they sit, the stiffer they get. They are often stiff in the morning, when rising from bed, but speak of it as though everyone has it. They usually avoid being seated and immobile for long car rides, concerts, etc.

When pressed for more information, they usually talk about the stiffness, tightness, and how the muscles feel weak or tired.  They can be awkwardly upright when rising from a chair with no arms because their “legs feel tired,” or their back is stiff.

When this problem is chronic, these people lean forward a bit when they walk.

Very Similar Pain Pattern, Different Muscle

Sharp and Fragile, not Stiff and Slow

These trigger points in the iliopsoas are usually more stiff and tired than sharply painful or fragile. The fragile low back tends to come from trigger points in the quadratus lumborum. Check out this other post with information on those patterns.

Take Care of This Early

Other symptoms often go with this. And they usually get worse as time passes. Stiffer. Slower. More Painful on rising.

Many people take this problem as a part of aging and don’t look at the more serious progressions. I was amazed at the number of ads that I found for chairs and other devices to help people with this problem. I am offering some self-care here, and it is usually quite effective. However, seek help if this condition does not improve. If not, these “power lift recliners” are in your future.

These people may rely on the car’s door or the arm of the chair to get up. One client had ruined the hinge on his car door, using it to support him as he got out of the car.

How You Activate and Intensify This Pain Pattern

from spineuniverse.com

Sit Up and Sit Back

Low seats like soft couches bother them more and are more difficult from which to rise. They often buy SUVs that they neither “sit down into” nor “climb up into.” 

This pattern is created by long periods of immobility while the hip is flexed, and, to make it worse, people actively reach forward.

Teetering activities like mowing, sweeping, walking up and down hills, working on a low counter aggravate this as well.

About That Ab Work

If you have this, modify your abdominal routine. Instead of crunches and sit-ups, try hanging leg raises or lying leg thrusts. Both of those lengthen the abdomen to give you a long, strong core.

The Musculoskeletal Anatomy Behind Your Pain

Musculoskeletal Anatomy

About these Illustrations…

Iliopsoas Complex

This complex muscle is a common problem in hip pain, thigh pain, low back pain, and disc compression. You can read more about it in this post about the iliopsoas complex.

Getting Relief on Your Own

Clinically Proven
Self-Care Strategies

This post has strategies for getting relief on your own. Explore how to change your activities, stretch, ice, and more to relieve the pain associated with this trigger point.

Therapy Notes for Massage and Bodywork

Better Bodywork
Through Shared Expertise

This post has techniques, tips, treatment routines, and anatomy illustrations to improve the bodyworker’s approach.

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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written materials and instructed classes since the mid-90s. This includes anatomy, trigger points, cranial, and neuromuscular.

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*This site is undergoing significant changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and include more patterns with better self-care. Meanwhile, there may be formatting, content presentation, and readability inconsistencies. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.