Stiff and Slow When Rising From Seated Position

Your Pain Pattern,
What Aggravates It,

The Underlying Anatomy
How to Get Relief,
and more…

How People Describe This Pain Pattern

These people complain of stiffness on rising from a chair or getting out of the car. The longer that they sit, the stiffer that they get. They are often stiff in the morning, when rising from bed, but speak of it like everyone has it. They often avoid being seated in stiff positions 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.

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.

There are other symptoms that often go with this.

Many people take this problem as a part of aging and don’t look at the more serious progressions that follow. 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 but seek help if this condition does not improve.

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

How You Activate and Intensify This Pain Pattern


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” or “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.

The Musculoskeletal Anatomy Behind Your Pain

Effective relief starts with an understanding of the anatomy.
About the coloring of the illustrations…

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 iliopsioas complex.

Getting Relief on Your Own

Clinically Proven
Self-Care Recommendations.

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.

Treatment Notes for Therapists

Better Bodywork
Through Shared Expertise.

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

This site is undergoing changes. Starting in early 2020, we began changing the format of the posts to include more extensive self-care, illustrations, therapist notes, anatomy, and protocols. We’d love your feedback. We are adding posts and converting the old posts as quickly as time permits.

Weekly Featured Post

Pain relief that is
quicker and more effective
than traditional stretching.

This post covers the basics of Ice-and-Stretch, a tool that is used extensively in these posts combined with Active Isolated Stretching and Yoga poses.

Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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*This site is undergoing major changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make it easier to read, more accessible, and
to include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there will be inconsistency in formatting, content, and readability until we get the old posts updated. Please excuse our mess.