Sitting Posture for Osteoarthritis

Proper posture while sitting is important for patients suffering from osteoarthritis. A study indicates that when people with knee osteoarthritis sit in the cross-legged position, their knee is bent to the least range (140 degrees) which causes pain and pressure in the knee area. 

Following are some of the postures for sitting that will help you avoid the symptoms of osteoarthritis:

Cross-leg Sitting

While sitting on the floor in a cross-leg fashion, a traditional Indian way for eating, there would be tremendous pressure on the knees. However, such pressure is not felt while sitting cross-leg on the bed. Thus, it is advised that you should refrain from sitting on the floor with legs crossed.

Sit with Adequate Back Support

Maintain a posture that provides proper back support. You can use a chair for sitting that upholds the curve of your spine. If your chair is not providing you with enough back support, you may opt for putting a pillow at the back. This will help in sustaining the curve of the lower spine. Even if a pillow is not available, you may keep your forearm on the back to support your spine.

Sitting in a systematic manner

Make sure that all the body parts are in the right position while you sit. Sit on the chair with complete rest and with your shoulder forward. The knees should not be improperly bent and are ideally bent at 45 degrees. The feet are kept flat on the floor and you should have the proper support on the back. The weight of your body should be evenly distributed on your hips. You may also try simple isometric exercises at home for better management of osteoarthritis.

Change your position at regular intervals

Avoid sitting in any position for a long period. It will make your muscles stiff and will cause pain while you stand or change your posture. Thus, it is advisable to change your posture frequently to stay comfortable. You may also stand or stretch your muscles to avoid discomfort. 

Keep your knees higher than your hip

Keeping the knees higher than the hips reduces pressure on the knees that would prevent pain and stiffness. If your chair does not allow you to keep the knees higher than the hips, you may use a stool to raise the height of the knees.

Use a saddle stool

Various saddle stools are available and you should use one which suits you the best. While sitting on the saddle stool, the hip joint is in a comfortable and relaxed position. This helps the cartilage to get maximum nutrition, which reduces pain and other osteoarthritis symptoms. 

Standing from a sitting position

Apart from the proper sitting posture, the process of standing from a sitting position also affects the symptoms of arthritis.  While getting out of the chair, ensure that your back is straight enough to withstand the weight. Slide your buttocks towards the edge of the chair. Apply the force on the muscles of legs and arms to stand up and make sure to keep your palm upside down while generating the force on arm muscles. 

Observing good posture by being mindful of your sitting position is a simple but effective way to reduce the pain and discomfort caused due to osteoarthritis and improve the quality of life. The right body mechanics are crucial to good posture and pain relief in osteoarthritis. You may even consult a physical therapist to help you make the right adjustments.