Have a Headache or Backache? It Might Be Caused from Crossing Your Legs
This past week, I took a vacation. And by "vacation," I mean I took the week off work and just hung around the house. My husband still went to work, and my daughter went to school, so I had 40 hours to myself last week. One of the things I wanted to do was get a massage. My normal therapist wasn't available so I called around and found an opening at a place I'd seen a million times before but never visited.
About five years ago, I lived off Sharon Rd. in Newburgh. I drove past a house just about every day that had a chiropractor's sign in the front yard. So, when I saw that the therapist who had an opening was at Dr. Barniak's office, I immediately knew where to go.
My massage was with Dr. Barniak's wife, Srisamon Toomnok-Barniak. She did a Thai massage and holy macaroni, it was intense. Good intense! It was much deeper than the Swedish massages I'm used to. I knew I was a big knot because she kept making comments like, "Oh my. Very tight here. Ohhhhh my..." After about an hour, she told me I was done and that I could see her husband for a chiropractic adjustment.
Dr. Barniak had me lie on my stomach on a table and looked at my feet. He gave me a few gentle pokes right below my waistline. One side was VERY tender. Then he asked me something odd. "Do you have headaches on the right side of your head?" It just so happens that I do! Then he took out his spine model and started explaining to me that I've been putting pressure on my muscles and nerves. Then my body starts to tilt to compensate for that pressure and after a while, all that compensation starts to affect your whole body. It's like a sweater with a snag. At first, the snag only affects a small portion of the sweater. After a while - if left untreated - it travels up to the very top and down to the bottom.
Then he asked if I crossed my legs at the knee. Well, of course! I think he already knew the answer. Apparently, sitting in this uneven manner can cause a whole host of issues with your hips and those issues go down (making your leg shorter to compensate) and up (aches and pains through your back, shoulders, neck, and head). My friend Ryan told me today that he was having similar pain and his chiropractor told him to stop sitting on his wallet.
I had a HUGE painful knot right next to my spine in my neck that I knew needed work. He evened my legs back out, cracked my back, and fixed my neck (so scary but so satisfying). It immediately felt better. He then showed me some exercises I can do to help strengthen muscles around my trouble spots and answered all my questions. Then he sent me on my way.
I won't lie - I was sore the day after but Srisamon warned me that it might happen. I looked up why and soreness after a massage is caused by built-up lactic acid leaving your muscles. It's the same reason why you are sore after a good workout. But overall I feel better and I haven't had a headache or neck pain. The knot on my neck has subsided which is amazing because it hurt!
I've been trying to not cross my legs and it's a challenge to remember to keep both feet on the ground but hopefully, it will make a difference in the long run! I'm also stretching and doing some yoga to help ease the inflammation around my sciatic nerve. I just think it's all so interesting how interconnected the body is. You think that when you have pain, you treat the place where it's painful but that's not the case! When you have a headache, treat the hips and your booty! Who knew?!
Here's my FAVORITE video to follow to stretch out my sciatic nerve.