If you've sat in a chair, car, or an airline seat for many hours, what's the first thing you feel like doing when you find get up? You want to stretch. When you stand after a long time sitting and feel tightness, swelling, or other pain in your lower extremities-knees, ankles or feet- it is a reaction to lack of motion.
If you have pain in areas of your legs or feet, you might be noticing the effects of stress on those joints from not moving them often enough, or you might be stressing your lower extremities by moving with poor posture. Postural lower extremity pain is a common and often painful problem which can begin with an injury, accident or from long-term habits. When your upper body is not aligned with your lower body, weight bearing is not balanced and you put uneven pressure on your lower extremity when you move. Even sitting "wrong" can stress the pelvis and set up lower extremity and leg imbalance.
Look at the posture of anyone who sits with one foot tucked under them or always crosses the same knee over the other leg: the uneven stresses show in the unbalanced way they sit, stand, and move.Weak and poor posture from posture stress from weak body mechanics causing pain and breakdown ( i.e. Arthritis /Degenerative Joint Disease) in the spine and other joints from daily wear & tear)
The nerves which control your lower extremities begin in the low back and lower spine which is why low back posture problems are a common cause of pain radiating to the Hip, Thigh, Knee, Leg, Ankle & Foot. When structural distortions in the low back caused by chronic poor posture or prior trauma cause a spinal distortion and compress delicate nerves, pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness traveling down the lower extremity often result.
Lower extremity pain is often positional-- it gets better, worse or different as body position changes. Frequently episodic, pain may come on after over-activity or without apparent cause, and is triggered as body adapts to mechanical stress, weak posture and inefficient motion. e.g.
- Excessive sitting or hunching over a computer for hours at a time
- Standing, bending or being in an “awkward position”
- Chronic posture stress such as carrying a heavy backpack, pocketbook, or child