Austin doctor wants women to Sit Like a Man

Crossing your legs may be ladylike but could proper etiquette be to blame for some of your aches and pains in your hips and knees?

Texas Orthopedics surgeon Dr. Barbara Bergin thinks so. She's got a prescription for your pain and it takes very little effort on your part.

"It's not a natural way to sit and it's a modern behavior and we're suffering from it right now," said Dr. Bergin.

After decades of following the rules Bergin started to feel the aches and pains and she's not alone. "I started having some of these disorders women get as they get older and there are about six of them. After 40 we have problems with our lower extremities," she said.

Most of the patients she sees with these problems are women. She has a simple saying that she now preaches.

"S.L.A.M. stands for sit like a man," said Bergin.

Allison Pasternak believes in sitting like a man.

"It's been nine months and I've been pain free which I was starting to think wouldn't be possible," said Pasternak, 44. Three years of hip pain and countless appointments later she wasn't feeling any relief. Pasternak ended up in Bergin's office for a separtate injury. That's when she asked about her hip pain.

One of the first things Bergin asked was about how Pasternak would sit.

"The first reaction is to reject it. It's not what your taught growing up," said Pasternak.

"I'm not encouraging people to stop wearing dresses but when you can Sit Like a Man," said Bergin.

The ettiquette lessons don't have to go out the door and getting used to the change may take some time.

"I think it's a message that needs to be heard over and over again because we heard to sit with our legs crossed for so long so you have to unlearn it," said Pasternak.  It's a message she now shares with her daughter.

"I would challenge mothers to teach their daughters to sit like a man unless they have a skirt on or there are boys around," added Bergin.

"Is how we sit what makes us a lady? Or are we more interested in staying healthy and active as long as possible," Pasternak said.

Bergin hopes you will be mindful and next time you take a seat Sit Like a Man if you can.

The usual treatments for these aches and pains include physical therapy and strengthening musles. Also anti-inflamatories and even modifying activities.

Women can sit like a man with their legs apart and their knees dropped slightly open. Your left leg should point to the 11 position on a clock and the right knee to one.

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