Got back pain? Hip pain? Knee pain? ITB syndrome? Do you sit a lot? Drive a lot? You need to know about Alignment Wedges!
If you look for products on the market to ease back pain, you’ll find that they all address back pain from a front-to-back perspective. They’ll put a wedge behind your back or under your butt. They’ll put something behind your sacrum to push it forward. They’ll use memory foam to soften the impact of the seat. And they may help a little. Some people get some relief.
But what nothing else does is address the back from a side to side perspective. And that’s where I believe a lot of back pain comes from. Most of us sit in an imbalanced way, with our weight leaning more to one hip than another, particularly if there is crossing of the ankles or legs. A major culprit of imbalance in the hips and the resultant back and leg issues is our posture while driving.
When many of us sit in a car, we sit with our legs splayed out, our left leg resting against the door, our right leg resting against the console or completely unsupported. This external rotation of the legs at the hips can result in pelvic floor imbalance that can cause the sacrum (the large bone at the base of the spine) to shift to one side or the other, the same sort of result of sitting with the legs crossed. If the sacrum shifts up on one side, that will set the balance of the spine off, resulting in pain and tightness that can travel all the way up the back into the neck. An imbalanced sacrum can also contribute to pain and tightness into the hips and legs, knee problems and sciatica.
From my 35 years of experience in going to many chiropractors, I know that the sacroiliac joint is something that almost always needed attention for me. That’s the joint between the sacrum and the hip bone. My sacrum kept twisting, with one side rising higher, causing pain in the lower back. From my over 25 years as a massage therapist, and 15 years specializing in Myofascial Release, I know that a lot of people suffer from this issue! Here’s the thing: that is primarily a side-to-side issue! And every other product on the market offers a front-to-back solution. So, people may get a little bit of relief because it is actually a three-dimensional issue, but they still suffer because they aren’t addressing the most key source of the problems.
Here is what makes Alignment Wedges unique: when used while driving or sitting, Alignment Wedges help to keep the legs and hips in proper alignment, so the sacrum doesn’t twist up to either side. The pelvic floor can stay stable, supporting the sacrum in proper alignment. Over time, your body can rebalance itself and areas of strain can release.
When pursuing pain management, whether through chiropractic or massage or more traditional medical treatments, self-care at home is an important part of treatment. Not repeating the patterns that caused the pain and/or injury in the first place is also important. For many of us, how we sit, particularly when we drive, is one of the root causes of our pain – whether it be lower back, hip, or knee. And because the body is all connected through the myofascial system, even upper back pain, neck pain, and headaches can be caused by the imbalance in the pelvic floor. The benefits of good posture and keeping your sacrum aligned cannot be overemphasized.
Additionally, Alignment Wedges create a light myofascial release along the iliotibial bands, which run along the outside of the thighs. Most people are very tight along this part of the leg. Just have someone press in or try rolling your outer thigh on a foam roller or exercise ball on the floor or bed and see how tender that is! When an iliotibial band is tight, it can put a lot of pressure on the knee joint, causing chronic pain, such as runner’s knee, and even contributing to acute conditions where the knee joint is compromised. There are lots of stretches recommended for people who suffer from ITB syndrome, runner’s knee, and hip issues – and those are all good. But not everyone has the time or is willing to make the effort to stretch like that. Alignment Wedges help to soften those tissue restrictions while you are driving or sitting – as an added benefit to keeping your hips aligned and giving you much more comfort!