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OrthopedicsPain and managementquestion

Difficulty in standing up from a sitting or squatting position, Causes & Solution

People who feel it difficult to stand up from a sitting or squatting position may have problem in one or more of the following structures.

1. Knee joint

2. Muscles of legs, thighs or buttock

3. Muscles of arms

4. Cerebellum

Let’s now explain one by one, what kind of problems in above structures may cause difficulty in standing up from a sitting or squatting position.

1. How do problems in knee joints lead to difficulty in standing up?

Knee joint is one of the primary and most affected joint that takes part in standing up. Other joints that take part are hip, ankle, knee, elbow, wrist and shoulder joint. Knee joint gets the most strain , and also knee joint is comparatively less supported. That’s why usually it’s the knee joint that starts to cry first because of arthritis. Knee joint arthritis causes long term knee pain, that makes the movement difficult at knee joint. Arthritis also makes the knee joint stiffer and slower and its range of motion also decreases. All these affects collectively make it difficult to stand up from a sitting or squatting position.

2. How do problems in muscles of legs, thighs and buttock lead to difficulty in standing up?

Usually those patients who suffer from arthritis of knee joint also have significant wasting of thigh muscles. The cause of this wasting can be explained with the help of the fact that such individuals decrease their activity due to knee pain. They use their thigh muscles less often and try to put less strain on them. As a result the muscles become weaker and thinner. So weak muscles can’t support the body weight adequately. Muscles of thigh, and buttock both take part in standing up. The quadriceps muscle of the thigh gets the most strain while standing up. So it is important that you must have a strong quadriceps muscle.

3. How do muscles of arm help to stand up from a sitting position?

Armrests provide a handhold to push the body up and muscles of arms partially bear the body weight while standing up. Arms also help to stand up from squatting position. As while standing up from a squatting position you hands use your knees to push the upper body up. Thus arms share a significant part of weight and this put less strain on knees.

4. How do problems in cerebellum lead to difficulty in standing.

Cerebellum is that part of brain which controls balance and coordinated movement. If your cerebellum is affected, you can’t maintain the balance of your body. You can’t stand up straight, you suffer from vertigo and ataxia. Coordination of movements at multiple joints is also important to make the standing maneuver successful.


So these were the causes. Now to correct this problem, your doctor should find the cause and eliminate it. For example, if the cause of knee pain is arthritis then anti-inflammatory drugs, proper nutrition and physiotherapy will help you. If you have got muscle wasting, then the cause of muscle wasting should be identified and treated. Physiotherapy is again needed here as well. Cerebellar issues need neurological consult.

But in most of the cases, Osteoarthritis of knee joints  is found to be the cause. So, anti-inflammatory drugs or injections, proper nutrition + calcium/vit-D supplements and physiotherapy  are usually needed for the treatment of this condition.

How to stand up from the chair without significant pain?

If you follow the following steps while standing up from the chair, your knee will get less strain and you will feel lesser discomfort.Solution of Difficulty in standing from a sitting or squatting postion

  1. Place your  both hands at the edge or front of the armrests.
  2. Make your feet shoulder width apart.
  3. Lean forward and move your bottom close to the edge of the chair.
  4. Move forward your head and bring it in the line of your knees.
  5. Stand up, by pushing the armrests down with your both hands.


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