Please forgive the overlap with older threads, I haven‘t found anything about my particular (non?-)problem in there.
I usually sit in Burmese or Half Lotus, alternating dominant legs. However, the muscles at the side of my hips (hip rotators?) take a few minutes to settle into the posture. During those minutes, I feel a stretch. That feeling then subsides and doesn‘t come back during meditation, letting me sit comfortably for however long I choose. When I try to get up, the stretch feeling returns, and unless I ease out of the position, pulling the dominant leg up ever so slowly with my hands, it turns into pain.
Now, none of this is particularly annoying, and I don‘t have to „get rid of it“. I just want to make sure this isn‘t doing any damage over time. Does anyone have experience or expertise?
(BTW, I‘d prefer to see a doctor about this, as is recommended, but around here they have very long waiting lists and don‘t usually want to deal with anything that isn‘t serious.)
As an MD (retired early to devote more time to Dhamma practice), a few general points are offered which I hope are helpful:
The best way to assess your pain and the possibility of some harm would be to see a physical therapist (PT) who could directly evaluate the range of motion and flexibility of your hip and leg joints. Based on this, specific recommendations could be made about various postures for your sittings. Both short-term and long-term effects have to be considered.
In addition, the PT could recommend exercises that properly stretch, loosen, and strengthen muscles and tendons around the joints, leading to potentially less risk of harm.
You may need a doctor’s or NP’s referral to be evaluated and treated by PT, but wait times for appointments are usually not too long, depending on where you live. If you have a primary physician/NP, you can often call and speak to them, explain the discomfort you’re experiencing, and they can make the referral.
If you don’t have a primary medical provider or medical insurance and you’re in the US, you can visit an accredited PT facility and offer to pay out of pocket for the assessment, if you can. You’re not going through an entire rehab program, just a one or two-time assessment, so the cost should not be too high, (I know “too high” is vague and relative, but is made in comparison to many other medical procedures and treatments).
In the meantime, you may wish to vary your sitting postures, including sitting in a kneeling position with adequate cushion support, to relieve stress on your hips.