An Austin doctor is recommending her female patients change the way they sit, saying that sitting like a lady could be causing serious health problems.

Dr. Barbara Bergin believes it's time for women to SLAM, or "sit like a man."

"If I see 100 people with lateral hip pain, 90 of them are women" Bergin said. "I started thinking about sit like a man and how it's more natural for women to do that."

For Cherie Hall, the agony she felt while gardening and playing tennis became too much to bear.

"The pain was so excruciating, so bad that I almost feel like I am tired of living," she said. "It was here, all the way into the lower back and the hamstring."

It's a problem Bergin has seen many times before in her 30 years of treating patients at Texas Orthopedics.

"Many of my female patients particularly over the age of 40, were suffering from a variety of disorders that pertain to their lower extremities," Bergin said.

She believes it has a lot to do with the way women sit. With knees close together and legs or ankles sometimes crossed, that puts pressure on tendons, causing hip bursitis, knee and foot pain and other uncomfortable alignment problems. Men sit with their knees and legs apart, feet flat on the ground. But the feet shouldn't be positioned outside the knees.

Bergin believes SLAM is the natural way for everyone to sit. While it may seem strange, Bergin said it's definitely helping her female patients.

"Some people can even feel a difference the first time they say get out of a chair with their legs in a more masculine position," she said.

Hall agrees.

"No more pain and if I try to go back to the old way it's very uncomfortable, cause more grief," she said. "That simple concept works very well, really helps."

Bergin added if a woman is wearing a shorter skirt, then SLAMing is not appropriate. She also said sitting like a man is just one way for women suffering hip and leg pain to get relief.