The anterior pelvic tilt is a posture condition where the person shows a more-than-usual pelvic curve. The person’s abdomen may also look bigger and unproportioned to their body weight. Although this anomaly is not life-threatening, some studies have suggested that it could contribute to more serious conditions. Additionally, people born with a pelvic tilt feel uncomfortable about their posture, more so if the condition is too pronounced. A couple of years ago, anterior pelvic tilt fix was not considered since people with it were thought to be normal, but it seems physicians think otherwise.
Causes and Risk Factors
If you’re born with short hip flexor muscles, collectively known as the hamstring, then you’re likely to develop a pelvic tilt. It can also result from an accident or a medical procedure around the pelvic area. People with a pelvic tilt are not entirely disabled but might have problems moving the hip when running or kicking. It is important to note that pelvic tilt does not only occur when the extensor muscles are shortened; it could also result from underdeveloped stomach muscles. The cumulative effect of an anterior pelvic tilt is increased spine curvature, and it is visible when one stands upright.
Risk factors for this condition include sitting in one position for long periods, staying without doing physical activity for long, assuming the wrong posture more often, and genetic composition. There is growing evidence that too much cycling could contribute to the condition. It is worth noting that anterior pelvic tilt affects people of all age groups. However, adults are more likely to develop it due to the reduced flexibility of their bones and muscles.
It is quite difficult to notice any other symptoms associated with the pelvic tilt apart from the obvious – posture. However, some of the people who have it reported tightening of muscles in the pelvic region and weak abdominal muscles. Additionally, research is still ongoing to determine whether the pain people experience in the lower back region has anything to do with the condition. That is because people with a pelvic tilt often report the pain, but so far there is no evidence to suggest any relationship. Note that an abnormal posture is not always a sign of a pelvic tilt. The following symptoms could be an indication that you may have a pelvic tilt that is not noticeable when observing posture.
- Knee pain
- Lower back pain
- Tightening of the neck muscles
- Abnormal movement of the hip
- Tension on hip flexor muscles
Initially, people used to identify the condition through physical observation of the hip region. That was before Hugh Owen Thomas, a British surgeon with a more scientific-oriented test to diagnose it. The test has since come to be known as the Thomas Test and it gives accurate results of whether one has a pelvic tilt or not. You can perform the test at the comfort of your home, but you can always walk to a clinic if you don’t have someone to help you carry out the test. Here is the procedure for the test.
- Look for a raised flat service like a table and lie on your back.
- Hang your legs off the table at the knees.
- Raise one leg, hold it with your hands at the knee and pull it towards your chest.
- Do the same with the other leg.
A person who has a pelvic tilt will have their hanging leg rising off the table while the other one is raised. The pelvic is normal if the resting leg does not raise off the table. Please note that you can rotate the resting leg in any direction to keep its back resting on the table. If you must do that, then it means you have a pelvic tilt. The resting leg must keep resting unaided until you release the other to prove that you don’t have the condition.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt Fixes
Although there is no proven medical procedure to correct the condition, one can try home-based care to treat it. Physical exercises involve a lot of stretching, thus guaranteeing the ultimate anterior pelvic tilt fix. However, one must be consistent in performing the exercises to realize the full benefits. The condition can also be corrected through massage, but it has to be combined with stretches and physical exercises.
1. Strength Physical Exercises
Scientists and fitness therapists have managed to come up with effective exercises to correct the pelvic tilt. However, this was after many trials and errors involving many people with the condition. Although these exercises are effective, the determination and consistency of the person will go a long way in ensuring they get the desired results. It is also worth noting that some stretches and strength exercises won’t work. They can only make it worse by making you feel pain in the lower back region. But before we look at the individual exercises, let us start by showing you how to lie down.
- While lying on your back, make sure the entire back spine is in contact with the floor or ground. Raise your knees and pull your heels to a few inches from your buttocks.
- While standing, put your feet together and stretch your hands on the sides.
Now to the step-by-step procedure for each exercise, you need to understand that all the moves must not be vigorous. The desired results are achieved when the exercises are done slowly but regularly over a lengthy period. Furthermore, the exercises are not reserved for people with anterior pelvic tilt; it’s indeed performed by healthy people every day for their wellbeing.
2. Hamstring Exercises
These are stretches meant to flex the three kinds of muscles found at the back. These muscles usually lose their flexibility when one assumes the same posture for long. With time, the person develops that particular posture and may become permanent if nothing is done about it. Additionally, people with a weak hamstring will likely lose their stability. The following steps will help you strengthen your hamstring, thus correcting anterior pelvic tilt.
- Sit on an elevated surface like a table.
- Straighten your back and stretch the left leg forward.
- Remain in that position for about 25 seconds.
- Repeat with the right leg.
3. Superman in Flight Exercise
As the name suggests, this stretch is performed like a superhero in midair. The exercises help strengthen your spine by flexing your back muscles. Here is how to go about it.
- Lie down on your stomach and stretch out your hands in front of your head.
- Raise your head slowly above the flow until your back is fully curved.
- Remain in that position for about a minute, then go back to the initial position.
- Repeat the procedure 10 to 15 times.
You should only perform this exercise for as long as you can sustain the stress. Additionally, people with chronic lower back pain could substitute it with other stretches. Also, make sure to rest for about 15 seconds after every set.
4. Foam Rolling
Form rolling has been found to strengthen your spine more than any other known exercise. The first thing you need to do is find a form. Lie on your back and roll it with your legs and back muscles. Make sure roles along the length of your spine from the lower back to the area between your shoulder blades. Make it slow and roll it for about one minute without pausing. Do the exercise for thirty minutes at least five days a week and you will realize the full benefits within a short period.
5. Plank Exercises
Plank exercises are popular with athletes because they decompress the lower back muscles, thus boosting their speed. It also hardens the stomach muscles and this is very crucial for people with a pelvic tilt. The following steps will enable you to perform the exercise well.
- Look for soft ground or a floor with a mat and lie facing down.
- Put your forearms down such that your hands make a right angle at the elbow.
- Lift yourself slowly and remain in that position for a minute or so.
- Get back on the floor and rest for 30 seconds, and then repeat the exercise.
- While at it, take a deep breath and hold it for as long as you can.
- Do 10 to 15 sets for at least five days a week.
6. Rear Leg Stretches
Hip stretching exercises have a combined effect of flexing your hip muscles and tightening the stomach muscles. Here is how to go about it
- Look for a carpet or mat and put it on the floor.
- Get to all fours and ensure your hands and legs are perpendicular to the ground.
- Take a deep breath and tighten the stomach muscles.
- Hold the back of your left leg with one hand and pull it to your body. Hold in that position for one minute.
- Switch to the right leg and do the same.
- Do about 10 sets every day.
7. Hip Flexor Exercises
Hip flexor exercises help flex muscles around the hip and lower back. Below is the procedure for doing it correctly.
- Get down on your knees, hands akimbo, and your back straight.
- Put the left leg forward such the foot is directly below the knee.
- Tighten the muscles on your lower back and stomach regions.
- Inch your body towards the raised left knee while keeping the spine straight.
- Remain in position for as long as you can.
- Switch to the right leg and repeat the procedure.
- Do 10 to 15 sets every day for at least 5 days a week.
Virtually every kind of physical exercise involves squats, but people have never stopped to think of what squats do for them. Well, squats are more helpful than you think, more so if one has a pelvic tilt. Squats are known to strengthen every single muscle below your abdomen, including hip and lower back muscles, all leg muscles, and the hamstring. There is nothing much to explain about squats since it is simple and popular. However, we will talk about how to make them helpful in fixing anterior pelvic tilt.
- Stand upright, hands straight on your sides, and legs slightly apart.
- Stretch your hands in front of you.
- Tilt forward while keeping your back straight.
- Lower down your buttocks towards the heels.
- Hold in position for some seconds, take a deep breath.
- Do 10 to 15 sets
What to do if it gets Worse
Although anterior pelvic tilt fix exercises are effective in correcting the condition, they may not always work for everybody. If after performing all the exercises above, the condition does not improve, it is about time you went to see a specialist. However, the condition may be severe and won’t be corrected through strength exercises if it is occurring in children and adolescents. It means there is something wrong with their development and corrective measures must be carried out as soon as possible.
The pelvic tilt is not a disability in itself but it can affect the whole body if it goes unchecked for long. Most importantly, it is always good to consider preventive measures first rather than dealing with the treatment aspect. As mentioned, the condition is largely caused by poor posture and sitting for too long. While one may not always develop heart problems by not exercising regularly, keep in mind that pelvic tilt is also on the menu. Luckily for you, our anterior pelvic tilt fix tips and exercises will come in handy if you ever find yourself staring at it. We highly recommend seeking your doctor’s opinion before commencing any of these exercises. You can start by explaining to them your condition. They may even help you do the Thomas test and tell your severity of the problem. On top of it all, don’t feel bad about the condition because, as we mentioned, it is not a disability.
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