How to fix a tilted pelvis
A numb buttocks after sitting for a few hours, tottering around on high heels, and lower back pain can indicate a tilted pelvis, or anterior pelvic tilt (APT). A tilted pelvis can be a product of bad posture, and you can do some exercises to ease the pain, and maybe remedy the situation.
Science of Anterior Pelvic Tilt
More women have anterior pelvic tilt, which is when your pelvis tilts down instead of forward. The iliac crests – bony ridges that you can feel if you place your hands on your hips – are supposed to face directly in front of you.
However, the shortening of hip flexors and lengthening of the hip extensors, as well as weak glutes, hamstrings and abdominal muscles, conspire to pull your pelvis down. While the back of the pelvis flips upwards.
This downward pulling of the pelvis is part genetics and part bad postures, says Spine Universe. APT causes a curve of the lower spine, known as lordosis.
The curvature then results in a bulging belly, lower back pain and problems with the lowest lumbar discs, resulting in conditions such as compressed degenerative disc, disc or annular tears, disc bulges and herniations.
Should APT be paired with neurological symptoms such as sciatica with tingling, weakness, numbness and shooting pain, you should consult a doctor immediately.
An inactive lifestyle, along with jobs that keep people sitting at their desks for long hours, brings changes to the spine’s shape, misalignment of posture and muscle imbalance.
For prevention measures, Medical News Today suggests:
- Avoid sitting for long periods
- Take regular breaks, get up, walk about and stretch
- Do regular exercise or play the sport that involves strengthening and stretching exercises
- Be aware of your posture and how you stand, move and your levels of strength, coordination and flexibility
- Ensure proper posture when sitting
- Adjust your workstation to ensure that your desk, computer screen, and chair are correctly positioned and comfortable.
Suppose you don’t seek help from a physiotherapist to supervise and fix the APT. In that case, some exercises can strengthen your abdominal muscles, loosen the hip flexors and stretch the hamstrings and glutes (buttocks muscles).
Experts also suggest losing the stilettos, which is a leading cause of short, tight hip flexors—and walking more in properly balanced shoes with neither too high nor too low heels.
They also suggest that you adjust your lifestyle and schedule in daily exercise breaks.
With stretching, flexibility and strengthening exercises, the pelvis could gradually be realigned to a neutral position and, through that, alleviate lower back pain.
The exercises are:
- Glute strengthening with the clam: lie on one side and raise your leg up and down, three sets of 10 and repeat on the other side.
- Side-stepping with a resistance band: place a resistance band around your ankles and do three sets of 10 side-steps on each side.
- Glute Bridge: Lie flat on your back and lift your buttocks off the floor. Hold each lift for 5 seconds and do three sets of 10 lifts.
- Planks for strengthening abdominal muscles: lie face down on the mat, place hands aligned directly to the shoulders with palms down and tighten stomach and thigh muscles. Slowly lift your upper body and thighs off the ground in a rigid push-up position. Hold the posture for a minute and gently release it back to the mat.
- Squats for strengthening leg muscles and the buttocks and improving posture: stand with feet hip-width apart with toes turned slightly outward. Tighten abdominal muscles and keep the back in a neutral position. Breathe in and lower the hips, bend the knees until the hips are parallel to the floor with heels firmly planted on the floor. Stretch clasped hands in front of you. Breathe out and return to start and repeat three sets of 10.
- Pelvic tilt for strengthening the abdominal muscles: lie on your back on the floor with the knees bent. Tighten the abdominal muscles until the back is flat on the floor. Lift the pelvis slightly upward and hold for 10 seconds. And repeat for five sets of 10 lifts.
Other exercises that stretch the back muscles and glutes and strengthens the abdominal muscles are kneeling rear leg raises and the kneeling hip flexor stretch, which helps to loosen tight hip flexor muscles.
The experts recommend starting slowly to build up your repertoire, and you should see improvements in time.
Sometimes, pain in the pelvis can be an indication of something more serious.
Pelvic cancer refers to a variety of cancers within the structures and organs in the pelvis; the pelvic bones, bladder, rectum, and the male and female reproductive organs says Health Grades.
Common pelvic cancers include bladder cancer, anal cancer, rectal cancer, chondrosarcoma (cancer of the cartilage), and osteosarcoma (cancer of the bone).
Because the pelvic area contains the reproductive organs, there are pelvic cancers that can affect men and women separately. For men, this includes prostate and testicular cancer. For women, pelvic cancer can include cervical, ovarian, uterine or endometrial, vaginal, and vulvar cancer.
Always get any pelvic pain checked out by your registered health practitioner. Contact Affinity Health to find out about our health insurance packages.