There have been many instances of pelvic tilt among people with poor sitting positions or those who sit for many hours. Research has shown that most people with this problem are either office workers or people who spend hours playing computer games, but it also affects bodybuilders. The condition manifests itself in later stages when it starts affecting several aspects of a person’s life, but is barely noticeable when it starts setting in. The anterior pelvic tilt colloquially referred to as APT, is characterized by an inward curving of the pelvic bone. The person may also show signs of a protruding abdomen. Anterior pelvic is related to two other pelvic conditions-posterior pelvic tilt and lateral pelvic tilt. Although not very common, these two other pelvic tilts affect the way a person walks, kicks, or runs.
Scientifically, anterior pelvic tilt occurs when there is a slight dislocation or shortening of the pelvis such that the front and back regions of the pelvis are not aligned. That means the person’s walking or running will be affected. Additionally, the person may develop weak abdominal muscles and glutes if the condition is not fixed in its early stages. Some people with a pelvic tilt have also reported pain in the lower back, knees, and legs. The anterior pelvic tilt is also linked to involuntary hip and knee movement. That is not to mention the obvious sign- improper posture.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt Test
How does one whether they have an anterior pelvic tilt or not? Well, you may not notice it through posture until sometime later. However, several scientific tests have been proposed, one of them being the Thomas Test. Here is how to conduct the test:
- Lie on your back, on a sturdy stable, with your legs hanging off the table.
- Raise your left leg and put it on the table, hold it still with your hand.
- Pull the leg towards your chest slowly until it touches it.
- Check if the back of the other leg is resting on the table.
- Repeat the procedure with the other leg.
If you have a pelvic tilt, the back of the leg hanging off the stable will be slightly lift off it. You will notice that you have to shift to keep it from lifting off the stable. A person with a normal pelvic will not have trouble keeping the leg rested until you release the other.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt Fixes
There are several ways you can fix a pelvic tilt without necessarily undergoing surgery. Most of these fixes are done with physical exercises. However, you need to be careful with the type/intensity of the exercise if you have back pain. You don’t want to make the pain worse by doing strenuous exercises which you think will give quick results. Strengthening the muscles will not always fix a pelvic tilt, strengthening the posterior pelvic tilt does. There are a couple of ways you can use to achieve this.
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1. Press Your Back Against the Ground
The first step in fixing a pelvic tilt is practicing to press your back against the ground. People with a severe tilt will not find this easy, so it will take a lot of exercises to finally push your back against the ground. To achieve this easily, you need to lie your back on a sturdy surface that is soft enough for you. Now fold your legs at the knee and straighten your hands on the sides. Remain in that position for as long as you can.
2. Contract your Glutes While Standing
Squeezing your glutes will make your posture appear a bit more natural from some angles. Stand with your feet together and keep your hands relaxed at the sides. Now push your hips down and back as you stretch your hands in front of you. Go as low as you can and only stop when your back starts to hurt. Take a rest for 30 seconds and repeat the procedure. You can do five to 10 rounds every day to master it fully.
3. Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach
It has been found that sleeping on your stomach will likely extend your front pelvis. It is even worse if you support your head with your hands or pillow. But sleeping on your back does not only make you comfortable but will also ensure you don’t develop a pelvic tilt. You may feel comfortable sleeping with your stomach you must not make it a habit. If you have to, then don’t do so for long hours. Start sleeping on your side and transition to your back and you will master it with time.
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4. Perform More Hamstring Exercises
These exercises are meant to stretch muscles found in your lower back. The exercises may not necessarily make APT go away but they’ll ensure you have a painless back, even with the condition. Additionally, hamstring exercises ensure your muscles don’t lose their flexibility when you assume the same posture for long. Here is how to perform a simple hamstring exercise:
- Look for a standard-height table.
- Sit on it and straighten your back.
- Stretch one leg forward and support it at the back of the knee with your hand. Hold in that apposition for 30 seconds.
- Repeat with the other leg.
- Do 10 to 15 sets every day.
5. Half-Kneeling Stretches.
Half-kneeling stretches will not only increase the flexibility of your hip joints but will also strengthen lower back muscles. Additionally, the stretches are ideal for people with anterior pelvic tilt because you allow your back to move according to the knee’s movement. Here is how to perform a simple half-knee stretch:
- Go down on your knees.
- Straighten your back.
- Lunge with one leg as the other rests on the floor.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles as you squeeze your glutes.
- Move your pelvis forward until you feel the stress.
- Rest for 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg lunged.
- Do 10 to 15 sets of the exercise every day.
6. Roll the Foam
Foam rolling is one of the most popular exercises in our gyms. Little do most people know it can be used to fix several physical conditions. Rolling the form on your entire back will not only relax the back muscles but can also fix anterior pelvic tilt. To perform the exercise, find foam and lie on your back, your hands hanging freely, and your feet on the flow. Slowly roll the foam from the middle–back to the lower back for as long as you’re comfortable.
7. Rear Leg Raise Exercises
Weak heap and abdominal muscles are some of the symptoms of anterior pelvic tilt. Rear leg raise exercises help tighten these groups of muscles, thus helping you improve your stability. The exercises may be a little strenuous but you don’t have to do them intensely. Follow this procedure to perform them.
- Start by getting to all fours on an exercise mat or carpet.
- Take a deep breath and exhale, squeezing your stomach muscles in the process.
- Take the back of your right knee with the right hand, then tilt towards the left.
- Slowly pull the leg forward until you feel the tension.
- Repeat with the left leg.
As you perform the exercises, make sure to remain in the position for 20 seconds. Also, take 30 second rests between rounds to avoid getting fatigued quickly. You can do 5 sets of these exercises every day.
8. Simple Squats
Squats are a great way of exercising but they can also help with APT. There is nothing much to explain about squats because almost everyone has done it at some point. But people with this condition could not be in a position to do them right, so we will explain.
- Stand upright with your legs slightly apart.
- Stretch your hands forward, perpendicular to your body.
- Slowly push your hips back and down until feeling the tension.
- Remain in that position for 15 seconds.
- Rest for 10 seconds and go again.
Make sure you do the squats frequently to realize results. Most importantly, only do rounds you can manage to avoid putting a strain on your lower back.
9. Hip Muscle Flexing Stretches
These exercises are meant to strengthen the hip muscles but can also help with lower back pain. However, you have to be careful not to put too much strain on that region because it could weaken it further. The exercises are simple but you need to do them consistently however easy they may seem.
- Stand upright and stretch your hands outwards.
- Put your right leg forward and make sure the knee makes a right angle.
- Move your body forward towards the knelt knee and tighten stomach muscles.
- Keep moving until you feel the tension.
- Remain in that position for 15 seconds.
- Change to the left leg and repeat the procedure.
- Do 10 to 15 sets.
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When to See a Doctor?
Anterior pelvic tilt can interfere with many aspects of your life if it goes unchecked for long. For instance, the condition could rob you of your favorite sport. Additionally, most people who develop a pelvic tilt at later stages of their lives tend to lose their confidence. If the condition happens to reach that far, then it about time you booked an appointment with a doctor. The doctor may not necessarily recommend surgery but they will help you choose exercises that are most appropriate for your condition. That will help you avoid extreme exercises that will do more harm than good to you.
It is important to know that anterior pelvic tilt is not a disability but a severe case that may affect a person’s life significantly. Luckily, the exercises discussed above can help you manage its more severe symptoms such as the back, knee, and hip pain. The exercises will also prevent the weakening of the stomach and hip muscles which are caused by APT.