Doctors often refer to your pelvis as the foundation of your body. Just like how a home needs the foundation to be perfectly stable, you need your pelvis to secure a proper alignment.
Posterior pelvic tilt refers to a specific position of your pelvis where the back tilts slightly backward, causing your tailbone to tuck in. This leads to a disruption of your natural posture.
So, how to fix posterior pelvic tilt? Incorporating specific exercises, stretching, certain dietary changes, and in some cases, medications can help your condition.
We will look into the condition, but first, let's check whether you have it or not!
Do You Have Posterior Pelvic Tilt? Here Comes The Thomas Test
The Thomas Test is a clinical assessment that is often used to find out if you have the posterior pelvic tilt or not.
Mostly, it is performed by healthcare professionals, particularly in orthopedics and physical therapy. However, you can also try it on your own:
- Step-1: Find a firm, flat surface to lie on. Make sure there's sufficient space for your legs to hang freely off the side.
- Step-2: Sit on the border of the table or bed with your legs hanging off. Now bring one knee to your chest and hold it there with both hands, while you lie back onto the surface.
- Step-3: As you lie back, let your other leg hang freely off the table.
- Step-4: Observe the position of your hanging leg.
Interpretation: If you have a posterior pelvic tilt, your hanging leg may lift off the surface and be unable to lie flat.
What Causes Posterior Pelvic Tilt?
Several reasons act behind the development of your posterior pelvic tilt. Most commonly, it is caused by poor posture followed by prolonged sitting in the wrong position. Some other causes might be:
- Muscle Imbalances: Tightness or weakness in hip flexors, glutes, and lower back muscles can pull the pelvis into a posterior tilt.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: Prolonged periods of sitting can lead to muscle imbalances and contribute to a posterior pelvic tilt.
- Osteoporosis: As osteoporosis makes your bones fragile, it can also donate to the causes of developing a pelvic tilt.
- Weak Core: If the muscles around the core are weak, it can lead to an imbalance that tilts the pelvis backward.
- Genetics: In some cases, an individual's genetics can predispose them to have a posterior pelvic tilt.
- Injury: An injury to the lower back or hips can disrupt the natural alignment of the pelvis, potentially leading to a posterior tilt.
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, hormonal changes and the growing uterus can affect the positioning of the pelvis.
- Muscle Tightness: Specific sports that involve repetitive hip flexions, like cycling or excessive running, can cause muscle tightness and contribute to a posterior pelvic tilt.
Symptoms Of Posterior Pelvic Tilt
Here are the symptoms to look for to determine you have a posterior pelvic tilt:
- Poor posture, with the buttocks sticking out
- Lower back pain or discomfort
- Anterior pelvic tilt
- Tightness in hip flexors
- Weakness in gluteal muscles
- Restricted hip mobility
- Potential spinal misalignment
- Difficulty standing straight
- Potential impact on gait and walking patterns
Why Posterior Pelvic Tilt Should Be Corrected?
Posterior pelvic tilt can risk your health to many extents. A study found that pelvic inclination can even affect the ability to sit and stand in stroke patients.
Therefore, if you take the right measures of prevention, you can get rid of many problems. Such as:
1. Reduced Lower Back Pain
A posterior pelvic tilt can put excessive strain on the lower back. People who have this struggle with chronic pain.
Thus, if you take care of the tilt, you can effectively alleviate pressure on the lumbar spine and reduce lower back pain.
2. Improved Posture
This is a vital change that you will get if you can correct your posterior pelvic tilt. You will get a better alignment, thus, the overall postural change will reduce the risk of developing postural issues and associated complications.
3. Enhanced Mobility
Posterior pelvic tilt messes with your ability to move freely. Thus, correcting it will provide you with better hip mobility and an improved range of motion during daily activities and exercise.
4. Improved Gait
A neutral pelvis plays a significant role in how we walk and move. Thus, correcting the abnormalities will unlock efficiency while giving you a comfortable gait.
5. Enhanced Sports Performance
For athletes, a balanced pelvis is vital for optimal performance and injury prevention. Correcting the tilt can enhance athletic abilities while increasing efficiency.
6. Prevention Of Spinal Issues
A chronic posterior pelvic tilt can contribute to misalignment in the spine. If it worsens over time, you might need to undergo difficult measures of correction like spinal surgery.
But if you take care of the condition in time, you can prevent such occurrences while getting a healthier spinal structure.
How To Fix Posterior Pelvic Tilt?
Fixing your posterior pelvic tilt doesn’t require much effort if you ensure consistency with the process. However, you need to combine some approaches to see a good change fast. Here are a few measures:
1. Stretch Hip Flexors
Stretching has been an outstanding tool to see progress in fixing your posterior pelvic tilts. You need to try stretches that focus on the hip flexor muscles to reduce tightness in the front of your hips.
Some effective stretches include lunges, kneeling hip flexor stretches, and pigeon poses in yoga. You can also try hamstring stretches like forward bend or lying hamstring stretches to improve flexibility.
2. Strengthen Glutes And Abdominals
According to several studies, strengthening exercises that target your gluteal muscles (buttocks) and abdominal muscles can better your control of pelvis tilt.
Examples include bridges, squats, deadlifts, and core exercises like planks and leg raises.
As your lower back is more responsible for the condition, exercises to improve posture like supermans and lower back extensions can be beneficial to improve the stiffness.
Seek professional advice on getting a specialized plan that works best for your condition.
3. Maintain Good Posture
The main reason behind your pelvic tilt is your posture. So, regardless of what you do, you need to keep in mind that you should always be in a good alignment.
Avoid slouching and consciously engage your core muscles to support your pelvis and maintain a neutral spine. Maintain good sitting posture while you are doing something at your desk.
4. Avoid Lengthy Sitting
People who have to sit for hours at their desks for work are more prone to developing a posterior pelvic tilt. Therefore, you can switch between your sitting positions and be mindful of your proper sitting posture.
Don’t keep yourself in one position for too long, take regular breaks and incorporate gentle stretches and movements into your routine.
5. Use Proper Lifting Techniques
If you randomly bend and lift up heavy materials, it will put a strain on your back muscles which results in a posterior pelvic tilt.
Thus, you need to be extra careful while lifting heavy objects. Learn about proper lifting techniques to protect your back and pelvis from strain.
Posterior Pelvic Tilt Vs Anterior Pelvic Tilt: What Are The Differences?
If you are unsure about your condition, and whether it is posterior or anterior pelvic tilt, here are the differences to now at a glimpse:
Posterior Pelvic Tilt
Anterior Pelvic Tilt
The back of the pelvis tilts slightly backward
The front of the pelvis tilts forward
Hip flexors and lower back muscles, Glutes, and lower abdominal muscles
Hamstrings and lower abdominal muscles
Potential impact on the lumbar spine
Potential impact on the thoracic spine
9 Exercises And Stretches That You Can Do
Now that you are aware of the fact that exercise and stretches are the best ways to deal with your pelvic tilt, here are some that work the best:
1. Hip Flexor Stretch
- Kneel on one knee.
- Keep the other foot in front, and form a 90-degree angle.
- Gently lean forward into the front knee.
- Hold for 20-30 seconds on each side.
2. Glute Bridge
- Lie on your back with your knees bent.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Now lift your hips off the ground.
- Hold the position for a few seconds and lower back down.
- Repeat for 10-15 reps.
3. Cat-Cow Stretch
- Start on your hands and knees.
- Arch your back upward like a cat, then lower your belly toward the floor
- Now lift your head and tailbone like a cow.
- Switch between these positions for 1-2 minutes.
4. Seated Forward Bend
- Sit and place your legs extended in front of you.
- Hinge at your hips.
- Now reach forward to touch your toes.
- Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.
5. Bird-Dog Exercise
- Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
- Extend your right arm forward while extending your left leg backward.
- Hold for a few seconds, then switch sides.
- Repeat for 10-15 reps on each side.
6. Child's Pose
- Begin on your hands and knees.
- Now sit back on your heels while moving your arms forward.
- Hold and breathe deeply for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
7. Pigeon Pose
- From a plank position.
- Now bring your right knee forward, placing it behind your right wrist.
- Extend your left leg straight behind you.
- Do the stretch for 20-30 seconds on each side.
8. Superman Exercise
- Lie face down and keep your arms extended in front of you.
- Lift your arms, chest, and legs off the ground.
- Hold for a few seconds and lower back down.
- Repeat for 10-15 reps.
9. Hip Abduction
- Lie on your side with your legs stacked.
- Lift the top leg upward, keeping it straight.
- Lower it back down.
- Repeat for 10-15 reps on each side.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you fix posterior tilt?
Yes, you can correct your posterior pelvic tilt by taking several measures like exercises, stretches, yoga, and pilates, and doing some postural adjustments.
What muscles fix posterior pelvic tilt?
Strengthening the gluteal muscles and core while stretching the hip flexors and hamstrings can help fix posterior pelvic tilt.
As the back muscles play a vital role in determining your condition, you need to keep a special focus on that area.
Is posterior pelvic tilt normal?
A slight posterior pelvic tilt is a normal part of the natural range of motion in the pelvis.
However, if you notice an abnormal tilt that persists and causes other symptoms like back pain and discomfort, it might not be normal.
How long does it take to reverse pelvic tilt?
The required timeframe to correct your pelvic tilt is not specified. It depends on your consistency and efforts, and the type of tilt you have.
Also, if you perform regular exercises and stretches, you can see a visible change within a few weeks.
Knowing how to fix posterior pelvic tilt can reduce the risk of developing serious conditions that might happen if you overlook it.
However, for some people, it might be related to their spinal condition. The best bet is to consult a doctor before you try out anything.