Free download: Top 10 Natural & Easy Remedies for Joint Pain from Home. Learn these helpful remedies.
We don’t usually think about it, but the position and alignment of your pelvis could be a reason behind low back pain.
Pelvic alignment can be divided into 3 basic positions:
- Anterior pelvic tilt
- Posterior pelvic tilt
While a neutral pelvic alignment is the goal, your body may not be naturally shaped to achieve this OR your postural habits may be keeping you from this preferred alignment.
We’re going to key in on the anterior pelvic tilt, as this is a common abnormal pelvic position that many may find themselves in and could be contributing to low back pain.
Table of Contents
What is an Anterior Pelvic Tilt?
An anterior pelvic tilt occurs when the pelvis is tilted or rotated forward.
Common muscle imbalances that may develop from an anterior pelvic tilt are as follows:
- Weak abdominal muscles
- Weak glutes
- Tight hip flexors
- Tight low back muscles
It’s important to have the right pelvic alignment in order to properly stand, walk, and maintain the best posture.
Not only this, but achieving and maintaining the right pelvic alignment can help to improve or altogether avoid low back pain.
Causes of an Anterior Pelvic Tilt
If we want to know how to correct or improve an anterior pelvic tilt, then we need to know what could cause it in the first place.
Here are some possible reasons for your anterior pelvic tilt:
- Muscle imbalances: Any of the muscle imbalances listed above can result from or be the original cause of your anterior pelvic tilt.
- Excessive lumbar lordosis: Our lumbar, or lower back, spine is naturally curved in, which is called a lordosis. If this lordosis is naturally more accentuated, then this can create an anterior pelvic tilt.
- Poor sitting posture: It always comes back to posture! A poor sitting posture, especially if you sit for long periods throughout the day, can make you more likely to develop an anterior pelvic tilt.
How Do I Know if I Have an Anterior Pelvic Tilt?
So, how do you know if you have an anterior pelvic tilt?
Here’s a check you can do at home:
- Stand sideways in front of a mirror to get a profile of your spine and pelvis
- Check if you have a large hollow or inward curve in the lowest part of your back
- Look to see if there’s an excessive amount of bending in the front of the hips
- See if the back of the hips and glutes stick back more than you would expect them to
That’s a simple way to see if you have an anterior pelvic tilt yourself at home; however, you can also see a medical professional, such as a physical therapist, for a more in-depth examination to confirm if you have an anterior pelvic tilt.
They will also be able to give recommendations for corrective positioning and exercises to help reduce your anterior tilt and any related low back pain.
Exercises to Fix Your Anterior Pelvic Tilt
Specific exercises can be used to help try and correct your anterior pelvic tilt, as well as treat or even prevent related low back pain.
Here are some of the top corrective exercises for an anterior pelvic tilt to try out at home.
1. Posterior Pelvic Tilt
- Lying on your back (can be on the floor, your couch or bed), keep the knees bent and feet flat on the surface.
- Take a deep breath in and as you exhale attempt to gently press the low back flat into the surface.
- Think of pressing the belly button directly down towards the floor.
- Hold for 2 seconds.
- Inhale as you return to your starting position.
- Continue with 10-15 repetitions for 2-3 sets.
- Make sure to keep breathing!
- Position yourself flat on your back (can be on the floor, your couch or bed) with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Gently squeeze the glutes, then lift your hips off the floor as high as you can.
- Hold for 2 seconds at the top of the motion, then return to your starting position.
- Repeat 10-15 repetitions for 2-3 sets.
3. Core Walkout
- Position yourself on your back with the knees bent and the feet flat on the surface (e.g., floor, couch or bed).
- Brace the core and press the back flat like you did for the posterior pelvic tilt exercise.
- Slowly walk the feet out and away from you, alternating the feet as you go (the further out you go, it may be more comfortable to have the heels as your point of contact with the surface).
- Walk out as far as you can without arching the back.
- Once you’ve gone as far out as you can, walk the feet back in, still alternating legs one step at a time.
- Walk out and in for 5x total.
For a video demo of this entire sequence, check out the following video for reference!
4. Standing Lunge Hip Flexor Stretch
- Stand facing a sturdy surface, such as a countertop or a wall.
- Take a large step back with the leg you intend to stretch.
- You should now be positioned in a lunge with the front knee bent and the back knee straight.
- Keep both heels flat on the floor.
- Allow the hips to slightly tuck under as you lean a little bit forward into the lunge.
- You should feel a stretch in the front of the hip of the back leg.
- Hold for 30-60 seconds.
- Repeat 2x.
If you think you could have an anterior pelvic tilt, then give these exercises a try!
They’re very gentle and easy to do right from home or the gym.
They’ll be a great way to help relieve any low back pain you may have due to an anterior pelvic tilt, or even better, can help prevent low back pain before it even tries to start.