Pelvic floor dysfunction is more common than most realize and it is not age or gender specific. This dysfunction happens when the pelvis, the house that the pelvic floor is the floor of is unstable. Therefore, it is unable to support the structures that are held within, negatively impacting the whole body. This is why all individuals with hyper-mobility have pelvic floor dysfunction! However, all those with pelvic floor dysfunction are not hyper-mobile. There are different presentations that the pelvis may have with the 2 most common being anterior or forward tilt and posterior or backward tilt of the pelvis.
What is a Pelvic Tilt?
Pelvic tilt refers to the alignment of your pelvis, the bony structure connecting your spine to your legs. It can tilt in two primary directions: anterior pelvic tilt and posterior pelvic tilt. Your pelvis looks like a bowl that can tilt forward or backward and that is what anterior and posterior tilt refers to. While the pelvis is capable of the two tilts, the problem arises when it is essentially stuck in one direction or the other.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt:
Anterior pelvic tilt means that your ‘bowl’ is tilted forward. This causes your lower back to arch and your buttocks to stick out. An anterior pelvic tilt is often associated with a prominent arch in the lower back and a posture that leans forward.
Posterior Pelvic Tilt:
When your pelvis tilts backward, it flattens the lower back and causes your buttocks to tuck under. This can lead to a rounded lower back and a posture that appears slouched.
What Causes a Pelvic Tilt?
A pelvic tilt can be brought on by various factors such as:
- Muscle Imbalances: For example, when the muscles on the front of the body do not balance the back of your body, keeping the contents balanced like 2 bookends. This can happen from wrong workouts, a lifestyle of sitting or standing for extended lengths of time, injuries, and habits.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: Spending excessive time sitting can weaken everything! Your legs don’t get to be used so when it is time to use them, they don’t perform like legs should. The back muscles are overworked to keep you up which means that the abdominals (you have 4 of them btw) don’t get to ‘play’ like they should. That is just one scenario. We are not meant to be sedentary and the result of such a lifestyle is de-conditioning of our muscles and a body with parts that do not know how to ‘play’ with each other!
- Poor Ergonomics: Sitting with improper posture or using an unsupportive chair can encourage pelvic misalignment. This goes hand in hand with a sedentary lifestyle.
- Injury: Trauma or injury to the pelvis or surrounding areas can significantly impact its alignment.
Top 3 Exercises for Anterior Pelvic Tilt
The following exercises are from my YouTube and social media postings that I share daily. Some are related to my channels on pelvic floor dysfunction and others from my functional mobility channel. To remind you again that pelvic floor dysfunction always involves the pelvis and its stability is crucial in the health of the pelvis. In my practice, we focus on pelvis stability. In almost all cases, by the time the pelvis stability is restored, almost all symptoms are gone. The videos are quite descriptive of what you need to do so play them and do the exercises as the videos play. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. Also visit us on IG, FB, and Youtube for both channels. Start with breathing, then try these 3 exercises!
Pelvic tilt is never the first thing that happens in functional mobility, postural presentation or instability of the pelvis but when present, pelvic instability is always the case. If you have pelvic floor dysfunction and are not happy with your progress in treatment or don’t understand how stabilizing the house that the pelvic floor is the floor of comes before any other instability and muscular imbalance of the floor, contact us.