Do you suffer from Low Back Pain OR Tight Hamstrings?

You might have an Anterior Tilting Pelvis

Low back pain is a pretty common condition. It is usually caused from tightness and overuse within the muscles of the lower back region (Lumbar Spine). Mix this with weak and overstretches hamstrings, weak abdominals, and tight quadriceps; and you have a recipe that can be quite debilitating. We know this imbalance in the muscles causes an Anterior Tilting Pelvis, see Image 1 below.

Image 1. Neutral Pelvis position Vs. Anterior Tilting Pelvis.

An Anterior Tilting Pelvis is where the pelvis is tilted forward, this tilting of the pelvis causes the bottom to stick out and an excessive arch in the Low back.

The positioning of this area of the spine causes extra pressure on the muscles of the lower back and eventually causing low back pain. This positioning of the pelvis is caused by an imbalance in muscle groups.

These are;

  • Tight anterior thigh muscles and Hip Flexors (Quadriceps, Psoas & Illiacus) pulling the pelvis and lumbar spine down towards them.
  • Then weaker muscles on the back of the thigh (Hamstrings and Gluteals) not being able to compete with the tight, strong anterior thigh muscles to hold the pelvis back into its ideal position.
  • Tight low back muscles (Erector Spinae & Quadratus Lumborum, Transverse Abdominus) which are tight as they work over-time trying to hold the upper body back – so the body doesn’t tip forward.
  • And weak abdominal muscles not being strong enough to take the load off the tight Erector Spinae Muscles.

       This pattern is commonly seen with an Anterior Tilting Pelvis; and is known as Lower Cross Syndrome as shown below in Image 2.

Image 2: Lower Crossed Syndrome.

lower cross syndrome revolution health centre low back pain colac camperdown

What causes Anterior Tilting Pelvis

It has many causes; the most common are: sitting at a desk, being pregnant, running, football (kicking), driving for long periods, weight gain; or anything that is bringing the front of the thigh closer to the hip for too long. Usually the muscles that tilt the hip forward or lift the thigh (hip flexors) are contracted and in a shortened position for long periods, causing them to become tight. Also, this sitting for long periods puts the lower back muscles into a contracted & shortened position to keep you up right, so they also become overused, sore and tight.

How to fix an Anterior Tilting Pelvis

Before any corrective exercises be carried out, we need to ensure the tight (hypertonic) muscles are treated to help lengthen and relax them. Remedial massage applied to the hypertonic muscles will allow for the posture to start to correct itself naturally. We will also we can instruct you on corrective stretches you will need to complete. After this process, you may need to work on the weak (hypotonic) muscles, to strengthen them in order to maintain good pelvis position.