Anterior Pelvic Tilt, also called Lower Crossed Syndrome, is the postural position when your pelvis tilted forward, in other words your butt sticks out making your lower back arches, causing extra pressure on your lower back and eventually producing pain.
The occurrence of anterior pelvic tilt has become more prevalent due to our modern lifestyle. Most of us spend a long time sitting for our jobs. Together with limited amount of exercise, it is not surprising that so many individuals suffer from anterior pelvic tilt.
We need to know and identify the causes of anterior pelvic tilt in order to correct our tilt and decrease or eliminate the resultant lower back pain.
Tightened Muscles Causing Anterior Pelvic Tilt
Anterior pelvic tilt, also commonly called Lower Crossed Syndrome, occurs when the hip flexors shorten and the hip extensors lengthen; the front of the pelvis drips and the back of the pelvis rises. Lower back pain causes by Aterior Pelvic Tilt usually results from this muscle imbalance:
- Hip Flexors i.e. Iliopsoas that rotates it forwards when tightened.
- Quadriceps, i.e. front thighs muscle
- Erector Spinae, i.e. lower back muscles
- Glute, i.e your butt muscles
- Lower Abs
- Hamstring, i.e. back thighs muscle
A major reason for the muscle imbalance is because of prolong sitting in an incorrect position. When people work at a computer, they usually sit forward in their chairs. The posture of your body rocks forward into an anterior pelvic tilt. Over time, your muscles adapt to this incorrect posture, resulting in chronic anterior pelvic tilt with the accompanying lower back pain.
Correcting Your Anterior Pelvic Tilt
In order to fix and correct Anterior Pelvic Tilt, we have to solve the muscle imbalance around our pelvic area. Which means we have to:
- Strengthen and activate our weak muscles by the below exercises:
- Loosen those tight muscles
By performing these exercise stretches daily for a few week you should see improvement. It is normally very hard to stick to doing this regularly because there might not be any progress at first. But if you persist for a few days you will definitely feel different – You’ll feel more powerful, energized and lighter throughout the day – it is suggested that you do your stretches in the morning before your day starts as that will allow your day to start fresh. Instead of having all the stress and tension built up throughout the day and stretch them after.
However if you are a fitness junky and do a lot of weigh training, these exercises might not be the best for you as you do weight training you might be over developing your strong muscle and thus the muscle imbalance is more severe than normal people. Have a look at the exercise provide here at T-Nation if that’s your case.
We challenge you to take a documentary of your daily process of your pelvic/lower back! Let us know here and we might have a surprise for you!
Do You Have Anterior Pelvic Tilt?
We all have a slight anterior pelvic tilt, but a tilt over ten degrees is considered excessive. If we have weak or overly-tight hip flexors, our body can have postural distortion. That is because the pelvis controls the amount of curvature in the lumber spine or lower back. The arch in the lower back increases significantly when the pelvis tips too far in an anterior direction, giving one an excessive curve in the lower back. Also, this curvature in the lumber area protrudes the abdomen. To determine if you have anterior pelvic tilt, compare your posture to that pictured in the diagram above.
lower back and knee pain
shoulder pain (sometimes)
weak or atrophied glutes (butt muscles)
exaggerated curve in the lower spine
shortened hip flexors
If you are still unsure check out SwolePT‘s article: Fixing Anterior Pelvic Tilt: Posture tricks to make your butt and gut smaller. He has created an image with himself in the different pelvic tilt position – very visual and informative for you to compare you situation with.
Remember, one of the key symptoms of anterior pelvic tilt is lower back pain. If you believe you may have anterior pelvic tilt, see a medical professional to confirm the diagnosis before beginning any treatment program.
How Anterior Pelvic Tilt Impacts Your Life
Many individuals, particularly women, are not comfortable with their appearance, as the rear end extends, sometimes severely. Or the face that their lower belly is sticking out. These can also be caused by Anterior Pelvic Tilt as well – even when there’s no apparent pain.
Additional detrimental effects that result from anterior pelvic tilt can occur due to the greater compressive load on the posterior structure of the vertebrae. Facet joint irritation, stress fractures, increased disc pressure and even disc degeneration can occur. Sometimes disc degeneration – also known as bulging disc or a herniated, protruding, or ruptured disc – is the professional diagnosis for severe back pain. However, the reason can be traced to an initial incidence of anterior pelvic tilt. Additionally, balance can be affected, of particular concern in older individuals who may be prone to falling. So Anterior Pelvic Tilt can be a start of something even more serious than a posture issue, if not dealt with properly.
Dealing with the pain is the most difficult aspect of anterior pelvic tilt. It can be so debilitating that it affects your job and leisure time activities. The continual pain can lead to depression.
When you initially discover you have anterior pelvic tilt, you will need to educate yourself about all aspects of your condition. A good deal of your time may be spent finding methods of treatment and exercises to improve your posture and reduce pain. You will also need to make changes in your lifestyle, possibly by changing sleeping and sitting positions and even purchasing items to help you such as an ergonomic chair or special pillows.
Our site is designed to help you in all aspects of dealing with anterior pelvic tilt, from diagnosing to treatment, and even sharing experiences. Please join us as we find ways to alleviate pain and lead a healthy, productive life.