How Pelvic Tilt And Back Pain Are Related
Published July 23, 2018 | Updated March 23, 2020 | Dr. Brent Wells | Sherwin Nicholson (reviewed)
Back pain can be one of the most annoying and confusing physical problems that ever comes your way. Why? Because sometimes it appears out of nowhere. All you know is that your back hurts. When someone asks why, you have a bunch of different ideas, but none of them you can be sure of. There are a plethora of reasons for low back pain to occur, but for most people, their minds go to things like:
- Did I sleep funny?
- Did I hurt it carrying those groceries in last night?
- Did I overdo it at the gym?
- Was I sitting too long?
- Was I standing too long?
One idea that probably doesn’t cross your mind is the thought that maybe your back hurts because of the way your pelvis is tilted. Sounds strange right? Well, after you understand a little more about maintaining a neutral pelvic tilt and how it’s related to your back pain, it’s going to make a whole lot more sense.
The pelvis should remain in a neutral location to prevent problems with your back.
What Are Tilted Pelvis Causes?
You may be wondering what exactly is a neutral pelvic tilt. Well, the way your pelvis tilts has a lot to do with your posture. The pelvis should remain in a neutral location to prevent problems with your back. When there is no balance, there are two different things that can occur:
- Anterior pelvic tilt – when the pelvis sits forward
- Posterior pelvic tilt – when the pelvis sit backward
- Side pelvic tilt – when the pelvis leans toward one side or the other
If you are someone that suffers from chronic low back pain, you may be wondering, “Do I have anterior pelvic tilt or any sort of pelvic tilt?”
Several things can cause your pelvis to move out of its neutral location. Any single one or combination of two or more of the following are considered to be the most common reasons:
- Flat feet – arches on the inside of your feet are flat
- Pronation – when the medial bones move in and down when walking
- Muscular imbalance – opposing muscles aren’t providing the same amount of tension
- Short leg – one leg is shorter than the other
- Scoliosis – curvature of the spine
- Weak core or stomach muscles
- Prolonged sitting or stationary periods
If you know that you are dealing with any of these conditions and you are suffering from low back pain, you may finally have the answer as to why.
What Are the Anterior Pelvic Tilt Effects?
There are a couple of different things that happen when you have an anterior pelvic tilt that doesn’t get corrected. First of all, with the pelvis being off balance, one area of the spine is going to feel more pressure than the other.
The facet joints are a natural place where this pressure is present. Your facet joints are found in your spine, and they are what allow your body to remain flexible and twist and bend. When the facet joints are healthy, there is cartilage and synovial fluid present that allows for smooth movements. Unhealthy facet joints grind and rub together making movements painful.
The spinal cord is the chief operator of the rest of the body. Through these facet joints, nerves leave and travel out to the rest of the body. When the facet joints are not operating in the way they are supposed to, it’s going to disrupt those communications causing further problems to your health.
Nerve roots are also going to be affected as a result of this pressure from an unbalanced pelvis. The pressure put on the nerve roots can potentially lead to further problems with pain like sciatica. The nerve roots that are near the bottom of the spinal cord where the pelvis is are responsible for signaling the:
- Sexual organs
With ongoing pressure on these nerve roots, the communication between these parts of the body can be cut off. So not only is your unbalanced pelvis causing pain, but it can also cause other issues with your body’s functioning.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt Correction to Aid in Back Pain Relief
The good news is, there are tilted pelvic treatment options available to correct the problem once and for all. The first step that you are going to want to take is finding a comprehensive chiropractor’s office that can understand what kind of problems you are dealing with.
There are plenty of good chiropractors out there that know how to treat the spine, but not all of them are educated in how vital dealing with foot structure, trigger points, exercise, and short leg are. You want one that is going to be able to work with you to not just stop the lower back pain temporarily, but treat the problem and correct it.
You are also going to want to start including regular exercise in your daily routine. Some of the types that you should be incorporating include:
- Strength training the core muscles
- Endurance training
If you seek out a chiropractor that is genuinely passionate about the treatment they give you and getting you well again, they will help you through the process of discovering an exercise plan that works.
Additionally, it’s important to keep moving around. Go for a walk every day if you can. Your overall health and well-being are going to improve automatically. Your back muscles will also strengthen making the pain dissipate a little bit further.
Medical doctors will most likely prescribe some pain medication or muscle relaxers to alleviate the pain. They could also recommend that you get chiropractic care, massage, or physical therapy to help in the healing process. Properly combining all forms of treatment is going to be the only way to achieve the most ideal results.
Finding Your Neutral Pelvis
If your lower back pain problems are from a tilted pelvis, there are ways that you can fix the problem. This is especially true if your tilted pelvis is from sitting for too long. There is a high probability that the way you are sitting is improper and it’s throwing your posture off.
All you have to do is find your neutral pelvis and remain seated in that position for the duration of time you are going to be stationary. You can do this by standing and putting your hands on your hips sort of like handles. Move the body around tilting and tucking until you find that neutral position. You will know you’ve located it when the tailbone is heavier and all your weight goes down to your heels.
When you get comfortable with this neutral pelvic position, it’s going to be easier to find it. Focus on your posture staying in this position as often as possible to reduce or even eliminate low back pain permanently.
About Dr. Brent Wells