Is lower back pain making you toss and turn at night? Well, the culprit might be something that you work on all day – your laptop! Anterior pelvic tilt, a posture-related imbalance, can often be caused by long working hours and other reasons such as a poor posture or muscle imbalances. You can not just prevent it, but also try ways to fix it with exercises for anterior pelvic lift, if the damage has already been done!
Health Shots touch in touch with fitness expert and Fit India ambassador Wanitha Ashok who tells us why an anterior pelvic tilt happens and also gives us easy ways to fix it!
How do I know if I have an anterior pelvic tilt?
Anterior pelvic tilt is a postural imbalance in which the front of the pelvis tilts forward and downward, causing the lower back to arch excessively. “Lower back pain, tight hip flexors, and weak gluteal muscles are all because of an anterior pelvic tilt. Treatment typically involves stretching tight muscles and strengthening weak muscles to restore proper pelvic alignment,” explains Wanitha Ashok.
Here are some symptoms of anterior pelvic tilt:
1. Excessive arch in the lower back
When standing, if you notice that your lower back has a pronounced arch and your stomach protrudes forward, it may be a sign of this condition.
2. Tight hip flexors
If you experience tightness or discomfort in the front of your hips, particularly when stretching or bending forward, it could indicate an anterior pelvic tilt.
3. Weak gluteal muscles
Weakness in the gluteal muscles, which are located in the buttocks, can contribute to an anterior pelvic tilt. This may manifest as difficulty engaging the glutes during exercises such as squats or lunges.
4. Lower back pain
Experiencing chronic or recurring lower back pain, especially after prolonged periods of sitting or standing, may be a symptom of this condition.
5. Postural changes
Observing changes in your posture, such as a forward-leaning stance or an exaggerated curve in the lower back, can be indicative of an anterior pelvic tilt.
What are the exercises to prevent anterior pelvic tilt?
Prevention is better than cure! So, here are some expert-approved exercises that can be included in your routine to prevent back pain due to anterior pelvic tilt.
1. Hip flexor stretches
Stretching the hip flexors can help alleviate tightness and improve flexibility in the front of the hips. Examples of hip flexor stretches include the kneeling hip flexor stretch and the standing hip flexor stretch.
2. Glute strengthening exercises
Strengthening the gluteal muscles can help counteract the effects of an anterior pelvic tilt. Exercises such as bridges, clamshells, and hip thrusts can target the glutes and improve their strength and activation.
3. Core strengthening exercises
Strengthening the core muscles, including the abdominals and obliques, can help stabilize the pelvis and improve posture. Planks, bird dogs, and abdominal crunches are examples of core-strengthening exercises.
Also Read: Stop wincing due to backache, and learn these 5 exercises to strengthen your lower back
4. Hamstring stretches
Tight hamstrings can contribute to an anterior pelvic tilt, so incorporating hamstring stretches into your routine can help improve flexibility in the back of the thighs. Examples of hamstring stretches include the standing hamstring stretch and the seated hamstring stretch.
5. Quadriceps stretches
Stretching the quadriceps can also help alleviate tightness in the front of the thighs, which may contribute to an anterior pelvic tilt. The standing quadriceps stretch and the lying quadriceps stretch are examples of stretches for the quadriceps.
How to fix anterior pelvic tilt?
The world knows that yoga helps with backache, but if you have been diagnosed with an anterior pelvic tilt, you have to fix it. “Remember to perform these exercises with proper warm up and form,” warns Wanitha Ashok.
1. Pelvic tilts
Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor, now lie on your back. Slowly tilt your pelvis upward, flattening your lower back against the floor, then release. Repeat for 10-15 reps.
2. Standing hip hinge
Keep your feet hip-width apart while you stand. Remember to slightly bend your knees. Hinge at your hips, keeping your back straight, and lower your torso towards the floor. You can return to standing position now.
3. Quadruped hip extension
Your hands need to be under your shoulders and knees under your hips, and you should be on all fours. Keeping your back flat, lift one leg straight back behind you, then lower it back down. Repeat for 10-15 reps on each leg.
4. Cat-cow stretch
Start on your hands and knees, then arch your back upwards (like a cat) and hold for a few seconds. Then, drop your belly towards the floor and lift your head and tailbone (like a cow) and hold for a few seconds. Repeat for 10-15 reps.
5. Hip flexor strengthening:
Lie on your back, bend one knee while keeping the other leg straight. Lift the straight leg a few inches off the ground, then lower it back down. Repeat for 10-15 reps on each leg.