Anterior vs. Posterior Pelvic Tilt

Pelvic tilt is defined based on a reference point on the top of the ilium.  When someone tells you to “tilt your pelvis forward”, they mean to tip the top of your pelvis forward.  If you were to imagine your pelvis as a giant basin of water, if you were to tilt your pelvis forward, you would spill water out of the front of the basin.  If you were to tilt your pelvis backward, water would pour out the back of the basin.

pelvic bowl

Anterior pelvic tilt can either be a motion that you consciously execute (eg. setting up for a backbend in yoga), or a postural pattern that develops from sitting in a chair all day (hip flexors are chronically shortened and pull the pelvis into anterior tilt). The same is true for posterior tilt.  You can tilt your pelvis posteriorly (to get a good stretch with a rounded back), or it can become tilted that way through many years of poor standing posture.

You probably have a good sense of whether you are a “tilter” (excessive anterior tilt) or a “tucker” (excessive posterior tilt) in a standing position.  To increase your comfort both in standing and sitting, you will want to aim to be in “neutral pelvis”, which means finding that natural in-between point between the two extremes.  If you have noticed that it’s becoming more difficult to stay in “neutral pelvis” for a long time, you may have some muscle imbalances, and joint fixations or misalignments in your spine and pelvis.  An Oakland chiropractor who specializes in Active Release Techniques can help you determine whether this is the case, and will be able to help relieve your discomfort in the hours upon hours of workday standing and sitting postures.

If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment with an Oakland sports chiropractor, please call us at (510) 465-2342.

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  1. […] and increase the stretch through the front of your rear thigh by scooping your pelvis under and up (posterior pelvic tilt). Holding a static stretch like this for 30 seconds is long enough to allow for muscle relaxation […]