How Do You Correct a Pelvic Tilt?

how do you correct a pelvic tilt
In most cases, a pelvic tilt can be corrected with physical therapy, which mainly involves muscle strengthening exercises, stretches, and massages

Correcting a pelvic tilt depends on the type, cause, and severity of the condition. In most cases, a pelvic tilt can be corrected with physical therapy, which mainly involves muscle strengthening exercises, stretches, and massages. In cases where one leg is longer than the other, shoe inserts may be advised to facilitate comfortable movement. Medications may also be given to manage pain.

What is a pelvic tilt?

The pelvis is a basin-shaped bony structure that connects the trunk with the legs. It supports and balances the spine besides protecting the organs in the lower abdomen (such as the intestines, urinary bladder, and internal sex organs). 

The normal position, also called the neutral position, of the pelvis is essential for proper posture, balance, and movement. In the neutral position, the pelvis is tilted slightly forward (about 5 degrees in men and 10 degrees in women). Any variation in the positioning of the pelvis is called a pelvic tilt. 

A pelvic tilt can cause problems with balance, posture, as well as pain and limited range of motion.

What are the different types of pelvic tilt?

There are three main types of pelvic tilts: anterior, posterior, and lateral pelvic. In some cases, a person may have a combination of two or more types.

Anterior pelvic tilt

The anterior or forward pelvic tilt is where the pelvis is positioned in a way that its front (anterior part) moves forward, while its back (posterior part) rotates up. This can be caused due to a sedentary lifestyle or poor sitting posture, which can result in tightness of the muscles that flex the hip. It may also be seen in conditions where the abdomen becomes bulky, such as during pregnancy. Anterior pelvic tilt can harm spinal health and result in lower backache and muscle strains.

Posterior pelvic tilt

A posterior or backward pelvic tilt involves the downward tilting of the back (posterior part) of the pelvis, whereas the front of the pelvis tilts up and back. A posterior tilt reduces the normal curve of the lower back, resulting in excessive stretching of the back muscles. The condition generally results due to weak and tight muscles of the legs, particularly the hamstrings.

Lateral pelvic tilt

In a lateral or sideways pelvic tilt, one side of the pelvis appears higher than the other. It results when the pelvis shifts side to side, making one hip higher than the other. A lateral pelvic tilt causes imbalances in muscle activity throughout the body. This can cause problems walking, spinal misalignment, and pain in the back and hip.


Pelvic Pain: What's Causing Your Pelvic Pain? See Slideshow

4 exercises for anterior pelvic tilt

1. Glute bridge

  • Lie on your back with hands by your sides, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor at shoulder width.
  • Tighten your abs and buttocks (push your lower back into the ground).
  • Raise your hips so that you make a straight line from shoulders to knees.
  • Squeeze your abs and pull your belly button toward your spine. 
  • Hold and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times for 3 sets.

2. Bird dog

  • Come on all fours on a mat.
  • Keep your hands under your shoulders shoulder-width apart and knees under your hips.
  • Keep your back parallel to the floor and pull your belly button toward your spine.
  • Reach your right arm forward as you straighten your left leg back. Hold for 2-4 seconds.
  • Come back to the starting position. 
  • Repeat 10 times, then do 10 times on the other side.
  • Repeat for 3 sets.

3. Squats

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing forward and slightly outward.
  • Keep your spine neutral and tighten your core.
  • Slowly lower your torso by pushing your hips back and bending your knees so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. 
  • Hold for 2 seconds and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times for 3 sets.

4. Half-kneeling hip flexor stretch

  • Get into a lunge position with one knee touching the floor.
  • Keep your knees flexed at a 90 degree angle.
  • Squeeze your hips and core so that your pelvis is pushed forward.
  • Lean forward so that you feel a stretch in the inner part of the leg that is touching the floor.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds and then switch legs.
  • Repeat 10 times for 3 sets.

3 exercises for posterior pelvic tilt

1. Superman

  • Lie on the floor facing downward.
  • Keep your arms extended in front of you.
  • Raise your arms, chest, and legs simultaneously off the floor.
  • Hold for 2-3 seconds.
  • Repeat 8 times for 3 sets.

2. Lunges

  • Stand on the floor with your right foot forward and left foot backward, so they are about 3 feet apart.
  • Bend your knees to lower your body toward the floor, ensuring that your front knee does not extend beyond your toes, and you lower straight down instead of forward.
  • Hold this position for 2-3 seconds keeping your torso straight and abs squeezed.
  • Come to the starting position and then switch legs.
  • Repeat 10 times for 3 sets.

3. Leg raises

  • Lie on your back with your legs straight and close together.
  • Lift your legs up toward the ceiling without bending your knees till your glutes come off the floor.
  • Hold for 2-3 seconds and then slowly lower your legs till they are just above the floor.
  • Repeat 10 times for 3 sets.

2 exercises for lateral pelvic tilt

1. Reverse leg raises

  • Lie on the floor facing downward, with your feet together and hands resting under the forehead.
  • Keeping your core and glutes squeezed, lift one leg in the air. 
  • Hold for 2-3 seconds.
  • Slowly lower your leg to the starting position, then switch legs.
  • Repeat 10 times for 3 sets.

2. Clamshells

  • Lie on your right side with your head resting on your right arm.
  • Keep your knees bent at 90 degrees and draw them toward your body until your feet are in line with your butt.
  • Keep your left hand on your left hip to make sure that it does not tilt backward (this is your starting position).
  • Raise your left knee as far as you can without rotating your hip or lifting your right knee off the floor. 
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds keeping your hips squeezed. 
  • Slowly lower the knee to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 15-20 times and then repeat on the other side.
Physiopedia. Pelvic Tilt.

UpToDate. Common Postural Malalignments.

Johns Hopkins Medicine. Pelvis Problems.