Why You Don't Need to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt
Anterior pelvic tilt is often blamed by therapists to be the cause of back pain because of the supposed increased stress in the lumbar spine in this position. But do people with anterior pelvic tilt really have more chances of developing lower back pain? Let's find out in today's blog post.
The pelvic alignment is measured with an imaginary line that runs from the Posterior Superior Iliac Spine (PSIS) to the Anterior Superior Iliac Spine (ASIS). Anterior pelvic tilt occurs when the PSIS is higher than the ASIS. The theory that anterior pelvic tilt is supposedly problematic was first proposed by Dr Vladimir Janda. He described this condition as a consequence of lower crossed syndrome, in which weak abdominal and glutes muscles, and tight lower back and anterior hip muscles, cause the pelvis to rotate forward putting excessive stress to the lumbar spine.
However, this theory is not supported by research for several reasons:
Anterior pelvic tilt is normal: around 80% of people have anterior pelvic tilt.
Anterior pelvic tilt is not associated with low back pain: studies comparing people with anterior pelvic tilt to people with neutral pelvis found no differences in the two groups.
People with anterior pelvic tilt do not have weak abs and glutes, and tight hip flexors: the lower crossed syndrome theory by Dr Janda is not supported by research.
That said, exercises for the abdominal, hip and lower back regions can be beneficial for treating lower back pain. However, their benefits probably derive from improving overall mobility and strength in those regions rather than changes in pelvic angle.