How to Correct Your Hips and Pelvis for better Posture
Hi, my name is Corry and I used to be a skinny unhealthy guy who used to have a pretty bad hunchback!
After years of computer gaming when I was a lot younger, up to 31yrs old, at 5ft 11in my hunchback was awful to look at each day and obvious ugly or unattractive to other people when they stared at me.
I literally felt like the Hunchback of Notre-Dame.
But looking back at how I arrived at such a condition, when I was 16 years to 28 years old, gaming was just my life.
It was my everything, the ultimate escape from all my problems.
You could say I was addicted 24 hours a day, 7 day’s a week.
Life was not good for me back then, but it has a positive end so that’s where my focus is today and into the future!
You can’t change the past right? but you can create yourself a better future and that’s what I was hellbent on doing.
I knew I had to turn my life around and for starter’s, get out in the world and get a job!
My self confidence at the time was really low and on top of that, I looked like crap!
There is nothing like looking into a 7 foot mirror and face the image that stares back at you, which was ME. I didn’t like what I saw.
Maybe you can relate to that.
So the next 12 months, I committed to mentally and physically getting my self together. To look and feel presentable and confident which I’m proud to say, I did in 7-months time!
The hardest part however, was fixing my POOR POSTURE aka hunchback. I still hunched over when I went for a job interview, and I’m happy to say I still got the job.
Nevertheless, it seriously took some time for me to regain my posture. What I did find out was my Hips were out of alignment.
Obviously this was due to hours of endless sitting when I was gaming. I would do so many twists while sitting down just to get that shot in the game, or not wreck the car I was driving in a game.
I regret that time. But that doesn’t help me today, so I’ve let it all go and simply focus on rehabilitation for my whole body and mind.
What follows below is some very useful information that really helped me get through this bump in my life!
I’m pain free, I’m in a job I love, I have girlfriend I love to, and a very steady satisfying life.
Oh, 2 more things, I’m no longer a gamer, sitting for wasteful hours at a time, nope, I get outdoors now! And my hunchback has all disappeared with a very improved posture.
Did I say I was 5ft 11in at the beginning? I’m not. I’m actually 6ft 2.
I didn’t grow, I was always 6ft 2in (wink).
All about your Hips and Pelvis for Posture Correction
Many people do not put much emphasis on how they sit, stand or walk. Essentially, they do not really care about their posture, so long as they feel comfortable with their current position.
However, this could turn out to be detrimental as far as good musculoskeletal health is concerned.
You may not know this, but a bad posture has a massive effect on your health and general well-being.
So what does all this mean?
Well, if you often feel pain on your spine, hips and pelvis whenever you are walking, standing, sitting or even sleeping, then you probably require posture correction.
Poor posture is known to alter the proper alignment of your skeletal structure over time, resulting in great pain and discomfort. This isn’t a way to live.
Fortunately, by using various corrective measures, you can prevent poor posture and improve it instead.
Let’s have a look at the causes of poor posture and ways on how to lessen these body deviations
What Causes Poor Posture?
Poor Posture, also known as postural dysfunction, can be described as a situation when your muscles, joints and ligaments, including the spine, hips, pelvis, are positioned unnaturally for prolonged periods.
This causes pressure to build upon these areas, resulting in pain around your neck, back, shoulders and arm among other areas of the body.
The causes of poor posture are numerous. Some of the factors that lead to postural dysfunction are inevitable while others can be avoided. The main causes include:
Muscle weakness or tightness
Muscle imbalances, including very weak or strong muscles, may cause poor posture.
Weak muscles are unable to support your bones, ligaments and joints appropriately resulting in postural dysfunction.
On the other hand, muscle tension may also cause bad posture in view of the fact that your skeletal structure will be supported in an awkward position against gravity.
Exercising regular is not only ideal for your health, but great for your posture.
People who do not participate in regular exercises tend to gain weight, constantly feel lethargic which usually results in weaker muscles, as the body accumulates more fat.
As you might already be aware, having weak muscles will certainly lead to postural dysfunction.
Injury and muscle guarding
Any injury on your body will trigger nearby muscles to go into a twinge as a way of protecting the affected area.
While this is a natural body protection mechanism, the muscles in question tend to weaken gradually resulting in an imbalance that subsequently causes bad posture.
Fortunately, this will only last until the injury is healed.
Poor body mechanics
Body mechanics refers to the way we stand, sit, walk, lift, bend and sleep. It revolves around how the bones, muscles and the nervous system coordinate to maintain good balance and posture.
Nevertheless, the body tends to abandon good posture to find alternative ways to contain muscle imbalances caused by our day to day activities.
This forces you to adjust to poor body mechanics, resulting in bad posture.
Unfortunately, some people are born with poor body postures. It has nothing to do with their surroundings, but hereditary factors that affect their bone structure, vertebrae and ligaments.
A good example of genetic disorders that lead to postural dysfunction is the Scheuermann’s disease. This condition causes the abnormal development of the thoracic spine, resulting in poor posture.
Whether you believe in the story of creation or the theory of evolution, one thing remains constant; human beings were intended to walk barefoot.
Nevertheless, ever since the onset of civilization, shoes have become ingrained in society.
Sadly, these fashionable accessories have a bearing on your posture. Wearing heeled shoes or high boots will misalign your body as you try to find your balance, subsequently causing bad posture and pain in your joints.
Overuse of technology
Picture this. Every time you need to use your phone or tablet, you are expected to look down on your device’s screen for prolonged periods.
Nevertheless, doing so will only misalign your body, leading to neck and back problems. It is advisable that you use your mobile devices sparingly or in between breaks to avoid taking your body out of alignment.
Carrying heavy load
Carrying heavy load regularly and for long periods can ruin your posture significantly. This is particularly true for students who carry heavy backpacks while going to school.
If you have school-going kids, it is advisable that you check on the weight of their bags to protect them from the possibility of developing postural dysfunction.
Do Unaligned Hips Cause Bad Posture?
Your hips play a critical role in achieving the right balance and good body posture.
They consist of a group of muscles known as flexors and ex-tensors that are responsible for moving the thighs up and back respectively, depending on your current motion.
However, any imbalance in these muscles may lead to misalignment of the hips, subsequently resulting in bad posture. From these findings, it is certain that unaligned hips cause bad posture.
Common misalignment’s associated with the hips and pelvis, are hip elevation and anterior pelvic tilt.
Hip elevation normally occurs when one of your hips is at a higher position than the other. You can easily tell that you have hip elevation by looking in the mirror and monitoring your posture and the position of your hips.
Furthermore, if you are having problems standing up straight due to muscle tightness in one leg or excessive weight on one side, then you probably have an elevated hip.
The causes of hip elevation are well documented. Any imbalance in the three gluteal muscles that make up your buttocks is likely to pull down one of your hips.
The affected hip will not be able to extend, rotate or move correctly due to elevation. Other causes and risk factors associated with hip elevation include hip fractures, muscle or tendon strain, arthritis, stretching imbalances, congenital disorders and hip labrar tear, among others.
The symptoms of hip elevation might seem obvious, but many people do often overlook them.
Some of the symptoms that you should watch out for are:
• Hip pain
• Decrease in physical fitness
• Discomfort when standing
• Disproportional posture
• Lower back pain
Hip elevation may cause great pain and discomfort. If left untreated, the condition may deteriorate, subsequently hindering your mobility. Luckily, there are several treatment options for correcting an elevated hip.
One of the simplest options is taking up exercise routines that focus on strengthening the hips and lower back region.
Your physician will prescribe appropriate exercises that you must undertake for a few weeks to correct muscular imbalances around your hips and pelvis.
Severe cases of hip elevation may require advanced treatment options such as physiotherapy and corrective surgery.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt
Anterior Pelvic Tilt is a type of postural dysfunction that develops when the back of the pelvis rises above its normal position while the front moves to an unnatural alignment, causing an increased arch in your lower back.
A pelvic tilt may occur due to muscular imbalances that pull your pelvis forward, causing your buttocks to stick out conspicuously and your abdomen to protrude forward.
This condition leads to poor posture, consequently increasing the risk of spinal pain and musculoskeletal disorders.
The causes of anterior pelvic tilt revolve around tight, overactive muscles and weak, underactive muscles.
Tilting of the pelvis may occur if the hip flexors contract while the extensors lengthen abnormally as a result of prolonged sitting.
Other risk factors that may lead to anterior pelvic tilt include leaning over for prolonged periods, working at a desk for long hours, lack of stretching, poor posture and hereditary factors.
We definitely encourage you to take breaks and participate in physical activities for at least 30 minutes in between your daily schedule to reduce your chances of developing anterior pelvic tilt.
Most of the time, anterior pelvic tilt does not portray any specific symptoms, especially during the initial stages of the condition.
For this reason, it might take some time before you realize any changes in the alignment of your pelvis.
Nevertheless, common symptoms that you should look out for include:
• Back pain
• Herniated disc
• Spinal stenosis
• Weak stomach muscles
• Poor posture
• Decline in performance for athletes
You can easily tell if you have anterior pelvic tilt by carrying out an assessment of your posture and the shape of your spine.
If you notice that your abdomen is protruding while your spine is curved then you probably have an anterior pelvic tilt.
You may also lie on a sturdy table with your legs hanging off the table at the knees, and then pull one leg at a time inwards toward you until it rests on your chest. The back of the resting leg should touch the table if your pelvis is correctly aligned.
However, if you are not sure about your condition, it is advisable that you consult a qualified physician for a more accurate diagnosis.
What is Anterior Pelvic Tilt Correction?
Anterior Pelvic Tilt Correction refers to the corrective measures undertaken to return your pelvis to a neutral position.
It consists of a series of exercises and medical procedures that seek to reduce muscular imbalances between the hip flexors and extensors.
The severity of the condition will determine the type of treatment your doctor will recommend. In most cases, corrective exercises, soft tissue massage, joint mobilization and postural taping may just be enough for treating anterior pelvic tilt.
Surgery for posture correction often acts as a last resort in cases where alternative treatment options are not effective.
How Can I Fix My Posture Through Anterior Pelvic Tilt Correction?
You can easily fix your posture through several anterior pelvic tilt exercises. The most effective exercises include:
• Standing Quadriceps Stretch
This exercise involves carrying out stretches that target the muscular balance of the hip flexors.
It helps loosen the tension in tight flexor muscles, allowing you to achieve a good posture.
To perform this exercise:
1. Stand up straight, bend your knee and hold your ankle from behind
2. Pull the ankle or your foot towards your bum as far as possible
3. Squeeze your bum using your feet while tucking in the pelvis
4. Hold your ankle for 30 seconds or more, and repeat the same procedure on the other leg
Squats are the easiest workout routine you could use to fix your anterior pelvic tilt. This exercise works to strengthen the hamstrings, buttock muscles and leg muscles.
1. Stand with your feet apart and turn your toes outward or forward
2. Squeeze your stomach muscles while keeping your torso in a neutral position
3. Lower your body, pushing your buttocks backward into a sitting position
4. For best results, your thighs should be parallel to the floor
5. Push up again to a standing position and repeat the above steps up to 15 times or more
• Kneeling Quadriceps Stretch
This is another stretch exercise that seeks to loosen tight, overactive muscles and lengthen the hip flexors.
However, instead of standing, you are required to kneel on one leg to perform the exercise.
1. Kneel on one leg ensuring that the other leg is firmly planted on the floor
2. The thigh of the front foot should be parallel to the floor and the knee should be directly over the ankle
3. Squeeze your bum muscles and push your pelvis forward
4. Hold this position for about 30 seconds. Repeat this process at least 5 times
5. Switch legs and repeat the procedure to stretch the other flexor muscles
• Pelvic Tilt
Anterior pelvic tilt is characterized by your pelvis moving forward into an unnatural position.
Interestingly, you may correct this condition by performing a posterior pelvic tilt exercise that involves pushing your pelvis in the opposite direction.
To perform this exercise, you should:
1. Lie on your back, facing upward with your knees bent
2. Tighten your butt and abdominal muscles and push your pelvis upwards
3. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds
4. Return to normal position
5. Repeat the procedure 10 to 15 times
You may prevent hip elevation and anterior pelvic tilt by changing your postural habits by adopting various lifestyle changes.
Below are a few prevention tips that may help you avoid hip and pelvis problems.
• Watch out on your posture when sitting, walking, standing and sleeping
• Engage in regular exercises and physical activities to stretch and strengthen your muscles
• Avoid sitting in one position for prolonged periods by taking regular breaks in between your schedule.