The pelvis is a crucial part of the human body and includes four different bones that come together in order to provide support for the organs and other structures that are found in the area1.
The pelvis itself includes the coccyx and the sacrum, as well as two bones that are often referred to as the left hip bone and the right hip bone. These two bones are sometimes referred to as the sacroiliac joints.
The main function of these bones is to provide support for your upper body’s weight. The weight of your upper body is distributed toward your lower limbs while you are standing up.
In a seated position, however, the pelvis rather provides a support mechanism for the weight of your upper body region.
There are some cases where the pelvis may become misaligned. This is often referred to as a pelvic misalignment and can lead to a number of unpleasant symptoms, including severe pain in some cases.
Understanding the possible causes behind a pelvic misalignment can help you identify particular factors in your life that may be putting you at risk. Knowing how to identify the symptoms can also lead to early detection of the problem and a more successful treatment plan.
Here, we will discuss the pelvic misalignment symptoms that should be noted.
We will also consider the potential causes and risk factors, and look at how this particular problem can be treated.
What Is A Pelvic Misalignment?
A pelvic misalignment refers to a loss of balance in the positioning of the joints and bones that make up the pelvis. There are different ways in which these bones may become misaligned.
In many cases, the disposition of the pubic symphysis joint is what leads to the overall misalignment of the entire pelvic structure. This often causes the sacrum, often referred to as the tailbone, to become misaligned in connection with the pelvis itself.
The resulting effects are usually a loss of free movement for the sacroiliac joints. In addition to this particular effect, there is often an increase in tension, as well as pressure, within the entire pelvic region, which usually leads to the development of the unpleasant and painful symptoms associated with the condition.
The excessive pressure applied to structures and nerves in the area is also what usually contributes to the development of certain complications.
Pelvic Misalignment Symptoms
Due to the potential complications that a pelvic misalignment may lead to when not treated with appropriate measures, people should be educated about potential pelvic misalignment symptoms.
While there are multiple symptoms that may develop when the pelvic bones and joints are not adequately aligned, one of the most common issues that people tend to complain about would be lower back pain.
The lower back pain is often associated with the pressure applied to the back area at the point where the lower back ends and the pelvis starts. The pressure can cause compression of nerves, leading to pain in the region, along with added symptoms, such as inflammation and tenderness.
In some cases, nerves may be compressed by the misalignment that has occurred with the pelvic bones. This can cause symptoms that affect the lower limbs – in such a case, and a person may experience a tingling sensation in their lower limbs, including their legs and feet.
In some cases, numbness in these areas may also be experienced.
There are other issues that may also be experienced. In the case where the patient develops a condition known as Pelvic Cross Syndrome, their gluteal muscles may become flat and may seem like they are hanging.
Some people have explained this symptom as the buttocks looking like they are filled with water bags.
Other potential symptoms that should also be considered concerning may include:
- The pelvis may develop a tilt toward the front. It is often possible to observe this effect of a misaligned pelvis by looking at a person’s belt line.
- The hamstrings may become overdeveloped, especially when compared to the gluteal muscles. The hamstrings are also often tight – this is another common issue among people with a pelvic misalignment.
- This happens because the function of the gluteal muscles is often inhibited with this particular problem. This means the hamstring muscles need to accommodate the weight of the upper body instead.
While the presence of these symptoms does not guarantee a misalignment of the pelvis, they should be followed up with a healthcare professional or chiropractor.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Pelvic Misalignment
There are multiple causes that have been linked to the development of misalignment with the pelvis. This is the reason why an orthopedic specialist should be consulted by a patient who experiences symptoms associated with a pelvic misalignment.
The specialist will be able to conduct a series of tests and perform a physical examination to understand why the patient may be experiencing the misalignment.
Both walking Trendleburg syndrome and Pelvic Cross Syndrome can contribute to a misalignment in the bones, as well as the joints, that are found in the pelvic area.
Other possible causes and risks for the development of a pelvic misalignment may include:
- People who sit for long periods of time on end without taking a break to stretch their muscles are considered at a higher risk of having a misalignment in their pelvic bones. Sitting for prolonged periods may also cause spinal cord dysfunctions, further contributing to back pain and other symptoms.
- Pregnant women may also be at a higher risk of pelvic misalignment, especially during and after the birth of the baby. This is because, during the natural delivery of a baby, the ligaments in the area become loose.
- A fall directly on the pelvis or the buttocks can contribute to pelvic misalignment.
Some people may have a congenital hip-related issue, which means the individual was born with the misalignment in their hip and pelvic bones.
Scoliosis is another possible disease that can cause this condition to develop.
Treatments And Therapies For Pelvic Misalignment
A diagnosis for the underlying causes for the pelvic misalignment experienced by a person first needs to be made before an effective treatment program can be initiated. Since there are numerous causes, the specialist will need to know what they are treating.
For the pelvic misalignment specifically, a number of therapies and techniques have been advised. One study2 concluded that pelvic adjustment through the use of chiropractic care could be an effective mechanism for producing positive results.
This may also assist in reducing hip flexion and might also contribute to an improvement in the distribution of weight toward the lower limbs.
There are also certain types of exercises that a person can do at home to assist in reducing the risk of pelvic misalignment and to possibly improve the overall alignment of their pelvic bones.
A misalignment of the sacroiliac joints can lead to a number of complications, including pinched nerves, numbness, and more. It is important that a person understands the specific symptoms that may signal the presence of a pelvic misalignment.
When detected earlier, less invasive options are available for the treatment of the misalignment. We reviewed the symptoms, causes, risk factors, and treatment options for a pelvic misalignment in this post.
1 The Pelvic Girdle and Pelvis. BC Campus. https://opentextbc.ca/anatomyandphysiology/chapter/8-3-the-pelvic-girdle-and-pelvis/
2 M. Cho. Effects of pelvic adjustment on pelvic posture and angles of the lower limb joints during walking in female university students. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 28 Apr 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4868228/