The Hip Opening Exercise
Hip opening exercise is a simple yet effective way to improve flexibility and range of motion in the hips. This exercise helps to loosen up tight muscles which prevent proper movement of the spine. When these muscles become tight they restrict normal movement of the lower back, knees, ankles and feet. Tightness in these areas can lead to injuries such as plantar fasciitis or even osteoarthritis later in life.
What Is Anterior Pelvic Tilt?
Anterior pelvic tilt (APT) refers to the position of the pelvis when viewed from above. APT occurs because of a combination of genetics and improper posture. A person with anterior pelvic tilt will have their pelvis tilted forward at an angle, while someone without it will have their pelvis pointed straight ahead. This difference in pelvic alignment causes pain in some people due to the strain placed on certain joints.
How Does APT Affect Your Body?
When a person’s pelvis tilts forward, it puts pressure on the front of the knee joint. If left untreated, this can cause pain and damage to the ligaments that attach to the kneecap. The same thing happens when a person’s pelvis tilts backward causing pressure on the back of the knee joint. This may result in arthritis in this area later in life.
A person with APT will also have an increased curve in their lower back. This puts a lot of force on the spinal discs in this area and may lead to a herniated, bulging or ruptured disc. This can cause a lot of lower back pain along with sciatica down the leg, cramping, tingling or numbness.
How Does Anterior Pelvic Tilt Develop?
Anterior pelvic tilt develops as a result of prolonged sitting. When you sit down, your hip flexors are shortened. The hip flexors attach to the front of the pelvis and when they are shortened, the pelvis is pulled forward. In order for someone to stand up straight, they have to tighten their abdominal muscles or butt muscles to pull the pelvis into an upright position.
Other reasons for APT to develop is lack of stretching. If someone doesn’t stretch their hip flexors, the front of their pelvis will drop. This is similar to what happens when someone lifts a heavy object off the ground; the hip flexors are shortened and the person’s torso is pulled forward.
How Can You Correct Anterior Pelvic Tilt?
In order to correct APT, a person needs to stretch out the hip flexors. When you sit down, your hip flexors shorten, so in order to lengthen them, you have to stand up. The simplest way to do this is to stretch in the morning and night and whenever else you have a chance during the day.
Flex your knees and tilt your butt backwards as far as you can. You should feel a stretch on the front of your thigh. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds. You can do this as many times a day as you like.
Another way to stretch the hip flexors is to sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Cross your left leg over your right thigh and grab your left foot with both hands. Gently pull your foot towards your body, but not so far that it’s uncomfortable. Hold this position for about twenty seconds and then switch legs.
You should also stretch your back by lying down on your back and raising your legs up against a wall. You should feel a stretch in your lower back when you do this. Hold this position for about thirty seconds and then repeat as many times as you like.
If these exercises are done consistently, they will help to correct APT and alleviate the pain caused by it. A physical therapist can also show you how to do these exercises. If the condition is extreme, you may need orthotics or a shoe lift to help straighten your posture as well.
If you are suffering from anterior pelvic tilt, these exercises should help to relieve your pain. In addition to physical therapy, stretching and exercise, you may also want to have your hip position checked to rule out any other potential causes of hip and back pain.
Our directory also lists physical therapists who can provide treatments for this condition. They will be able to give you one on one instruction on how to stretch to alleviate your pain. Take the first step to relief by finding a local provider through our directory.
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