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The sacroiliac joints are very common source of back pain. Due to the very small amount of movement available in them, its critical that their alignment be maintained. Additionally, the surrounding muscles must be balanced and strong to support these joints. The problem, however, is when these joints are out of balance, pain can prevent optimal results from a corrective exercise strategy.
I’ve created a great ebook companion to show you how to restore alignment of the SI joints, and the best sacroiliac joint exercises for back pain relief. Download it below:
Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Back Pain Relief
Measuring postural and movement imbalance has long been the conservative approach of choice for chronic lower back pain relief. This entails a series of assessments to identify the alignment of your body, along with the length-tension relationships of muscles that control the position of your joints.
In particular, the position of your pelvis is a key region to assess. This is due to the fact that movement of the pelvis is directly correlated with the position of the lumbar spine. Out of the myriad of positions that the pelvis can assume, there are just a few that are extremely common and need to be addressed. In this post, we’ll start with the most common one, anterior pelvic tilt.
What Is Anterior Pelvic Tilt (APT for short)?
If you imagine your pelvis as a bucket of water, and you tip it forward, as if pouring water onto your toes, this would be tipping the pelvis in an anterior direction. Tipping it the opposite direction, in which you would be pouring water onto your heels, would be called a posterior pelvic tilt.
Anterior pelvic tilt is in fact a completely normal position for the pelvis. Under normal circumstances, men generally have 4-7 degrees of anterior pelvic tilt, and women typically have been 7-10 degrees. The problem arises when standing pelvic tilt is beyond these norm values, especially when correlated with back pain.
Its not uncommon to see a chronic back pain sufferer with 15 or even 20 degrees of anterior pelvic tilt. This excessive tilt can be a either a root cause or a result of back pain. Regardless of whether its the chicken or the egg, correction of the dysfunction results in pain relief.
Excessive APT can cause jamming of your facet joints and excess tension in the lumbar erector muscles. Joint irritation and muscle fatigue can definitely be causes of pain.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt: The Causes
There can be a number of root causes of excess APT. Some of which are simple to understand, while others are quite complex.
1. Muscle imbalances: These can be caused by chronically poor postural alignment, muscle or movement pattern overuse in work or sport
2. Forward head posture: Pelvic tilt is strongly connected with forward head posture. This is due to the body’s attempt to right itself. Forward head posture can be caused by a number of factors, even poor breathing!
3. Flat feet: Here I am referring to having no arch in your foot
What to do in order to start correcting APT
The simplest way to start with the process of correcting excessive anterior pelvic tilt is to identify the muscles which are too tight and additionally weak. Next is to perform the appropriate corrective stretches and exercises.
I have created a unique program for this process. Its called the:
End Your Back Pain Now! Program
As you have likely found in your search across the web, finding solutions to your back pain and muscle imbalances is quite a chore. Most often you run into websites that simply have a lot of medical junk on them, or recommend some kind of ridiculous “quick-fix” such as a surgical procedure, or even more ridiculous, such as a cream, powder or pill that supposedly will stop your pain.
Look, I think by now you understand that no enzyme therapy is going to get rid of your back pain. Movement-based approaches work for the majority of back pain sufferers, because muscles and joints are creating the pain. When you locate the imbalances that are plaguing you, and correct them with specific movements aimed at restoring normal function, back pain relief is the result. Its not that complicated, but frankly everyone appears to be completely clueless about this fact.
For the past 10 years I have been collecting an incredible database of corrective protocols for these postural imbalances, and USING them with back pain sufferers just like you with a tremendous amount of success. Based on this, I’ve created a DVD program that includes these protocols.
If you are ready to be done with searching all over the internet for a solution to your back pain, and want a “one stop shop” for all of this information, consider my program. The best part is the thing has a MONEY BACK GUARANTEE! Why? Because it isn’t for everyone. Some backs just need more than my program offers, and I realize that. Bottom line, you have NOTHING to lose. Scroll below and get your copy right now.
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Dealing with back pain for any length of time will certainly involve the multifidus muscle. While its not likely to have a specific multifidus injury, the muscle itself is HIGHLY prone to dysfunction and trigger point development.
Stretching in the case of quadratus lumborum injury or long term tension is fairly simple and straightforward. In the video below, I’ll show you how to get a quadratus lumborum stretch.
Where is the Quadratus Lumborum?
The quadratus lumborum (QLO for short) is one of the most important muscles when it comes to resolving lower back pain. In the image above, its the dark red one. This muscle attaches to the bony projections next to the spine called the spinous processes, the last rib, and the top of the pelvis, which is called the iliac crest.
The function of this muscle is to perform side bending of the lumbar spine, and when both activate at the same time they extend the spine (lumbar lordosis). The QLO is well known to contain multiple trigger points that refer pain into the region of the sacroiliac joints, and therefore can mimic sacroiliac joint and even sciatica symptoms.
Stretching the Quadratus Lumborum
In the video above, I demonstrate how to stretch the QLO. You can do this simply by laying over a swiss ball. Slightly altering your position forward and backward to find the best position of stretch will be needed to optimize the stretch.
I don’t find any specific holding time to get the best stretch. Generally, 30-60 seconds does the trick. I also advise that you make sure you breathe DEEPLY into your lower ribcage to improve the stretch.
Muscle Release Techniques for the Quadratus Lumborum
Stretching alone may not be effective for fully releasing the quadratus lumborum. I find that most people need some form of manual therapy to assist this process. When I say manual therapy, I don’t mean chiropractic adjustments. I’m referring to soft-tissue therapies like massage techniques. As a Neuromuscular Therapist, I perform a number of techniques on the muscles, but frankly, simple gliding strokes from the origin to the insertion of the QLO usually works just fine along with stretching. This must be done deep enough t0 effect the tight muscle fibers, not caution must be emphasized not to compress the lumbar spine in cases where pain is caused by lumbar extension.