What Are The Causes Of Anterior Pelvic Tilt?

Unfortunately, correction of anterior pelvic tilt has been way oversimplified. There are many factors that can contribute to this imbalanced position of the pelvis. Here are some of the less commonly discussed reasons for anterior pelvic tilt.

Imbalances in the pelvic muscles

Imbalances in the pelvic and hip muscles are the most well known causes of anterior pelvic tilt. Particularly to blame, is the balance between the muscles that flex the hip, including the quadriceps and psoas, and their opposing muscles, the gluteals, hamstrings, and “lower abdominals”.

Once the psoas becomes short and tight, normally due to imbalances in exercise program design or excessive time in seated postures, it pulls down on the front aspect of the pelvis. This allows a shortened position for the usually over-dominant quadriceps, thereby causing them to become short and tight as well.

By a neurological law called Sherrington’s Law, if one muscle becomes over-facilitated (activated), the muscle that performs the opposite action will weaken. So, in this situation, the glutes and hamstrings become lengthened and thus will test “weak”. Due to the forward rotation of the pelvis, the lower back becomes arched, therefore allowing the spinal erector muscles to shorten, although they rarely are actually “tight,” they present as facilitated.

This shortening of the lower back muscles, combined with the anterior rotation of the pelvis, puts a strain on the abdominal muscles, as their job is to assist with pulling the pelvis up and into posterior rotation. This leads to trigger point development in the lower abs, and eventually weakens them as they continue to be both lengthened and under tension.

Internal organ stress

All internal organs reflex neurological output into muscles. Think about it, when was the last time your liver hurt? When your organs are in distress, the reflexing muscles let you know. Any woman who has had cramps during her menstrual cycle can attest to that!

For example, if the adrenal glands (the glands that regulate stress hormones) are under stress, they can reflex pain to the lumber spine, particularly the small stabilizer muscles. Another example is inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract due to such issues such as food allergy or intolerance. This inflammation can cause reflexive inhibition (shutdown) of the deep abdominal stabilizing muscles.