Does your backside stick out when you stand or walk? If so, your posture may need work. Try these self-assessment and correction tips from our chiropractors.
When you think of posture, you probably think of shoulders and whether they’re back or slouched or hunched over. But a lesser-known telltale sign of posture issues is a protruding backside when standing. Even if you’re not experiencing pain or other symptoms, this may indicate a condition known as anterior pelvic tilt or lower crossed syndrome.
Sometimes referred to as ‘Donald Duck posture’, this unnatural forward rotation of the pelvis was reported to affect as many as 75 per cent of females and 85 per cent of males in the journal Manual Therapy. This tilt may in turn cause over-extension of the lower back curve, or hyperlordosis. While many of us go about our lives with the condition for some time without apparent consequence, lack of symptoms may delay us seeking interventions that would help to restore correct posture and prevent deterioration and other conditions. The good news is that often at-home exercises and lifestyle practices recommended by a chiropractor can significantly improve this alignment before it becomes a painful problem.
If I’m not in pain, why does it matter?
Left unchecked, this posture anomaly may have a range of effects on everything from sports performance to daily functioning. Potential flow-on effects include:
- Compromised athletic performance
- Reduced spinal movement
- Increased pressure on spinal vertebrae, possibly leading to facet joint irritation, increased intervertebral disc pressure and disc deterioration
- Pain/chronic pain in the back, hips, knees, and ankles
- Sciatica symptoms
If you suspect your pelvis may be excessively tilted, it’s a good idea to request an assessment by a chiropractor, who can determine whether you need guided exercises and lifestyle adaptations, chiropractic treatment or both to correct your alignment. Depending on the severity of your tilt, you may be able to realise improvements from a combination of focusing on good standing posture, performing certain exercises and resisting practices such as working on a laptop while slouched in a chair, bed or couch. As a start, try working on these factors.
- Correct your standing posture. Helpful practices include imagining a string tied to the top of your head and pulling it upwards. When standing still, keep feet hip-width apart with legs straight, knees relaxed and weight evenly balanced across both feet. When you’re upright, your body should be in straight alignment with shoulders parallel with hips, neck straight and shoulders back and relaxed. Your head should not be forward. Check that your abdomen is pulled in.
- Strengthen your core and buttocks. Helpful exercises may include planks, side-lying leg raises, hip flexor and thigh stretches and standing thigh stretches. To make these effective, pay attention to form. If unsure, seek technique guidance from a personal trainer, chiropractor or physio.
- Tweak your lifestyle. Avoid simple traps that may promote or exacerbate pelvic rotation. Common contributors to a tilted pelvis include wearing high heels, carrying excess body weight and sitting (e.g. prolonged periods craning forward at a computer).
If you suspect you may have a problem with your posture or would like to learn practices to prevent spinal and postural issues, take advantage of our new FREE spinal health checks. It’s a 30-minute comprehensive assessment with a highly-qualified chiropractor and you’ll leave with a clear picture of your spinal health and recommendations (no obligation to engage in treatment). Book your Craigieburn or Thomastown appointment online or by calling (03) 9013-5987.