Sunday, July 3, 2011

Myofascial Considerations for Anterior Pelvic Tilt (Part 1)

Anterior pelvic tilt, as I've written about before, is a common postural issue found in many Americans and is at least partially due to our excessive amount of time spent in sitting.

LeBron James Sitting

While another in depth analysis of correcting this posture and the lower crossed syndrome that is associated with it is unnecessary (see link above), I would like to make an addition to my thoughts on the soft tissue (foam rolling, in this case) strategy.

At a Thomas Myers lecture I recently attended, he mentioned how when performing soft tissue manipulation, you should work in a direction that is parallel to the direction of the muscle fibers when dealing with a concentrically shortened muscle and perpendicular when working with an eccentrically lengthened muscle.

You see, when working with a muscle that is constantly fighting gravity (the upper traps, for example), it does no good to try to "stretch" the muscle along its line of pull. Rather, you want to try to "stretch" the muscle and accompanying myofascia in an outward direction, pulling it shorter into proper alignment.

So, I tried this on myself with a racquet ball, and let me tell you, it felt remarkable!

It got me thinking about anterior pelvic tilt. Normally, I tell people to work their rectus femoris (the central and most superficial quad muscle) and other hip flexors such as the tensor fascia lata with a roller. This has not changed, nor has the technique for doing so. You see, the hip flexors are "locked short" in anterior pelvic tilt, so working parallel with the line of pull is a good thing.

However, with the hamstrings and glutes, which are lengthened... the soft tissue manipulation should be performed perpendicular to the line of pull. So, instead of rolling cranially to caudally (head to toe) or vice versa, a person with anterior pelvic tilt might be better suited to use the roller (or ball, or hand, or friend's hand, etc.) in a side to side direction.

Nothing like a butt massage.
If you are having a "close friend" help you with this, be sure not to neglect the hamstrings.

So there you have it... another thought to help with fixing anterior pelvic tilt. In part 2, I'll cover what to do with the myofascia of the back.

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