Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Soft Tissue Considerations for Anterior Pelvic Tilt (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this myofascial series, I discussed that the direction of massage is an important consideration.

When you have a muscle in a locked short (concentrically shortened) position, you want to massage in the direction of the muscle fibers. When locked long (eccentrically lengthened), you want to massage perpendicular to the direction of the fibers.

Anterior Pelvic Tilt
So, for anterior pelvic tilt, that means you should foam roll your quads and hip flexors as you normally would but then flip the roller a different direction for the glutes and hamstrings.

Now, what do we want to do with the back?

This is a more complex answer because we have a lot more than just muscle to consider. In the lumbar (lower) spine, for example, we have short spinal erector muscles, but we also have tight fascia which is pushing and holding the abdominal contents forward.

In the thoracic spine (upper back), the rounding (kyphosis) is forcing the surrounding tissue to spread out too thin, but the muscle itself is lengthened here as well.

We have two problems to solve. First, as Myers puts it in Anatomy Trains, we need to "pile up on the mountains" and "dig out the valleys." That is, for the thoracic kyphosis, we should move surrounding tissue back towards the direction of the curve because it had been spread out, and, for the lower back (held in lordosis, or curved inward), we should work on loosening up the fascia by digging it out, pushing it away from the spine (which will allow the abdominal contents more room to move back).

Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists
Makes Fascia Exciting
Now what about the actual muscle? For the lumbar erectors, I still think you would want to lengthen them by working them along the line of pull of the muscle fibers (and also from superior to inferior as the superficial back line tends to get pulled cranially) as they are locked short.

For the thoracic erectors, a cross fiber technique would be suitable to help shorten those (and again, working from superior to inferior is probably the way to go as well)

So there you go, just when I thought I had run out of things to say about anterior pelvic tilt, I went and learned more.

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