Maintaining proper alignment of the pelvis is key to keeping the spine healthy and avoiding long-term health issues that could require physical therapy, spine surgery, or other treatments. People who practice good posture are less likely to experience lower back pain and injuries to the vertebral discs and other structures of the spine.
A Balancing Act
The average adult human head weighs approximately 10 lbs. and provides a constant source of pressure that is carried throughout the whole spinal column. People who fail to maintain proper alignment of the pelvis often divert the head’s weight. The imbalance can cause other segments of the spine to receive too heavy of a load that can result in irritation of the spinal nerves and pain. When the pelvis is kept in a good position, the top of the sacrum should be parallel to the floor. People who are already experiencing neck pain are more likely to find relief by first correcting their pelvic tilt which, in turn, will correct head alignment.
Strengthening the Pelvis
Exercising the body’s core is an excellent way to keep the lower spine in position. The core muscles include the area surrounding the pelvic floor, the abdomen, the diaphragm and the long muscles that support the length of the spine. Weakened core muscles allow the pelvis to sway too far back and pull the rest of the vertebral column out of line. When a person develops and maintains a strong core, the pelvis, and subsequently the rest of the spine, falls into a more natural, supported position.
Practicing Good Body Mechanics
Correctly positioning the pelvis while lifting or pulling heavy objects is crucial to protecting the whole spine. The buttocks should not be pushed too far forward or backward when lifting because doing so can result in sprains, strains, or herniated discs anywhere along the vertebral column. Bending and using the legs to lift and receive the bulk of the weight is also important when handling large, bulky items.
People who spend a lot of time in an office chair can keep their pelvises in the correct position by using furniture that supports good posture. Chairs with armrests and adjustable backs and heights are particularly useful. If chronic back pain is affecting your everyday life, it might be time to consult the board-certified orthopedic physicians at The Spine Institute and learn more about possible treatment options. Call (310) 828-7757 today and request an in-person consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.