By: Riki Richter
Most of us are familiar with the terms anterior and posterior tilt of the pelvis and can easily feel the pelvis tip/flex forward on the thighs during exercises such as a deadlift or squat. The two pelvic halves and sacrum tip/flex forward as a unit to create flexion/folding at the hips.
The picture below (from Kapandji Physiology of the Joints) is showing the front hip bones coming together, the sitting bones widening and the top of the sacrum tipping forward as the tail lifts back. These are also movements available at the pelvis that if you are a yoga or Pilates practitioner you may already be familiar with these movements.
Let’s talk about Cat/Cow which can be taught in many different ways. It can be taught as a spinal flexion and extension exercise where you arch and curl your spine. In the version of Cat/Cow pictured below, the movement is initiated from the sitting bones and the protractor has been placed over markers on the sitting bones.
Below are pictures of a Wide-Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana for yoga practitioners). For most people, this is the easiest place to feel the sitting bones widen as you flex/fold forward at the hips. You can place your fingers on your own sitting bones and monitor their movement.
Can you feel your sitting bones widen as you fold forward?
Can you feel your sitting bones narrow as you come up? As an experiment try this: do not allow your sitting bones to widen and then flex/fold forward at the hips. Can you do this without rounding your lumbar spine?
Try this simple exercise from the Synergy 4 Week Back Care Program where we use a yoga block to find a neutral spine by widening/narrowing the sitting bones. If you do not have a yoga block use a rectangular object or a small pile of books about the same size.
More on why these actions are important in a future blog post.
In the meantime can you find these actions?
D.O.M.P., Synergy Movement Therapy Director
During an osteopathic appointment, I focus on assessing and treating the interrelationships between various body systems and removing any existing barriers to health. Although I treat many different conditions, I focus on pregnancy and postpartum, lower back and pelvic dysfunction. I have been teaching movement for 25 years and it has become a vital part of my assessment and treatment. I teach patient-specific movement re-education whether it be lifting a grandchild or performing a high-level sport. I aim to empower patients to take control of and be involved in their own healing process. Dr. Awan and I began collaborating in 2004 and since opening Synergy we have focused on an outcomes-based rehabilitation model we call “Movement Based Rehabilitation”. I programmed exercises based on common deficits found by Dr. Awan and created Synergy Movement Therapy Protocols used in 1-on-1 and group classes including BackCare, Hip & Knee, Neck & Shoulder, Foot & Ankle, Stenosis and Pelvic Health.