The most important concept of spinal stability is pelvic neutral (aka functional neutral). Pelvic neutral cannot be accomplished without first achieving full pelvic range of motion through pelvic tilts. Pelvic tilts allow you to become aware of pelvic movement and then pelvic neutral in order to retrain your normal.
True core initiation begins in the position of pelvic neutral. For the core to achieve full activation, the pelvis must maintain a biomechanically neutral position. The majority of core muscles either originate or insert on the pelvis. To function efficiently, the muscles must be at their optimal length. When the pelvis is in neutral or its normal anatomical position, the musculature is in its most efficient and functional position. Pelvic tilts will take your pelvis through its complete range of motion.
Several joints are required to move to create proper pelvic motion. The most important to note are those that make up your pelvis (both left and right sacroiliac (SI) joints and the symphysis pubis). Improper movement in any of these joints negatively influences our body's ability to properly stabilize our spine.
Posture is a simple way to identify joint restriction or dysfunction.
- From the front, is one hip higher than the other? This indicates pelvic rotation and joint restriction.
- From the side, does your belly protrude and your butt stick out? This indicates increased anterior pelvic tilt which increases stress on the lumbar spine and SI joints resulting in restrictions.
Begin by lying on your back, knees bent and feet on the ground. Draw an imaginary line through your hips. All movement rotates around this axis.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt: Increase the curve of your low back by pushing your butt bones (ischial tuberosities) into the floor. Your tummy moves forward and space is created between your low back and the ground. If you experience pain it indicates your joints aren't functioning properly and a Chiropractic treatment is highly recommended. Always complete pain free movement.
Posterior Pelvic Tilt: Tuck your bum under and flatten your back. Your pubic bone will move forward and your back will lie against the ground. Again, complete pain free movement.
The movement between these 2 end points is the functional range of your pelvis. The middle position between anterior pelvic tilt and posterior pelvic tilt is your pelvic neutral (aka functional neutral). Proper joint motion and pelvic neutral is the foundation of all spinal stability and spinal stabilization exercises. Once achieved, this position should be maintained throughout your day in any position you are in and during all movement. This includes seated and standing.
Pelvic tilts should always be performed in a pain free range. Why? Pain is an indicator that something is functioning incorrectly and changes the way our body moves. It alters the sensory input our body receives which then alters the output of motor control and teaches us improper movement. But can improper function occur without pain? Of course it can! Pain is typically one of the last signals our body sends out to tell us something is wrong.