Easing Symptoms of Anterior Pelvic Tilt

If you feel like your hips or pelvis are out of alignment, you might have anterior pelvic tilt.  This condition is easier to develop than you think — especially if you sit the majority of the day.  Make an appointment with us to help determine if you do have an anterior pelvic tilt.  We can help you find relief in many ways.  The exercises in the article below are a great start.  They will give the area around your pelvis more strength and relief.

Six fixes for anterior pelvic tilt

By Jayne Leonard | Last reviewed Thu 11 May 2017

Reviewed by William Morrison, MD

Anterior pelvic tilt is a change in posture that happens when the front of the pelvis rotates forward, and the back of the pelvis rises.

Some research suggests that as many as 85 percent of men and 75 percent of women, who do not show any symptoms, have anterior pelvic tilt.

Anterior pelvic tilt is caused by excessive sitting or lack of physical activity.  It affects posture and the shape of the spine, and may lead to other symptoms.

Contents of this article:
1. Six fixes for anterior pelvic tilt
2. Causes
3. Symptoms

Six fixes for anterior pelvic tilt

In cases of anterior pelvic tilt, the pelvis can gradually be returned to a neutral position, using a variety of stretching and strengthening exercises.  These exercises include the following:


Squats strengthen the buttock muscles, hamstrings, and other leg muscles.

  1. Stand with the feet slightly wider than hip-width. Turn the toes slightly outward.
  2. Squeeze the stomach muscles, and keep the back in a neutral position.
  3. Breathe in. Lower the hips back and down, causing the knees to bend, until the thighs are parallel to the floor. The knees should not extend beyond the toes, and the heels should be firmly on the floor.
  4. Breathe out and slowly return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat 10 to 20 times.

Pelvic tilt

This exercise helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles.

  1. Lie on the floor, face upward, with knees bent.
  2. Squeeze the abdominal (stomach) muscles, so that the back is flat against the floor. Bend the pelvis slightly upward.
  3. Hold this position for up to 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat for five sets of 10 repetitions.

Kneeling rear leg raises

This exercise stretches the back and buttock muscles, while strengthening the stomach muscles.

  1. Begin on all fours on an exercise mat. The hands should be directly under the shoulders, and the knees directly under the hips. Weight should be evenly distributed between the hands and knees.
  2. Tighten the stomach muscles.
  3. Reach the right leg back in line with the body, keeping the toes pointed and the leg straight. Do not arch the back.
  4. Hold the leg in position for 5 seconds. Lower and repeat 10 times.
  5. Switch sides and repeat the above process with the alternate leg.

Kneeling hip flexor stretch

This stretch helps to loosen and lengthen tight hip flexor muscles.

  1. Kneel down on the left knee, ensuring that the right knee is directly over the right ankle.
  2. Place both hands on the right thigh for stability. Ensure the spine is tall and straight.
  3. Tighten the buttock and stomach muscles, and keep the pelvis in a neutral position.
  4. Lean forward into the right hip, ensuring the pelvis and back remain stable. There should be a stretch in the hip flexor and inner thigh.
  5. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat five times, aiming to stretch a little more with each repetition.
  6. Switch sides and repeat the above process to stretch the other hip.

The glute bridge

This exercise targets the buttock muscles and the hamstrings.

  1. Lie on the floor, face upward, and knees bent.
  2. Place the feet hip-width apart.
  3. Squeeze the stomach muscles so that the back is flat against the floor. Keep the stomach muscles engaged throughout the exercise.
  4. Breathe out and lift the hips off the floor, so the upper body and thighs form a straight line.
  5. Breathe in and gently lower the body to the floor.
  6. Repeat 10 to 20 times.

The plank

The plank exercise helps to target the stomach muscles and back.

  1. Lie face down on an exercise mat.
  2. Place the hands on the mat, palms down. Keep the hands directly under the shoulders.
  3. Tighten the stomach muscles and the thigh muscles.
  4. Slowly lift the upper body and thighs off the ground, moving into a push-up position. Keep the body rigid and straight. Ensure the stomach muscles are engaged throughout the exercise.
  5. Hold the plank pose for as long as possible, working up to 60 seconds. Gently lower the body to the floor.

Prevention tips

The following tips may reduce the risk of anterior pelvic tilt.

  1.  Avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time. Those who have desk jobs, and other roles that require sitting for long periods, should take regular breaks that involve walking around or stretching.
  2.  Engage in regular physical activity. This should include both stretching and strengthening exercises.
  3.  Ensure proper posture, especially when sitting. A comfortable and healthful workspace with correctly positioned desk, screen, and seating is important.

Continue reading at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317379.php

Improving Blood Flow to Injured Spinal Cords

When someone experiences a spinal cord injury, blood flow to the spine is usually compromised. Blood is responsible for delivering oxygen and other vital components to parts of the body, and an injury in any region of the body needs those components to properly heal. Scientists recently made a discovery involving getting more blood and oxygen to an injured spinal cord which, in turn, greatly helps the healing process. Learn more in the article below.

A new discovery at the University of Alberta will fundamentally alter how we view spinal cord function and rehabilitation after spinal cord injuries. Neuroscientists found that spinal blood flow in rats was unexpectedly compromised long after a spinal cord injury (chronically ischemia), and that improving blood flow or simply inhaling more oxygen produces lasting improvements in cord oxygenation and motor functions, such as walking.

Previous work had shown that while blood flow was temporarily disrupted at the injury site, it resumed rapidly, and it was more or less assumed that the blood flow was normal below the injury. This turns out to be wrong.

“We’ve shown for the first time that spinal cord injuries (SCI) lead to a chronic state of poor blood flow and lack of oxygen to neuronal networks in the spinal cord,” says co-principal investigator Karim Fouad, professor, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine and Canada Research Chair for spinal cord injury. “By elevating oxygen in the spinal cord we can improve function and re-establish activity in different parts of the body.”

Published in Nature Medicine, the study demonstrates chronic ischemic hypoxia (lack of blood and oxygen) after spinal cord injury and how blood flow plays a key role in the cause and treatment of motor disorders. Simply put, this could mean restored activity and ability in parts of the body that stopped working after spinal cord injury in the near future.

The discovery, like most “eureka moments” in science, happened by accident. The lead author Yaqing (Celia) Li, rehabilitation science post-doctoral fellow, and David Bennett, co-principal investigator and professor, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, were looking at the injured spinal cord of a rat under a microscope and noticed the capillaries contracting in response to application of dietary amino acids like tryptophan.

“I thought, ‘why would capillaries contract, when conventionally arteries are the main contractile vessels, and why should dietary amino acids circulating in the blood cause these contractions?'” says Bennett. “That is just plain weird, that what you eat should influence blood flow in the spinal cord.” So they set out to answer these questions.

Li, Bennett and Fouad found that the AADC (Aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase) enzyme that converts dietary amino acids into trace amines was upregulated in specialized cells called pericytes that wrap capillaries. Unexpectedly, these trace amines produced in the pericytes caused them to contract, clamping down on the capillaries and reducing blood flow. This surprising finding led them to make basic measurements of blood flow and oxygenation below the spinal cord, which led to the discovery of the chronic ischemic hypoxia. They reasoned that the capillaries were excessively constricted by these pericytes after SCI, since there is ample supply of tryptophan. So they decided to try blocking AADC to improve blood flow.

“Since blood flow below the injury is compromised, the neuronal networks function poorly with a lack of oxygen. So we blocked the AADC enzyme and found that it improved blood flow and oxygenation to the networks below the injury,” Bennett says. “More importantly, this allowed the animals to produce more muscle activity.”

As an alternative treatment to blocking the AADC enzyme in the spinal cord of rats, the neuroscientists exposed the animals to higher oxygen levels and even they were surprised to see what happened next.

“The rat could walk better!” Fouad says. “The change in oxygen restored function, albeit temporarily.”

Though the team knows their discovery can have big implications in the world of neuroscience, rehabilitation and spinal cord injury, they are quick to mention a disclaimer.

“There is still a long way to go when it comes to treatment and helping patients with spinal cord injuries,” says Fouad. “But this discovery has helped us understand the etiology of spinal cord injuries in a way we never did before. We can now design treatments that improve blood flow to produce long-term rehabilitation after SCI.

Possibly even simple therapies such as exercise or just breathing will play a role in preventing long-term hypoxia and damage to the spinal cord. It’s a small but important step in the right direction, stemming from studying an obscure enzyme in the spinal cord – and that’s the beauty of basic science.”

Article: Pericytes impair capillary blood flow and motor function after chronic spinal cord injury, Yaqing Li, Ana M Lucas-Osma, Sophie Black, Mischa V Bandet, Marilee J Stephens, Romana Vavrek, Leo Sanelli, Keith K Fenrich, Antonio F Di Narzo, Stella Dracheva, Ian R Winship, Karim Fouad & David J Bennett, Nature Medicine, doi: 10.1038/nm.4331, published online 1 May 2017.

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/317260.php

Different Therapeutic Methods for Adolescents with Scoliosis

Researchers and medical professionals in Canada have been developing and researching new physical therapy exercises and methods for young people with scoliosis. The exercises are called Schroth physiotherapy and are a new method of helping treat scoliosis without a brace or surgery, for example. To learn more about this read the article from Medical News Today below.

For teens with scoliosis, a new study shows specialized physical therapy exercises can improve the curve of the spine, muscle endurance and quality of life, as researchers advocate for conservative management to be added to the standard of care for patients in Canada.

“Currently patients diagnosed with scoliosis are either monitored for progression, treated with a brace, or, in severe cases, offered surgery,” explained Sanja Schreiber from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. “Our study showed that 88 per cent of patients who did the Schroth physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercises showed improvements or prevented progression in their scoliosis curves over six months compared to 60 per cent in the group receiving only standard of care.”

For 14-year-old Ava who had to wear a brace for her scoliosis since she was 11, the scoliosis-specific exercises, Schroth, have meant less pain, more confidence and more control over her own body. “I don’t have to look like I’m crooked for the rest of my life. I now have control over my own body,” she said. “While my brace is very important, the exercises have helped me change my outlook on my condition.”

The randomized control trial, recently published in PLOS ONE, studied 50 adolescents with scoliosis aged 10 to 18 years with curves of 10 to 45 degrees (Cobb Angle). After six months of Schroth physiotherapy, (30-45 minute daily home program and weekly supervised sessions), 88 per cent of patients either had improving curves beyond or remaining within 5 degrees of their baseline curve magnitude. The average curve in the control group deteriorated by 2.3 degrees. Overall, the difference between the Schroth and the control group was 3.5 degrees.

“These short term results are clinically significant and show that Schroth physiotherapy exercises could help many patients with scoliosis if this type of conservative management is added to the standard of care,” said Eric Parent, associate professor of physical therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. The results have justified further research, with the establishment of the Multicenter Schroth Exercise Trial.

People with scoliosis, abnormal lateral curvature of the spine, are mainly adolescent and female. The most common signs of scoliosis include trunk and pelvis asymmetry, a rib and a lumbar hump, as well as a prominent shoulder and/or hip. As scoliosis progresses, the symptoms, such as back pain, problems breathing, osteoarthritis, psychological issues, and a decreased quality of life become more apparent.

Schreiber has dedicated most of her career to studying scoliosis and trying to find conservative treatment that will work. “I’ve even tried general corrective exercises, yoga and pilates.” she said. “It’s hard when a young teenager gets diagnosed with scoliosis and is told they will either wear a brace all the time or get surgery when the curve becomes severe enough, more than 45 degrees.

“The current standard of care for smaller curves is very much ‘wait and see’ while parents and patients demand a more proactive approach. I’d like to encourage them to ‘try and see,'” Schreiber continued. “Try Schroth and see if it helps. Not only in our study, but also in my clinical practice, I’ve seen so many teens who have experienced pain improvement and feel better overall with Schroth exercises. Also, they feel they are in control of their scoliosis, because the Schroth method teaches them how to stand, sit, walk, and do other daily activities correctly, so that they can keep their best posture. It’s just better quality of life overall.”

For Ava, after only wearing a brace every day for over a year, she felt she had weak muscles and experienced pain trying to hold herself up. Though the Schroth exercises can be hard work, she sees the results of her commitment.

“I used to get a lot of pain and felt really weak without my brace. Now I have gained strength and hold myself up with my own muscles,” she said.

The study also showed positive effects the Schroth had on pain, body image and muscle endurance. “The Schroth group showed improved muscle endurance by increasing the average holding time by 32.3 seconds after three months, while the controls increased by only 4.8 seconds,” said Parent.

For Ava, the change in perspective is what she values most throughout her experience.

“I used to think I’d be this way forever and there’s nothing I can do to fix it. But now I have control over my own body, and I know I don’t have to feel that kind of pain for the rest of my life.”

Article: Schroth Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis-Specific Exercises Added to the Standard of Care Lead to Better Cobb Angle Outcomes in Adolescents with Idiopathic Scoliosis – an Assessor and Statistician Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial, Sanja Schreiber , Eric C. Parent , Elham Khodayari Moez, Douglas M. Hedden, Douglas L. Hill, Marc Moreau, Edmond Lou, Elise M. Watkins, Sarah C. Southon, PLOS ONE, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0168746, published 29 December 2017.

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/315495.php