What is a lateral pelvic tilt?

The pelvis is the bone structure that sits on top of your legs. It helps you walk, run, and maintain good posture.

The pelvis should be positioned so that it’s parallel to your shoulders and the ground. A lateral pelvic tilt occurs when one hip is higher than the other. This can cause some muscles to tense while others get weak.

Massage can help relax the tense muscles, and daily exercises can help strengthen the weak ones.

Having a lateral pelvic tilt can cause issues such as:

To find out if your pelvis is uneven:

  1. Stand in front of a large mirror with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Place the heels of your hands on the front of your hip bones, also known as the anterior superior iliac spine.
  3. Hold a piece of string stretched between both hands, or imagine a horizontal line between your hands.

The line between your hands should be parallel to the ground, rather than tilted up or down. If the line isn’t parallel, you may have a lateral pelvic tilt.

If you’re unsure whether or not you have a lateral pelvic tilt, or if you don’t feel confident trying to diagnose yourself, you should have a certified physical therapist examine you.

You can try these exercises at home to help correct a lateral pelvic tilt.

This exercise will help strengthen your gluteus muscles and improve hip mobility. The hip that sits lower will probably have weaker muscles, which can make this exercise challenging at first.

  • Lie on your stomach with your legs resting on the ground and your forehead resting on your hands.
  • Lift one leg while keeping your knees straight and gluteus muscles tightened. Do not allow the other hip to come up off the floor.
  • Hold for 2 to 5 seconds, and then lower your leg.
  • Do 12 repetitions.
  • Switch legs.

Do not arch your back as you lift your leg, as that can cause back pain. Squeeze your abdominal muscles during this exercise to prevent arching too much.

This exercise will strengthen your gluteus muscles and improve your balance.

  • Hold onto a wall or the back of a chair for balance.
  • Hold your body straight, tighten your abdominal muscles, and lift one leg off the ground behind you.
  • Lift your leg straight behind you as high as you comfortably can without arching your back.
  • Lower your leg until your toe is resting on the floor.
  • Do 12 repetitions.
  • Switch legs and repeat.

Keep your spine straight while performing this exercise by using small, controlled movements. Do not swing your leg as that can cause back pain.

This exercise will help bring your hips in line with each other.

  • Lie on your back with your feet against a wall.
  • Using the leg on the same side as the hip that is tilted toward your shoulder, press your leg into the wall.
  • At the same time, press your higher hip down with your hand.
  • Hold for 10 seconds, and then release.
  • Do 12 repetitions.

This exercise will help improve your hip mobility and strengthen your gluteus muscles.

  • Lie down on your side with both legs bent at a 90-degree angle, and your bottom arm supporting your head.
  • Before you start, roll your top hip slightly forward toward the ground, making sure your spine is relaxed and stable.
  • Lift your top knee up, but keep your feet together.
  • Hold for 5 seconds, and then lower your knee.
  • Do 12 repetitions.
  • Switch sides.

Be sure not rotate your spine while doing this exercise. This can cause additional tension and back pain. Aim for short, controlled movements.

You can bring your legs closer to your body or stretch them out more. Changing the position slightly will help you work all of the muscles in that area.

This exercise will help strengthen your adductor muscles, which are located on the inside of your thigh.

  • Lie on one side with both legs stretched out. Use your bottom arm to support your head.
  • Cross your top leg over your bottom leg, placing the foot of the top leg on the floor in front of your knee of the bottom leg.
  • Holding your bottom leg straight, lift it as far up as you comfortably can.
  • Hold for 5 seconds, and then lower your leg.
  • Do 12 repetitions.
  • Switch sides.

Make sure you aren’t turning your hips while lifting your leg.

These exercises will strengthen muscles that are underworked. In addition to these, you will need to stretch the overworked muscles to be properly balanced.

The National Academy of Sports Medicine recommends stretching the following overactive muscles related to lateral pelvic tilt:

A lateral pelvic tilt can cause pain and discomfort, but daily exercise can help you correct the problem.

Use the mirror test to track your progress. Keep doing these exercises even after your pelvis is realigned. This will prevent the condition from developing again.