Pelvic obliquity is a common malalignment of the pelvic girdle that has many causes. Walking about, nearly everyone has some degree of pelvic obliquity as a result of their handedness patterns. According to physical therapist Florence Kendall, most often the dominant side of the body will have a slightly elevated pelvis. Other causes can be attributed to leg length inequalities, and the more modifiable, hip musculature contracture says physician Robin Winter.
Non-Dominant Lateral Bridging
Many times pelvic obliquity can be attributed to tightness and shortness of a specific muscle, the quadratus lumborum, which connects the pelvis to the bottom of the rib cage and assists in maintaining spinal stability. Doctor Ron Hruska of the Postural Restoration Institute has identified that the right-hand dominant individual needs more work on the left side quadratus lumborum. Try the left-side bridge by lying on your left side. Tuck your elbow underneath your armpit, and bridge yourself up to support all of your weight on your elbow and the outside of your left foot. Hold the posture for up to 60 seconds while breathing easily. Repeat up to two more times on the left side.
Hip Flexor Stretch
The hip flexors, particularly a muscle called the psoas, are intimately connected to pelvic obliquity. Typically, says osteopathic physician Robert Greenman, pelvic obliquity is accompanied by hip flexor contracture. Kneel down with one foot in front of the other knee, take a large breath of air into your lower ribs, and attempt to push your fixed back foot farther behind you. Hold the position for up to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Lateral Lunge Stretch
Pelvic obliquity is often accompanied by tightness of the adductors, the muscles of the inner thigh. Mobilize these muscles using the lateral lunge stretch. Spread your feet outside shoulder width. Keeping one leg straight, sit toward the other leg and squat down. Push yourself back to the middle and repeat nine times. Repeat the exercise on the opposite side and do two to three sets.
- "Muscles: Testing and Function in Posture and Pain"; Florence Kendall, PT; 2005
- "Spine"; Pelvic obliquity. Its causes and its treatment; Robin Winters; April 1986
- "Myokinematic Restoration"; Ron Hruska, PhD, PT; 2006
- "Principles of Manual Medicine"; Robert Greenman, DO; 1989