A woman's uterus that tips backward instead of forward is commonly referred to as a "tipped uterus." The tipping of your uterus, an organ that plays a vital role in reproduction, can result from factors including weakened ligaments and increased estrogen production during menopause. Exercises involving your knees and chest can temporarily help reposition a tipped uterus and alleviate associated symptoms such as back pain.
The uterus, a pear-shaped muscular organ in your pelvis, provides a place for fertilized eggs to attach, grow and eventually develop into a fetus, or developing human baby. A tipped or retroverted uterus tilts to the back of the pelvis and toward the spine, instead of straight up and down or slightly forward in the direction of the stomach. A retroverted uterus is considered a normal uterine position in around 20 percent of all women, according to a Sept. 11, 2010 report by PubMed Health.
A tipped uterus can occur naturally, at birth, or can result from conditions such as pregnancy and menopause that weaken the ligaments holding your uterus in place. Knee-chest exercises can temporarily benefit many people with a retroverted uterus; however, these exercises do not help those whose uterus has tipped due to endometriosis, fibroid tumors or pelvic inflammation, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Though usually symptom free, a tilted uterus can, however, cause painful sexual intercourse, back pain, painful menstrual periods and urinary tract infections in some people.
Walking on all fours, or doing the "kangaroo walk," for only a few minutes each day can produce positive results in repositioning a retroverted uterus, according to an article published in the 1920 edition of the "Texas State Journal of Medicine." Article author Dr. Minnie C. O'Brien says that abnormal pelvis tilts produce abnormal uterine tilts; thus, walking like a kangaroo with the pelvis tilted forward -- instead of like a gorilla with slumped shoulders and a backward-tilted pelvis --- can help reposition a displaced uterus. To practice the kangaroo walk, place your hands and feet on the floor and walk in a knee to chest position -- with your knees as loose as possible. Each step you take causes your uterus to move "to-and-fro" to help reposition its tilt.
Stationary Knee-Chest Exercises
Knee and chest exercises not only help improve a tipping uterus, but can benefit related back pain, as well. The "knee-chest stretch" begins in an all-fours position on your hands and knees. Carefully lower your weight on your elbows and forearms using a pillow for support. Then, cradle your head with your forearms, keeping your hips up -- directly over your knees -- supported by your stomach muscles. The website AskDrSears.com recommends staying in this position for five minutes. Another knee-chest exercise begins by lying on your back on a table or firm surface. Clasp your hands behind one thigh and pull it toward your chest -- keeping the opposite leg flat. Maintain this position for 30 seconds, switch legs and then repeat.
- American Pregnancy Association; Tipped Uterus: Tilted Uterus; November 2007
- Women's Health; Retroverted Uterus
- "Texas State Journal of Medicine" ; Movable Retro-Positions of the Uterus, Their Mechanism and Significance; Minnie C. O'Brien M.D.; 1920
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Uterus; Linda Vorvick M.D., et al. ; April 17, 2009
- Pubmed; Retroversion of the Uterus; Linda J. Vorvick M.D. , et al. ; Sept. 11, 2010
- Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma:; Low Back Program Exercises; March 8, 2007