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The Pelvis – A Guide to the Different Positions of the Pelvis when Seated

Posted by / May 30, 2017 / Categories: Inside Recliners, Occupational Therapy

The pelvis acts as a base for the upper half of the body and is a foundation when you are seated. A strong, balanced foundation encourages healthy posture, while a pelvis that is tilted or not aligned will cause discomfort and can lead to serious physical problems.

The Anterior Superior Iliac Spine (ASIS) and the Posterior Superior Iliac Spine (PSIS) are features key to the positioning of your pelvis. In order to ensure a comfortable position while seated, both these bones should be parallel to one another, with weight evenly balanced over the Ischial Tuberosities (IT’s).

Many people stay sat down for much of their day, making this position difficult to maintain, with gravity putting pressure on the upper body to slump and contract. The result is that an increasing percentage of the population are developing bad posture, as their minds and bodies grow accustomed to sitting in positions that will ultimately be harmful to their health.

Below, we take a look at some of the most common pelvis sitting positions, the negative impacts they can have, and what causes them.

Posterior Pelvic Tilt

Posterior Pelvic Tilt happens when the PSIS  is pushed lower than the ASIS. The results can include issues with breathing and swallowing, while it often leads to ulcers on the apex of the spine and the feet.

Causes

  • Tight hamstrings
  • Lumbar spine weakness
  • Inflexible hip joint
  • Enlarged stomach and obesity

Anterior Pelvic Tilt

In the reverse of the above condition, Anterior Pelvic Tilt occurs when the PSIS moves higher than the ASIS. Common problems this creates are; pressure ulcers, back pain and a weakened bladder.

Causes

  • Obesity
  • Weak stomach muscles
  • Inflexible hip joint

Pelvic Obliquity

Pelvic Obliquity involves one side of the pelvis being raised consistently above the other. Uneven amounts of weight being taken by both IT’s can cause asymmetry in muscle strength, tone and bone structure as well as leading to a number of other health concerns that are felt throughout the body.

Causes

  • Unstable chair or cushion base
  • Unsupported legs and feet
  • Uneven arm rests

Pelvic Rotation

Instead of being raised, Pelvic Rotation means that one side of the pelvis moves in front of the other. Despite this difference, Pelvic Rotation and Obliquity can be interrelated with one condition often found in people suffering from the other. It will regularly lead to asymmetrical hip adduction and flexion, along with further deformity problems, particularly in the upper part of the legs.

Causes

  • Using a wide chair
  • Unsupported trunk
  • Difference in leg length
  • Hip dislocation

Windswept Hip Deformity

This type of hip deformity  is triggered by the abduction and external rotation of one hip combined with the adduction and internal rotation of the other. The result is that the whole lower body swings slightly to either the left or right. As well as making sitting uncomfortable, hip deformity can also induce muscle stiffness and pain felt in the thighs, knees and groin area.

Causes

  • Hip dislocation
  • Scoliosis
  • Wide, unsupportive chairs

These positions are all directly or indirectly caused by using chairs that don’t provide enough support for your pelvis. To keep your sitting position natural, or to solve existing problems with your posture, get in touch to book a personal assessment with one of our experienced members of staff. Using their in-depth knowledge, they will be able to find you a recliner that will guarantee great posture and a strong, comfortable sitting position.

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