How to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt While Sleeping? Top 3 Associated Problems

You noticed that you have an increased lordosis or what is typically known as an increased lumbar arc. You begin to wonder about what is going on with your back and posture.

When you browse over the internet, you find one tip which says, try to put your hands on your torso like your mother used to do when she was angry with you. Have you noticed the bony indentations between your index and middle fingers? These are your iliac crests.

If they are facing the ground rather than directly in front of you, you most probably have anterior pelvic tilt. You see a lot of tips and measures online but, what about while you sleep? How to fix anterior pelvic tilt while sleeping?

The content will enlighten you about the condition of anterior pelvic tilt and how to fix anterior pelvic tilt while sleeping.

Role of Sleeping Position Towards the Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Sleep is the time of day when we allow our bodies to rest up. We want to make sure we are relaxed and not in pain when we wake up. Numerous people sleep in various positions throughout the night, which is entirely plausible.

Side Sleeping

Many people, however, prefer one over the other. Regardless of whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach, the following are numerous methodologies you can use to optimize your body’s position while sleeping and address the issue of how to fix anterior pelvic tilt while sleeping.

When we sleep, we may trigger or aggravate the anterior pelvic tilt more. Therefore, training ourselves to be in a neutral position while we sleep is a must.

But how do we do that? If you like to sleep on your back or your face up or in a supine position, it helps to put a blanket or pillow under your knees.

Sleeping on your tummy causes a slew of issues, too. What if you like sleeping on your side? Just be cautious and conscious about how you position yourself on the side.

If you tend to sleep on your side and assume a fetal position, that is a good approach. The fetal position helps your spine or pelvis to be in a posterior tilt or neutral position.

Side Sleeping Can Lead To 3 Problems

We all have preferences and habits when we sleep and changing positions is not something we can control. What if you are a side sleeper? What could happen to you?

If you like sleeping on your side, you are more susceptible to waking up with neck pain.

What can be the cause of this? It might be the number of pillows that you use in your head or their thickness.

What are the three problems of sleeping on your side?

  • Your knees will have the tendency to bump together.  So, if you have a knee problem, this will give you discomfort.
  • Your lower back becomes rotated. Meaning you put a strain on your lower back more.
  • There is an internal rotation of your upper hip causing a jamming between your thigh bone and the bony socket edge or, acetabulum. If you have osteoarthritis of the hip, it will give you more pain. You can also have a pinching sensation if you possess a larger than usual thigh bone head.

Chiropractor: Does Sleep Cause Back Pain?

Sleep is our body’s way of recuperating the energy we spent during the time that we are active whether during the day or night. But why will sleep cause us back pain?

Do you like sleeping with more pillows on? Or maybe you have thick pillows, and you use them? Then upon waking up you noticed how heavy you feel or that you have neck and back pain, too?

Chiropractor: Does Sleep Cause Back Pain?

Try to get rid of your excess pillows. One will work best for anyone or a rolled-up blanket, too. The proper placement of your pillows is a must to consider as well.

Try to place your pillows on top of your shoulders and avoid elevating your head up further. This way you can put your neck in a proper position.

If you sleep on your back for eight hours, you will hurt your lumbar region more especially if you have an anterior pelvic tilt. Place a pillow or pillows underneath your knees to keep your pelvis open and in a neutral position.

Some people find relief and comfort when they place a pillow under their lower backs. You can try that, too.

Never Lie on Your Stomach

Sleeping in our preferred positions may seem comfortable to hear, but certain positions can give you discomfort. One position is sleeping on your stomach. Sleeping on your stomach can cause pain in the back and neck.

Never Lie on Your Stomach

Another disadvantage of belly sleeping is that you are overstretching your low back for hours on end, squeezing your spinal nerves, and restricting blood flow. Sleeping on the abdomen should be avoided at all costs.

Sleeping on your stomach triggers the cervix and your lumbar region to arch or curve. Thereby resulting in an instant and unwarranted problem on your lumbar region.

If you have discomfort and degenerative disc disease, sleeping on your tummy may reduce some of the pressure on your discs or spine.

But what if you find sleeping on your tummy comfortable? Is there a way to prevent aggravating your anterior pelvic tilt?

Yes, you can. By simply putting a pillow or blanket below your hips we will help lessen the arc or curvature in your lower back.

The Best Sleeping Position for Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Lower Back Pain

A champ’s sleeping position is lying on your back.

Assuming the supine position or lying on your back is a champion’s sleeping position. It may not sound or seem comfortable as placing yourselves on the side but lying on our backs remains the best and recommended stance while we sleep.

When we sleep on our backs, we give our spine the ability to have its typical curvature thus, decreasing the stress on it.

Although, if you have hip osteoarthritis, lumbar problems like spinal stenosis, and anterior pelvic tilt, sleeping on your back might cause you discomfort. How can you avoid this?

Place a pillow or a blanket under your knees to elevate your knees when you lie on your back. This is a very powerful technique as it relaxes the tension on your lower back and could greatly help and make you sleep comfortably especially if you have anterior pelvic tilt (APT).

What Is the Best Way to Sleep With the Anterior Pelvic Tilt?

What is the best position while sleeping that you can assume if you have anterior pelvic tilt?

Sleeping on your back is the optimal way that you can put yourself. Why sleeping on your back then?

Sleeping on our backs is the most suitable for postural reasons. Because our bodies are adapting to the positions that we hold them in.

How to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt While Sleeping?

But, if you have a lumbar lordosis or anterior pelvic tilt , laying on your back is not going to be comfortable. Your back is going to extend for hours and becomes very tight when you sleep in that situation.

When you lay on your back, you stretch your iliopsoas. The iliopsoas tends to be short if you have an anterior pelvic tilt.  It will cause your lumbar spine to extend. And you do not want to trigger that.

The key to fixing this is to elevate your knees. Why do we need to elevate our knees if we are sleeping on our backs? If we elevate our knees, we train ourselves to sleep while putting our pelvis in a neutral position. Also, we help relax and lengthen our lower back muscles if we do so.

How to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt While Sleeping in the Fetal Position

We previously mentioned the problems that we can have if we sleep in the fetal position. What can be the quick fix to this?

It will help to place a pillow between your knees. By doing so, you help separate your knees and this will put your pelvis in a neutral position, too.

Once you sleep in the fetal position, you have your head down and the knees near to your chest as if you were rolled up in a ball. We have mentioned earlier that it is okay to sleep in a fetal position.

That is true, but what else do you need to keep in mind if you are fond of staying in this position while you sleep?

Sleeping in the fetal side-lying position stiffens your hip flexors, and short hip flexors usually causing anterior pelvic tilt, which creates a new set of issues.

Straighten your legs out and place a pillow around your knees or use a body pillow to keep your upper hip in a neutral stance to make this sleep posture better for your stance.

How to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt While Sleeping on the Side

Sleeping on the side is the next recommended sleeping position.

By applying the modifications mentioned earlier, you can prevent an anterior pelvic tilt.

How to fix the anterior pelvic tilt while sleeping on the side? Retain a neutral position by maintaining the knees on a slightly bent level with your arm below your pillow to avoid sustaining an internal shoulder rotation or straight down to the side.

Remember to keep your neck in line with the rest of your lumbar region through a pillow that is as chunky as your shoulder so that your head isn’t slanting to one side or another. Lastly, again, place another pillow in between your knees. Placing pillows between your knees helps keep your hips aligned.

One last thing to bear in mind about sleeping is that our muscles tend to compress overnight, so adding a static stretching exercise before resting can help mitigate that effect.

By doing so, you will wake up feeling less stiff and more prepared for the day.

How to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt While Lying Down

Sleeping is something that we all do, and, on the surface, it appears to be quite simple. However, it is quite simple to make a mistake.

The position we hold for eight hours a day can cause neck and spine pain, headaches, an increased risk of dementia, and even fine lines.

As a result, it’s critical to take it seriously and make the necessary adjustments to sleep in your best position.

Sleeping in bed does not affect the pelvic area. The group of muscles that should be relaxing does not. This is due to the bed allowing your pelvis to tilt more anteriorly. So, how to fix anterior pelvic tilt while sleeping in a supine position?

Take a pillow or blanket and place it under your knees when lying in a supine position, face-up, or sleeping on your back.

Elevate your knees as this relaxes your back muscles and helps position the pelvis in a neutral position.

Individuals more susceptible to anterior pelvic tilt (bum sticking out) have an innate increase in lower back curve. Sleeping with the legs straight can magnify the curve of the lower back and initiate the joints to jam together.

Imagine if individuals do this for 8 hours, it’s no surprise that they will be in pain. To be specific on measures with how to fix anterior pelvic tilt while sleeping, place one, two, or even three pillows under your knees to correct this.

This slightly bends the hips and expands up the lower back joints, relieving pressure.

How to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt While Walking

Aside from running, kicking, jumping, sitting, one of the basic movements we do involves walking. Our bodies are designed to do walking regularly and it helps our overall system to function properly.

Can you correct and fix the anterior pelvic tilt through walking?

What does walk does to our body then? When we walk, we strengthen our abdominal muscles, obliques, hamstrings, and glutes.

With walking, we help broaden the quad, hip flexor, and daintily and also elongate the lower spine. That is if you walk with an upright posture.

But can walking be the answer and cure for anterior pelvic tilt?

Since the condition of anterior pelvic tilt is primarily triggered by sedentary behavior such as sitting for a long time, it appears that one of the main remedies involves remaining active and decreasing inactivity.

6 Exercises to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Anterior pelvic tilt is totally curable (with mind conditioning and exercises, too). What are the forms and examples of exercise that you can do? These anterior pelvic tilt exercises may be beneficial for you:

  1. Squatting strengthens and targets those muscles that are weak. By making them stronger, you will be able to correct your posture, too.
  2. Pelvic tilts create and trigger a posterior pelvic tilt. If you do a motion that is going in the opposite direction will contribute largely to the improvement of anterior pelvic tilt.
  3. Kneeling back with leg lifts helps open your hip flexors. Also, it will help in correcting lumbar arc and posture.
  4. Kneeling hip flexor flex
  5. Glute bridges hit and move the gluteal muscles while strengthening hamstrings, too.
  6. Planks enhance and strengthen your core muscles.

FAQs

Can Sleeping Position Cause Anterior Pelvic Tilt?

Various sleeping positions for hours may trigger anterior pelvic tilt. It is best to follow measures on how to prevent triggering the condition more with the use of pillows or blankets to help keep your pelvis in a neutral stance or position.

How Do You Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt Fast?

Focus on targeting your hip flexors. The anterior tilting of the pelvis causes stiffness in the erector spinae.

Your hamstrings may be stiff if you have an anterior pelvic tilt. Rigidity in this group of muscles is also a result of the infrequent pelvic tilt, rather than its etiology

Stretching your hamstrings is indeed beneficial, but it will not solve the condition. Why and how so? Your hamstrings are already pre-stretched by the tilting anteriorly of your pelvis. So, they are tensed and rigid. Extending them recurrently causes more impairment than improvement.

What Worsens Anterior Pelvic Tilt?

Wearing of heels, prolonged sitting, improper sleeping positions and paraphernalia (e.g., number of pillow/s used), and/or sedentary behavior.

What Should You Not Do With Anterior Pelvic Tilt?

Weak stomach muscles can also cause anterior pelvic tilt. Long periods of sitting are frequently to blame for the reshaping of the spine and the associated muscle imbalances. Stretching and strengthening insufficient exercises also contribute to anterior pelvic tilt. It’s also a good idea to avoid wearing heels.

Does Walking Help Anterior Pelvic Tilt?

Remember, anterior pelvic tilt and sedentary lifestyle or behavior such as sitting for a long time and less locomotion are tied together. Reversing the anterior tilting of your pelvis must involve movements on your end. And walking is a great start to help you manage this condition.

How Should You Sleep With Pelvic Tilt?

Take a pillow or blanket and place it under your knees when lying in a supine position or sleeping on your back. Elevating the knees will help relax the back muscles and positions your pelvis in a neutral position.

If you like sleeping on your stomach, move up the blanket or pillow a little closer to your pelvis. Again, the cue to reversing anterior pelvic tilt is doing a posterior tilt. When you place a blanket or pillow when you are assuming this sleeping position, you trigger a posterior tilt, thereby allowing your lower back to relax and your pelvis to be in a neutral position.

Conclusion

Sleeping is something that we all require, and it accounts for one-third of our daily activities. It is critical to be aware of how we sleep and to develop good sleeping habits especially when you have anterior pelvic tilt.

Minor changes will make you feel better and less sore when you wake up. And these modifications will help you address anterior pelvic tilt even when you just doze off.

References:

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1356689X11000816
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/acute-pain/low-back-pain/index.html
  3. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820203/

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Omair Ansar, MBBS, MSc

Dr. Omair is a skilled medical doctor with a degree in Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from Baqai Medical University. In 2018, he completed a Master of Science degree in Healthcare Management with distinction from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK. With 9 years of clinical and non-clinical experience, Dr. Omair has gained hands-on experience and extensive knowledge in the medical field. He is currently working in a multinational healthcare organization in Saudi Arabia where his primary responsibility is to train doctors, pharmacists, and nurses about the most updated clinical guidelines as well as conduct case discussions with various specialties to ensure patient safety and satisfaction. Dr. Omair is also an exceptional medical reviewer with expertise in the field of healthcare, pharmaceutical, food and nutrition as well as medical insurance. He has years of experience in writing and reviewing medical articles.

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