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Understanding the pelvis/hips a bit better.

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

Let's clarify a bit this region: the pelvis.

Very often, I get to treat my patients' pelvis and I get many good questions about it.

The pelvis consists of 3 bones: the two iliums (hips) and the sacrum (the lowest part of your spine).

The pelvis is a complex region due to first, the number of different articulations present but also, the distribution of the different forces.

Six articulations:

- One between the sacrum and L5 (the last lombar vertebra)

- The pubis in the front (between the two iliums)

- Two (one on each side) articulations between the ilium and the sacrum

- Two (one on each side) articulations between the ilium and the femur (the hips)

Regarding the forces, we have the one coming from above the pelvis: the gravity forces and the one coming from the legs: support forces.

Because of these two opposite forces meeting in the pelvis, we have a resultant that we call: a shear force.

Therefore, if the pelvis is misaligned and not mobile, the distribution of forces can be asymmetrical and inhomogeneous. This would, of course, cause local but also, peripheral compensations which then would lead to pain when the body cannot compensate anymore!

As osteopaths, what we first would do is: restoring a homogenous mobility.

Then we will fix the compensations and release some muscles chains that have been adapting overtime to the dysfunctional pelvis.

Many different symptoms can be linked to pelvis' problems:

- low back pain (chronic or acute)

- coccyx pain

- hip pain

- pain in the buttocks or in the legs

- abdominal tensions

- constipation

- if pregnant: difficulty for the baby to rotate, difficult childbirth...

- etc...

The pelvis is the keystone of the body. A problem in your neck or in your foot could potentially affect your pelvis and your pelvis could potentially affect your neck or your foot!

This is why, osteopaths often check your pelvis even though you come for neck tensions.

Understanding the pelvis and how it affect the body is not something easy. A good observation of the patient and different specific osteopathic tests will be needed to assess this region.

We also have a whole panel of exercises that can help you to stabilise your pelvis/hips. Some of these exercises are common to everyone like: planking but as everybody is different and has specific body patterns and compensations, some more precise exercises will be shown to the patient.

As I always say, the osteopath is here to trigger the healing mechanisms of the body. It is then the patient that will have to do the rest of the job! :)

If you want me to check your pelvis and "reset" it, as well as the compensations, feel free to book a time with me.

I will also be happy to advise you about what you can do and what you should avoid in your daily life to keep it balanced and mobile. But it is only after I have asked and checked everything that I will be able to give you good explanations, treatment and specific exercises.

Thank you for reading this, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to write them down.

Have a great day!

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