The pelvis is the foundation of the spine. When it is not level it causes the rest of the spine (which sits on top of the pelvis) to move into an abnormal, side bent, and rotated position. This abnormal spinal position causes the joints of your spine to stay locked into side bending and rotation which prevents the joints from moving normally.
Have you ever observed what happens to the muscles in an arm or leg after it has been immobilized for a period of time, say after removing a cast, etc.? The muscles atrophy and degenerate. The same thing happens to the tissues around your spine when the joints canʼt move normally. The discs degenerate (as in degenerative disc disease and herniated discs), the muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage all degenerate. Osteoarthritis develops as a result of cartilage degeneration.
When the pelvis stays level and stable the joints/vertebrae can then move normally, avoiding degeneration and disease of the spine. Of course, one also avoids back pain this way.
There is also a bit of a vicious cycle developing here. As the joints in the spine become less and less mobile, it tends to cause more pelvic instability/obliquity. When we are moving through our day without mobility in our joints, the movement has to occur somewhere, if it is not in the spine, then the movement takes place in the pelvis, so the pelvis compensates for the lack of movement in the spine. A mobile spine helps keep the pelvis stable and the stable pelvis helps maintain a mobile, healthy, pain-free spine.
In order to have a stable pelvis one must create muscle balance throughout the core. Core strengthening is not just about abdominal exercises. In fact, I never use sit ups, crunches or any other exercise that calls for lifting the trunk up against gravity as there is too much risk for shortening the iliopsoas muscle which usually needs to be stretched, not shortened. One must do SAFE core strengthening exercises, not all core strengthening exercises are safe for the low back.
The Iliopsoas muscle
The muscles that usually pull the pelvis into an unstable position because they are too tight and short are the left quadratus lumborum and the right iliopsoas muscles. These muscles need to be stretched. There are 33 muscles that attach to the pelvis. The ones that need to be strengthened, help the stability of your low back and pelvis the most, and also contribute to a mobile spine are the gluteus muscles, the rectus abdominus, the internal and external obliques, the transverse abdominus, the hip abductors and adductors.
The stretches and strengthening exercises in the Videos “The Missing Link to Neck and Back Pain Relief” take you step by step in helping you individualize your exercise program to stabilize your pelvis, keep your spine mobile, avoid degeneration and create a pain free life.