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What Is a Twisted Pelvis?

By T. Carrier
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A twisted pelvis results when the hip bone shifts from its normal position, typically due to an injury. The pelvis — or hip bone — helps the body maintain posture and movement, and certain conditions can impact these functions. Tightened muscles may keep the pelvis in its abnormal state for a prolonged period of time, which may cause symptoms like back pain and stiffness. Treatments range from anti-inflammatory medications to manual realignments.

As the meeting ground between the upper body and the lower body, the pelvis plays a crucial role in body movement and balance. The hip bone provides support to the body’s own most important support system: the spine. Further, it meets the rigorous demands of both the upper body and the legs, allowing the two portions of the body to work in tandem. When it functions properly, the pelvis can twist, bend, and allow humans better interaction with the world around them.

A twisted pelvis need not be an extreme injury. Even a slightly askew pelvic alignment can fall under the classification, and even a slight misalignment can cause significant pelvic discomfort. Such problems are often due to pelvic injury.

Damage to the pelvic muscles is the most frequent cause of this issue. Injured muscles typically tighten and shift in order to protect surrounding structures. If a muscle in or near the pelvis like the sacrum demonstrates this behavior, the tightening will pull on ligaments attached to the pelvic bones and joints. As a result, structures like the sacroiliac joint will be pulled into an abnormal position.

Once this tightening occurs, it will likely remain until the muscle injury has healed, so the pelvis remains in its abnormal position. A disparity in the height of the hip bones when a person is lying down could indicate a potential left to right or right to left pelvis shift. Individuals may experience a front to back or back to front misalignment as well.

Many conditions can produce the muscle spasms that cause a twisted pelvis. A bulging disc in the spinal area is one common source, as muscles will tighten to shield the more delicate spinal structures. Active individuals often experience tightening in the calf muscles, which can in turn create tension around the pelvis. Even medical procedures like a hip replacement can lead to pelvic complications.

Since the pelvis is one of the most stressed areas of the body because of its frequent movement and weight support, movement-associated pain and stiffness is perhaps the most telling indicator of problem. Back pain, in particular, is a frequent indicator of the condition. In addition to its roles in movement and support, the pelvis also houses major nerves, blood vessels, and portions of the reproductive and digestive systems. Therefore, individual symptoms are often diverse and can include numbness and tingling, bowel or urinary disturbances, and occasional reproductive issues.

Treatment for a twisted pelvis will likely consist of addressing underlying muscle injuries. Warm packs or anti-inflammatory medication may prove useful in some cases, and after the muscles have relaxed, the pressure on the pelvis will lessen and the bone structure can resume a normal position. Some medical practitioners may also attempt to manually realign the pelvis. This approach, however, should only be attempted by a trained professional, as amateur attempts can worsen the injury.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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