Muscle Energy Technique for Pelvic Rotation

I believe that the pelvis is the center of the body. This means that a slight alteration in the position of the pelvis can cause pain in the hips, knees, back, ankles, etc. So this is why I check the majority of my adult patients to see if their pelvis is even on both sides – ESPECIALLY my patients with low back and hip pain!

In my YouTube video, I walk through how to correct for a pelvic rotation. This means that one side is turned slightly either forward or backward. Muscle energy is using a patient’s own muscles to isometrically contract (i.e. contract without moving) and pull the bony structures back into their proper place.

I call this my PT magic trick. It’s a quick fix that can alleviate a lot of pain! I used to do it at parties and family gatherings frequently and people always leave with pleasant results.

I always recommend that a physical therapist or trained professional initially checks a patient’s pelvis and does the correction. This allows them to see if the pelvis is indeed rotated or if there is something else going on. A pelvic rotation presents with one leg being higher (“shorter”) than the other at both the medial malleolus of the ankle and the ASIS at the hip. Other reasons for one leg to appear shorter than the other could be:

  1. A leg length discrepancy – which would present as one leg being higher at the ankle but the hips being even at the ASIS
  2. An upslip – this means that one side of the pelvis is actually higher than the other, instead of being rotated. This requires a manipulation to correct, and must be done by a physical therapist or skilled professional.

However, if you have been to a PT and are consistently rotated on one side it’s nice to know the steps to perform a modified muscle energy at home. This is especially important in our current climate with more Telehealth therapy being prevalent, and some physical therapy clinics being closed altogether. This way people can perform the isometric contraction without the hand hold and get some relief.

The most important thing to do to maintain proper pelvic alignment after getting a muscle energy technique performed on you is to do exercises that stabilize your core and hip region without doing too much shifting onto one leg or the other. Your muscles are used to stabilizing your pelvis in a wrong position, and for 48-72 hours they are “tightening up in the correct position”. This is the most important time to maintain equal weightbearing on both legs. For this reason, avoid activities that involve standing on one leg for long periods of time. These include running, excessive stair climbing if you can help it, or jumping. Gravitate toward exercises such as bridges and planks where equal weight is being placed in both legs and the low core is being strengthened.

Above all else, listen to your body! I have a lot of patients that know when their pelvis is in proper alignment and when it isn’t.