Pelvic Angles for Pain Relief

by Peter on December 24, 2016

Ensuring that a pelvis is in the proper position when standing is the first thing I check when seeing a patient. The pelvis, being at the proper angle, can help alleviate much back pain.

Checking the posture is of the utmost importance (see Posture PDF Newsletter) when my patients come in for treatment. This is because the center of gravity, or our balance point, centers in our pelvis. If the pelvis is not on the proper path, all therapy is for not. We become a wobbly top.

The proper angle for a male pelvis is 0-5 degree tilt, and women typically 5-10 degree tilt. Most patients I see come in with a forward tilt (flexion) although on occasion (about 3%) have a pelvis in a backward rotation (extension). A simple pelvic stabilization technique using the St. John Method requires about 4 minutes to realign the pelvis to the proper angles. This does not involve high velocity adjustments (chiropractor) but a simple leg movement and a gentle rotation. Then two easy exercises will help to “seat” the pelvis in it’s new and proper position (Egosque Method).

Pelvic angle and stabilization is one of the most important things any and every therapist should be looking at. Making sure that you are in proper alignment will go a long way to help alleviate pain and discomfort. The St. John Method of Neuromuscular Therapy is one of the most effective ways to do this. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

In Health,

Peter Roach, RMT, CNMT, Laser Therapist






FAIMany of you know by now that I stress the importance of proper pelvis angles before anything else. Lower back and sacroiliac pain can be the result of a tilted pelvis. But did you know that hip pain, deep groin pain can also result from a tilted pelvis. It’s called Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI).
Your centre of gravity, the balance point of your body, lays at the sacrum level of your spine. If your pelvis is not on plane then it’s really hard to help with anything else going on in your body. Typically I find that most people experiencing lumbar discomfort have a flexed or anterior rotated pelvis, which using NMT techniques can be rectified quite easily. But FAI is becoming more prevalent, and my theory is that with a chronic flexed pelvis and
the wear and tear that comes with getting older the hip joint is breaking down.

A recent study from The American Journal of Sport Medicine concluded that increase in pelvic tilt anteriorly significantly influence the functional orientation of the acetabulum (socket part of the hip joint) and this resulted in earlier occurrence of FAI. A posterior tilt resulted in later occurrences of FAI.

Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) is when the ball of the hip is pushed against the socket part and rubs abnormally. This abnormal wear will result in loss of the cartilage that lines the joint, thereby we get a bone and bone sinerio. Typically with an anterior pelvic rotation the patient will experience deep groin pain, sometime at rest, especially at nighttime, or a painful limited range of motion.

With more and more people walking around with an anterior pelvic tilt we will continue to see lumbar pain, SI joint disfunction, and a wear and tear of the hip joint itself, resulting in hip replacement. And I’m sure if your over 40 years of age you know of someone who has undergone hip replacement. Don’t be one of them. Get your posture assessed sooner rather than later.

As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.


In Health,


Peter Roach, RMT, CNMT, Laser Therapist




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Peter Roach, RMT, CNMT, Laser Therapist






sml8What is Neuromuscular Therapy (St. John Method)?

I’m often asked what Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) is, what it can do, and how will it help them. Having taught post graduates (Massage Therapist, Physical Therapists, Chiropractors and Dentists across North America, and parts of Europe and Africa) Neuromuscular Therapy for more than 10 years, it is the base of my treatments with patients. The principles of NMT are the same whether I’m using hands on techniques, or other modalities such as Light Therapy.
Neuromuscular Therapy is a comprehensive program of soft tissue manipulation techniques that balance the central nervous system (brain, spinal column and nerves) with the structure and form of the musculoskeletal system. NMT is based on neurological laws that explain how the central nervous system maintains homeostatic balance. These same laws dictate how the central nervous system initiates pain response.

There are five principles to Neuromuscular Therapy:
1. Postural Distortion

2. Biomechanical Dysfunctions

3. Trigger Points

4. Nerve Compression/Entrapment

5. Ischemia


Ischemia is a lack of blood supply to the soft tissues, which causes them to be very sensitive touch.

Trigger Points occur when nerves fire impulses at a rapid speed into an area of the body other than that which has been traumatized. Because of trigger points, the cause of serious pain may often be far from the actual site of the pain. This, in turn, inhibits proper blood flow, which causes ischemia an often leads to more pain and discomfort.

Nerve Compression and Entrapment is pressure on a nerve by bone, cartilage or soft tissue. The role of the soft tissues in nerve compression is vital. Failure to treat the associated soft tissue often treats the symptom without eliminating the cause of the pain. Nerve entrapment is the most common type of pain and always causes ischemia. Ignored, it can produce associated trigger points.

Postural Distortion or muscular contraction occurs when there is an imbalance of the musculoskeletal system resulting from movement of the body off the coronal, midsagital or horizontal planes. When the body tries to compensate in an effort maintain structural balance, muscle contraction, body distortion, and pain result. For example, lower limb-length inequality can cause a tilted pelvis, which usually results in a compensatory scoliosis that is maintained by sustained muscular effort.

Biomechanical Dysfunction is an imbalance of the musculoskeletal system resulting in faulty movement patterns. Repetitive strain of certain soft tissue result in adapted movement patterns that become muscular “habits” and must be reeducated.

How was St. John Therapy Developed?

Paul St. John developed an intense interest in studying and researching soft tissue pain and musculoskeletal dysfunction because of serious injuries he sustained throughout his life. He broke his back in three places in a high school football game, he was shot out of a helicopter as a Green Beret medic in Vietnam, and he was in a head-on automobile collision. For four years he awakened to HEADACHES and unceasing pain. Thousands of dollars in medical expenses left him without relief.

After years of chiropractic, neurology, osteopathy, and even psychiatry, he had found no permanent relief from his pain. This led him to medical libraries where he began to investigate the root causes of pain in the body. He studied pain mechanisms, researched the functioning of the nervous system, and the neurological laws that govern the WORKINGS of the body. Through this research he found that most pain conditions stem from the problems in the muscular system.

Armed with this information, he began to study his own body and the pain patterns which had developed from his injuries. During his research, he became familiar with a technique called receptor tonus technique, developed by Dr. Raymond Nimmo, D.C. He found that by pressing on the tissues of his neck, back and shoulders, he was able to get temporary relief. He then began perfecting the receptor tonus technique and, at the same time, began teaching others to treat his tissues. For the first time in four years, he was pain free.

Paul St. John went on to integrate the teachings of many other pioneers in the field of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction including Marianno Racabado, P.T.; Janet Travell, M.D.; John Barnes, P.T.; Dr. John Christopher; Dr. Bernard Jensen, and other orthodox and non-conventional teachers. The result has been the development of the St. John Method of Neuromuscular Therapy.

If you have any questions regarding this technique or any other concerns or inquires you may have feel free to contact me.
In Health,

Peter Roach, RMT, CNMT, Laser Therapist



Manual Lymph Drainage & Combined Decongestive Therapy now offered at Bayswater Neuromuscular Massage

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Brenda has recently completed an advanced training with certification in the Dr. Vodder method of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT), offered by the internationally recognized Dr. Vodder School.  The program that Brenda completed included pathology instruction and examination with the medical director of the School. Completion of this 160-hour intensive training […]

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This is the second article in a series looking at the 6 principles of Neuromuscular Therapy, and how they are applied in my treatment programs. Last week I talked about Posture, the first component that I look at when you come for treatment. The 6 principles I will be covering are: Correcting postural distortions Correcting […]

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6 Steps in the Evolution of Therapy – by Peter Roach

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Over the many years I have been a Massage Therapist I have seen new treatment protocols come and go, new types of treatment modalities used and discarded, and standard rehab exercises evolve. And in all honesty, I’m what is known as an early adopter, one that looks at the latest research and findings, new tools, […]

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I read this wonderful article and wanted to share it with you. It is writen by Clifton K. Meador, MD. in the Autumn 2011 Journal of The Pharos of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. The author (A!A, Vanderbilt University, 1954) is clinical professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, clinical professor of […]

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Did you know that using K Tape is also great for kids! Take for example my daughter. Weeks ago she came back from playing a soccer tournament. Four games in 5 hours and lots of running around. The following day she was complaining of knee pain, somewhere around her kneecap. After an examination I believed […]

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