05 Dec Lower Cross Syndrome
Lower Cross Syndrome (LCS) is not an injury or illness. It is a condition that causes an imbalance in the musculoskeletal system, especially the hips, pelvis and lower back. Initially, the syndrome is harmless but over time, this condition can cause strain to the muscles and joints. This additional strain can lead to disabilities, postural changes and degeneration of the muscles and joints in the hips, pelvis and lower back.
LCS occurs when weak abdominal and gluteal muscles are combined with tight iliopsoas and erector spinae muscles, thus forming a cross in the lower back, pelvis and hips. This cross formation may result in a forward head posture, flat or protruding glutes and a protruding abdomen.
Lower cross syndrome is typically caused from prolonged sitting. In this position the rectus femoris (part of the quadriceps muscle group), the lumbar erector spinae (the muscles that start near the sacrum and extend vertically up the length of the back) and hip flexor muscles are short and tight, remaining in this position for long periods of time can results in the permanent shortening of these muscles, thus effecting the lumbar and regions of the body.
People with this condition typically experience the following symptoms:
- Pain in the lower back, pelvic joints and hip joints, as well as the groin and buttocks.
- Reduced mobility in the lower back, hips, hamstring and pelvic regions.
- Stiffness in the above-mentioned areas.
- A protruding stomach which is caused by an overarched back.
- Muscle tension in the lower back and buttocks.
It needs to be noted that any tightness experienced in one area of the body may result in weaknesses in other areas of the body. This is due to reciprocal inhabitation, which allows the muscles to function smoothly. Imagine that the body is like a series of pulleys and levers; when you shorten one muscle, it’s opposite muscle lengthens. For example, when you bend your elbow, the biceps shortens and the triceps lengthen to allow a smooth movement.
If reciprocal inhibition were to persist for long periods of time, the lengthened muscle may become restrained and weak. With lower cross syndrome, the abdominal and gluteal muscles which are paired to the hip flexor and lumbar erector spinae muscles are stretched, inhibited and weakened resulting in a protruding abdomen and flattened buttocks.
This imbalance caused by LCS can reduce your core strength and negatively alter the biomechanics of the joints and muscles in your lower back, pelvis and hips. Thus, a weaker back can increase the risk and occurrence of pain, injuries and disabilities.
If you are experiencing any of the abovementioned symptoms or think you may have a lower cross posture, it is best to contact a musculoskeletal specialist, such as an osteopath or physiotherapist as soon as possible. They will be able to assess, identify and diagnose your condition and its cause, as well as advise on an appropriate treatment plan to help reduce or prevent the related pain and body dysfunction.
Osteopathy takes a holistic approach to treating musculoskeletal ailments. It can be used to diagnose, treat and prevent MSK conditions. Osteopathy is a complimentary form of treatment that can be used alongside other forms of treatment such as physiotherapy.
At OsteoVision, our musculoskeletal specialists are trained to treat a wide range of conditions. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your symptoms, would like to book an appointment, or require more information about Lower Cross Syndrome.
Call: 03303 904 300
You can also book an appointment online at www.osteovision.life
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Cavanagh, A., 2013. Lower Cross Syndrome – Do you have it? – Morningside Chiropractic Edinburgh – Chiropractor Edinburgh. [online] Morningside Chiropractic Edinburgh – Chiropractor Edinburgh. Available at: Lower Cross Syndrome [Accessed 30 October 2021].
ELEVATE Physical Therapy. 2021. Are You Living with Lower Crossed Syndrome? Physical Therapy Can Help. [online] Available at: Are You Living with Lower Crossed Syndrome? Physical Therapy Can Help [Accessed 30 October 2021].
PhysioSpain – Physiotherapy / Osteopathic treatment in Fuengirola, Mijas & Malaga. n.d. Lower cross syndrome – PhysioSpain – Physiotherapy / Osteopathic treatment in Fuengirola, Mijas & Malaga. [online] Available at: Lower cross syndrome [Accessed 30 October 2021].