Lower Crossed Syndrome – another cause of lower back pain
Lower back pain is the most common cause of long term disability in the western world. It’s a complicated subject with many causes both physical and psychological. However, so many people would benefit from a simple exercise programme to resolve some common muscle imbalances in the hip region. One such muscular imbalance is known as Lower Crossed Syndrome (LCS), which perfectly complements Upper Crossed Syndrome (February BN) and they often occur together.
Here’s a diagram showing the typical posture of someone with LCS.
The short hip flexors pull the pelvis forwards, causing an increased lordosis (curve) of the lower back, which puts pressure on the facet joints of the spine and can cause lower back pain and sacro-iliac joint dysfunction. Weak abdominal muscles mean the muscles of the back take a leading role in maintaining posture, which fatigues them, potentially causing lower back pain. Because the hip flexors are tight from excessive time spent sitting, their opposing muscles, the gluteals, become weak. This causes the hamstrings to compensate and become fatigued and dysfunctional. All in all, a recipe for lower back problems.
There are no prizes for guessing the primary causes of LCS; Prolonged sitting, particularly with bad posture, physical inactivity, poor exercise technique and an unbalanced training programme.
The good news is that LCS is a problem that can be resolved through a series of stretching and strengthening exercises. Here are some simple examples: –
Hip Flexor Stretch
Decrease anterior pelvic tilt
Improve Core strength
Strengthen the Glutes
Persevering with daily exercises will undoubtedly help resolve the problems, however, if you are sedentary, just increasing your daily activity levels will help.