Lower crossed syndrome is the secret danger that can cause muscle imbalances, problems with posture, and the potential for further injury. You might not have heard the term lower crossed syndrome, but you need to be aware of what it is, the problems it can pose, and what can you do to prevent and treat it.
Lower Crossed Syndrome (LCS)
LCS is a postural imbalance in the lower back and pelvis muscles, as well as the hip joints. It occurs when you spend long periods of time sitting and can get worse if you have bad posture or are not active enough when not sitting. When you are seated, your muscles are stuck in either a shortened position or a lengthened position, and if you stay seated for prolonged periods of time, your muscles become used to the position. They can become weak, tight, or inhibited.
Which Muscles Are Affected?
When you’re sitting, it might not feel like you are using many muscles, but there are several groups of muscles that can be affected by LCS. The main groups that are affected are:
- Erector spinae, a group of muscles that hold your spine upright.
- Hip flexors, the muscles that connect your thighs to the front of your body.
- Gluteal muscles, the muscles that extend your hip joints.
How Are The Muscles Affected?
As mentioned above, when your muscles are affected by LCS, they can become tight or weak. This affects the muscles in different ways:
- Tight (or hypertonic) muscles: this occurs when your muscles (e.g. hip flexors) spend too much time in the shortened position and begin to hold that position as its natural position. The problem that this causes is not just that the muscles have a low resistance to stretching; they will also pull on the bones they are attached to even when you are no longer sitting down.
- Weak (or inhibited) muscles: this occurs when muscles (such as the gluteal muscles) spend extended periods of time in a lengthened position. This leads to the muscles becoming weak and inhibited.
- Imbalances in the muscles: overall the tightness and weakness of various muscle groups lead to imbalances in your posture; a forward rotation of the pelvis as well as the overextension of the lumbar spine which can result in back pain and bad posture.
How To Avoid LCS or How To Fix It
Preventing LCS is very simple; make sure to take note of your posture while sitting down and take regular breaks from sitting!
If it is past the point of prevention, then there are many exercises and stretching routines that can help you to neurologically decrease the activity to the muscles that are overactive. This will allow the muscles to relax and move more naturally.
Exercise can assist with overcoming syndromes such as this one as well as so much more. To find out how you can teach sufferers these moves, you need to become a personal trainer. Find out how you can do this by checking out our Personal Training Diploma. Read more here.