How Do You Get Lower Cross Syndrome?

Lower Cross Syndrome or LCS, is a neuromuscular condition in which there are tight and weak muscles. The involved tight muscles are the thoracolumbar extensors and hip flexors, while the weak muscles are the abdominals and gluteus maximus. The term ‘Lower Cross Syndrome’ stems from the muscular dysfunction that is in the lower portion of the body. The ‘cross’ is due to a combination of tight muscles and weak muscles, which from a side view are seen as an X. Some people also experience upper cross syndrome at the same time.

Lower Cross syndrome Muscle Involvement

The muscles involved with lower cross syndrome are:

  • weak: abdominals | gluteus maximus
  • tight: thoracolumbar extensors (erector spinae) | hip flexors (iliopsoas)

Here is a picture to better depict why it is called lower cross syndrome.


Chiropractic and Lower Cross Syndrome

Chiropractic manipulation can help with lower cross syndrome as it is a neuromuscular dysfunction. For patients to get the most out of their chiropractic therapy, it is crucial that they do home therapies. Our Lebanon chiropractic patients experiencing lower cross syndrome often have joint dysfunction in the lower back. This includes the L4-L5, L5-S1 segments along with the sacroiliac (SI) and hip joints. Utilizing X-rays Dr. McKinney can asses the curve in the spine looking at lateral films to help determine the best treatment.

Lower cross syndrome is directly related to the muscles, which is why home therapies are important. Chiropractic adjustments help the dysfunctional joints to regain a normal range of motion. Stretching the tight muscles associated with lower cross syndrome and strengthening the weakened muscles will subdue  the cross pulling dysfunction. The resulting pain from the pulling in lower cross syndrome is what sets many patients off to call for an appointment. It is very important to understand that the perceived pain is only a small factor that plays into what the nerves transmit. We urge our patients to continue these home therapies even after the pain goes away,  there is likely still joint dysfunction due to the muscle involvement.

lower-crossThis picture depicts 2 types of lower cross syndrome postures: