How can I improve my posture?: Lower Crossed Syndrome

The lower crossed syndrome again is not a diagnosis but is a group of findings that is very common. A lower crossed syndrome is again as a result of the general positions our body’s adopt each day.

The main culprit that leads to this syndrome is sitting, when we sit our hip flexors are in a shortened position, when they are held in this position they can become very tight. When a muscle is too tight and is therefore firing too much, the opposite muscle relaxes just like the biceps and triceps relationship at the elbow I mentioned in my previous post. The triceps must relax when the bicep contracts to allow the elbow to move and visa-versa. When the Hip flexors are tight and over firing, the gluteus maximus is inhibited and told to relax. Now as the Glut Max’s main role is as a hip extender, if it is not firing correctly the muscles that take over are the Lower back extensors and the hamstrings, these therefore get very tight (plus with prolonged sitting with flexed knees the hamstrings are even tighter). This again has consequences in that the opposite muscles will again become inhibited by the tightness, therefore abdominals and quads become relaxed and weak. As you can see in the above picture, the results of all this dysfunction results in an anteriorly rotated pelvis (buttocks protruding). This can lead to various problems involving the lower back as well as problems as a result of the tightness being caused at the muscles involved such as strains and tears.

A little challenge for you is to spot somebody you know who has either a upper or lower crossed syndrome or both which is known as a ‘layer syndrome’. All these concepts were made by Vladimir Janda, a name worth looking up if you are interested in rehabilitation and the causes of body dysfunction.

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