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Lower Cross Syndrome


Lower cross syndrome (LCS) is a muscular imbalance that results in postural changes, which can lead to lower back pain over time.


LCS is often caused by an overly sedentary lifestyle and/or poor posture. Prolonged sitting or injury can lead to development of shortened hip flexor muscles, and that leads to tightened lower back muscles.  The tightened hip flexors eventually lead to weakened abdominal/core muscles, along with weakened gluteal/butt muscles.

Postural effects of this condition are seen by an increased forward tilt of the pelvis that coincides with an excessive lower-back arch. However, this uneven pull of muscles has effects beyond the lumbo-pelvic-hip region. When this happens, your back muscles and hamstrings have to work harder, which can lead to low back, leg and knee injuries.


What causes Lower Cross Syndrome?

Lower Cross Syndrome (or LCS, for short) is a common pattern of poor posture. When you look at the body from the side, you will see a pattern of shortening and lengthening of muscles in the low back, abdomen, pelvis, and thighs that looks like an X. This is where the name comes from.

Anything that you do consistently, you get better at doing. In the case of LCS, consistently being in bad posture causes your body to get used to that position. It causes some muscles to work harder than they should, because other muscles are “clocked out,” when they should be helping! Bad posture, Bad form while working or working out, cause muscles to suffer uneven stress. As time goes on, this will get worse and worse, and eventually, the overworked muscles will essentially "throw a fit," causing you pain!


Poor health, in general, and not being in shape will make this process shorter, and will make your pain worse.

What does Lower Cross Syndrome (LCS) Feel Like?


LCS causes Low back pain, pain in the butt cheeks or the front of the pelvis, and in the hip joints.

You could also feel:

  • Stiffness or less movement in your low back, hips, hamstrings, or pelvis

  • Pain in your hip flexors, groin, spine, or buttock muscles

  • Your stomach sticking out from an overly arched low back

  • Tightness in the low back and/or butt muscles

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