When some people find it difficult to stand upright for a long time or have low back pain with the symptoms going down the back of leg or front of the thigh, they considered it to be ‘sciatica’ but there is every possibility that they may be suffering from Lower Crossed Syndrome (LCS) or Pelvic Crossed Syndrome (PCS). Passive lifestyle, excessive working hours at a desk or computer, improper posture or even improper weight lifting can lead to LCS.

What is the Lower Crossed Syndrome?

Lower Crossed Syndrome is typically a muscular imbalance syndrome, which occurs when muscles are shortened or lengthened in relation to each other. This deformity is characterized by the tightness of the thoraco-lumbar extensors in the lower back, rectus femoris in the back of the thigh and iliopas that passes from the low back to the front of the hip. Joint dysfunction at some particular points is created due to this imbalance. Lower Crossed Syndrome is also defined as an abnormal adapted posture of lower back. This imbalance is also characterized by the anterior tilt of the pelvis, increased curve in the lumbar spine and tight hamstrings. It also impairs the sporting efficiency of sportspersons as their core stability and stride length decreases due to the deformity.

What are the potential causes of Lower Crossed Syndrome?

LCS or lower crossed syndrome is a ‘silent’ disorder as it takes years to develop and displays no symptoms initially. Several factors contribute towards developing this deformity including:

Previous injury to joints, ligaments or muscles in the lower back
Shortening or tightening of muscles from repetitive activities
Prolonged sitting
Lack of the core stability of the spine
Poor posture
Weak and inhibited gluteals and abdominal muscles
Muscular imbalance in the low-back, legs, buttocks and abdominal region
What are the signs and symptoms of Lower Crossed Syndrome?

Lower Crossed Syndrome results into specific postural changes including:

Facet joint strains
Pelvic and hip dysfunction
Forward tilted pelvis
Knee hyperextension
Lateral leg rotation (outward rotation)
Lateral lumbar shift
Protruding abdomen
Flexed hips and lack of buttock musculature
What are the physical therapy treatments suggested to treat Lower Crossed Syndrome (LCS)?

Physical therapy treatment for LCS or Lower Crossed Syndrome is focused on the muscles which are weak like; gluteals and abdominal muscle and the ones’ which are tight like; hip flexors and lumbar erector spinal. The main goal of the physical therapists is to achieve the muscular balance which is the key to overcome Lower Crossed Syndrome. Physical therapists adopt the following exercises to achieve the muscular balance:

Specific mobility stretches are administered to stretch the tight lower back and thigh muscles
Corrective strengthening exercises are followed for weak gluteals and abdominal muscles
Pilates are practised to strengthen the core stability and to improvise the posture as well
Plank exercises are followed to develop stability and to reduce pain of the inactive and weak gluteals and abdominal muscles
Myofascial release and trigger point massage to gluteals muscles may be performed to eliminate muscular adhesions
Core stabilization exercises are advised to strengthen the weak abdominal muscles
Re-education about the proper posture and body usage is provided.
Rehabilitative program including manipulation and stretching exercises is adopted to restore movement and muscle strength
Relaxation techniques are applied to relax tight pelvis, hip joint and lumbar spine movement and muscle strength
Physical therapy adjustments are made to eliminate joint tension, enhance the range of motion and restore proper functioning.
Contact Accessible Physical Therapy for the effective and proficient treatment of any of your painful spinal conditions. Our certified and dedicated physical therapists employ specialized skills to help you to regain your health and mobility.

Author's Bio: 

Accessible Physical Therapy Services provide fast recovery from accident, sports, work related injuries, lower back, neck, leg pain (sciatica), strains, sprains, fractures, arthritis, burns, amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and conditions such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida (split spine) and musculoskeletal problems through physical therapists that are highly trained and experienced in physical therapy, aquatic therapy, hand therapy and industrial rehabilitation.