If you’ve ever suspected that sitting at your desk all day was contributing to back pain, you’re definitely on to something. The condition is called “Lower Crossed Syndrome” or “Crossed Pelvic Syndrome.” Simply put, it’s a pelvic tilting that often occurs in office workers.
The condition, resulting largely from a combination of tight muscles and weak core strength, can cause low back pain and in some cases, even spine and pelvic degeneration.
The good news is that this is a fairly avoidable condition. The so-so news for those of us allergic to the gym: Working out those core, gluteal (or glute), back and hamstring muscles is central to keeping this condition at bay.
Lower crossed syndrome is just as uncomfortable and complex as its name implies. It starts when a patient has weak core muscles – very common for many of us – and sits at a desk for long periods of time. Over time, the weak muscles are pulled tight by antagonistic muscles; as the hip flexors and other surrounding muscles tighten, the pelvis tilts anteriorly, causing an increased lumbar curve.
Envision a rubber band attached to the bottom of your spine and running upward, while another is attached to your belly button and running downward. As your weak muscles are pulled tighter, it’s like the rubber bands are being pulled in opposing directions. Your central pelvis will tilt forward like a wheel turning clockwise, resulting in aching that lingers and a swayback appearance when you stand.
Long periods of sitting at a desk along with weak hip flexors, erector spinae and hamstrings are the prime contributors to this easily avoided syndrome. Abdominals and even glutes also play a role.
If you’re already suffering the lower back pain and general discomfort associated with Lower Crossed Syndrome, a trip to the chiropractor might help with some of the most immediate pain. The longer-term solution, however, might be as simple as some old-fashioned gym exercises.
Your local gym is sure to have several machines that allow you to work your hams, glutes and erector spinae muscles, a group of muscles in your lower and mid-back. Work with kettle bells, crunches and even flutter kicks can tighten other areas of your core and can be done easily at home.
Check out some of our videos and give these simple exercises a try. You’ll find they bring relief from your Lower Crossed Syndrome and could give you a smoother belly!
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