What is Lower Cross Syndrome??

What is Lower Cross Syndrome?

Muscle imbalances in the lower back and pelvic support muscles are the hallmark of the musculoskeletal disorder known as lower cross syndrome. It is a typical condition that can lead to pain, stiffness, and decreased mobility, especially in those who spend a lot of time sitting down.

Dr. Vladimir Janda, a Czech physician and researcher who specialised in musculoskeletal rehabilitation, coined the phrase "lower cross syndrome" in the late 1990s. Janda described the disorder as a pattern of muscular imbalances that cause low back dysfunction and pain.

The muscles on one side of the pelvis shorten and tighten in lower cross syndrome, while the muscles on the other side weaken and lengthen. This results in a distortion in the pelvic alignment, which can put strain on the lower back, the hips, and the legs.

The following muscles are impacted by lower cross syndrome:

Tight hip flexors: Hip flexors are a group of muscles that attach the thigh bone to the pelvis and are in charge of flexing the hip joint.  When these muscles are tight, the pelvis may be tilted forward and the lower back may exhibit an excessive arch.

Tight lumbar extensors: A group of muscles known as the lumbar extensors run along the spine and are in charge of extending the back. These muscles have the potential to worsen the lower back's pronounced arch when they become tight.

Weak abs:  The abdominal muscles are in charge of supporting the spine and preserving good posture. The pull of the contracted hip flexors and lumbar extensors cannot be effectively resisted when these muscles are weak.

Weak gluteal muscles: The gluteal muscles are in charge of stabilising the pelvis and extending the hip joint. When these muscles are weak, they are unable to effectively resist the pull of the contracted lumbar extensors and hip flexors.

Lower cross syndrome is caused by an imbalanced "cross" formed by weak abdominal and gluteal muscles combined with tight hip flexors and lumbar extensors.


  • Low back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Knee pain
  • Reduce mobility
  • Difficulty performing ADLs


Exercises that combine stretching and strengthening are frequently used to treat lower cross syndrome in an effort to reestablish proper muscle alignment and balance. A personalised exercise programme can be developed by a physical therapist based on a person's unique requirements and objectives.

Exercises like these could be incorporated into a lower cross syndrome treatment programme:

  • Hip flexors stretching
  • Lumbar extensor stretching
  • Abdominal strengthening exrcises
  • Gluteal strengthening exercises

Other treatment includes:

  • Manual therapy to release tension in muscles
  • Medications such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen
  • Corticosteroid injection
  • Lifestyle modification



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