Lower Cross Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms and treatment


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Have you heard of Lower Cross Syndrome (LCS)? Watch as Airrosti’s Joe Ritola, DC provides some information on this type of condition, as well as details the common causes and symptoms of LCS. In addition, you’ll learn how traditional healthcare might approach Lower Cross Syndrome compared to Airrosti. If you match the symptoms and signs of LCS, schedule an appointment with an Airrosti Provider today, either in-clinic or virtually!


Lower Cross Syndrome (LCS), also known as Lower Crossed Syndrome, is a muscular imbalance that results in postural changes, which can lead to lower back pain over time. The name “Lower Cross Syndrome” stems from the visual of an X when viewing the muscles from a side view.

LCS is caused by the shortening and lengthening of muscles in the pelvic and lumbosacral region of the body. Lower Cross Syndrome happens when there is muscular imbalance between weak and tight muscles. The tight muscles are generally the hip flexors and erector spinae, and weak muscles are the abdominals and gluteal muscles. Shortening occurs in the hip flexors while weakening occurs in the abdominals and gluteal muscles.

WHAT are common LOWER CROSS SYNDROME causes?

Lower Cross Syndrome is often related to and caused by poor posture. It is caused by an increase in stress on these certain muscles. With improper posture or form when exercising, or low awareness on how to properly perform daily tasks, muscles can suffer from one-sided stress or high tension in certain areas.

Though LCS is often linked to bad posture, other factors can contribute to this condition, such as a sedentary lifestyle or work and leisure habits. In addition, exercise routines can play a role in possible LCS pain through overused or overtrained muscles. Training certain areas of your body and neglecting others can contribute to the cross muscle imbalance that may be causing your condition. Furthermore, other physical or health related factors can play a role.

Woman holding lower back in pain


Lower Cross Syndrome is characterized by lower back pain or pain in the pelvic or hip joints. In addition to this, people may also suffer from:

  • Reduced mobility or stiffness in lumbar, hip, hamstring, or pelvic region
  • Pain in hip flexors, groin, spine, or gluteal muscles
  • Protruding stomach from an overly arched low back
  • Tension in the lower back and/or gluteal muscles


Upper Cross Syndrome (UCS) and Lower Cross Syndrome are similar conditions that exist in different parts of the body. While both involve weak and tightened muscles, UCS occurs in the upper back, affecting the shoulders and neck. The deep neck flexors and serratus muscles become weak, causing your levator scapula and trapezius muscles to tighten.

Tight and weak muscles that interact create muscle imbalances, as other muscle groups must compensate for this strain. While LCS causes an over arched lower back and a protruding stomach, UCS causes rounded shoulders and neck pain, due to the neck having to sustain the weight of your head sticking forward. In addition to any shoulder and neck pain, you may also suffer a reduced range of motion in the upper body.

Woman performing glute bridge exercise

What are some Lower Cross Syndrome Treatment options?

For Lower Cross Syndrome, exercise is the most recommended treatment option to manage any low back pain. Exercise can dramatically help treat Lower Cross Syndrome pain and the condition in general. Many exercises that target your hip flexors or abdominal muscles are best, as they work to strengthen any weak muscles that contribute to LCS or loosen and relax tight muscles.

In addition, you can utilize a foam roller or lacrosse ball to help further your recovery. Both items can help relieve muscle tension, especially with tight hip flexors. You should always consult with your doctor on what treatment options may be best for you, depending on severity of your injury or pain.

Parent and child outside enjoying activities

How Airrosti Can Help

LCS should not be left untreated. Over time, it can worsen and possibly lead to a longer recovery or complicated changes to other joints and muscles. Strength, flexibility, and range of motion subsequently decrease which contributes to degenerative changes and pain in the lower back.

Airrosti Certified Providers can address these specific problems in the body. Our skilled Providers can help eliminate pain at the source through manual treatment followed by specific strengthening and stretching exercises to help prevent injury while restoring strength and mobility. In addition, you will also be provided with injury education and information to continue your recovery at home, so you can begin enjoying your life and what you love.

If you have been experiencing any of the above mentioned Lower Cross Syndrome symptoms, schedule an appointment with an Airrosti Provider today, either in-clinic or virtually.

Call (800) 404-6050 for more information.

Read our Medical Disclaimer here.

Reviewed by Casey Crisp, Doctor of Chiropractic

Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.

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