Here is some information on how you can understand how to manage back pain. Crossed syndromes were pioneered by famed Czech physiotherapist Vladamir Janda. Vladimir Janda extensively studied the structural and functional role of the muscles, and is initially responsible for much of the information on the subject today. Crossed syndromes are characterized by alternating sides of inhibition (weakness) and facilitation (tightness).
Lower crossed syndrome in summary are weakened and inactive glutes, and abdominals, especially the transverse abdominus. Those muscles that are weak and inactive. On the opposing end of the spectrum, the hip flexors, and thoraco-lumbar erectors are extremely tight.
Lower crossed focus:
->Tight facilitated: quads/psoas & lower back
->Weak and under activated (why? Reciprocal inhibition): glute max and medius and ‘core’
->Taut/overused: hamstrings/groin (synergistic dominance)
->Fixable? Dense pack connective tissue solution: 3-6 months daily work with movement re-education.
Watch the beginner quad foamrolling video here—>
Solution: SMR (foam roll) quads, SMR (foam roll or trigger point release) lower back, release/stretch psoas, activate core, and activate glutes.
Step 1- Apply aggressive compression on the quads to loosen deep compartments from the knee towards the hip flexors
Step 2- Roll through the glutes and piriformis to in-inhibit this area followed by activation exercises to strengthen the glutes.
Step 3 -Lengthen tight lower back muscles
The lower crossed syndrome is a combination of a tight quadriceps anterior chain matched to an equally tight lower back. Similar to the upper body we want to make sure we spend more time and focus our energy onto the front of the body versus the back, which may be showing the symptoms more than the front. Often people will express low back pain when they are suffering from lower crossed syndrome. The hip flexors can become so predominantly overloaded that they pull on the pelvis as to create a lordosis and subsequently low back stiffness and pain. We must focus on the anterior aspects of the thighs with patient long time frame rocking and shear based self myofascial release. People often require many months of general release work to unlock the dense pack and deeper irregular dense pack connective tissues of the front of the thighs. Making these anterior structures supple will allow the low back to let go its tension with little to no self-myofascial release required. Then after the hip position is stable and both the hip flexors and low back are supple, we can address the core and gluteal motor functions. There is obviously many more layers of complexities and truths that could go into this reality of returning ideal core and glute functions, however the general plan should involve opening the hip flexors and lumbar to allow the core and gluteals to engage.
We have seen in clinical settings and also while working in workshops that the bodies which are held in upper and lower crossed syndromes tend to be restricted in many other planes of movement. We believe that these overwhelming conditions need to be generally dealt with to uproot deeper imbalances or to operate the fascial lines with freedom and ease.
The Predominant Source of Inflammation:
- Over or under movement/training
- Injury / Strain Inhibition
- Poor nutritional/hydration and lifestyle factors