Sway Back, Lumbar Lordosis, Pelvic Tilt
The lower crossed syndrome. The tight line (a) travels through the iliopsoas and lumbar erectors, which pull and hold this aberrant swayback posture. Reciprocal inhibition weakens the abdominals and gluteals (b) allowing this dysfunctional pattern to develop.
View how the tight line (a in Figure ) travels through the iliopsoas and lumbar erectors, while the weak line (b in Figure ) connects the abdominals and gluteals. In this lower crossed pattern, the short iliopsoas muscles anteriorly tilt the pelvis, creating excessive lumbar lordosis while erector spinae myofascial contractures hold this “bowing” pattern. The weak abdominals and gluteals, unable to stabilize the pelvis, allow this aberrant swayback pattern to develop.
Still, a frustrating question remains: Why do so many clients present with this lower crossed pattern? The answer is, to me, painfully obvious: flexion addiction.
The last century has witnessed a dramatic acceleration in our culture’s flexion addiction. This pervasive and insidious condition is primarily due to the population’s generational transition from an active group of movers to a sedentary bunch of sitters. Researchers estimate that up to 75 percent of chronic neck/back pain clients will present with this or upper crossed patterns.