“Cross Syndromes” (part 2)
Last month it was proposed that back pain may be derived from dysfunctions in other parts of the body. Upper and Lower Cross Syndromes are terms used to describe predictable dysfunctional movement patterns resulting from muscle imbalances in groups of weak muscles combined with overactive or tight muscles.
Lower Cross Syndrome (LCS) is typically a pattern of tight lower back muscles paired with tight hip flexors/adductors combined with weak glutes and abdominals. A common posture associated with LCS is “S” posture with swayback and protruding belly highlighted. A common swing fault associated with “S” posture is early extension during the downswing addressing the ball.
Upper Cross Syndrome (UCS) is a combination of tight and shortened neck, upper back and upper chest muscles combined with weak deep neck flexors, shoulder stabilizers and mid back muscles. A common posture associated with UCS is “C” posture and lack of upper back extension which in turn leads to decreased spinal mobility and rotation as well as increased strain on the shoulders. Decreased rotation in the backswing will lead to diminished rotation of the shoulders in relation to the hips (X-factor) and leak power.
I usually see golfers when they are in pain, which many times is the result of secondary and tertiary compensations of their swing mechanics stemming from an underlying “Cross Syndrome”.
A lot of technical jargon so far so let’s bottom line what I do to treat back pain:
- I assess posture, movement patterns and swing mechanics and any motions that increase or decrease pain.
- I use manual therapy techniques to reduce the pain and promote greater mobility.
- Begin fundamental exercises (usually start in supine) that engage the core with coordinated breathing patterns.
- Advance exercises to standing and incorporate coordinated breathing patterns with the golf swing.
Reduce pain – increase mobility- introduce new motor programs – stabilize and reinforce new patterns – play pain free par golf……… (at least that’s the goal!)
Back pain can be a game changer or even ender for golfers. It is our preference you seek advice from Dave, Adam, Paul or me if you experience back pain lasting more than a few days.
I will be out most of June vacationing abroad.
Until the next installment, happy pain free golfing and recreation.
Michael Rende, OTR