Low Back Tightness (Lordosis) Causes Core (Abdominal) Inhibition and Pelvic Instability?

This topic of low back tightness resulting in an exaggerated S curve of the spine, pelvic instability and deep core inhibition comes from my own personal experience. 

I was a child gymnast, which likely contributed to this pattern due to the constant butt out/back extension poses. 

IMPORTANT: this pattern has no relation to low back PAIN, and I never EVER recommend that you release the low back fascia or muscles when you are experiencing low back pain of any kind (whether sciatica, SI joint pain, soft tissue pain in your QL’s or anything else). 

When your low back muscles and fascia become exceptionally restricted and shortened, your abdominal fascia (including the muscles but also your organs) has to stretch to accommodate the low back contraction. This can result in your abdominals always feeling “tense” because they’re in a constant stretch and can never relax into their natural position. This can then result in abdominal or core inhibition, when these muscles have a hard time firing because the low back is so tight it won’t accommodate the muscle contraction on the front. 

All of this can lead to pelvic instability, most likely due to the deep core muscles such as the TVA and pelvic floor muscles not doing what they’re supposed to do. 

Did you know that during crunches and other types of abdominal exercises one common compensation pattern is actually to contract the FRONT neck muscles?!

Yep, your SCM’s will try to stabilize your spine when you don’t have full control over your abs! 

As you can see, this pattern can become complex due to all the possible compensations. Which muscles YOUR body chooses to use depends on your history of injuries, posture/alignment and other potential muscle activation issues. 

With this particular pattern, however, I think the ONE most powerful action you can take is to release the fascia in your low back and around the tailbone. 

If you’ve ever had an accident or fall in which your tailbone was the point of impact, chances are pretty high that you have restricted fascia in this area that can further deepen the restriction pattern. 

So long as you don’t have low back PAIN, go try my tennis ball technique for low back fascia release.

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  • Geri Witt says:

    This is fascinating because of many factors for my mind right now. My own body is recovering from back surgery in August. And my mom is dealing with knee pain, needing a replacement ASAP, but needs to wait until late April due to injections in January. So, she’s been having “UTI” problems recurring, but the doctor finally tested and said there was actually no elevated WBC to indicate infection. She goes to a urologist, and the doctor tells her because of the pain in her knee for the past few years, she has been also having issues in her pelvic floor, causing the symptoms and pain of UTI. So now having Urology physical therapy to strengthen the pelvic floor and reduce the inflammation there. She has a slight prolapse which causes pain too.
    Oh the things we talk about with our parents!

  • Evelyn says:

    Hi. I have been on your blog ( to look for low back pain exercises) but I cannot find a search box. Can you please tell me how I can locate the search box. I am 70 and my technology skills are not that great! Many thanks. Evelyn

    • Hi Evelyn – if you’re on a desktop computer or laptop, the blog is at the TOP of the website. The search function looks like a magnifying glass, and when you click it you can enter a search term such as “QL” or “low back pain.” Then, all relevant posts related to those terms will pop up.

      • Evelyn says:

        Hi Elisha Many thanks for your reply and instructions. I forgot to say that I use an Iphone – is it possible to find and use a search box on my phone, so that I can find and start doing some work on my lower back
        Many thanks in anticipation

  • Tania Taylor says:

    Haha…well this video is such divine right timing for me Elisha ????…it makes absolute sense and explains my current experience ????…and only yesterday I made a booking for tomorrow with a massage therapist who does Myofascial work!…I’m feeling so well informed and confident about this being a solution for my physical body right now…looking forward to doing the fascia release technique you’ve mentioned and will keep you informed as to my progress????…the only difference is that it’s my whole right side that’s being affected????????

    • Hi Tania! Great to “see” you here 🙂 I hope this helps! Let me/us know how it goes with the massage therapist and tennis ball!

      • Tania Taylor says:

        Thanks Elisha, it’s great to be here… your ???? technique for low back fascia release felt really good and I also had a profound experience with the massage therapist today with physical and emotional breakthroughs during my first 1 hour session????…I asked permission to share “my story” about my physical body and what I intuitively know are areas ready to be released and took about 15minutes sharing my experience with fascia and pelvic instability (mentioning how I’ve been working with you via Fascia Release 101 and Mind Body Breakthrough) with the intention that the therapist would really get a sense of my deep understanding of my body and want to “partner” with me in this next step of my healing journey…she listened patiently and explained that she works by following the guidance of the clients muscles/body…yay!…long story short, she was initially guided to my thighs and TFLs first, then abdominal fascia and diaphragm which was really stuck (ouch????) however released quickly thankfully????, followed by the psoas on both sides ????????????…upon turning over onto my stomach I experienced a strong emotional release ???????? as I voiced out loud that my physical body has permission to heal now, and it’s interesting to me that in the client questionnaire in response to being asked what I wanted to achieve from working with her, I wrote “Physical Freedom” ????????????…I’m excited to see how I feel in a day or two when the full effects are felt however I’ve already noticed that I’m able to breathe more deeply and that my diaphragm and solar plexus area feels more free…I’m so appreciative of you, your work and your journey Elisha ????…and it feels to me like you and I are in sovereign unity, achieving mental, emotional, physical and spiritual freedom????????…I’ll keep you posted Elisha ????????

  • Ton van den Breekel says:

    Great review but how can I heal this fascia?

    • Go to the bottom of the blog post and click the link which will take you to my fascia release technique for the low back area using a tennis ball. That’s the best start. This is only advisable if you DO NOT have low back or glute/hip pain, but rather have tight low back muscles that are inhibiting core muscles. If you have low back pain, I recommend my quad and quad hip flexor fascia release technique instead (you can use the search function on the blog to find techniques by body part or the name of pain, like low back pain).

  • Rene Geerdes says:

    I have loads of muscle guarding and referred nerve pain down my glutes and legs due to a anterior rotated L hip and a hiked R hip. Possible culprit is my QL. I’m a massage Therapist and had a seriously bad reaction to a couple chiro appointments. My question: My back is flat, I have really developed Erector M’s and with QL palpation, Multifidi palpation, I get extreme pain that mimics the pain that I’m experiencing in my lower body. Should I continue to work the low back, tailbone etc.. or like you had stated should I only be working my rectus Abdominis, Obliques etc?
    I guess I’m what is called a lateral rotation due to my L abdominals, QL etc.. extremely tight and the R hiked up.
    My nerve pain is high and M spasms are a constant.
    Curious to hear what you have to say.
    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Rene – from what you’ve described you are NOT in the same pattern I described in this video. I would check out your quads and quad hip flexor fascia as well as adductor fascia. It’s usually the medial fascia line (adductors especially) that cause one hip to “hike” up while standing (if you were to lie down, it’s likely that same leg that appears hiked up at the hip would actually drop, making it appear like a “longer leg” while lying down). You can find the search function on this site at the top on desktop, or the bottom of the blog on mobile. Search “quads hip” and “medial knee” to find those two posts. I would absolutely stay AWAY from your QL’s, which are likely compensating and spasming in an attempt to keep your spine stable. Releasing them will only make things worse. There’s an answer for this, and it’s in your lower body I believe. Hope that helps!

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