What is Upper Crossed Syndrome?

Muscular imbalance and dysfunction are common causes of pains and ailments that we face in our everyday lives. Upper Crossed Syndrome is one example of a muscular imbalance that causes strain on our posture.

Caused by hypertonicity of pectoral muscles ventrally paired with hypertonic upper trapezius and levator scapula dorsally, the overactivity of these muscles is partnered with weakness through deep neck flexors and scapular stabilisers.

What Causes Upper Crossed Syndrome?

A common cause of an upper crossed posture is lengthy periods of sedentary tasks and poor posture, with the head and shoulders slouched forward. This is especially common in people who are tasked with a high volume of desk-based demands, such as office jobs and/or completing studies.

Common symptoms of Upper Crossed Syndrome include headaches, neck pain, posterior neck strain/weakness in the front of the neck, pain and tightness in the chest, upper back and shoulders. This is often accompanied by a decrease in range of motion in said areas.

So… What Can I Do to Help Myself?

Exercises. These are a great way you can help yourself to combat this issue. It can be hard sometimes to find the time to complete an extensive workout, so let’s keep it simple. How? Here’s two easy exercises you can perform at home, the office, or wherever you might be!

  • Rhomboid rows. 3 sets, 8-10 repetitions. Elbows flexed at 90 degrees, and in beside your body. Using a light theraband, draw your elbows back as if you’re attempting to touch your shoulder blades together.
  • Neck extension with towel. Sit tall with a towel rested behind your neck. Hold the ends of the towel with each hand. Look up to the ceiling and extend your neck, whilst simultaneously pulling the towel forwards by the ends.

If you are spending a lot of the day in sedentary positions, it is also important to get up and move around at regular intervals. Even as I’m typing this right now, I’m reminding myself I must stop and stretch soon!

This is a good way to avoid postural strain by maintaining regular movement and allowing for blood and synovial fluids to flow to your muscle tissues and joints.

Treating Upper Crossed Syndrome

If you’re dealing with upper crossed syndrome, and/or just feeling the aches and pains that life brings, remedial massage and myotherapy is a great treatment option. This will typically involve targeting tight muscle tissues and aiding correction of postural strains, helping you return to 100%, and doing the things you love most without the hassle of aches and pains.

It’s always a good idea to treat yourself by getting a treatment!

Click here to book an appointment with Joel or call 5255 5040 (OG) or 4202 0446 (L) to discuss how Joel can help you achieve your health goals!