More Of A Postural Disorder

TIGHT and WEAK muscles of the neck and upper back.

Upper Crossed Syndrome is more of a muscular imbalance that comes with prolonged rounding of the neck and upper back. This results in chronically tight muscles and chronically stretched muscles. 

TIGHT and IRRITATED muscles include:

    • Suboccipital muscles
    • Levator Scapulae
    • Upper Trapezius 
    • Pectoralis maj/min
    • Sternocleidomastoid


  • STRETCHED and WEAK muscles include:
    • Deep Neck Flexors
    • Lower Trapezius
    • Latissimus Dorsi 


Address The Dysfunction

This is easily one of the most common conditions seen in our office. Fortunately, it is easy to identify the movement patterns. However, this is a difficult condition to correct because it requires discipline on the part of the patient. A typical treatment plan would be:

  • Dry needling, Graston, and ART are my first line of treatment. 
  • Postural correction after decreasing the tension in the tight muscles.
  • Exercise prescription to strengthen and tighten up the weaker muscles. 

Many individuals suffering from this condition are working in settings that promote the problem behavior. Studies indicate that even stretching for less than a minute after every 15 minutes of such work promotes faster recovery and helps change postural habits.

Set Yourself Up For Success

Fix your ergonomics

It's incredibly important to change how you position yourself at your workspace, or when looking at a screen. 

  • The screen should be approximately 50 cms infront of your face
  • Think of 90 degree angles: -
    • Feet flat on the floor
    • Knees above ankles
    • Torso over hips -Arms at your side
    • Elbows bent 90 degrees
    • Head over your shoulders
  • -Tip: Scoot your chair in so that it's impossible to slouch!

Make similar adjustments in your car and other areas of rest to ensure you keep good habits in place.

Heads Weigh Approximately 10 lbs.

Keeping your head upright causes significant stress on your upper back.

Upper Cross Syndrome often causes nagging head aches, severe neck pain, and discomfort in the upper and lower back. This is because the head becomes heavier and heavier the further it translates (tilts) forward. The vector of the anterior head carriage can cause up to triple the effective weight of the head to be felt in the upper back.

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