In today’s day and age many of us spend hours on a computer, tablet or phone and are falling victims to Upper Cross Syndrome, but what actually is it?
Upper cross syndrome is a muscular imbalance commonly seen in those with an office based job, drive for long hours, bike riders or people who are frequently on their phones. The muscular imbalances cause a forward neck posture and rounded shoulders resulting in a lot of stiffness and pain in the neck, shoulder and upper back. Specifically, the upper traps, levator scap and pectorals muscles become tight and overactive, while the deep neck flexors, lower traps and serratus anterior become weaker. The condition gets its name from the “x” shape that develops when regions of overactive and underactive muscles overlap.
The upper crossed syndrome often compromises scapular function, causing neck strain and pain, thoracic stiffness, shoulder pain, headaches or migraines. The muscle deficiencies result in poor posture in the upper body and can often result in lower body chain reactions, resulting in lower back pain.
Exercise and manual therapy is important to maintain good posture and hinder muscular deficits. Exercises that may be considered include scapular setting, deep neck muscle training and pectoral stretching ensure coordinated and synergistic function of these muscle groups. Manual therapy has also been proven to aid in pain relief and improve function.
If this sounds familiar then get in touch with our team to book an appointment with one of our Physiotherapists, Osteopaths or Massage Therapists to see what they can do for you.