What is Upper-Crossed Syndrome?

What is Upper-Crossed Syndrome?

Upper-Crossed Syndrome is an imbalance between anterior and posterior muscles.

Our ears should line up with our shoulders; there the head and neck act as lever. If the head is tilted forward it causes more strain and muscle contraction to keep the head upright, resulting in an anterior head carriage and internal rotation of shoulders. This forward head carriage could be caused most commonly by poor relaxing posture habits or work postures. Other causes are traumatic events (whiplash; extension injuries), or congenital abnormalities.
Upper crossed syndrome results in overactive and tight muscles in neck extension: upper trapezius, levator scapulae, and pectorals. It results in weak or deactivated middle and lower trapezius, rhomboids, serratus anterior, scalenes and longus colli (deep neck flexors). This also causes the shoulder blades to wing (elevation and protraction).

How can this present in your life?

  • Neck and upper back pain
  • Headaches
  • Spasms, strains, muscle trigger points

What can you do to help this?

  • Postural retraining (new habits, reminders to move/change position, reassessment of your ergonomic setup for working positions, visualization)
  • Stretch the overactive and tight muscles regions
  • Strengthen the deactivated and weak muscle regions
  • Seek physical treatment; soft tissue manipulation for muscles and manipulations/mobilizations for joint restrictions and dysfunctions
Your Chiropractor can help guide your process to recovery!
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Stephanie Beveridge – BA, MSc, DC, 400hr YTT

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