WHAT IS UPPER CROSSED SYNDROME?
If you’re like the millions of people who use electronic tools such as a cell phone, tablet, or laptop, you’ve probably spent hours upon hours looking at the screen with your head jutted forward. Other situations that might have you holding your head forward of your shoulders include reading books, significant time behind the steering wheel or watching TV. Whatever the cause, the migration of your head to this forward position can ultimately lead to overactive muscles and a complementing set of underactive muscles. This postural distortion pattern, known as upper crossed syndrome, can result in imbalances of muscle tone or timing, often leading to poor movement patterns, and in this tech-heavy society, increased stress on the head, neck and shoulder joints.
Poor posture at any level may lead to muscle imbalances. This can have a trickle-down effect on the rest of the body, not just in the local areas of the neck and shoulders. An associated sequence of muscle imbalances in the hip region, referred to as the lower crossed syndrome, can oftentimes be observed in conjunction with upper crossed syndrome. When looking for long-term success in relieving upper crossed syndrome, identifying and addressing postural issues that could exist elsewhere in the body will also be needed. This total-body approach will relieve tensions through the entire kinetic chain, while also enhancing desired results.
- Upper trapezius
- Levator scapulae
- Latissimus dorsi
- Teres major
- Pectoralis major/minor
- Deep cervical flexors
- Serratus anterior
- Lower trapezius
- Teres minor
- Posture Assessment
- Relaxing and lengthening tight muscles
- Strengthening the weak muscles
- Integrating the involved muscles to reestablish functional synergistic movement patterns