Posted By / 18th February 2015
Upper Crossed Syndrome by The Guildford Spine Centre – Chiropractor Guildford.
Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought your posture wasn’t great, that you slouch too much? Well slouching is a bad habit that can have a massive knock on effect on your spine and your health on the whole.
Upper Crossed Syndrome or UCS occurs when muscle imbalance occurs in the upper back and neck this can be a cause of more serious underlying pathologies however in most cases is caused by poor posture, slouching that causes ‘stretch weakness’ decreasing the strength of muscles and even stretching muscle length. Think of it like an elastic band that you have stretched too far, it never quite goes back to how it was before you stretched it.
In UCS tightness occurs in the Upper Trapezius muscles and Levator Scapulae at the back of the neck and the Pectoralis muscles on the front of the chest. In contrast this causes weakness in the deep neck flexors and weak Rhomboid, Serratus Anterior and Lower Trapezius muscles. Specific postural changes are seen as a result of this imbalance including forward head posture, increased mid back spine curvature, elevated and rounded shoulders and winging scapulae. These changes can also decrease the stability of the shoulder (glenohumeral joint) and cause issues in the shoulders an example of this being rotator cuff tendonitis.
Forward head carriage Upper Crossed Syndrome by The Guildford Spine centre – Chiropractor Guildford.
With UCS the normal ‘S’ shaped curve of your spine, in particular the neck is lost. This forward carriage also causes the head to put even more force on the spine and surrounding muscles that can cause joint dysfunction particularly in the spinal joints at the base of the skull (atlanto-occipital joint), in the lower neck, where the neck meets the upper back, the upper back itself between the shoulder blades and finally the shoulder joint.
Symptoms with Upper Crossed Syndrome by The Guildford Spine Centre – Chiropractor Guildford
Now you know why and how UCS happens what is the knock on effect to your body? A number of symptoms can occur. There are the obvious not very attractive slouched posture, head forward, shoulders rolled looking at the ground. Pain is also a common occurrence, often in the neck and between the shoulder blades. Headaches can also occur because of the extra strain on the upper neck joints and muscles.
Do you have any good news about this problem? Well, in short, yes. UCS can be treated, pain can be eased, posture improved and you can finally stand up straighter and proud. These habits often form over many years so it takes time to correct but most importantly a full assessment and personal treatment plan including exercise routine to correct. Both of these are what we pride ourselves on at The Guildford Spine Centre – Chiropractor Guildford.
Why not contact us today to book your assessment and start your journey to pain free upright posture and put the slouch behind you?
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