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9th Sep

2013

You should have listened when your mom told you to sit up straight

X-Ray Incorrect Computer Sitting-position
In today’s society, countless hours are spent sitting. Whether it is commuting to and from work, constantly using an iPad or smartphone, or sitting at a desk for extended periods of time, we are continuously sitting. Constant sitting has become an epidemic and it is starting at a very young age. As we sit various muscles in our back, shoulders, and neck fire to keep our upper body as erect as possible. However, over a period of time these muscles begin to fatigue and our posture starts to change. One of the most common changes is with the head. The body begins to develop Anterior Head Carriage (AHC) or Forward Head Posture (FHP). This is where the head begins to drift in front of the shoulders, the curve of the neck begins to diminish, and a rounding of the shoulders and upper back starts to occur. This posture can lead to a number of issues including joint issues, muscle issues, headaches, and over time joint degeneration. It’s among one of the most common conditions I work with in the office and we refer to this condition as Upper Crossed Syndrome.  So the question is what is it, and how do we fix it.

Inhibited Neck FlexorsUpper Crossed Syndrome affects a series of muscles that help stabilize the spine and support the head. These muscles include: tight pectorals, upper trapezius, and levator scapulae muscles and weak deep neck flexors, lower trapezius, and serrates anterior muscles. Sitting in improper positions and extended periods of time is the main culprit of this condition. This causes certain muscles to become overly tight and not function correctly. When this occurs day after day this condition becomes chronic. When muscles become tight and locked up this can lead to poor range of motion, stiffness and wear and tear on a joint. If a muscle becomes weak or overstretched it is not able to support the joint properly and sudden quick movements can lead to irritation of the joint and damage to its surrounding ligaments. Muscles need to be used regularly to make them strong but they also need to be stretched regularly to make them flexible. Upper Crossed Syndrome can contribute to a host of issues and symptoms may often include: neck pain, upper back pain, “knotted” muscles, trigger points, headaches, TMJ problems, numbness and tingling into the arms, shoulder pain, limited range of motion, and even breathing problems, which decreases the ability of the rib cage to expand.

Treatment for Upper Crossed Syndrome can vary per individual. However with a basic functional examination, checking movement patterns and palpation to the neck and shoulders, a treatment plan can be designed specifically for you. In my office I use the Janda approach (http://www.jandaapproach.com/the-janda-approach/jandas-syndromes/). Based on what the functional exam reveals, we are able to provide a treatment plan consisting of specific exercises to help strengthen the inhibited or weak muscles and stretch and lengthen the tight or over active muscles. I also include soft tissue therapies such as Active Release Technique and Graston Technique (instrument assisted soft tissue work) to help mobilize the muscles. Another key component to treatment is chiropractic adjustments.  A thorough chiropractic exam is performed to locate which joints are restricted and not moving efficiently. By adjusting the joint and freeing up these restrictions this helps improve overall mobility of both the spine and soft tissue

Upper Crossed Syndrome is a chronic condition, however if treated properly it can be corrected with time and effort. If you feel you have poor posture or suffer from any of the symptoms provided within the article, contact our office to schedule a FREE consultation to see if care in our office is right for you.

“I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act.” Bill Gates

Author:  Aron Ferguson DC, ART

Contact our office today to set up a free consultation: 402-327-0400

We are located at 4220 Lucile Dr., Ste 2, Lincoln, NE 68506 (NE Corner of 76th and Pioneers)

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