Hunched Back? Upper Crossed Syndrome

UCS refers to a condition where muscle deformity in the neck, upper back and shoulders occurs due to hunched postures or repetitive tasks where the head is in a forward position.


👉The upper traps and levator scapulae muscles become overactive and strained, the pectorals get tight and short and as a result the opposing muscles get weak. These include the anterior neck flexors, rhomboids and lower traps.


👉Causes of UCS include different activities that require prolonged sitting and standing where the head sits forward of the shoulders, like during computer use, driving, watching TV, looking down at devices texting, on social media or playing games, reading and biking. UCS is mostly caused by poor posture.


👉Common deformities to the structure include head forward posture, increased cervical lordosis, increased thoracic kyphosis (hunched back), elevated, protracted (rounded) shoulders, winged scapula. The continuous pull over time causes stress on the surrounding muscles, bones, tendon and joints creating a multitude of symptoms that if not treated properly can result in the inability to walk with our backs straight up in our elderly years.


🔷Symptoms include:

1️⃣Headache

2️⃣Neck pain, upper back and shoulder pain

3️⃣Jaw pain

4️⃣Fatigue

5️⃣Difficulty sitting or driving comfortably for short periods

6️⃣Decreased range of motion in the neck, shoulders and ribs

7️⃣Lower back pain


✅The best treatment is through postural changes from exercises, bodywork and preventative measures! Limiting time watching TV or on devices 📱, taking frequent breaks when sitting at the computer 🖥, cardiovascular ❤️ exercise, stretching the shortened muscles, strengthening the weak muscles, sleeping on a supportive pillow, and practicing good posture.


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