Neck Pain and Upper-Crossed Syndrome

In normal head and neck posture, the center of the shoulder joints are located vertically in line with the base of the skull behind the ear while the muscles of the back side of the neck act to maintain balance and keep the head in the correct position. 

Sitting at a computer or using a smartphone for long lengths of time can lead to a muscular imbalance - referred to as an "upper-crossed syndrome" (UCS) - where specific muscles in the upper back, neck, and the chest muscles are too tight. These hypertonic muscles "cross" with weakness of the deep neck flexors in the front of the neck and the middle and lower trapezius of the mid-back. This results in the classic forward head posture and rounded shoulders often associated with poor posture or "text neck." 

Fortunately, forward head posture can be remedied with exercises to strengthen the weak muscles and stretch the overly tight muscles.  Here are a few:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upper crossed syndrome, text neck, and forward head posture can also lend to joint fixations in the cervical and thoracic spine, which can be addressed by one of our chiropractic clinicians here at QOMC with spinal manipulative therapy. We can also walk you through these and other exercises to restore normal posture depending on your unique situation. 

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