Are you at risk of developing this increasingly common and painful condition? First, let’s discuss how this condition presents. Quite often people that suffer with Upper Cross syndrome don’t feel any pain until the syndrome has been established for months, maybe even years. The most common symptoms are neck, chest, mid back, and sometimes shoulder pain that begins to presents more and more often.
Those that are commonly affected by Upper Cross syndrome are those who work for spend a significant portion of their day seated, more specifically at a desk. This group includes a significant part of the U.S. population. Each day we are spending more time seated at computers or tablets hunched forward for hours at a time.
In UCS (Upper Cross Syndrome) certain postural muscles become stronger and other become weak due to dysfunction demands placed on them. Specifically, the upper trapezium, levator scapulae, and pectoral muscles become hypersonic (too tight) and the stratus anterior and deep neck flexor become hypotonic (too weak). Those suffering from UCS often appear with a shoulders slumped and neck forward posture.
Over time the dysfunctional posture from UCS will cause inflammation of the neck and back postural muscles leading to pain and soreness of these regions. Other related conditions are, Asthma from the forward arching of the mid back and also damage to the stabilizing muscles of the shoulder. Early onset Osteoarthritis is very common in those with UCS due to the increased stress placed on the joints of the spine and shoulders. Unfortunately Osteoarthritis is irreversible no matter what stage or how early the onset is.
Much can be done to treat UCS and help to stop/prevent the damage it does. If you suffer from any of the complaints or postural in balance mentioned above, a professional evaluation is advised. Treatment for UCS comes in many forms but should only be perform with proper diagnosis and under supervision of your physician. Awareness is key in helping us stop this growing epidemic of the digital age.