Neck Pain & Headaches: The Upper Cross Syndrome

Neck Pain & Headaches: A Common Cause

What Is Upper Cross Syndrome?

Upper crossed syndrome, also known as “student syndrome” or “corporate syndrome”, is a pattern of tight and weak muscles the body develops based off of one’s postural tendencies. The most common trait for someone with upper crossed syndrome rounded shoulders and the head positioned in front of the shoulders. This is a very common occurrence in today’s population. In fact, there is a good chance that even YOU have it!

The people this effects the most are those that sit all day, usually in front of a computer or at a desk: hence the student or corporate syndrome! Most people in these situations either find themselves leaning over a desk to read, or hunched at a computer typing all day. In order to maintain this unnatural position, the body has to continually contract certain muscles and stretch others. Maintaining this position daily for hours on a regular basis causes the contracted muscles to shorten and the stretched muscles to lengthen.

Muscles that are typically affected are: Contracted and tight upper traps and chest muscles. Stretched and weak upper back and front neck muscles This pattern of imbalance creates joint dysfunction in the following areas: base of the skull, middle and lower neck, midback and shoulder joints. Long term joint dysfunction can produce arthritic degeneration, nerve root irritation, disc degeneration and adhesions

Symptoms of Upper Cross Syndrome.

Along with the postural distortions, common symptoms of UCS include:

  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Pain or tingling down the arms,
  • Midback pain,
  • Tightness in shoulders (stress)
  • Shoulder impingement syndromes
  • Rotator cuff instability.

How is Upper Cross Syndrome treated?

The chiropractic approach to treating UCS is one of the most effective forms of treatment for this condition. Initially the main object is to reduce the pain and inflammation of the affects of UCS. After that it is to restore normal motion and joint alignment with specific chiropractic adjustments. while specific rehabilitative exercises are performed to re-balance the muscles.

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms or you have “bad posture” call our office at (314) 731.4383 to schedule an appointment. You may just have Upper Cross Syndrome. There is no reason to suffer any longer!