One of the most common problems I see in the office is upper cross syndrome due to auto accidents and or work postures. Upper cross syndrome sometimes referred to as forward head carriage occurs when muscles become imbalanced as a result or car accidents or jobs that require the person to constantly have their arms out in from of them. Some of these jobs include but are not limited to Mechanics, Hairdressers, Cooks, Dishwashers, Students, and anybody spending significant time in front of a computer. The neck muscles in the back of the neck contract (shorten) and the neck muscles in the front of the neck lengthen and become weak. The chest muscles contract (shorten), and the muscles in between the shoulder blades lengthen and become weak. Upper Cross Syndrome causes imbalance, and pain, often resulting in future Arthritis (see my blog on Arthritis).
So what can be done about this or how can I prevent this from happening.
One option would be to get another job. I realize that this is not a practical option in most cases, so what do we do?
1. Get Adjusted. I will not go into detail on this one because it was covered in previous blogs. I will say that when the muscles are imbalanced the vertebra can not move in a normal range of motion they become restricted. Simply removing the irritant will not be sufficient means to restore motion into them. The vertebra need adjusting especially when a syndrome like this occurs.
2. Exercises. I’m not talking about going out for a jog, or a couple of pushups here and there. I’m talking about specifically targeted exercises to stretch the tight, short muscles, and strengthen the elongated weak muscles. Watch the video above for instructions on how to properly implement this easy to follow system.
Yours for better health,
Dr. Ryan Giel