Upper Crossed Syndrome describes a type of common muscle imbalance.
This occurs when the neck flexors and the middle back become weak while the pectoral muscles and the muscles at the base of the skull become tight. This produces a familiar pain pattern at the base of the neck and the shoulders, as well as joint dysfunction at the base of the skull and shoulders.
The main physical causes of this condition are:
- Desk job
- Too much sitting
- Driving long hours
- Poor posture
However, with the proper education, you can protect yourself from many of these causes. The primary sufferers of this condition, especially chronic cases, often have poor posture while sitting at a desk for most of the day. A co-morbid factor is a sedentary lifestyle with little physical activity. This poor sitting posture leads to a re-enforcement of the Upper Crossed Syndrome, and it is crucial that you arrange your workstation to facilitate a proper posture as best as possible.
The best way to combat this problem is, of course, to prevent it before it starts.
If possible, minimize sitting for long periods of time and take frequent work breaks to take short walks around the office to reset your posture.
There are methods of rehabilitative exercise that can be taught to you to reverse any damage already done and prevent a progression of this condition, as well as instill healthy habits for you to employ for the rest of your life.
What You Can Do About It
If you are currently experiencing low back pain that you may believe is related to Upper Crossed Syndrome, this condition can be conservatively managed relatively quickly.