Are You Upper-Crossed?
The human body is intricately designed for all kinds of diverse movements and is capable of performing the most amazing athletic feats. With over 500 muscles in the body that connects to a strong skeletal structure, our bodies are both powerful and durable.
Each side of the body is covered in muscles arranged into muscle groups and have specific roles in movement. Some muscles make the primary movement in an action while others fix joints in place, help primary actions, and counter actions. The muscles that counter actions are called antagonists.
Muscle imbalances occur when certain muscle groups become overworked or too strong, underused or too weak, or become spasmodic and dysfunctional due to injury to the skeleton, joints, or muscle itself. If muscle imbalances occur in the neck, shoulders, and mid back, you may develop upper cross syndrome which may lead to:
- Forward head and straightening of the spine in the neck
- Spinal disc degeneration in the neck and mid back
- Poor muscle control or muscle weakness in the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand
- Shoulder dysfunction leading to injury
- Increased curvature or ‘hunchback’ in the mid back
Many people begin to develop some neck degeneration associated with upper crossed syndrome around the age of 30, but due to an increase of personal tech devices and exposure to technology at younger ages, sedentary lifestyles, and lack of education on posture, the prevalence of this condition is presenting its self at younger ages and may cause symptoms such as:
- Headaches or migraines
- Ringing in ears
- Jaw pain
- Frozen Shoulder
- Tennis Elbow
- Chest pains
- Sleep disorders or disturbance
As the posture begins to deteriorate due to imbalances between muscles, such as pectoralis minor in the chest and lower trapezius in the back, the body and its ability to detect body position during movement (proprioception) declines as the dysfunction increases.
“…results demonstrate that cervical spine position sense declines as postural misalignment becomes more severe.”
“Relationship between position sense and reposition errors according to the degree of uppercrossed syndrome”
Chiropractic manipulation, in conjunction with other therapies, can help correct misalignments, improve muscle strength and decrease muscle spasms in the body that cause muscle imbalances. According to one study:
“Patients initially consulting MDs had significantly less reduction in their numerical pain rating score and were significantly less likely to be satisfied with the care received and the outcome of care.”
“Spinal, hip, and shoulder pain patients had clinically similar pain relief, greater satisfaction levels, and lower overall cost if they initiated care with DCs, when compared with those who initiated care with MDs.”
“First-contact care with a medical vs chiropractic provider…comparison of outcomes”
Whether you visit your general practitioner or choose Chiropractic for your health, anytime pain is present in the body, or have concerns about your posture, it may be time to act. At Forever Well Chiropractic, we use a myriad of methods and techniques to create an individualized treatment approach for each condition.