What is Upper Cross Syndrome?

How do I know if I have upper cross syndrome and How to fix it?

What is an upper cross syndrome?

The upper cross syndrome is a muscle imbalance, characterized by a group of muscles being too tight and another group of muscles being too weak.

What are the characteristics of upper cross syndrome?

  • elevated & rounded shoulder
  • forwarded head
  • winging scapula
  • neck with an excessive inward curvature
  • upper back with an excessive outward curvature

What does each of the affected muscles do?

Group of tight muscles 

Bend neck, rotate the neck 

Elevates shoulder blade and side-bend the neck.

Brings the arm across the midline of the body; rotates upper arm inward, and bend the arm at the shoulder joint.

Stabilizes the shoulder when the shoulder blade is fixed; helps to elevate the ribs

Elevates shoulder; and extend our neck

Extends neck, and rotates head 

Group of weak muscles 

Retracts shoulder

Depresses shoulder blade 

Draws shoulder blades against thorax to protract shoulders

Bends neck

Most of the muscle’s name might not be unfamiliar to you. But in other words, the disorder is telling you the posture is not right!

So what will happen if I have poor posture?

It may lead to:

  • Neck or shoulder joint inflammation 
  • Headache
  • Chest tight
  • Muscle strain during manual lifting

Who is the high-risk group for upper crossed syndrome?

  • Drivers
  • Laundry workers
  • Office workers
  • Professional cyclists
  • Craftsmen
  • Cake decorator
  • Graphic Designers
  • Dentists
  • Massagers

How to fix an upper cross syndrome?

Whether you have upper cross syndrome or not,  all of us should practice the following:

  • Take frequent short break when using laptop or reading 
  • Keep our posture upright by pulling back shoulder 
  • Check your eyesight, in case you find difficult in reading your screen
  • Adjust your working table height so that you won’t hunch 
  • Improve your working strategy. Things like learning the shortcut key input when you need to handle large amount of data.
  • Apply heating pads over your neck or shoulder to relieve tension

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