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Upper Cross Syndrome

In this video, Airrosti’s Dr. Stephen Offenburger explains the basics about Upper Cross Syndrome, also known as UCS. He discusses the mechanism of injury, proper posture technique, and preventative exercises. By targeting pain directly at the source and working to strengthen weak muscles, Airrosti eliminates the pain in an average of just three visits. Learn more about Airrosti’s unique approach here.

Upper Cross Syndrome

Although you may not be familiar with the term Upper Cross Syndrome (UCS), you’ve probably seen it. UCS, often caused by chronic bad posture, is signified by rounded shoulders, head in front of the body and an apparent curve in the neck and upper back. It is a condition routinely suffered by the elderly, but it is also common in office workers and even athletes. In fact, it’s one of the most common postural problems in the young and the old.

Simply put, UCS is the weakening and lengthening of the posterior upper back and neck muscles and the coincident tightening and shortening of the opposing anterior pectoral (chest) and neck muscles. The muscles of the human body are inter-connected. When one muscle becomes weak, another muscle takes over the work. In Upper Cross Syndrome, mid-back muscles (seratus and lower trapezius) become very weak. As a result, the pectoral and neck muscles tighten. This causes pain throughout the upper body.

Traditional Treatment Options

UCS should not be left untreated. It is a chronic condition that can lead to significant problems throughout the body. If someone with UCS swims, bikes, or runs, it will exacerbate the faulty mechanics and cause excessive wear to the skeletal system, muscles, and tendons and ligaments.

The correction of this problem involves the strengthening of the weakened posterior musculature and stretching of the tight anterior musculature. Because of chronic poor posture, people with Upper Cross Syndrome generally have numerous problems in the upper back and neck. It is very important to get treated by a musculoskeletal specialist, such as Airrosti, to address the specific problems in the body. Muscular adhesions and trigger points develop that must be removed. This will increase the flexibility of the muscles and joints and ensure full range of motion. Manual treatment should be followed by specific strengthening and stretching exercises to prevent future injury and further restore strength and function.

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