Do You Have Upper Crossed Syndrome?

upper crossed syndromeSitting has become the ‘smoking’ of our generation.  The human body is not designed to sit in a chair, let alone do this for the majority of our waking hours.  This posture creates a chronic flexed body position that can lead to muscle tension, joint instability, headaches, and pain syndromes over time.  The term for this is Upper Crossed Syndrome, first coined by Dr. Vladimir Janda in 1979.

Posturally, this presents as forward head carriage, rounded shoulders, and rounded upper-mid back.  Over time, this can create pain, headaches, and other more serious conditions.   Here is what’s happening:

Tight & Contracted muscles: Upper Trapezius, Levator Scapula, Suboccipitals, Sternocliedomastoid, Pectoralis

Weak & Inhibited muscles: Lower Trapezius, Serratus Anterior, Rhomboids, Deep Cervical Flexors


1.    Realignment of spine

This is most effectively done through chiropractic care.

2.    Stretch tight muscles

Pectoralis stretch is most critical.  Massage can be helpful for suboccipital muscle lengthening.  Foam roller extension (horizontal placement across mid-upper back) can help with spinal motion.

3.    Strengthen weak muscles

Seated Row will strengthen Rhomboids and Lower Trapezius

4.    Ergonomic training

Hips, knees, & elbows should be at 90 degrees when sitting.  Center of computer monitor should be directly in front of you and at eye level.  Lumbar spine should be supported with curvature or small pillow.  Keep head from moving in front of shoulders.

Upper Crossed Syndrome is correctable in most cases if the above plan is followed diligently.  Seeking out the guidance of a health professional is advised.

~Noah Kaplan D.C.