What is Upper Cross? Upper cross is a condition that many of us have and do not even realize it. It develops over time from an imbalance in our muscles, as show in the picture above. While this condition is not something that is life threatening or a serious problem, over time it can wear our body down causing several structural and functional problems.
Upper cross is defined by the chart above which consist of weak cervical flexors ( in the front of our neck), weak Rhomboids (the muscle behind our shoulder blade’s) and Tight Pectorals (chest) and Tight Trapsezius ( upper shoulders). These pattern develops often times due to prolonged sitting with insufficient strength in the back and anterior neck muscles. Over time these muscles become weak due to the stresses and inactivity of our daily lives. When this happens our neck loses the critical support it needs, in addition our thoracic spine ends up taking more strain due to the decreased support. Many of us have some degree of upper cross without realizing it. Typically it presents with tightness in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades, or pain in the neck or upper back region.While a little pain and discomfort might not seem like a big deal, as I said it can turn into a major problem if left unchecked.
As an example the head of an average male (5’10 170lbs) weighs about 13 pounds. Now with proper posture that 13 pounds is all the body has to support, however say that same head is shifted forward a meager 3 inches. Now the head is exerting a force equal to if it was 60 pounds! Think about that for a second, 60 pounds is a huge weight for our neck and shoulder muscles to carry. If this persists it can lead to degeneration, or disc issues in our cervical spine and its no mystery why!
Looking to Fix Your Upper Cross Sydrome?
If ever you feel that you are having any of the symptoms listed above please contact our office for a free consultation to see if we can help (573) 250-7427!, check in next week for some preventative measures we can do to minimize Upper Cross.