If you’ve never heard of upper crossed syndrome, it’s quite common in our world today, and there are a few signs and symptoms that come with it. The syndrome occurs when the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and chest become deformed due to poor posture.

The name comes from the weak and overly tense muscles throughout your shoulder and chest areas that are arranged in a crisscross pattern. If you have the syndrome, the muscles in the back of your neck are getting worked incredibly hard, which will lead to unnecessary stress and strain. Your chest’s major and minor pectoralis muscles will shorten and tighten since they’ll get used to moving into their new, albeit improper, position. Some of the muscles that are meant to be worked with the aforementioned moving muscles may also weaken because they won’t be used as intended.

Causes of Upper Crossed Syndrome

The culprit is a poor, hunched posture along with an inactive lifestyle. If you sit or stand for long periods of time with your head tilted forward, you’re actually training your muscles to stay this way. Activities that contribute to this include driving, using a computer, playing on your cell phone, reading, and workouts like biking, lifting weights, and swimming. If you want to avoid further injury, you should visit a Charlotte chiropractor so that they can help you create a personal healing plan that fits your body.


If you suspect that you might have this syndrome, there are a few telltale signs you can look for. Upper cross syndrome is characterized by a constantly forward-leaning head. You will feel stiffness in your neck and back as well as chronic pain and muscle damage. If your spine starts to develop an unnatural curve where your neck is supposed to curve in as your upper back curves out, you might see a hunch in your back. Your shoulders will slump forward, and your shoulder blades will stick out instead of lining straight down your back.


Some of the symptoms that come with upper crossed syndrome can really impact our bodies and cause major discomfort. These symptoms may include fatigue, headaches, pain after prolonged sitting, tingling or pain throughout your arms, tightness in your neck and chest, tension on your back or a weak front side, soreness in your shoulder blades, jaws, lower back, and limited range of motion in your upper body.


For treatment, suffers must see a chiropractor. He or she will know what exercises and physical therapy you’ll need to correct this syndrome. You may feel some pain and discomfort in the beginning, but it’s important to stretch and get used to it. You will heal a lot faster under a chiropractor’s care than if you just exercised alone. After any adjustments, your joints may feel a lot more aligned, finally allowing your muscles to relax and stretch accordingly. After a little while, you can start getting into deeper stretches.


Prevention is always better than cure, so you want to try your hardest to avoid activities that require you to sit with your head forward for any amount of time. If you must sit at a computer all day for work, try to make a conscious decision to maintain proper posture.

Other ways you can prevent upper cross syndrome is by getting at least 30 minutes of cardio every day, stretching and exercising those muscles in your neck, shoulders, back, and chest. You can also try keeping your books, phones, and even steering wheels at eye level.

Tebby Chiropractic and Sports Medicine Clinic provides chiropractic services in Charlotte, NC. Get in touch today to see how we can help with your back pain.

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