Was your mom correct in saying, “Sit up straight!”? Did any of us actually listen? It seems the majority of people are quite oblivious to harmful posture. The next time you are in public, make a point to observe how people stand, walk, and sit. It will soon be clear why keeping our backs straight is so important. It is most obvious to see in the elderly, but it can also be found in younger adults and even our youth. Years sitting behind a desk with poor posture can causes serious issues; one of them being Upper Cross Syndrome. This occurs when the musculature of the upper back and neck are stretched and weakened; while, at the same time, the opposing musculature is tightened and shortened. This mainly affects muscles around the shoulder, upper back, chest, and neck.
This “hunched over” posture may not seem like an immediate health threat at first, but some painful symptoms can develop over time. According to Ocala Chiropractic and Wellness, Upper Cross Syndrome (UCS) may bring shoulder pain, headaches, neck aches, and overall back pain. People that sit at a desk for long hours reading or using a computer might show signs of this syndrome. Even avid readers need to beware. It can easily be spotted by the forward head carriage, internally rotated shoulders, and an upper body that is bent forward. It is difficult not to notice once you know what to look for. All this can even be seen while the individual is standing or sitting straight.
Self-examination is the first step in determining if UCS is present. Stand sideways while looking in a mirror to see if your ears are positioned behind your shoulders. Then check to see if your shoulder blades rise higher than the center of your back. Since this syndrome puts a lot of strain on the spine, numbness and tingling in the muscles or joints are common. If left untreated for too long, one might experience permanent damage that cannot be undone. So, if you show any signs of UCS, it is crucial to correct your “slouch” and realign your posture.
In order to reverse UCS, the weak muscles need to be strengthened or stretched; also, the spine will require manipulation. Corrective exercises that work the entire shoulder and upper body will most likely be prescribed. Another step is to avoid prolonged periods of holding the same posture. Some examples of this include long sessions of sitting, standing, or biking without much movement or stretching. Stay active and pay attention to your posture throughout the day.
Chiropractors are specifically trained on how to reverse Upper Cross Syndrome (UCS) symptoms. They use spinal manipulation to adjust the curvature and location of your vertebrae. Another treatment that is used in conjunction with manipulation is a soft tissue massage. It can be difficult to loosen tight muscles when their exact location is unknown. That is why a professionally trained Chiropractor is able to determine best what treatments are needed. They use methods that assist the body to heal itself. In the case of Upper Cross Syndrome, only a Chiropractor deals with its symptoms and treatment on a daily basis.
If you have any questions about Upper Cross Syndrome or think you might be experiencing UCS, please contact Ocala Chiropractic and Wellness for more information at 352-671-3100. They are located at 1701 NE 42nd Ave, Suite 403 in Ocala. You may also find answers by visiting their website: www.ocalachiropracticandwellness.com.