Sitting at a computer or watching tv for long periods of time can contribute to poor posture in your neck and upper back. More and more people are presenting with stooped, rounded shoulders and necks bent forward, often to better view tech devices like phones, tablets, and computers. This relatively new phenomenon is sometimes called “tech neck” or “text neck,” and is one of the main contributors of neck and back pain. This can lead to an imbalance in your neck and back muscles known as Upper Cross Syndrome. If you are experiencing neck and back pain due to poor posture, your Cedar Park chiropractor can help!
What Is Upper Cross Syndrome?
When muscles in your neck, shoulders, and upper back compensate for poor posture it can result in Upper Cross Syndrome. These muscles can become deformed and overactive as they work to support your body in this unhealthy posture where your head and neck are pushed forward and your shoulders are hunched over. This type of position is common if you are leaning over a computer, laptop, tablet, cell phone, or even the steering wheel. Upper Cross Syndrome is a postural imbalance where your neck, upper back, and shoulder muscles become tight and weakened, which causes forward head posture and rounded, hunched shoulders and upper back.
What Are the Symptoms of Upper Cross Syndrome?
There are several symptoms associated with Upper Cross Syndrome that a Cedar Park chiropractor can help with. You may experience pain in your neck, upper back, and shoulders. You may also experience headaches, jaw pain, and sore muscles. When your muscles that support proper posture weaken and tighten over time, it can make sitting for long periods uncomfortable. You may also notice difficulty turning your neck from side to side. While Upper Cross Syndrome affects your head, neck, and upper body, it can also cause symptoms of back pain. When your body overcompensates for poor posture, it can put excessive stress and strain on other parts of your body like your chest, ribs, and lower back.
What Causes Upper Cross Syndrome?
Upper Cross Syndrome is primarily caused by poor posture. When you sit hunched over or with your neck pushed forward for long periods of time, your muscles will eventually start to compensate for this posture. However, these are not natural, healthy postures for your body, so you will likely start to notice pain and discomfort over time. Upper Cross Syndrome is typically cyclical, where your poor posture can lead to your muscles becoming unbalanced, and then an imbalance in your muscles can contribute to poor posture. Prolonged periods of poor posture without corrective, counteractive postures will contribute to continued imbalances in the muscles that support your body.
How a Chiropractor Can Help
Cedar Park chiropractors study the spine and its effects on the rest of the body. A neutral spine and healthy posture are keys to reducing pain and discomfort in your daily life. When your head is pushed forward out of its neutral position you will begin to experience neck pain. Similarly, when you hunch your shoulders and upper back for long periods of time, this can lead to misalignments in your spine and continued poor posture. A chiropractor can help improve your posture to help reduce the amount of stress and strain on your spine and muscles due to this type of poor posture. Chiropractic adjustments can also resolve any misalignments in your spine and joints, which can help improve functioning and range of motion. Your Cedar Park chiropractor may also use therapeutic massage and stretches to help soothe tight, shortened muscles. When you are diagnosed with Upper Cross Syndrome, your chiropractor will use gentle and effective techniques to correct your posture and encourage your muscles to support a healthy spine.
Your chiropractor may also recommend at-home stretches and exercises to help increase range of motion in your neck and upper body. Stretches and exercises can help relax your tightened muscles and strengthen weakened muscles. When you know you will be working over a laptop or seated for a long period of time, take moments out of your day to remember to tuck your chin back toward your chest and pull your shoulders back and down. Stretching and strengthening the muscles that support proper posture can help prevent you from developing Upper Cross Syndrome again in the future. Visit your Cedar Park chiropractor at ProCare Medical Center to learn more about how Upper Cross Syndrome may be affecting you and experience the benefits of natural chiropractic care for neck and back pain.