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Upper Cross Syndrome

What is Upper Cross Syndrome?


Upper Cross Syndrome is a common pattern of muscular imbalance that often develops from prolonged office/computer work or sitting with poor posture. The presentation is rounded shoulders and a forward-head position. The large muscle groups become sore and overactive/irritated, while the smaller “core” muscles are inhibited or turned off. Consequently, stress is placed on the joints and ligaments, resulting in pain and decreased range of motion.


Common Symptoms
Neck pain, stiff shoulders, headaches (often called “tension-type” headaches), stiff upper/mid back, shoulder/arm pain and/or numbness, and “cracking” around the shoulder blade.


upper cross sydrome










Common Causes

  • Poor Posture
  • Long hours sitting at a computer, desk, or in the car
  • Previous injury (car accident)


What can you do at home?

  • Gentle stretching of tight musculature
  • Exercises to strengthen weak or inhibited muscles that support the neck and shoulders
  • Avoid prolonged positions (take “micro-breaks” and monitor posture)


How is it Treated?

  • Soft tissue treatments to target tight and tender muscles (massage, Active Release Technique)
  • Joint manipulation or mobilization to improve joint mobility
  • Postural re-training, muscular re-education, strengthening of shoulder blade or “scapular” muscles (the “core” of the shoulder)


How Can Teamworks Health Clinic Help?


Chiropractic Doctors at Teamworks utilize treatment methods that are extremely diverse, including manual therapy joint procedures (spinal manipulation, Activator method), soft tissue injury techniques (Active Release Techniques®, Graston Technique®), Neuroproprioceptive taping (Kinesiology Tape), electrotherapeutic modalities and specific rehabilitation exercises.


Teamworks Registered Physiotherapists utilize a variety of manual therapy techniques, corrective postural training, and customized exercise/stretching programs to target muscular imbalances.


Registered Massage Therapy
Our massage therapists provide deep tissue release using various myofascial techniques in order to reduce chronic stress and strain patterns, remove scar tissue, and restore ideal movement between muscles and tendons.


The insertion of very fine needles into over-active muscles can cause it to release tension and relax. It is also extremely effective for both pain management and to calm excited nerves. Teamworks Health Clinic provides both Contemporary and Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture to restore ideal tissue function.


Clinical Dietetics
It is true that we are what we eat. The human body is great at healing itself, though if the proper fuel is lacking (balanced nutrients through proper food choices), the body’s healing capacity is affected. Our Registered Dietitian provides patients with the necessary tools to make healthy food choices in order to optimize healing. She also supports dietary changes in a variety of clinical conditions.

Our collective of highly qualified and accredited healthcare practitioners share a passion for professional collaboration and comprehensive patient care. Come and meet us at the clinic.