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Upper Cross Syndrome

Upper Cross Syndrome

Upper cross syndrome is a series of postural and muscular imbalances which lead to pain and inflammation in the neck, upper back, and shoulder regions. Weakness of the cervical flexors and rhomboids muscles in conjunction with tightness of the suboccipital, trapezius and pectoralis muscles frequently cause dysfunction of the cervical, thoracic and glenohumeral joints. The postural changes seen in upper cross syndrome include forward head carriage, elevated and forward rounded shoulders, and an increase in thoracic kyphosis. The postural and muscular imbalances seen in this syndrome may have a direct effect on the joint surfaces causing joint degeneration.


How can chiropractic care help?

Upper cross syndrome is often a cause or a result of structural imbalances in the neck, upper back and shoulders which causes contracture or weakness of the surrounding muscles. The goal of chiropractic care is to restore motion back in the joint and relieve stress on that area with focus on relaxation of the hypertonic (tight) muscles and re-strengthening of hypotonic (weak) surrounding muscles. In this scenario, postural education and awareness will be key part of the healing process.

Stretches for Upper Cross Syndrome

-Child's pose

-Shoulder rolls

-Wall push-up

-Resisted shoulder blade squeeze

-Resisted rows

-Levator scapula stretch

-Trap stretch

-Chin tucks



-Pec stretch

-Chest expansion

-Belly Breathing

-Bird Dog


-Vitamin D

-B Vitamins such as B6 & B12


-N-acetyl cysteine



-Avoid high histamine foods (alcohol, canned foods, cheese, chocolate, nuts, beans)

-Avoid caffeine, excessive salt & sugar. Increase intake of healthy oils/ cold-water fish & avocado

-Avoid foods that contain aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG)// Diet coke & fried foods

-Identify and avoid allergenic foods Increase intake of whole, raw, organic produce

-Drink at least 70 oz of water daily


-Epsom Salt baths = Magnesium

-CBD Cream

-Deep Blue Essential Oil

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