Upper Crossed Body Syndrome

Upper crossed body syndrome is becoming increasingly more common, especially in office based workers. Many of us are aware that sitting at our desks for long periods of time has a detrimental effect on our bodies, we often try to compensate for this by participating in a sport or some kind of physical activity. However, depending on which sport you chose to participate in you could actually be adding to the problem.

Upper crossed body syndrome is observed in people who suffer from rounded shoulders. This is commonly seen in office based workers hunched over their keyboard with their chin pushed forward. The picture below demonstrates where the name upper crossed body syndrome is derived from, it is a combination of tight and weak opposing muscles. Pain is often felt in the upper back and neck area along with the feeling of not being able to hold your posture well.

Having a tight upper trapezius results in the shoulders being elevated and closer to your ear. Tight pectorals cause your shoulders to be pulled forward and result in the hunched over position. Having weak cervical flexors and rhomboids means the body is not capable of holding itself in place, therefore it is necessary to including strengthening work as well as loosening of the pectoral, upper trapezius and levator scap muscles.

Upper crossed body syndrome can also be more prevalent in certain sports such as cycling and rowing. The mechanical demands on the body naturally encourages tightness and weakness in the muscles associated with upper crossed body syndrome, therefore it is important to maintain your body well and understand this injury is not only found in the sedentary population.

There are many methods to treat upper crossed body syndrome but all methods have the same end goal, to loosen and relax the tight muscles and to strengthen the weak muscles. Method can include strengthening exercises, stretches, massage therapy, dry needling and a home care plan. If you think you may be suffering from upper crossed body syndrome or think you know someone who is then please feel free to tag them in this article. Also, if you would like to discuss this in further detail with us then you can call us on 0484 775 415 or visit us in clinic

Tip: most people find relief after loosening of their pectorals as their shoulders will sit back in their natural position, massage is the best way to do this. However, this pec stretch is also a great tool to use. Give it a go and see if it helps you! Placement of your hands on the bar or stick will vary depending on your individual flexibility, you can determine the best position for yourself by trying a closer or wider grip. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and do it 3 times. You can do this once or twice daily.

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Cannington Clinic

Unit 30/53 Cecil Avenue

Cannington WA 6107

Mount Hawthorn Clinic

Oxford Street Health Centre 

396 Oxford Street
Mt Hawthorn WA 6016