Upper Crossed Syndrome – how can remedial massage help?

What is Upper Crossed Syndrome (UCS)?

Upper Crossed Syndrome (UCS) a very common musculoskeletal imbalance of the upper body. It is usually caused by poor posture or repetitive tasks in prolonged standing or sitting positions. As a result, particular muscles become chronically tight and shortened due to becoming overactive. These include the muscles of the upper back and neck (upper trapezius, levator scapula & sub-occipitals), and the chest (pectoralis). Excessive shortening of muscles, results in an imbalance. The surrounding counter muscles are under used and weak. These include the muscles of the upper back (mid-lower trapezius, rhomboids & serratus anterior), and the deep cervical flexors in the neck. This muscular imbalance results in rounded shoulders, winging of shoulder blades, and a forward head position with a protruding chin.

What are the Symptoms of UCS?

  • Neck & jaw pain
  • Headaches
  • Pain, tension and restricted mobility in the neck, upper back, shoulders, chest & ribs
  • Weakness in the front of the neck, while strain in the back of the neck
  • In some cases pain,numbness, and tingling in the upper arms
  • Lower back pain
  • Discomfort when sitting to read, watch TV and prolonged driving
  • Fatigue
  • If untreated can result in chronic conditions such as shoulder instability, impingement and bursitis.

What Causes UCS?

UCS can present itself because of prolonged poor posture, eg. standing or sitting for long periods with the head pushed forward.

  • Reading
  • Watching TV
  • Using a iphone, laptop, or computer
  • Cycling
  • Driving
  • Congenital defects or injuries in small cases.

How can a remedial massage therapist (RMT) provide relief for individuals with UCS?

An RMT can use their skills in soft tissue work and a variety of techniques to release the tight and overactive muscles, and then stimulate the weak and underactive muscles. This is beneficial in order to properly encourage them to activate and strengthen. An RMT will then formulate a treatment plan which can include simple self-care exercises and stretches to manage UCS causes and relieve symptoms.

At Enhance Physiotherapy, a skilled RMT such as myself can be used as an effective complementary treatment for UCS.  Especially most effective in conjunction with treatment and exercises prescribed by our experienced team of Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists.

Briella RMT

(08) 9583 5165

Enhance Physiotherapy – Mandurah 

How a Remedial Massage Therapist (RMT) can contribute to general health and wellbeing.

What is remedial massage?

Remedial massage is a form of bodywork used to identify and repair damaged areas of the body and increase the body’s own healing processes.

A skilled RMT plans to identify the reason for the tension and pain, treating both the cause and the symptoms.

What’s involved in remedial massage?

A range of techniques involving deep compression of local nerve and hypersensitive areas in muscles.

This can aid the release of toxins, relieve muscle and joint tension, and help pain management by way of stimulating the release of endorphins.

Passive or facilitated stretching is applied and recommended in order to lengthen the soft tissue, therefore preventing further tension and pain.

What are the post remedial massage effects?

In the initial 24-48hrs after your  treatment Individuals many experience the “Healing Crisis” which includes the following symptoms:

  • Pain/Tenderness & Stiffness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Light Headedness
  • Insatiable Thirst
  • Increased Urination
  • Emotional Upsets

To reduce the severity of these after effects it is advised to do the following: 

  •  Drink at least 2 litres of water daily.
  • Avoid alcohol for at least 4-6 hours post treatment.
  • Refrain from vigorous activity for at least 24 hrs post treatment.
  • Elevate your feet above your heart. Relax and Meditate.

What are the health benefits of remedial massage?

  • Stimulate the blood supply
  • Releasing muscle tension and pain
  • Increase joint mobility
  • Aid the repair damaged tissues
  • Improves posture
  • Immune boosting and increasing circulation
  • Stress reduction and heightened alertness
  • Improves skin tone
  • Relief from chronic complaints

The overall aim of the RMT is to provide balance to the length, tone and tension of muscles and tendons, which restores the correct position of the bones, increases blood flow and helps heal injuries.

In conjunction with a team of Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologist at Enhance Physiotherapy, a skilled RMT such as myself will formulate the most ideal treatment plan and provide the highest level of care to those in need.

Apart from being a RMT for the past 16yrs, here are 5 things you might not know about me:

  • Has a partner for 20yrs and two gorgeous girls, 5 and 7yrs old.
  • Favorite fitness activity is swimming and walking.
  • Avid reader and movie/doco buff, esp crime thrillers and suspense.
  • Enjoys giving others energy healing using the benefits Reiki and Chakra Balancing.
  • Loves to go out dancing as it’s grounding and good for the soul!!

Briella

RMT at Enhance Physiotherapy Mandurah – to book an appointment with Briella call our clinic on 9583 5165.

Getting out of an exercise slump

I’ve seen this time and time again but have also experienced it personally when you go in and out of an exercise routine. Whether you have been sick, away on holiday or have other countless excuses with finances or the very popular no time.

Despite these, yes it can be hard to get the ball rolling again and get back to exercise but here are my recommendations.

  1. Starting Exercise

It has been a while since you’ve been back to some regular exercise, I strongly recommend chatting to a health professional (aka me, an Exercise Physiologist or one of my many amazing friends at Enhance Physiotherapy) to see if exercise is safe for you.

  1. Goal Setting

Not just thinking about how nice it would be to do XYZ, actually putting pen to paper and writing down some achievable and measurable goals that you want to work towards. For example number of exercise sessions per week. Keep these goals on hand by putting them on your fridge so you can be reminded of why you’re doing this.

  1. Exercise Type

Try and pick the type of exercise that you will enjoy. If you hate going to the gym at 5am don’t do it… You’re more likely to stay consistent with a type of exercise that you enjoy.

  1. Friends!

Not only someone to chat to but someone to give you that motivation and extra push. Its ok to have those hard days when the motivation is low, however exercising with a friend makes it so much more achievable!

  1. Food

Making sure you’re fueling your body to succeed with balanced and healthy meals. If you goal is to lose weight you can’t just starve yourself…  that not fun, nor is it healthy or something that you can maintain for long term. You end up putting more weight on, trust me I do this to earn a living.

I hope these tips are helpful and if you have any burning questions come visit me at any one of our 3 clinics or give me a call. I’m happy to chat and to help you with your exercise journey!

Samantha

Sam is our full time Exercise Physiologist. To book an appointment with Sam call our clinic on 9583 5165.