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 

What’s it like to be an Exercise Physiologist?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”2291″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]First question I get asked almost once a day is what is an Exercise Physiologist? It’s a big fancy word to say, I specialise in knowing how the human body functions and how movements like exercise can alter this. Knowing this I prescribe specific exercises to my patients, athletes and clients all depending on their needs and goals. So how did I become an Exercise Physiologist?

When I started at university I was originally enrolled in teaching, however it was evident that this wasn’t quite the job for me. I wanted to educate individuals but not in algebra, instead something that I’m passionate in. Throughout my degree I was taught numerous evidence based practice strategies to help individuals depending on performance, illnesses, conditions, injuries as so on. However I was never taught this passion. I knew I wanted to make a difference, not change the world, but to be able to help that one person that feels like the world is against them.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2158″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]As a child I always had an active lifestyle. I did lots of dancing, playing outside with friends and family, competing in team sports and extreme sports; but I never thought that one day I would grow up and teach a ballerina how to stop their knee’s from hurting, then to go on an win a major competition or to help my elderly patients walk again after falling.

Exercise for a lot of people is seen as a punishment. Something used to help change something that’s negative. I tell a lot of my patients that working for a reward instead of irradiating a problem is the way to do it. Exercise should be used as a way to show off your strengths and make you feel amazing and empowered. Not so you can have that doughnut…

So what’s it like to be that team player, the coach, the health professional, the shoulder to cry on, the friend, the specialist, the exercise lady, the motivator, the smiling assassin, the Exercise Physiologist? It’s something that has its challenges but also its amazing benefits, that I wouldn’t change anything for.

Samantha – The Exercise Physiologist

To book an appointment with Sam or to find out more about how you can work together to achieve your health and fitness goals, call our Clinic on (08) 9583 5165.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2295″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row]