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 

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!


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

It’s just a sprain…..it’s not actually torn….right?

Enhance Physiotherapy Como Physio

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”2228″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]We ARE GOING TO BUST THE MYTH!! And it might be boring folks but knowledge is power and knowledge about your own body gives you so much power. I’m excited about writing this blog for everyone because I love ❤ the human body but I must keep in mind not everyone is like minded and I will try not to get too carried away. My chosen topic is joint sprains and muscle strains and tears to joints, ligaments and muscle tissue!!![/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2229″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]Over my 15 years of being a physiotherapist I feel I’ve answered a lot of questions. No silly ones, just genuinely great questions that I love answering (no question about your body is ever silly). But one that never gets too old is “So I’ve just sprained my joint, I haven’t torn it?” Or “so I’ve just strained my hammy I haven’t torn it?”

I’m here today to say YES – yes you have torn it!! So if someone tells you you have a sprain or strain they are telling you that you have created damage aka a tear and you may need to be out of sport for an amount of time as the body recovers from the injury that it has sustained. AND you will have to do rehabilitation to make sure that injury doesn’t happen again.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2230″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]The good news about this myth busting blog is I’m here to give you guys the power; the secret to healing yourselves quicker – the ability to look inside your Physio’s mind and see what’s ticking…..

Firstly, a brief anatomy lesson:

  1. Ligaments attach bone to bone to provide stability to joints. Every joint has ligaments even your spine. Here’s a picture of an ankle showing the most commonly sprained ankle joint the ATFL.

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2233″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]2. Muscles are your prime movers. There are two muscle systems in your body – a local and global (that’s a whole other blog!) but muscles attach to bone via a tendon. Here’s a picture of your hamstring. 3 different muscles make up your hamstring which all become tendons attaching to the bone.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2056″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]Here are the keys to ensuring you never become that person that we have all heard about or from –

The guy who “I tore my hammy it’s never been the same since I keep tearing it over and over again” (weak spot)

The girl who “I sprained my ankle now it’s my dodgy one” (loss of strength and power)

Key points to a full and complete recover of a ligament sprain (tear) or muscle strain (tear) and to ensure you have no weakness and you can be the inner athlete we all want to achieve are –

  1. RICER immediately the most important aspect of RICER in my eyes is compression so compress the area with tape or bandage and ice over the top
  2. Seek Physio (Enhance Physio preferably ?) within the first 72 hours so your Physio can start working on clearing out the inflammation using ultrasound and all other tools at their disposal (aka their hands) and start getting the scar tissue to lie it self down in a useful manner
  3. Rehab – you have got to do your rehab!!!! You have to stretch when it’s time to stretch; you have to strengthen when it’s time to strengthen; you have to do proprioception til the cows come home if you have sprained your ankle and so on! A good Physio (Enhance Physio ?) will lead you through this process
  4. Drink plenty of water in the rehab stage – flush those toxins out
  5. Massage – a good sports massage (Enhance Physio ?) when the time is right in your rehab will help to break down scar tissue so it does not become your weakness.

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”1980″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]All our amazing physiotherapists at Enhance Physio are fully equipped to ensure you become strong fitter and better after an injury. We view everything as an opportunity to be better not a weakness or weak spot. Call us today on 9583 5165 xx Bel[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]