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Upper Crossed Syndrome: Any Advice for Self-Treatment? 

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Upper Cross Syndrome is caused by bad posture and can affect anyone. People who spend many hours a day slouched over a desk are particularly susceptible to this condition. 

You may prevent Upper Cross Syndrome by doing some easy exercises at home. 

If you have Upper Cross Syndrome, how would you know? 

Forward head posture, rounded shoulders and neck, prolonged scapula, and winging of the shoulder blades are all warning indications. 

Rounded-shouldered man looking to the right, head somewhat jutted out. Obvious symptoms of Upper Cross Syndrome. 

Is there a connection between Upper Cross Syndrome and muscle damage? 

When you're happy and relaxed, your chest (Pectoralis Major/Minor) and upper back (Upper Trapezius/Levator Scapulae) muscles contract. Facilitated muscles are those that have been given a boost. 

Muscles in the middle of your back (Rhomboids Major and Minor, Trapezius, and Middle Trapezius) stretch. These muscles are said to be “inhibited.” 

For the assisted muscles to extend and stretch, we must first relax them. 

We have to restore normal muscle contraction by stimulating the muscles that have been repressed. 

Is There Anything I Can Do About My Upper Cross Syndrome? 

You must keep in mind the following three points. 

The correct way to get your muscles working is to “activate.” 

Consider your standing or sitting position. 

Gain Muscular Stamina; Strengthen Up 

Activate 

Avoid sitting at your desk for too long. Those who spend most of their day sitting at a desk and slumped over a computer are at the greatest risk. 

Standing desks are helping this trend in some workplaces. 

Getting up from your desk and moving around for brief periods of time might assist stimulate your muscles and improve your mood. 

Workers whose jobs require them to keep their arms in front of them all day should take note. Workers such as plumbers, electricians, etc. 

Posture 

Maintaining a rounded shoulder is something you should work on. Consider a pencil pressed between your shoulder blades as a constant reminder to keep your head up and your body straight. 

When working at a computer, you can avoid slouching by bringing the monitor to eye level. Placing books under the screen will accomplish this. 

Take a good look at where you're sitting. Support your lower back with a pillow (small of the back). The act of avoiding slouching will be aided by this. 

As a means of alleviating the pain of Upper Cross Syndrome, this woman is working at a desk with her monitor propped up. 

Lower the risk of developing Upper Cross Syndrome by raising your computer screen at your desk. 

A man with his head down and shoulders back, facing right. Strong stance. 

A pictorial illustration of correct posture. 

Strengthen 

The alignment of your muscles can be improved and your posture will stand out more clearly after performing some fundamental strength workouts. 

Performing the following exercises can help stimulate the dormant muscles (in-between shoulder blades). You'll want to do this on a foam pad or something similar. 

In the Front, Raise Your Thumb 

Front Raise Thumb up is an effective exercise for strengthening the rhomboids. 

In the beginning position, you lay on your front with your head down. 

Thumbs pointed skyward, you raise your arm above your head. 

Finally, you bring your arms off the ground while maintaining your elbows locked. 

Bring the blades of your shoulders together. 

Fifteen seconds on, thirty seconds off (dependant on ability) 

Do so three times. 

A prone man tensing his rhomboid muscles by lying on his front with his head down and his arms extended over his head. Long distance see. 

Exercise for Upper Cross Syndrome: Front Raise Thumb Up, Demonstrated Visually. 

A prone man tensing his rhomboid muscles by stretching his arms above his head. Focus in. 

Exercise for Upper Cross Syndrome: Front Raise Thumb Up, Exemplified in Great Detail. 

Spinning Outside In 

The rhomboids can be worked out with External rotation. 

 

Get into a side laying position with your knees bent and an arm on the floor supporting your head. 

Keep the free arm out in front of you and let it rest on the ground. 

Then, while keeping the arm straight, slowly externally rotate (raise up) into the air such that it is in line with the shoulder. 

Contract the muscles between the shoulder blades. Rest for 8 seconds at the top, then make your way carefully back down. 

Do five sets on each arm. 

Potential to advance by by putting on a little more (Dumbbells or a can of soup) 

The man is laying on his side, knees bent, head resting on one arm, while the other arm is held out in front of him, straight, and resting on the floor. 

Exercise for Upper Cross Syndrome: External Rotation, Presented Visually (arm down) 

A man is sleeping on his side, his legs bent slightly, his head resting on his arm reclining on the floor, and his other arm extended straight overhead, parallel to his shoulder. 

Exercise for Upper Cross Syndrome: External Rotation, Exhibited (arm up) 

Contraction of the Scapulae 

Scapulae retractions are a rhomboid activation exercise. 

 

One begins by lying on one's front with the head resting on the floor. 

To do this, extend both arms out to the sides until they are at a 90-degree angle and then rest them on the floor. 

To raise your arms, squeeze your shoulder blades together, which engages your rhomboids. 

After ten seconds, let go for twenty seconds of rest (dependant on ability) 

Do so three times. 

A man is laying on the floor, face down, with his arms at his sides. 

Exercise for Upper Cross Syndrome: Visual Demonstration of “Scapulae Retractions” (arms down) 

A man is lying face up, arms straight at his sides, rhomboids engaged. 

Exercise for Upper Cross Syndrome: Scapulae Retractions, Shown Visually (arms raised) 

In-Home Massage Therapy: 

Along with these exercises, there is something else you may do to relieve neck and back discomfort at home after a hard day at the office. 

The trigger points (knots) in your muscles can be deactivated and your muscles can be stretched by doing a self-massage at home. 

Holding a tennis ball or massage ball against your neck and back muscles can help relieve tension and stress. 

Find the affected areas and keep the ice there for at least 20 seconds, or until the discomfort subsides. 

Don't let the pain scale reach higher than a 7. 

A woman’s back and neck, holding a blue massage ball to neck. Assaulting the source of the problem. 

Self-massage using a massage ball can help reduce the discomfort of Upper Cross Syndrome. 

Lengthening the Pectoral Muscle 

Exercising the pectoral muscles with the aid of a door frame is also an option. 

Lean your arm on the surface about 90 degrees at shoulder and at elbow. Try to exert enough force to cause a slight stretching sensation. For the next 30 seconds, maintain this position, and then release. Do so three times. 

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