How to Cure Upper Crossed Syndrome with Physical Therapy?

How to Cure Upper Crossed Syndrome with Physical Therapy?


Upper Crossed Syndrome is described as a muscle imbalance pattern located at the head and shoulder regions. It is commonly found in individuals who work at their desks or who sit for a major part of the day exhibiting a poor posture that incorporates head jutting forward, slumped shoulders and upper back rounding. For instance, simply observe anyone texting on their phone…that’s a sloppy posture.

When we spend too much time in a rounded position at the upper torso and not enough time counteracting that forward position with exercise, we may gradually suffer from upper crossed syndrome. Those people who fit in time to get to the gym may do exercises such as bench presses, push-ups and other exercises that strengthen the chest, but avoid working and strengthening their weakened back muscles. Over time, the muscles of the upper back weaken and elongate while the chest muscles become tight and short. These imbalances often lead to symptoms such as headache, dizziness, shoulder and back pain because the muscles are no longer allowing the body to move as it is designed to.

How Do We Prevent it?
Upper Crossed Syndrome can be prevented easily by incorporating mobility and strengthening exercises into your daily routine. Of course, posture is everything when it comes to the maintaining a healthy body. Some simple systematic practices in our day to day life can help prevent Upper Crossed Syndrome.

  • Wake Up: As soon as you get up in the morning, take 5 minutes to stretch your upper chest by laying on a pillow or foam roller placed parallel along your spine. Allow your arms to fall out to the sides and breathe deeply into your belly. This not only good for your posture, but also good for your mental health.
  • At the Gym: Make sure you do at least two different ‘pulling’ exercises for every ‘pushing’ exercise.
  • While Driving: Check your mirrors and driving seat and adjust them in a way that they support a good posture. You should be sitting upright with your abdominals slightly contracted, while driving or even while resting. Practice squeezing your shoulder blades down and together while halting at stoplights. You can also press your head into your headrest by just using your neck muscles and hold for 4 seconds before you start driving again.
  • At Work: Align your office chair to your desk in a position that you don’t have to slouch forward to type while working on your computer. Your shoulders should be in line with your body. A physiotherapist can actually help you interpret the significance of maintaining a proper posture throughout your day.

How Can Physiotherapy Provide Comfort and Relief From Upper Crossed Syndrome?
Upper Crossed Syndrome can be very irritating, tiring and limit your ability to complete you regular daily activities. If you find that you experience pain when reaching overhead, frequent headaches, or upper back shoulder pain that won’t go away, you may be suffering from Upper Crossed Syndrome. It is best to seek help from physiotherapists to evaluate your condition. A physiotherapist may try to find out any joint dysfunction on the upper shoulder region along with imbalances and postural deviations. Physical therapy aims to restore proper body posture by providing appropriate postural or functioning training. Your physiotherapist will thoroughly assess your body and will accordingly outline specific stretching and strengthening exercises to restore stability in your upper back and shoulder muscles.

Physical therapy is extremely beneficial for Upper Crossed Syndrome, as it provides you with strategies that you can use for a lifetime to combat the particular syndrome and maintain a healthy posture. You can always contact us, incase you are suffering from Upper Crossed Syndrome or any other physical defect. We will provide you the best possible remedies.