By: Dr. Jessica Battocletti DC, MS

Most Americans suffer from some degree of neck or shoulder tension and while it is common, it is not normal. This neck and upper body tension is often due to upper crossed syndrome (UCS). UCS is characterized by a slouched posture with the head and shoulders being rounded forward and an increased kyphosis or hump in the mid back. Think of classic “bad desk posture”. In the age of work from home and long hours over computers, this postural abnormality is becoming more and more common.

When you draw a line between the weak muscles and a line between the tight muscles an X is formed, thus the name upper crossed. Typically the following muscles are involved:

Everything from the skull, neck, upper back and shoulders can be affected. This causes a wide variation in symptoms you may experience. Some of the most common symptoms include:

We treat each of these symptoms daily in our practice and see excellent results.  Often addressing neck and shoulder tension leads to better sleep and easier workouts. UCS can be worsened by stress and anxiety, so it is important to address the underlying misalignments to prevent this exacerbation. Treatment options include: