Upper crossed posture syndrome (UCPS)
In today’s sedentary life style and busy work place; a common complaint is recurrent neck and shoulder pains arising from persistent poor posture. The shoulder girdle complex is a structure that relies on opposing musculature to maintain posture. With prolonged slouching, the shoulder is rounded and the head juts forwards, this can lead to tight posterior neck muscles, upper shoulder muscles and Pecs. Conversely, the opposing muscles: deep neck muscles, scapular stabilisers will be stretched and weak.An issue to note is that this is not an acute incident, but rather a built up of weeks, months or even years of continued poor posture.
How to identify if you have upper crossed posture syndrome
UCPS usually presents with the classical rounded shoulders and jutting head. Symptoms can include neck and upper shoulder pain, headaches, TMJ dysfunction, mid back pain and may contribute towards rotator cuff and shoulder dysfunctions.
Patients with postural syndrome ordinarily have pain free motion in all ranges. They will basically feel the pain once they embrace a bad position and in the beginning the pose will have to be continued for an extensive period of time. However, as time goes on it will require a shorter period to experience the pain.
You might have been in the same job for years and only now are experiencing pain, and you are therefore asking yourself why. It’s because it takes time for postural pressure to amass – eventually your tissues get overloaded and can no more withstand the load. During the early stages, pain is allayed by changing position, as this allows you to take the pressure off the tissue. However, after a while the ligament fatigues and the pain is much harder to deal with.
Physiotherapy Remedy for UCPS
Most patients with postural syndrome of the shoulder girdle go through no ache once their pose is fixed. However postural correction is tough to achieve and requires a great deal of work from both your physiotherapist and you. It is essential to remember that bad position develops over a long time and that it does not resolve instantaneously!
You may find temporary relieve with soft tissue massages and releases, and it is a critical part of the rehabilitation process, as the tight musculature needs to be addressed, however, without addressing your posture and strengthening the stretched/weak muscle groups you will lapse back into the same incorrect posture and your symptoms will come back!
You should be dedicated in doing your exercises and your physio needs to be highly trained in releasing the tight structures.