By Dr. Matt Rhynold, DC
What is it?
Before you begin reading this post, take a look at how your body is positioned.
- Are you slouched?
- Is your head bent forward looking down at your phone?
- Are your shoulders rounded?
If so, you’re not alone. Cell phone use is just one of many factors that can contribute to neck pain, as well as a condition I am highlighting today. Upper Crossed Syndrome is a very common condition experienced by many individuals. It is characterized by:
- a head forward posture
- rounded shoulders
- and a specific pattern of weak and strong muscles that can contribute to stiffness and pain in the neck and upper back.
Think about a teeter totter – the more weight you put on one side, the more weight you need to add to the other side to keep the bar level. The same is the case with your neck.
The average human head weight anywhere from 20-30lbs. Head forward posture adds that weight to the front of the body, causing the muscles in the back of the neck and upper back to work on overdrive to keep your head level and your neck stable. Can you imagine holding a 20-30lbs weight for minutes, sometimes hours, on end? It’s no wonder that in Upper Crossed Syndrome, these muscles holding onto your head are overused and can become injured. Moreover, muscles critical for the normal maintenance of neck posture are underused and not properly recruited.
What factors can lead to Upper Crossed Syndrome?
- Increased cell phone use
- Increased laptop/computer use
- Improper work ergonomics (especially while working from home)
- Prolonged time sitting and slouching
- Improper breathing techniques
Am I stuck like this forever?
No! In fact, corrective exercises have been shown to restore normal functioning of the neck muscles and improve posture. Exercises targeting underused muscles of the neck and lower trapezius can improve head forward posture, rounding of shoulders, and shoulder blade positioning.
Manual therapists like myself are able to identify which structures need to be addressed and create a treatment plan that incorporates hands-on care with exercises that can not only correct your problems now, but prevent them from returning.
If you are having neck pain and want it assessed and treated, please book an appointment with me.
My treating hours at Clarkson Sport & Physiotherapy are:
Tu 11:30am – 7:30pm
Th 10am – 3:30pm Fri 10am – 3:00pm Sat 10am – 3pm
Dr. Matthew Rhynold, D.C., B.Sc Kin (Hons)
Dr. Matthew Rhynold was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. As an avid baseball and hockey player growing up, Matt utilized chiropractic care to overcome various injuries to his shoulder, neck, and back. Seeing the positive impact Chiropractors could make in people’s lives, he knew from age 13 that he wanted to be a Chiropractor. Matt received his Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Kinesiology from McMaster University, and a Graduate Certificate in Exercise Science & Lifestyle Management from Humber College. Matt then received his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC). Dr. Rhynold is passionate about providing a safe space for all people to feel comfortable being whoever they are while receiving the best possible care. Dr. Rhynold has received specialized training in the GLA:D and PEAK protocols for treating knee osteoarthritis, treating spinal stenosis, as well as a host of other common and sports-related injuries. Dr. Rhynold is also a certified Functional Range Release (FR® Release) Provider for the Spine.
Dr. Rhynold uses a combination of hands-on manual therapy and rehabilitation exercises In his treatments such as:
- Soft tissue release
- Muscle Release Therapy (MRT)
- Joint mobilizations
- Vibration Therapy
- Active Rehabilitation
Dr. Rhynold is a member of the Ontario Chiropractic Association, Canadian Chiropractic Association and the College of Chiropractors of Ontario.
Outside of clinic, Matthew spends his time exploring new culinary experiences, and staying committed to a healthy and active lifestyle.
Here’s a stretch for your scalenes to relieve text neck and home office pain!
We have all modified our activities since the COVID-19 quarantine started back in March.
Our team has been looking after many patients who have injured themselves from poor home office ergonomics, unsupportive chairs, prolonged bad postures and changed exercise habits (mostly less exercise).
If you feel that you have new symptoms that are not recovering over a week or two, or if you have an old injury that has flared up, we would love to help you stop suffering.
We’re here to help you achieve your personal goals, and live your best life!