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Showing posts from tagged with: neck

Upper Crossed Syndrome – What is it? And how can Remedial Massage help?

Upper Crossed Syndrome 

What is it? And how can Remedial Massage help?

  Upper Crossed Syndrome (UCS) is an extremely common musculoskeletal imbalance of the upper body. It is usually caused by poor posture or repetitive tasks in prolonged standing or sitting positions. texting As a consequence certain muscles become chronically tight, while others become long and weak. This muscular imbalance results in rounded shoulders/upper back, winging/tipping shoulder blades, and a forward head position with a poking out chin. The-Forward-Head-Posture-Fix The muscles affected in this common syndrome are the Pectoralis Major and Minor muscles in the chest, the Sub-Occipital muscles at the base of the skull and Upper Trapezius and Levator Scapulae in the upper shoulder/neck which all become overactive, short and tight. This excessive shortening of muscles causes an imbalance between muscles groups. Muscles such as Mid-Lower Trapezius, Rhomboids and Serratus Anterior of the upper back and the deep cervical flexors in the neck therefore become underactive, long and weak. The musculoskeletal imbalances of UCS can result in an array of pain or discomfort presentations. For example mid- upper back pain/tightness, neck pain/tightness, headaches, or pins and needles down the arms, just to name a few. Also overtime if untreated, these muscular imbalances can affect the position of the skeletal system leading to other chronic conditions such as shoulder instability, shoulder impingement and shoulder bursitis. Luckily Remedial Massage and correctly prescribed exercises can dramatically help with this condition. Remedial Therapists can use their skills in soft tissue work to release the tight, short and overactive muscles, and can give simple homework stretches/exercises. This is extremely important for while these large powerful muscles such as the Pecs or Upper traps remain tight, it is very challenging to properly strengthen the weak muscle groups. Remedial Therapists can also use techniques to stimulate the long, weak and underactive muscles encouraging them to activate and strengthen. Remedial Massage can be used as an effective complementary treatment for UCS,  alongside Physiotherapy allowing the exercises prescribed by Physios to be most effective. If you feel like you relate to any of these symptoms, don’t wait, find the time to care for yourself and book some Remedial treatment today so you can move and feel your best!

Neck Pain


What Causes neck pain?

  • Poor posture: Ligaments become overstretched, muscles become tired and joints and nerves are put under strain.  Slouching your shoulders with your head forward, sleeping in awkward positions, or working with your head down for long periods can all cause neck pain.
  • Stress: Increases tension in the muscles.
  • Arthritis: degeneration in the joints of the neck.
  • Injuries from motor vehicle accidents, sport or occupational accidents commonly lead to whiplash where the head is thrown forward or backward.

How to prevent neck pain

  • Posture: Think tall, lift your chest, relax your shoulders, tuck your chin in and keep your head level.  Remember the posture around your pelvis is important too.
  • Sleeping: A down or molded pillow is usually best. Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
  • Relaxation: Learn to recognize when you are tense, relax your shoulders, avoid clenching your jaw, and take a few deep breaths.
  • Heat: A heat pack on your neck will help to alleviate muscle spasm.
  • Work: Avoid holding your neck in one position for long periods. Stretch and change position frequently, even if it is just a few shoulder rolls.
  • Exercise: Keep your neck joints and muscles flexible and strong by performing the exercises prescribed by your physiotherapist as part of your daily routine.

Five ways to tell if your headache is  caused by your neck ?

Five ways to tell if your headache is  caused by your neck ?

  1. Does your pain start at the top of your neck and then spread around to the front of your head?
  2. Does moving your neck make the pain worse?
  3. Does prolonged sitting make your headache worse?
  4. Do you have light headedness or dizziness?
  5. Is your headache eased by pressure to the base of the skull?
If the above are not the case with you, then your headache may be caused by other factors and it is recommended that you consult your doctor.   How to prevent your headaches:  
  • Check your posture, think tall. Your shoulders should be relaxed, your chin tucked in and your head level.   Your neck should feel straight and relaxed.
Bad posture is one of the main contributors of neck pain and sometimes headaches. The rule is to keep the head in a neutral position. Many of us tend to hunch or bend the neck forward while reading or working at the computer. In some offices the computer may be at a much higher level than the head, causing the individual to look up for extended periods. Sleeping with your neck too high or too low can cause neck pain and headaches, as well as a mattress that does not support the natural curve of the back.
  • Check your sitting position: especially if you are in a sustained position for long periods. You may need to stretch frequently throughout the day.
  • Check your pillow: A memory foam pillow is best for most people.  Do not use more than one pillow.
  • Relax: watch that you are not clenching your teeth, or hunching your shoulders.  Learn to recognize when you are tense and learn how to relax. Taking deep breaths or applying a heat pack to the tense muscles may help.
  • Exercise: You need to keep your muscles and joints flexible and strong. You will be prescribed an exercise program that is appropriate for you.

Ergonomics – Guidelines for healthy computer use

Guidelines for healthy computer use

  • Move and stretch every hour to promote blood flow
  • Respond to any feeling of discomfort by changing position
  • Add variety to your tasks
  • Make sure you are sitting correctly and have your workstation set up to avoid strain


  • Relax shoulders
  • Elbows at 90 degrees
  • Forearms level
  • Head upright and looking forward
  • Neck lengthened
  • Back supported by chair
  • Use a lumbar support
  • Feet fully supported on floor or footrest


  • Place items close to your position based on how often you use them. Regularly used items should be           placed within easy reach
  • If you are using the phone a lot look into a head set or speaker phone. Never cradle the phone           between the side of your head and your shoulder.


  • Adjust seat height so that feet or flat on floor or foot rest with your knees at or slightly below the           level of your hips
  • With your bottom pushed into the back of the seat, adjust the back rest height so that the lumbar           support is in the lumbar or curved area of your spine
  • Recline the back rest angle between 95-110 degrees so that both the upper and lower part of the           back is supported
  • Adjust the armrest height so that your shoulders are not elevated


  • The top of the monitor should be positioned at eye level
  • Torso must not be twisted
  • Keyboard and mouse should be just below elbow level
  • Keyboard should be centered in front of you Adjust the keyboard tit so that your wrist is in neutral (straight)
  • Monitor should be about arms length away
  • Lighting should be even and glare free