Do you find yourself complaining about tightness in shoulders that you just can’t seem to get rid of? At the end of a long day do you find that the back of your head and neck are tight and uncomfortable? Do you feel like your shoulders are permanently drawn up around your ears?
If this sounds familiar you might have “Corporate Syndrome”! That’s right “Corporate Syndrome” no it’s not made up and no you probably can’t get out of work for it but it is a real syndrome also known by its other name Upper Cross Syndrome.
Corporate or Upper Cross Syndrome is a pattern of tight and weak muscle dysfunction that occurs when postural positioning is not natural anatomical positioning. This is a result of sitting at a computer and leaning into it all day typing away or reading. In part this hunching or leaning is caused by the way we set up our workspaces or, poor ergonomics. If you need a good example I bet if you look to the workstation to your right or left you will notice your co-workers are in exactly this position. Don’t judge you probably sit this way too!
Unfortunately, what happens is the body must continually contract certain muscle groups to maintain this body position. This will cause the muscles to be chronically shortened or contracted, in turn causing the muscle tightness which will result in that sore achy feeling in between the shoulder blades or at the back of your neck.
Muscle tightness is not the only thing you have to worry about with this syndrome. The body is so amazingly perceptive it tries to balance out this musculature by stretching out the opposite muscle. For example if you flex your arm the bicep will contract and the triceps which is the opposite muscle will actually stretch out. The continual stretching of these muscles will cause weakness due to lack of use. With both of these things working together it can make it difficult for the body to maintain the body’s correct posture leading to headaches, eye strain, sore and tight shoulders.
So, how is this corrected? Chiropractic and Massage are a couple of ways that you can address these areas of dysfunction and improve your overall quality of life. With Massage in specific Deep Tissue treatments along with Trigger Point work and stretching can help return chronically contracted muscles to their correct position. Chiropractic helps with the joint movements that are restricted due to the tightness. Stretching throughout the day can also help with some of these symptoms, stretching the muscles that have been in a fixed position will actual relax the muscle helping to avoid some of the symptoms of Upper Cross Syndrome. In addition to stretching these contracted muscles you will need to begin to strengthen the muscles that you have not been using. Finally you should make your workstation more ergonomic by moving your monitor up to eye level, moving your keyboard down, and adjusting your chair height so that you are not slouching forward.
With the right routine “Corporate Syndrome” can be corrected but with any good plan it requires you to be an active participant. First be aware of your body’s posture and second by listening to what body is trying to tell you. Chiropractic and Massage are two highly beneficial ways to treat this syndrome and when done in conjunction with stretching and strengthening exercises they can ease and correct this postural dysfunction.
REFERENCE ARTICLE WHAT IS UPPER CROSSED SYNDROME? FROM June 29, 2009