Upper Cross Syndrome

Topics: Scapula, Osteoarthritis, Muscle Pages: 1 (372 words) Published: April 4, 2013
This month's topic will be about lower and upper cross syndromes. What are these? They are syndromes with various complications that can wreak havoc on the average person. For the athlete, especially the powerlifter, they can decrease strength, flexibility, range of motion and lead to further degenerative processes (wearing down of the body - arthritis, etc.). Upper cross syndrome refers to the upper part of the body, namely the neck/upper back/chest/shoulder areas. Lower cross syndrome refers to the lower part of the body surrounding the pelvis/lower back/abdominal/upper thigh areas. I will first describe what these syndromes are and then I will discuss upper cross syndrome specifically, then lower cross. What happens in both syndromes is that several muscle groups have become shorter and tighter. Other muscle groups have become weakened as a result of the previous mentioned tight muscles. What happens then is these problem areas start a bad cycle - they each get worse, making the other worse also. More tight muscles and increased weak muscles. Unless they are halted, they will start to change the composition and integrity of the surrounding joints, muscles, cartilage, nervous structures and other tissues. This means osteoarthritis (aging or degenerative arthritis) can rear its ugly head. This is not good for the powerlifter as the powerlifter needs good joints to withstand the incredible stresses and forces we place on them during our heavy training. Postural changes of the body will also occur with these syndromes, as I will discuss further below. Upper cross syndrome consists of various tightened and weak muscles. The tight muscles are generally as follows: upper trapezius, the sternocleidomastoid (a large muscle in the front of the neck), the pectoralis major/minor and levator scapulae (a muscle at the back of the neck). The weakened muscles are as follows: rhomboid major/minor, deep neck flexors, middle and lower trapezius and the serratus anterior (a...
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