As a professional stretcher, I see a lot of people with different mobility restrictions. However, one of the most common issues I see is an upper and lower cross syndrome, or in common terms, sitting/computer posture. Yes, many of us are a victim of sitting, which will, unfortunately, result in muscle imbalances and tightness. In the shoulder girdle and upper thoracic/ cervical region, this postural abnormality is called an upper cross syndrome. In the pelvic girdle, this postural abnormality is called a lower cross syndrome.
Clients with upper cross syndrome usually present with forward head, internal humeral rotation, downward scapular rotation, and a degree of excessive kyphosis, or rounding in the thoracic spine. Depending on the severity of the posture and the age/physical disposition of the client will determine the effectiveness and duration of the soft tissue treatment.
Common muscle shortening/tightness can be found in these muscle groups: pec major/minor (chest), deltoid, levator scapulae, trapezius, splenius capitis and semispinalis capitis (among a few other cervical erectors), SCM or sternocleidomastoid, and humeral external/ internal rotators.
Clients with lower cross syndrome usually present with anterior pelvic tilt, sway back or excessive lordosis in the lumbar spine and week abdominals. Common muscle shortening/tightness can be found in: hip flexor group, erector spinae, quadratus lumborum and gluteal musculature.
Here are 5 stretches that will help you fight back!
- hip flexor stretch with posterior tilt
- cobra stretch
- foam roller snow angels
- double quad with biceps