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Upper Crossed Syndrome: Why Your Job is a Pain in the Neck

by Mike Duffy, D.C., C.C.E.P., MEd.

upper_crossed_symptom.jpgHere's something else you can blame on the bad economy and increased stress on the job. It's called upper crossed syndrome, and we're seeing more and more of it at the office as the anxiety levels continue to rise in white collar professions.

Upper crossed syndrome is a combination of tightened and functionally weak muscles that create a common pain pattern. This can create the a pain pattern from neck , upper back, shoulder and even Temporormandibular Joint and Muscle Disorder, or TMJ pain. To the untrained the pain seems to be unrelated and frustrating to treat because it seems to move around. One day the upper back will be sore, the next its the jaw or then the shoulder. If the pain is simply chased, then the chances of successfully treating the problem are slim.

A body wide functional analysis is needed to identify and correct the muscular imbalances that are the root of the pain. Typically, ergonomic changes are also necessary to assist the correction long term. These can be as simple as moving the computer mouse to the left hand - it's easier than you think! Or try using a docking station to change the height and angle of your laptop computer.

Dr. Mike Duffy is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he received a bachelor degree in economics and a Masters degree in Health Education. He earned his doctoral degree at Life University in Georgia. Since graduation he has earned three separate post doctoral certifications.

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