Franklin Chiropractor | Upper Crossed Home Exercises
Upper Crossed Home Exercises. Your posture plays an important role in your overall health. Poor posture leads to chronic strain and discomfort. “Upper crossed syndrome” describes poor posture that results from excessive tightness in your shoulders and chest with weakness in your neck and mid-back. This combination forces your shoulders to roll inward and your head to project forward.Your Franklin Chiropractor is here to help & would like to help you to understand how upper crossed syndrome causes trouble. Think of your spine as a telephone pole and your head as a bowling ball that sits on top. When the bowling ball is positioned directly over the top of the upright post, very little effort is required to keep it in place. If you tip the post forward and the ball begins to roll over the edge of the post, significantly more effort would be required from the muscles trying to hold it there. This effort results in chronic strain of the muscles of your neck and upper back. The chronic strain is uncomfortable and may also lead to neck pain, upper back pain, headaches, TMJ pain, and ultimately- arthritis. This postural problem is exceptionally common in computer workstation users. Correction of this problem is accomplished by your Franklin chiropractor by giving you advice on stretching the tight muscles, strengthening weak muscles, and modifying your workstation. Exercises that the Franklin Chiropractor Recommends Phase I1. Diaphragm Breathing -Begin lying flat on your back with your knees elevated and feet on the floor. Place one hand on your abdomen, and the other over your breastbone. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose. If you are breathing properly from your diaphragm, only the hand over your abdomen should rise, and the hand over your chest should remain still. Once you are able to breathe by moving only your abdomen, you may use your lower hand to lightly compress your abdomen as you breathe in, then relax the pressure as you breathe out. Alternately, you may apply light pressure to the sides of your lower ribs as you inhale. The ideal breathing cycle (while resting) is three seconds of inhalation followed by six seconds of exhalation. If you find that you are breathing out too quickly, you may try exhaling through pursed lips in order to gradually increase the length of exhalation. You should practice proper breathing in multiple positions; first, lying flat on your back, then sitting, then standing, and finally, while performing more challenging movements, like squatting with your hands overhead. You should practice 2 or 3 breaths hourly, and 10-20 breaths upon awakening and retiring. Franklin Chiropractor 10. Cervical Retractions -Sit or stand looking forward with good posture. Tuck your chin to create a double chin. Hold this position for 3-5 seconds. Return to the starting position. Focus your vision on a spot on the wall to avoid neck flexion or extension. To progress, place a finger on your chin, and apply backwards pressure at end range. Imagine that your head is on drawer slides. Keep your mouth closed. Perform 1 set of 10 repetitions 3-10 times per day. Alternately, this exercise may be performed standing with your back against a wall. Your buttocks and shoulder blades should be in contact with the wall. Tuck your chin to make a “double chin” until the base of your skull contacts the wall, relax and repeat as directed. 2.Deep Neck Flexion -Lie on your back, with your head supported. Perform a “chin tuck” by retracting your head to create a double chin. Lift your head, bringing chin toward your chest without lifting shoulders- as though you are looking at your toes. Hold this position for 3-4 seconds. Lower your head and relax. Keep your teeth apart during exercise to decrease straining at the jaw. Perform 1 set of 10 repetitions three times a day.
3.YTWL Scapular Depression -Stand with your straight arms raised above your head in a “Y” position. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and downward throughout the following sequence of movements. Lower your straightened arms to shoulder level, into a “T” position. Next bend your elbows so that your fingers are pointing straight up while slightly lowering your elbows to make a “W”. Finally, while keeping your elbows bent 90 degrees, lower your arms to your sides so that your elbows are touching your ribs to form an “L” on each side and squeeze. Hold each position for 1-2 seconds and repeat 3 sets of 10 repetitions, twice per day or as directed. Franklin Chiropractor 4.Brugger Relief Position -Position your body at the edge of a chair, feet pointed outward. Your weight should be on your legs and your abdomen should be relaxed. Tilt your pelvis forward, lift your sternum, arch your back, tuck your chin and drop your arms. Move your hands apart from each other while simultaneously rotating your palms out, straightening your arms, and pinching your shoulder blades together as your hands backward. Take a few deep-cleansing breaths. Hold this stretch for several seconds, return to the start position and repeat 3-6 times, twice per day or as directed. Alternately, this exercise may be performed standing. 5.Scalene Stretch -While sitting or standing, reach down with your right arm, grasping your thigh or the bottom of a chair for stability. While looking straight ahead, place your left hand on top of your head, and gently pull your head sideways toward the left. Against the resistance of your hand, attempt to laterally flex your right ear toward your right shoulder for seven seconds. Relax and stretch further toward the left. “Lock in” to each new position, and do not allow any slack. Repeat three contract/relax cycles on each side twice per day or as directed. Franklin Chiropractor 11.Levator Stretch -While sitting, grasp the seat of your chair with your left hand. Rotate your head toward the right and look downward toward the floor. Place your right hand over the top of your head and gently pull down and diagonally in the direction you are looking. Against the resistance of your hand, contract your neck in an attempt to push your head backward/diagonally from the direction you are looking for seven seconds. Relax and gently pull your head further toward the floor to increase the stretch. Lock into this new position, and make sure that you continue to keep your head rotated in the direction that you are pulling. Perform three contract/relax cycles on each side twice per day or as directed.
12.Trapezius Stretch -While sitting or standing, reach down with your right arm, grasping your thigh or the bottom of a chair for stability. While looking straight ahead, place your left hand on top of your head, and gently pull your head sideways toward the left. Against the resistance of your arms, attempt to bring your right ear and right shoulder together for seven seconds. Relax and stretch further toward the left. “Lock in” to each new position, and do not allow any slack. Repeat three contract/relax cycles on each side twice per day or as directed. 6. Suboccipital Stretch -Sit in a chair with good posture. Grasp the back of your neck with your right hand so that your little finger is touching the base of your skull. Bring your left hand over the top of your head so that your left forearm is on top of your head and your fingertips are grasping the base of your skull. Look downward while drawing your chin back. Against the resistance of your left hand, attempt to look up for seven seconds. Relax and stretch further downward while drawing your chin back. Both elbows should be pointed forward. You must “look up” with your eyes to properly activate this muscle. Perform three contract/relax cycles twice per day or as directed. Franklin Chiropractor 13. Corner Pectoral Stretch -Begin standing, facing a corner with your palms on the walls above head level. Step toward the corner and “lean in” to stretch your chest muscles. Against the resistance of the wall, attempt to push your hands into the wall and toward each other for 7 seconds. Relax and “lean in” to increase the stretch. Lock into this new position and repeat 3 contract/ relax cycles, twice per day or as directed. 7.Resisted Cervical Flexion -Sit or stand with good posture. Secure a neck exerciser head band or loop a piece of elastic around your head just above your ears. Secure the elastic band to a door frame or hold the elastic with one hand directly behind you. Start with your head in a neutral position, and against the resistance of the band, flex your neck forward moving your chin toward your chest. Avoid moving into any position that creates pain. Return to the start position. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions daily or as directed.
8.Y with Resistance -Stand facing a wall. Loop an elastic resistance band around both hands. Reach upward as high as possible, trying to elongate your spine. Retract your shoulder blades to pull them toward your spine. While maintaining this position with your shoulder blades, separate your hands from the wall and from each other by contracting the muscles between your shoulder blades. Relax and return to the start position. Repeat for three sets of 10 repetitions daily or as directed. Franklin Chiropractor 9.Low Row – Attach the center of an elastic exercise band to a doorknob or other sturdy object in front of you. Grasp one end of the band in each hand and with straight arms at your side, stretch the band backwards. Keep your palms facing backward and arms pointed straight down throughout the exercise. Return to neutral and repeat 3 sets of 10 repetitions daily, or as directed.