Skip to content

Acupuncture for Upper Crossed Syndrome

What Is Upper Crossed Syndrome?


Upper crossed syndrome is when the muscles in the upper region of the body (neck, chest and shoulders) have become deformed and tightened. Specifically the upper trapezius which becomes strained and overactive while the muscles surrounding it become over-weakened.   


Causes Of Upper Crossed Syndrome


  • Forward head posture (usually caused by excessive use of electronic devices, poor driving posture or watching tv)
  • Injury
  • Congenital disabilities
  • Continuous slouching


Symptoms of Upper Crossed Syndrome


Common symptoms of upper crossed syndrome include:

  • Increased cervical lordosis which is also known as the inward curvature in the upper part of the spine containing the neck.
  • Increased thoracic kyphosis, which is the outward curvature in the part of the spine that includes the upper back, shoulders, and chest.
  • elevated and rounded shoulders, almost like the muscles are in a constant state of being pulled forward.
  • the visible portion of the shoulder blade sits out instead of laying flat (scapula winging).

With upper crossed syndrome, the surrounding muscles can cause stress on the body that can result in:

  • headache
  • neck pain
  • strain in the back of the neck and weakness in the front
  • chest pain 
  • pain in the upper back
  • sore shoulder blades
  • pain in the jaw
  • lethargy
  • restricted motion in the neck or shoulders
  • numbness and tingling as well as pain in the upper arms


There are many different ways you can treat upper crossed syndrome. There are upper crossed syndrome exercises that exists that can effectively treat bad posture which contributes to this condition. 

These exercises include:

  • Lying exercise: Lie down on a yoga mat or soft surface. Allow your arms to naturally fall at your sides. Take a few deep breaths and simply relax. Your posture will naturally align itself and you’ll feel refreshed and renewed!
  • Sitting exercise: Sit down on the floor with a straight back and with feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Put your palms flat on the floor beside you and you should feel a stretch along your neck, chest and shoulders. 
  • Standing exercise: Stand with your feet about 3 feet apart. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees, and pivot your left foot in 30 degrees. Spread out your arms so they’re in line with your shoulders. Look to the right, then bend your knee 90 degrees into a lunge. Repeat on the other side.

The key is to relax muscles around the upper back area and perform exercises that pull the shoulders back. If you are having trouble relaxing, acupuncture can help in relaxing tense muscles and heal any inflammation that might arise. Acupuncture works by freeing up stagnant energy in energy meridians between acupuncture points within the body. Sometimes, an acupuncturist will couple acupuncture therapy with massage which works to relax and release tension within the muscles. Visit my acupuncture clinic in San Diego for you next appointment.  Conveniently located in Banker’s Hill.


This article was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are closed.
2133731963 Directions Contact/Schedule