low back pain

Upper Crossed Syndrome

Many patients that I see come in with neck and mid-back pain from working on the computer or sitting at a desk all day. They have tightness in their neck, feel generally uncomfortable, and have pain throughout the day. The reason for this? Upper Crossed Syndrome.

Upper Crossed Syndrome.jpg

Upper Crossed Syndrome is a postural condition that refers to overlapping overactive and underactive muscle groups. This image demonstrates tight pectoral and neck/mid-back musculature (suboccipitals, upper trapezius, levator scapulae) and weak cervical neck flexors, rhomboids, and lower trapezius muscles. This combination of tight and weak musculature increases the stress on the neck and the cervical discs.

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As you can see, even slight forward head carriage can significantly increase the weight of your head on the cervical discs. Don’t let this happen to you!

Your chiropractor can help by alleviating muscle tightness and re-aligning vertebrae that may be out of place. At the office, I can give you stretches and exercises that you can do at home/work to re-train those muscles and correct your posture. Stretching tight musculature and strengthening weak muscles will help you maintain a healthier posture so that you don’t get stuck in a slump.

Upper crossed syndrome is something that affects many people today. Remember, you don’t have to live in pain. Pain is your body’s way of telling you there is something wrong. If you are having tightness in your neck or mid back, or if you’re feeling like you’re constantly rubbing your shoulders or trying to stretch your neck throughout the day because everything feels so tight- call me today. I do my best to accommodate same day appointments and can help you start living pain free!

Safe Shoveling Tips

Let it Snow!

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Who doesn’t love a little bit of snow during the winter months? Hailing from western New York, I know my way around a good snow storm and have had years of experience to develop proper shoveling techniques. Here are a few tips to keep you safe this winter. If you have pain after shoveling, be sure to call the office so you can heal properly. Muscular injuries can take time to heal and we can help speed up that process to get you back to your every day activities!

  • S T R E T C H before and after shoveling! Stretching is important and should be part of your daily routine- but when shoveling, it is extra important that your muscles are prepared for the workout, and that they have time to recover after your driveway is cleared

  • Do NOT lift the snow! If you can- push the snow to the sides, or use a small shovel so you do not overload

  • Lift with your LEGS not your back! This is a great way to get squats in without going to the gym. Your legs are strong and can support the weight of the snow much better than your back.

  • Do NOT TWIST and lift. This puts extra stress on your discs. Perform motions in a linear fashion- you are not an amusement park ride… don’t bend, twist, lift, and shimmy all around. It’s the perfect recipe for injury.

  • HYDRATE! If you are a current patient of mine, you know I am constantly telling you to drink extra water. Shoveling is hard work and will certainly cause to sweat. Make sure you properly hydrate and drink water. (Hot chocolate is okay too… but then you have to add in another glass of water!)

  • Take frequent breaks. I would often shovel a small area, take a break (to drink water and stretch!) and then go back to shoveling. It may take longer but your back will thank you.

Be careful of ICE too. Stay safe out there- but we’re here if slip/fall occurs or if you wake up the next day with pain. Remember, pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Don’t ignore the pain and push through it. We can help you. Chiropractic care can make you complete again.

- Dr. Kern