Cervical Posture Syndrome (Kyphosis)

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Kyphosis is a postural syndrome of the upper back and neck. Typically the upper back appears curved with rounded shoulders, the scapula (shoulder blades) are protracted (positioned further away from the spine) and the chin pokes forwards rather than being tucked in.

This occurs in all sections of the population. In the sports world cyclists and baseball catchers are at risk as they have to hold postures for long periods as well as the amateur bodybuilder who over develops and tightens the pectoralis (chest) muscles neglecting the muscles in the upper back.

Cervical posture syndrome is sometimes also called upper crossed syndrome. This is due to the muscle imbalances which are present with this type of posture. For example, the pecs and posterior neck muscles are tight and the muscles of the upper back and deep neck flexors are weak. If you connect the two tight muscle groups and the two weakened muscle groups with two straight lines, they form a cross shape, giving the condition its name.

Causes
Cervical postural syndrome is caused by adopting poor posture over a prolonged period of time. This may occur during sitting (e.g. at a computer or driving) or during everyday activities such as cooking and cleaning.

Muscle imbalance may also contribute to poor posture. Imbalance of muscles in the upper back and neck means that the pectoralis major muscle in the front of your chest and the muscles in the back of the neck are shortened and tight. The muscles at the back of the shoulders and upper back (trapezius, latissimus dorsi and rhomboids) are weakened and stretched.

Symptoms:
  • A burning or aching sensation in the upper back and neck.
  • Pain is made worse by prolonged standing or sitting especially leaning forwards.
  • Pain eases with movement and is usually not present once active.
Diagnosis:
A thorough subjective and objective examination from a physiotherapist is usually sufficient to diagnose postural syndrome of the neck. Investigations such as an X-ray, MRI or CT scan may be required, in rare cases, to rule out other conditions.


           Physiotherapy Treatment For Postural Syndrome

Physiotherapy treatment for postural syndrome can significantly help to reduce symptoms, ensure an optimal outcome and prevent recurrence. Physiotherapy may comprise:

  • Postural education and retraining
  • soft tissue massage (particularly to the upper cervical extensors, pectorals, upper trapezius and levator scapulae muscles)
  • Electrotherapy (e.g. ultrasound)
  • Postural taping
  • Postural bracing
  • Joint mobilization (particularly to the lower neck and upper back)
  • Exercises to improve strength, posture or flexibility
  • Activity modification advice
  • Biomechanical correction
                                  Exercises For Cervical Postural Syndrome


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(( Chin Tucks )) Begin sitting or standing tall with your back and neck straight, shoulders should be back slightly. Tuck your chin in until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Keep your eyes and nose facing forwards. Hold for 2 seconds and repeat 10 times.
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(( Shoulder Blade Squeezes )) Begin sitting or standing tall with your back straight. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as hard and far as possible pain-free. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
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(( Extension in Sitting )) Begin sitting tall, with your back and neck straight, shoulders back slightly. Gently take your neck backwards, looking up towards the ceiling until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Repeat 10 times.
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(( Rotation in Sitting )) Begin sitting with your back and neck straight and your shoulders back slightly. Turn your head looking over one shoulder until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free .Keep your neck straight and don't allow your head to poke forwards during the movement. Repeat 10 times to each side.
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(( Side Bend in Sitting )) Begin sitting tall with your back and neck straight, your shoulders should be back slightly. Gently bend your neck to one side until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Make sure your neck does not bend forwards during the movement. Repeat 10 times on each side.
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(( Flexion in Sitting )) Begin sitting tall, with your neck and back straight, your shoulders should be back slightly. Gently bend your neck forwards, taking your chin towards your chest until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free (figure 6) . Repeat 10 times.
 


Comments

Diana K. Brenner
07/13/2013 08:42

I have Ehler Danlos Autism Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Accomodative Dysfuntion and Bi nocular dysfuntion (last 2 are eye isssues)

it is common to have this thing with these issues

Reply
fariba
01/02/2014 10:29

hello I want know more about exersices in physiotherapy.By

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