When thinking about how to connect chiropractic care to students, one thing comes to mind: Upper Crossed Syndrome (UCS). I even personally suffered from this during my college career and found relief through consistent chiropractic care. What is UCS you ask?
Upper Crossed Syndrome is caused by muscular imbalances in the upper body. The image below shows that the pectoral, upper trapezius, and levator scapulae are tight while the neck flexors, rhomboids, and serratus anterior are weak and inhibited. A forward head carriage is the main culprit of UCS.
I see this all the time in students who spend all day sitting in class and then hours studying in the evening and on the weekends. They are hunched over staring at their computer and books. But that isn't all. Think about when they are texting on their phones or playing video games- they assume the same position! Here are some great stretches to perform on a daily basis to help avoid this uncomfortable position:
Pectoralis Door-way stretches:
These are great for lengthening tight pectoral muscules. Placing one or both arms along the door way and slightly stepping forward will apply some pressure to the muscles. Be sure not to step too far forward and strain your low back by over extending it.
This is an easy stretch to do at your desk. This stretch will activate the muscles required to maintain proper head position. Sit up straight, now move your head slightly straight backwards creating the "double chin" effect. This will help combat the forward head carriage that many people suffer from.
How does chiropractic help? Chiropractic adjustments to the cervical and thoracic spine will help to restore motion to the vertebrae associated with these muscular imbalances. Also, triggerpoints will form in the tight muscles and chiropractors can help reduce and eliminate these painful triggerpoints thus allowing the muscle to respond to the adjustments and stretching. It's important to understand that UCS can be treated, but if left untreated, the muscular imbalances will only increase causing more pain and dysfunction.
So students, keep studying hard, but remember, do these stretches and make an appointment with Scatko Family Chiropractic to get your body back in alignment!