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Q: What is cross syndrome?

Posted May 06, 2015 in Advice Column, Johnston

A: Muscular “cross syndromes” take place at both the upper and lower body and are commonly referred to as either “upper cross” or “lower cross” syndrome. These are patterns of muscular tightness and weakness that have become predictable when the body starts to breakdown. This breakdown can be from trauma or just chronic poor posture. The first physician to notice this pattern was a European Neurologist who suffered from Polio and noticed that other patients had the same pattern of muscular breakdown.

After he noticed this he started to look at all of his patients and noticed similarities across the board. Patients with pain had the same tight muscles as patients with Cerebral Palsy or traumatic spinal cord injuries. His work was revolutionary in the field of manual healthcare and continues to be researched to this day.

What does this mean for you? STRETCH!! DO YOGA!!! GO TO PILATES!! As the human body ages these predictable breakdowns become more apparent and need more attention. The focus for the aging athlete, weekend warrior, or everyday gym goer is to build lean muscle mass and improve joint mobility. To combine the two try a Warrior Sculpt style yoga approach or find a personal trainer who is skilled in strength and mobility. In the screening process ask him or her if they have ever heard of Lower Cross Syndrome and if they can explain it to you. If they say yes (and you believe them) you are likely in good hands.

Information provided by Gary Bowman D.C. Cert. MDT, Active Wellness, 8711 Windsor Parkway, Suite 7, Johnston, (515) 867-2900.

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