A common area of complaint in the general population is pain in the neck and upper back. A phrase frequently heard is “I carry my stress in my shoulders” and there is some truth to this saying. High stress levels or an injury to the area can cause a breakdown of proper posture in the neck and upper back.
Instead of standing or sitting upright, the upper back starts rounding out, aquiring a hyperkyphotic posture while the head and neck travel forward into an anterior head carriage position. If the body is in this alignment for a prolonged period of time, muscles become overstretched and weakened. This can lead to tightness and tenderness in the upper trapezius and cervical paraspinal muscles, which run across the top of the shoulders and along the sides of the neck respectively. This produces a complex called the upper cross syndrome as pictured above.
There are simple stretches and kinesio taping methods that can be used to help correct this detrimental syndrome as well as aid in symptom relief. Doorway and wall stretches are two of the most commonly prescribed routines. Taping is also quite straightforward as demonstrated by KT Tape and Rocktape.