Prevalence of Upper Cross Syndrome In Medical Students of Women Medical College, Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

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Ayesha Javed
Umber Fatima
Irrij Javed Jadoon


Upper Cross Syndrome is a common muscular imbalance involving head, neck and shoulder region. It exhibits a common postural disruption linked with tonal abnormalities of the pectoral girdle musculature and cervicothoracic part of the body. This syndrome is characterized by neck pain and its restricted range of motion, forward head posture and rounded shoulders. It is usually seen in persons who work for longer period of time in misaligned body position. This study was intended to check the prevalence of Upper crossed syndrome in medical students of Women Medical College, Abbottabad. For this purpose, a descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted. A total of 305 students of age group 18-25 years were recruited. Data was sought in two phases. In the first phase, participants were asked to fill a self-designed questionnaire containing demographics and other symptomology of Upper Cross Syndrome which included pain in neck region, duration of study hours, frequently used electronic gadget for study, total study hours, stiffness around neck and chest, area and type of pain while studying and presence of headache. In the second phase, restricted neck range of motion was assessed using a goniometer, forward head posture was checked using the wall and ruler and posture analysis was done to check for rounded shoulders by a physiotherapist. The study employed convenient sampling technique for data collection. The data was first entered and then analyzed by SPSS version 22 software which fetched percentages for each variable. In order to find whether any correlation between the two variables exist or not, a chi-square test was conducted using SPSS version 22 and values were interpreted (p-value <0.05). As a result, among the 305 subjects, 72.13% felt tightness around the neck while 36.07% students reported pain in neck after prolong usage of either mobile phone or laptop. Subsequent restriction in range of motion of the neck was reported by 32.13% participants. About 47.86% subjects who filled the questionnaire were diagnosed with rounded shoulders after a detailed posture analysis by a physiotherapist. Among those 47.86% subjects, moderate pectoral muscle stiffness was reported by 67.45% students while 19.6% had severe pectoral stiffness. Forward head posture was observed by the physiotherapist utilizing wall and ruler method in 84.5% of all the participating subjects. Among the recruits who experienced any sort of neck or shoulder girdle pain, 20% reported using pain killers for relief, 7.21% have had physiotherapy treatment protocol while 72.79% took no treatment at all. Thus it was concluded that a significant number of medical students in Women Medical College, Abbottabad were suffering with Upper cross syndrome either due to excessive smart phone usage or poor study posture.

Keywords Upper Cross Syndrome (UCS), Cervical, Shoulder, Musculoskeletal (MSK), Forward Head Posture (FHP).

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How to Cite
Javed, A., Fatima, U., & Javed Jadoon, I. (2022). Prevalence of Upper Cross Syndrome In Medical Students of Women Medical College, Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Journal of Women Medical and Dental College, 1(3).