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The Upper Cross Syndrome with its characteristic posture – the typical protruding head, curled shoulders and curved upper back – usually has an impact on the degrees of freedom and range of motion of the shoulder joints and the cervical and thoracic spine. The full range of movement of the shoulders is formed by the shoulder joints and both collarbone joints. It represents a system consisting of the associated muscles, the upper arms and shoulder blades.

The “fist behind the back” test provides information on the mobility of the shoulder and thoracic spine.

Before the test: Measure the length of the hand (of the test person), from the carpus to the tip of the middle finger.

  • Place the thumb inside and make a fist around the thumbs.
  • Take an upright stand with feet together..
  • Keep both arms to the sides and the fists closed.
  • Do not push the fists together any further once they are resting on the back.
  • Bring the arms back into the side holds and test the other side.
  • The right fist goes up over the outer rotation and the left fist goes down over the inner rotation to the back.

Keep your head still during the execution.

Repeat the exercise if the head moves during the execution.

A movement of the head during the execution represents an evasive movement.

  • If the distance is one hand length, you are in the green area.
  • If the distance is one and a half hand length, you are in the yellow area.
  • If the distance is more than one and a half hand length, you are in the red area.

This “Testing” gives you information about your status quo in a simplified form. A kind of functional diagnosis. It helps you to get a picture of your functionality and quality of movement in order to filter out your strengths and weaknesses and it should help you to develop a feeling whether your body, joints, muscles, certain movements are “rusty” or not. With your results you can determine which areas are more in need of attention or need more attention.

Silvester Neidhardt