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3 Credits

Upper Body Dysfunction (UBD)

Predictive Model of Upper Body Dysfunction (UBD): Signs of upper body postural dysfunction; muscle, joint, fascia, nervous system, neuromuscular recruitment, subsystems, and core muscle contribution. Exercise selection related to upper crossed syndrome, rounded shoulder posture, forward head, and neck pain.

Brent Brookbush

Brent Brookbush


Course Description: Upper Body Dysfunction

Upper Body Dysfunction (UBD) is an edit and update of previous postural dysfunction models (e.g. Upper-crossed Syndrome, Rounded Shoulder Posture, Protracted Shoulder Girdle, etc.). It is important to recognize that in these models the term "posture" is being used as an analogy for "ideal alignment". Similarly, when movement professionals refer to upper body posture, good posture, poor posture, better posture, etc. they are referring to this analogy of ideal alignment; not the rigid positioning implied by the colloquial use of the term "posture."

Postural dysfunction and movement impairment syndromes are likely the beginning of "modeling". Modeling has significant potential to aid in refining clinical decision-making, intervention selection, program design, and improve the reliability and effect size of outcomes. It is particularly helpful for aiding in the interpretation of multi-variant problems, which is how all clients and patients present. The Brookbush Institute recommends that all sports medicine professionals (personal trainers, fitness instructors, physical therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, etc.) consider these models to aid in refining decision-making in practice.

Additional Models:


  • Posture: Arthro- and osteo-kinematics alignment maintained by optimal myofascial activity and length, as a result of sensation, integration, and activation by the nervous system - both statically and dynamically.
  • Postural Dysfunction: The absence of ideal posture as a result of maladaptation by one or multiple tissues within the human movement system.
    • Brookbush Institute Modern Definition: Modeling patterns of movement impairment correlated with orthopedic dysfunction, based on all available evidence, with the intent of predicting best-practice assessments and techniques, to optimize measured outcomes.


Altered Mobility and Activity

Overactive (Release and Stretch):

Underactive (Activate and Integrate):

Fascia (Reduction in Extensibility)

  • Clavipectoral Fascia
  • Cervicothoracic fascia
  • Thoracolumbar fascia
  • Abdominal fascia


  • Anterior Tipping: SC joint, AC Joint & Scapula
  • Excessive Kyphosis: Thoracic Spine and Costal Joints
  • Hypo or Hypermobility: Glenohumeral Joint
  • Forward Head Posture: Cervical Dysfunction
  • Elevation and Stiffness: First and Second Rib

Signs of Dysfunction

Overhead Squat Assessment :

Goniometric Assessment

Muscle Length Tests

Manual Muscle Tests

Correlated Injuries, Pathologies, and Pain

  • Impingement Syndrome
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • DDD in cervical and thoracic spine
  • Facet joint dysfunction in cervical and thoracic spine
  • Sternocostal dysfunction
  • Radiculopathy
  • Neuritis (median, ulnar, radial nerve distributions)
  • Chronic Glenohumeral Instability
  • Adhesive Capsulitis
  • Glenohumeral Osteoarthritis
  • Hyperkyphosis
  • Scapular Winging
  • Supraspinatus and biceps tendonitis
  • Subacromial bursitis
  • Suprascapular trigger point
  • Mid thoracic trigger points
  • Epicondylitis
  • Pain:
    • Shoulder
    • Neck
    • Thoracic Spine
    • Low Back
    • Elbow
    • SC or Sternocostal joint


1 sub-category

Signs of Upper Body Dysfunction

Postural/Movement Assessment

Refining the Upper Body Dysfunction Model

5 sub-categories

A New Model of Upper-body Dysfunction (UBD)

1 sub-category

Arthrokinematic Dysfunction

Fascial Connections

5 sub-categories

How does this affect my exercise selection?

1 sub-category


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1. Introduction

00:00 00:00