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Avoiding Neck Hump: Fixing and Preventing Dowager’s Hump


Dr. Lewis


Nov 1, 2021


Neck Hump

Have you ever noticed how some individuals' have a slightly rounded hunch at the base of their neck? This hump is called the Dowager's Hump, which is typically spotted in older people and often gives the appearance of a hunchback.

While it is increasingly more common in the elderly population, the Neck Hump can happen to anyone. Most of us have lives that keep us behind a computer, at a desk, and on our phones nearly every day. The posture of hunching shoulders, a rounded back, and a neck tilted down are all contributing factors to the development of a Neck Hump.

The great news is that you're not alone if you are experiencing a Neck Hump — it affects 20 to 40% of the adult population! There are many ways to prevent the onset of the Neck Hump and fix the appearance of the Neck Hump when needed.

What is a Neck Hump? The Neck Jump, or the Dowager's Hump, is medically recognized as the condition of kyphosis. The appearance of the hump results from a chronic forward-leaning posture that leads to the development of an abnormal curve of the upper vertebrae over time. A mass of tissue typically forms at the lower part of the neck, giving a hunchback look.

Dr. Justin Lewis of Get Adjusted Chiropractic confirms that poor posture is, unfortunately, the most common cause of the Neck Hump.

"What we see now is people with rounded shoulders, forward head carriage, and hips rotating forwards (anterior pelvic tilt) when they should be neutral," explains Dr. Justin Lewis. "The new normal of work-from-home life has destroyed people's posture. It's hard to find a good work setup, and because of that, our posture has suffered."

Overall, most cases are found in middle-aged to elderly populations. However, with the demand for work done at computers over the last few decades, younger individuals are also experiencing the Neck Hump at increased rates. Some other possible reasons for the Neck Hump include Osteoporosis, congenital issues, or Scheuermann's kyphosis — which can affect age groups differently.

How can I prevent a Neck Hump? Improving your posture is the perfect place to start to avoid developing a Neck Hump. Finding and relaxing into your body's natural posture and keeping that top of mind is a practical step you can include in your day-to-day. For example, if you are always bent forward, that's extra weight pulling on and straining the back.

Make sure you are not bent forward, as that pulls extra weight onto and strains the back. Instead, keep your shoulders level and your spine straight, especially if your routine keeps you seated. The forward curve of bending towards a screen or desk can negatively affect your spinal discs, leading to the formation of the Neck Hump and increased pressure on the back.

"Simple changes you can make at your home office or your in-person office can make major impacts," says Dr. Justin Lewis. "My recommendations would be:

1) The top one-third of your monitor should be in line with your eyesight, which will limit you from hunching forward.

2) When using a wireless keyboard (which you should always have — they offer increased mobility!), you should be able to have your elbows by your side, and your hands should rest on your keyboard. If they have to go any further, the keyboard is too far forward, and you'll continue to hunch.

3) Make sure that you have a sturdy chair with lumbar support to bolster the normal low back lordosis (curve), allowing your body to sit upright."

Working with your chiropractor to improve posture and stretch and strengthen the back will prepare your body over time to prevent the onset of the Neck Hump.

What can I do to minimize the appearance of a Neck Hump? Depending on age and severity, there are ways to improve or reverse the appearance of a Neck Hump. You can also work to reduce the medical implications of the tissues forming at the base of your neck. Focusing on your upper back muscles, increasing tone, and practicing proper posture can all work together to help decrease the size of a Neck Hump.

"Stretching should be part of your normal daily start to the day. Five minutes is all you need to enhance your daily posture," states Dr. Justin Lewis. "Chiropractic care is great for increasing the range of motion of the joints, but at-home, daily practice is necessary."

Dr. Justin Lewis recommends incorporating the following stretches into your routine:

1. Pectoral Stretch Stretching your chest muscles can also assist in strengthening your upper back. Find a sturdy door jam and place your arms on either side of the door frame, creating a 90-degree angle with each arm. Lean in further and further until your muscles relax. Challenge yourself if needed with a more challenging stretch — bring your arms higher than the 90-degree angle and try the stretch again.

2. Upper Back Stretch Loosen your muscles with this stretch. Face a wall and stand back so that your body is diagonally from the wall on which you're leaning. Place your hands flat on it above your head. While your neck remains neutral, sink into the position, moving your body towards the wall. Move your arms lower as needed.
Chin Translation Work to make your body's natural resting posture as proper as possible by bringing your head back in line over your body. When you feel your head is too far forward past your neck and back alignment, bring your neck back so that your neck is entirely in line. You can practice this by bringing your neck forward and sharply moving your head back — not up or down, but back.

"This helps to improve your posture and make you feel better overall. Come Get Adjusted for more helpful tips!" says Dr. Justin Lewis.

If you're concerned about the onset or appearance of a Neck Hump, don't wait to make chiropractic care a part of your routine. Set up a time to work with Dr. Justin Lewis by calling the Get Adjusted Chiropractic team at 845-809-8300.

Prevent long term pain with Get Adjusted Chiropractic! Book an appointment online today or call our office at 845-809-8300 to schedule a visit with Dr. Justin Lewis.

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