A neck hump, also known as a buffalo hump or dowager’s hump, is a visible curve at the base of the neck. To get rid of a neck hump, you must maintain good posture, perform regular neck stretches and exercises to strengthen the muscles in your neck and upper back, consider ergonomic adjustments to your workspace or daily activities to minimize strain on your neck, and engage in regular cardiovascular exercise and strength training to improve overall posture and muscle tone.
Note Moreover, If the neck hump is persistent or causing discomfort, consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation and guidance to fix this issue.
What is a neck hump?
It occurs due to several factors, including poor posture, muscle imbalances, spinal issues such as kyphosis, or certain medical conditions. Kyphosis is a medical condition that includes excessive forward curvature of the upper spine.
The presence of a neck hump can be problematic for several reasons. It can impact your posture by causing an imbalance in the alignment of the head and shoulders. This misalignment strains surrounding muscles and may lead to discomfort or pain in the neck and upper back region.
Moreover, a buffalo hump can affect your appearance and self-confidence. Our self-confidence is highly related to our appearance. That’s why dressing well and looking good always boosts our confidence to another level. Even a single disability, especially when it is so visible, can be highly depressing as it may leave a person feeling socially neglected and incomparable to others around him.
Our spinal cord has some natural curves which support us to stand straight. Still, kyphosis is a relatively challenging condition as it affects our posture badly.
A neck hump might be accompanied by a few more conditions, like:
- Rounded shoulders.
- Tight hamstrings.
- Pain or stiffness in your back and shoulder blades.
- Extreme fatigue.
- Headaches or migraines
Therefore, to understand how to get rid of neck hump? It is essential to address neck hump exercises to help improve posture and contribute to an individual’s physical well-being and confidence. By understanding its causes and implementing appropriate strategies for correction, individuals can work towards reducing its prominence and achieving better alignment of the head, neck, and shoulders.
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What are the causes of neck hump?
Various factors that contribute to the development of neck hump include:
1) Poor Posture
Maintaining poor posture for extended periods, such as lazy, drooping movements or having a forward head position, places excessive strain on the muscles and ligaments in the neck and upper back. This can lead to muscle imbalances and contribute to developing a neck hump.
2) Muscle Imbalances
Imbalances in the strength and flexibility of muscles around the neck and upper back can also play a role in developing a neck hump. Weakness in certain muscle groups combined with tightness or overactivity can lead to postural abnormalities.
3) Spinal Issues
Conditions that affect spinal alignment may contribute to developing a buffalo hump. Kyphosis can give rise to a visible prominence at the base of the neck.
4) Medical Conditions
Certain medical conditions may increase susceptibility to developing a buffalo hump.
Osteoporosis: It is a condition characterized by weakened bones, especially in post-menopausal women with low estrogen levels in their bodies. Estrogen deficiency may increase osteoclasts’ activity and bone resorption, leading to more frequent fractures.
A compression fracture causes an increased forward curve. Its curved upper back forces you to lift your neck in a more extendable position to look forward. Over time, it leads to the development of the neck hump.
Cushing’s syndrome: It involves excessive cortisol levels in your body and abnormal fat accumulation in your face and neck, thus developing a hump in your upper back.
Arthritis: Arthritis, specifically osteoarthritis, involves the degeneration of cartilage and joint tissues, resulting in changes such as bone spurs or disc herniation. These structural abnormalities can affect spinal alignment and lead to postural issues such as hump on neck.
Scheuermann’s kyphosis: Scheuermann’s kyphosis is considered a structural deformity rather than a postural issue. It involves the development of the spine into a wedge shape rather than rectangular, causing an exaggerated forward curvature.
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Self-assessment of your neck hump
While self-assessment can provide some initial assessment, it is essential to note that a professional evaluation by a healthcare provider or specialist is the most accurate way to diagnose and assess a buffalo hump. However, here are some guidelines for readers to perform a self-assessment test.
1) Visual Inspection
Stand in front of a mirror with your upper body exposed and evaluate the alignment of your head, neck, and shoulders. Observe if there is any visible rounding or prominence at the base of your neck or upper back area.
Gently run your fingers along the back of your neck from the base upwards towards your skull. Pay attention to areas that feel elevated or more prominent than surrounding regions.
3) Range of Motion Assessment
Slowly move your head forward and backwards. Then tilt it sideways gently toward each shoulder. Note if you experience any discomfort in motion or pain during these movements.
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Best 5 neck hump exercises
Here are a few neck hump exercises:
1) Chin tucks
Chin tucks are a very effective exercise for those who want to eliminate their neck hump. They work on your front muscles and stretch the muscles at the back of your neck.
- Lower your chin and press it backwards, making a double chin.
- Raise it upward.
- Repeat it 12 times thrice a day.
2) Upper Back Stretch
- Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Interlace your fingers in front of you, palms facing outward.
- Gently lift your arms forward and upward, rounding your upper back as you reach out in front of you.
- Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds while relaxing the muscles between your shoulder blades.
3) Wall Angels
To fix your hump, stand against a wall with feet slightly away from the wall while maintaining good posture (head, upper back, buttocks touching the wall).
- Bend elbows to form a ‘W’ shape at shoulder height.
- Then slide arms upward until fully extended overhead while keeping contact with the wall throughout the movement range.
- Return to starting position slowly and repeat 8-10 times to strengthen back muscles and improve scapular stability.
4) Neck Retraction Exercises
- Sit tall or stand upright with proper posture.
- Place one hand against your forehead.
- Applying slight resistance as you push into it using about 20% strength effort while simultaneously trying to move forward against that resistance using equal force generated by neck muscles.
- Hold for 5-10 seconds, relax, and repeat the same resistance exercise with your palm on the back of your head.
- Then on each side of the head. Perform 8-10 repetitions in each direction to strengthen neck muscles and correct imbalances.
5) Pec stretch
The pec stretch is a highly effective exercise that can reduce the size of a neck hump. Its primary objective is to enhance the neck’s range of motion and alleviate stiffness, ultimately targeting neck humps. What makes this exercise particularly appealing is its simplicity and equipment-free nature. Here’s how you can perform it:
- Stand diagonally facing a wall.
- Position your forearm and elbow against the wall so that your elbow aligns with your chest. Gently move your body away from the wall while maintaining contact between your arm and the wall until you feel a stretch in your chest muscles.
- Hold this position for approximately 30 seconds, aiming for 4-5 repetitions. Repeat the same steps on the other side.
So, a simple solution to get rid of a neck hump is by incorporating this straightforward pec stretch into your routine; you can actively work towards reducing buffalo humps while promoting improved flexibility and mobility in your neck area.
Note Consider a healthcare professional or physical therapist before starting any new exercise routine, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or injuries. They can provide personalized guidance based on your needs and help ensure proper form during exercises targeting muscle imbalances contributing to a neck hump.
How to get rid of neck hump beyond Self-Help Measures
In more severe cases or when self-help measures prove ineffective, additional interventions are available to fix your neck hump. Each of these professionals brings unique expertise and specialized treatments that can target your specific condition and provide individualized guidance.
Physical therapists employ various exercises, stretches, and techniques to enhance mobility, reduce pain, and improve overall function. They create tailored treatment plans to meet your goals and help you regain strength.
Chiropractors focus on spinal health by utilizing manual adjustments or other techniques to align the spine properly. This approach aims to alleviate pain and promote optimal musculoskeletal system functioning.
Massage therapists utilize various hands-on techniques to relax muscles, relieve tension, improve circulation, and enhance overall well-being. Their therapeutic touch can specifically target areas affected by pain or discomfort.
Orthopaedic specialists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the musculoskeletal system. They may recommend advanced diagnostic tests if needed (such as imaging) and explore surgical options for some instances that require intervention beyond conservative methods.
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How to prevent a neck hump
Preventing neck hump, or dowager’s hump or kyphosis, involves lifestyle changes and exercises. Here are some steps you can take to help prevent the development or get rid of a buffalo hump:
Maintain good posture: Be mindful throughout the day, especially when sitting and standing. Keep your shoulders back, chest lifted, and head aligned with your spine.
Perform regular neck stretches and exercises: Incorporate exercises that strengthen your neck and upper back muscles into your daily routine. This can help improve posture and reduce strain on the neck.
Take breaks from prolonged sitting: If you spend long hours sitting, take frequent breaks to stretch and move around. Sitting for extended periods can contribute to poor posture.
Use ergonomic equipment: Ensure that your workspace is set up with an adjustable chair, proper desk height, and adequate support for your back while seated.
Avoid excessive phone usage: Limit the time spent looking down at screens (such as phones or tablets) as it strains the neck muscles over time.
Stay active: Engage in regular physical activity that includes exercises targeting core strength, flexibility training, and activities like swimming or yoga, which promote overall muscle balance.
Get regular check-ups: Regular visits to healthcare providers can help identify any underlying conditions contributing to postural issues early on so they can be addressed promptly.
Remember that prevention is critical to maintaining good spinal health and preventing neck hump formation; however, if you already have developed one or experiencing concerns about it, consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalized advice tailored to your specific needs.
A dowager’s hump, also known as a buffalo hump or dowager’s hump, is a visible curve at the base of the neck. It can impact your posture by causing an imbalance in the alignment of the head and shoulders.
To get rid of a dowager’s hump, you must maintain good posture, perform regular neck stretches and exercises to strengthen the muscles in your neck and upper back, consider ergonomic adjustments to your workspace or daily activities to minimize strain on your neck, and engage in regular cardiovascular exercise and strength training to improve overall posture and muscle tone.
- Chin tucks:
- Upper Back Stretch:
- Wall Angels:
- Neck Retraction Exercises
- Pec stretch
Women are more likely to get a dowager’s hump because of the risk of osteoporosis after menopause.
A neck hump doesn’t cause severe health complications but may cause discomfort and low self-confidence.
the Bottom line
It is crucial to understand that correcting a neck hump takes time and effort. Consistent implementation of exercises stretches, and postural adjustments can help gradually improve posture and reduce the prominence of a buffalo hump.
We emphasize seeking professional guidance from healthcare providers or physical therapists who can provide personalized advice based on individual needs. They can assess your specific situation, recommend suitable exercises, and monitor progress along the way.
It’s essential to remember that everyone’s journey is unique. Results may vary depending on factors such as underlying causes, the severity of the dowager’s hump, overall health condition, adherence to recommended practices, and individual response to treatment approaches.
Ultimately, by consistently practising corrective measures with patience and seeking appropriate professional support, individuals can work towards reducing or alleviating their neck hump over time.