Preventing and dealing with that Hump on the back of your neck

What is a Dowager’s Hump?
A ‘Dowager’s Hump’, often referred to as a ‘Back Hump’ or ‘fatty hump at the back of the neck’, is a hump that can form at the base of the neck. While the Dowager’s Hump itself is not painful, it can play a major role in neck, shoulder, and upper back pain. Historically, the Dowager’s Hump was most commonly seen in older women however, in recent years, this type of hump at the base of the neck has become commonplace across all ages and genders – even in children and young adults.

How it is caused? 
A Dowager’s Hump is most commonly caused by having improper posture; more specifically, it is the result of having what is known as ‘Forward Head Posture’. Forward Head Posture is the most common type of poor posture where the head is in a slightly more forward position than is normal for the natural curvature of the spine. Over time, the spine will adapt to support the new position of the head which results in a more extreme curvature of the spine, leaving a hump. The hump itself is formed by a build-up of calcium, which is actually the result of a restorative process the body undertakes automatically. Extra calcium is continually sent to areas that are perceived to be under stress or have been damaged, and over a sustained period of time the calcium may actually build up between the vertebrae of the spine, resulting in further degeneration of the curvature of the spine and an overall decrease in health and mobility.

Technology hurting posture

Historically, Forward Head Posture has been most commonly diagnosed in older individuals, although in recent years all age-groups seem to be running into this problem. A combination of time spent at a desk or in front of a computer, along with the time spent texting and operating cell-phones (or other devices) will increase the risk of Forward head Posture for anyone, regardless of age. The younger crowd, for whom Forward Head Posture has not typically been an issue, are now at increased risk of developing Forward Head Posture from the constant use of electronic devices which cause the user to pull their head forward during operation. That being said, the sooner these issues begin the sooner treatment should be obtained so as to prevent any further degeneration of the natural curvature of the spine.

What happens if a Dowager’s Hump is left unchecked?
Without the proper attention, a Dowager’s Hump can become a major issue. By having the head further forward than is natural for the spine, the body must compensate for the extra weight by overworking the muscles which support the neck and head. As the head moves further forward and the chin moves down towards the ribcage, the body will utilize new muscles to balance the head. This means that muscles that are normally used are being placed under too much strain, and newly-utilized muscles that are not normally used to supporting the head, neck and shoulder area will be sore from constant use. Left un treated, this can lead to spinal degeneration.

How does a Dowager’s Hump affect my Appearance?
In addition to the issues dealing with pain and discomfort, a Dowager’s Hump causes many individuals to become anxious or embarrassed about their appearance. Those with a Dowager’s Hump may have an unsightly hump on the back of their neck, but are also commonly concerned with their overall body appearance as the abdomen often appears to be ‘hanging forward’ or protruding. 

What can I do to prevent a Dowager’s Hump?
Luckily for anyone who is seen at the Posture Clinic (and for those of you who are interested in coming in for a visit), prevention of a Dowager’s Hump goes hand-in-hand with simply having good posture. Regular exercise and stretching will certainly help, but the most important factor in ensuring good posture is treatment by a licensed and knowledgeable chiropractor.   The manual adjustments that are administered have significant value in ensuring the proper alignment of the spine. The Posture Moulding Technique that has been pioneered by Dr.Bahar works in conjunction with regular adjustments, and will further assist in prevention by using the force of gravity to assist the body in returning to its natural alignment.

What if I am beginning to get a Dowager’s Hump or already have one? Can anything be done?
Not to worry – even if you already have a Dowager’s Hump there is still help available to you! The first step is to have an assessment of your spine and posture to determine what might be causing that unsightly hump to appear. A number of treatment options are available to address the condition of  Dowager’s Hump and a hump at the back of the neck ranging from invasive surgeries to posture correction treatments.  

A common approach is surgical, where the medical professional will actually use invasive techniques to enter the body and correct issues within the spine. The procedure itself requires individuals to spend at least a day in the hospital, and will leave patients with a recovery period of a few days, although they are advised to stay away from strenuous activity or heavy lifting for six weeks. The procedure also poses inherent risks to recipients – the possibility of damaging the nerves or spine during procedure exists, along with the very real risk of infection.  
While surgery is an option, it does little to address the cause of the problem (poor posture) or possible re-appearance of the hump. Given the invasive nature of this approach, often involving a significant recovery period, surgery is best left as a last resort. A preferred, non-invasive approach is to consider posture correction first. Correcting poor posture to realign the spine into a healthy position and reverse the signs of humping at the base of the neck. Between manual adjustments, recommendations by a professional and the Posture Moulding Technique, it is indeed possible to stop the further formation of a hump at the back of the neck and even to reverse it.

The methods used at The Posture Clinic are proven to help reverse the effects of a Dowager’s Hump, and will be your best bet for getting rid of that lump and correcting the natural alignment of your spine! Find out how you can correct your spine and get rid of your Dowager’s hump permanently without drugs or surgery. Click here for a FREE consultation at The Posture Clinic with two Greater Toronto Area locations in Richmond Hill, Ontario or North York, Ontario.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 at 1:43 pm and is filed under Anti Aging. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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