What it is Dowager’s Hump
Dowager’s hump or sometimes referred to as buffulo hump is a structural change affecting the upper back. It can develop with fat gathering behind your neck or as an accentuated curvature of the upper back called hyperkyphosis.
It is more common in women than in men. Especially menopausal women. It often times results in feeling more self conscious and in some cases there is an underlying serious condition. Causes of Dowager’s hump can be any of the following:
- Osteoporosis (thining of bone)
- Slipped or herniated discs
- Side effects from medications such as long term steroid use
- Cushing’s syndrome (high hormonal cortisol)
- Less common: Birth defects, spine infections, tumors, cancer
- Chronic Poor Posture
Treatment and Remedies
It is most important to focus on the underlying condition in an effort to prevent the structural hyperkyphosis from worsening.
Before beginning any program to treat or relieve the symptoms of hyperkyphosis, it is necessary to seek advice from a medical professional to avoid exacerbating the pain or aggravating another medical condition.
Home remedy tips:
- Relieving symptoms
- Exercises to strengthen back muscles
- Yoga – to increase flexibility
- A recent study in California showed that a small group of elderly women trained in yoga saw a slight reduction in their spinal curvatures after taking yoga classes three times a week for six months compared to a similar group of women who didn’t perform yoga(1).
- Increase done density by ensuring proper amounts of:
- Vit D
- Fatty Acids (omega 3,6,9)
- Bone growth stimulation – as when using a rebounder
- Improve Workstation Posture
- Posture Braces
- Posture Exercises – Forward Head Translation exercises
- Foam roller – use as traction
Dowager’s hump can have many causes, so it’s important to have a health practitioner rule out serious conditions that require medical intervention. When Dowager’s hump is caused by chronic poor posture focus on posture correcting modalities. Check out “how to fix hyperkyphosis (Dowager’s Hump)”.
(1) September 2009 Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Photo: courtesy of PMSA orthotics
About the Author
Dr. Paul Paez, DC, NRT, NET, CMT
National Board Certified Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), trained in clinical nutrition (NRT), neuro-emotional release (NET), and Massage Therapy (CMT). Dr. Paul holds the rare triple distinction of Certified Posture Expert, Certified Posture Neurologist and Certified Posture Ergonomist by the American Posture Institute.