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  • What is that hump at the base of your neck? Dowager’s Hump

  • Have you ever wondered, “What is that hump at the base of my neck?”

    Dowager’s hump is a hump at the base of your neck. The medical definition of Dowager’s hump is: An abnormal outward curvature of the thoracic vertebrae of the upper back. Compression of the front portion of the involved vertebrae due to osteoporosis leads to forward bending of the spine (kyphosis) and creates a hump at the upper back. Like most osteoporotic changes, it is often preventable.

    Causes of Dowager’s Hump

    1. Vertebral Body Anatomy – Anatomy Of The Cervical Spine – Cervical Spine Structure – Vertebral Human Anatomy Anatomically large C7 spinus process. The spinus process of the C7 vertebrae is anatomically larger than the rest of the cervical spine processes. If this is the only cause of the hump there is little to do.  Most everyone has this bony protuberance sticking out more than the others. The question is how much and are there additional causes that are treatable and preventable?
    2. Forward head position due to bad posture. Technology is a major cause of forward neck posture. Did you know that “For every inch of forward head posture, it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds.” (Kapandji, Physiology of the Joints, Volume 3)
    3. Forward rounding of the shoulders from sitting, overdeveloped pectoral muscles, weak upper back muscles.
    4. Loss or reversal of spinal curvature. Could be postural or degenerative.

    Implications of Dowager’s Hump

    1. Not aesthetically appealing to have
    2. Thickening of the connective tissue and fat depositing sight
    3. Bony alterations. The C7 sinus process becomes even larger
    4. Neck pain and tension
    5. Shoulder pain and tension
    6. Increased risk of arthritis, tension headaches, nerve irritation

    Treatments for Dowager’s Hump

    1. Chiropractic adjustments and different forms of soft tissue work.  Chiropractic adjustments get to the root cause of the problem.  Chiropractors will adjust areas of motion restriction, correct the curvature and work to re-align the connective tissue, and prescribe postural exercises.  They will able to bring you to the next level of at-home treatment.
    2. Posture pump and traction. Doing posture pump at home. Do not attempt using a posture pump before you have seen a chiropractor. Applying pressure to the spine in an area where movement is restricted over a swelling can cause whole new problems to the spine.
    3. Lifestyle changes can go a long way. Get an ergonomic evaluation to ensure proper sitting arrangements. Sit/stand desks are extremely helpful.  Standing during the workday encourages the proper curves in the spine.
    4. Be patient. Spinal changes take time, but you should see and feel a difference in the size of the hump and the swelling after 6-8 chiropractic adjustments.

    We would love to help you with correct Dowager’s hump.  Schedule your appointment today at our San Francisco office location. Stay up to date on the latest treatments that chiropractic can offer and the latest deals at Chiro-Health Inc. by remembering to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, or follow our company profile on LinkedIn.