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Dowager's hump

What is that unsightly bump at the base of my neck? Why is it there? That Quasimodo hump is called a dowager’s hump. But if you have one, are you doomed to have it forever? Short answer…possibly.

A dowager’s hump could be caused by osteoporotic compression fractures of the upper back, leading to a wedge shape of the vertebra and the hyperkyphosis of the dowager’s hump. With these, there is not much that can be done once the compression fractures are there. But there are many cases documented that have no connection to osteoporosis but is strictly related to poor posture, particularly forward head posture with rounded shoulders.

According to Kapandji, for every 1” of forward head posture, there is 10lbs more pressure and strain put on the neck and upper back. The average head weighs 12lbs so if the head is 2” forward from the perfect position, that is 32lbs of weight placed on the upper back and neck.

When the body is stressed, it will do what it takes to protect itself. In the case of poor posture, the body lays down fatty connective tissue in the overstressed area at the base of the neck. Initially the changes are small, but as the poor posture becomes chronic, the hump becomes bigger and bigger.  

Though not easy, this can be helped. At Northwest Wellness, we will start with an exam to determine the best course of treatment. But you should know that most of the work will come from you. You have to improve your posture. You have to make the change. Call our office today at 253-927-0660 to schedule an appointment.