If your neck and shoulders appear hunched or rounded, you might notice a hump on the back of your neck when you straighten up. Known informally as a dowager’s hump, this condition is called kyphosis and often indicates poor posture. Luckily, you can avoid future neck pain and reduce the appearance of this hump with posture changes, daily exercises, and braces.
At The Spine and Sports Center in Sugarland and Houston, Texas, Dr. Benoy Benny specializes in back pain and neck pain. He can warn you if your issues are caused by a developing neck hump.
What causes neck humps
Before assuming the hump on your neck is caused by poor posture, it’s important to rule out other causes. Take note of the placement and feel of the lump; is it on the back of your neck, between your shoulders? Does it become more noticeable when you straighten up and lift your head?
If so, your neck hump is simply kyphosis, or a forward curving of your spine. In most cases, this curvature is mild and caused by poor posture. However, other conditions can lead to more serious instances of kyphosis, including:
- Compression fractures
- Disc degeneration
Depending on the severity of your kyphosis, you might experience cosmetic concerns, neck pain, and limited mobility.
Getting rid of your neck hump
If you have a history of poor posture and just want to minimize your neck hump, there are things you can try at home to reduce its appearance. Treatments for neck humps include:
Correcting your posture
This sounds simple, but it’s more challenging than you think. The problem with poor posture is that it’s a bad habit, and you’ll have to correct it many times.
To avoid putting strain on your neck, make sure you sit up straight at your desk and hold your phone at eye level while scrolling. Fix your posture whenever you find yourself hunching over, and set alarms to remind yourself every so often.
Bracing your back
Braces can offer support and guidance while you improve your posture, especially if you’re having trouble correcting it yourself. Just make sure not to wear your brace for too long every day, and don’t become reliant on it. Think of it as a teaching tool, not a solution.
Undergoing physical therapy
Your head is heavy — about 10 pounds. If you hunch over and let your head hang low, it puts strain on the muscles that hold it upright. In cases of postural kyphosis, this is what causes the lump on the back of the neck. By strengthening these muscles and learning to hold your head up properly, you can minimize your neck pain and kyphosis.
At The Spine & Sports Center, Dr. Benny reviews your medical history and takes X-rays to determine the extent of the damage. He begins building a treatment plan from there.
To schedule a consultation, call our location closest to you or book an appointment online today.