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Posture Perfect: Get Rid of Dowager’s Hump Hunched Over Appearance with Chiropractic

Are you troubled by the appearance of a hump behind the base of your neck or upper back? This condition is known as the dowager’s hump, medically termed hyperkyphosis. It can significantly impact your posture and overall spinal health. In this article, we will dive deep into understanding the causes, symptoms, treatment options, and preventive measures for managing hyperkyphosis and getting rid of that hunched-over appearance.

What is the Dowager Hump?

Understanding the spinal curvature: Hyperkyphosis, commonly referred to as the dowager’s hump, is a condition characterised by an excessive outward curvature of the thoracic spine, resulting in a hump-like projection, sometimes referred to as ‘granny hump’ colloquially, at the back of the neck or upper back. This abnormal spine curvature can lead to a noticeable rounding of the upper spine, causing poor posture and discomfort.

Common causes of the dowager hump: The development of a dowager’s hump can be linked to various factors, with osteoporosis being a more severe cause. Osteoporotic compression fractures in the vertebrae can lead to the collapse of the spinal column, contributing to the formation of the hump. Additionally, degenerative changes in the spine, poor posture, and forward head posture are also potential culprits.

Symptoms of hyperkyphosis: Individuals with hyperkyphosis may experience neck pain, back pain, and a visible hump behind the base of the neck, which can feel achy, inflamed and hot. The kyphotic angle, indicating the degree of spine curvature, may be significantly increased, prompting the need for diagnosis and appropriate interventions.

The good new is that this type of postural imbalance can be corrected in a lot of cases, through early intervention and guidance from your family Chiropractor. They will provide corrective exercises and stretches and perform spinal adjustments to align the spine and help you correct the hyper kyphosis.

Causes and Treatment Options

We’ve already discussed osteoporosis and its effect on posture: Osteoporosis, a condition characterised by weakened and brittle bones, particularly affects older adults and can lead to vertebral compression fractures, ultimately contributing to a dowager’s hump. Preventive measures and treatment for osteoporosis are crucial in addressing its impact on posture.

Other causes could be slip trips and falls, accidents and traumas. Unhealthy posture sustained for long periods of time can also cause hyperkyphosis resulting in the formation of a Dowager’s hump.

Addressing neck and back pain: The presence of hyperkyphosis often accompanies neck and back pain due to the strain on the upper spine and back muscles. Enlist the help of a family chiropractor, osteopath or physiotherapist to help you correct your posture and strengthen your muscles to better support you in an upright position.

Treatment options for improving posture: Individuals looking to improve their posture and reduce the appearance of a dowager’s hump can explore various treatment options, such as physiotherapy, osteopathy and Chiropractic as each will provide targeted exercises, and manipulate the soft tissue and skeletal system to improve movement and posture.

Chiropractors in particular are very focused on optimising posture and nerve flow and promoting better quantity and quality of movement. These interventions aim to strengthen the thoracic spine and minimise the progression of hyperkyphosis.

Preventing and Managing Hyperkyphosis

Role of good posture in preventing spinal curvature: Maintaining good posture is crucial in preventing the development of hyperkyphosis. Practicing correct sitting and standing postures, along with adopting ergonomic furniture and tools, can significantly contribute to spinal health and minimise the risk of developing a dowager’s hump.

Exercises to strengthen the thoracic spine: Engaging in specific exercises targeted at strengthening the thoracic spine and improving spinal flexibility can play a pivotal role in managing hyperkyphosis. These exercises help alleviate muscle imbalances and reduce the prominence of the hump.

Regular Chiropractic care: Chiropractors will help you optimise your posture, relief back and neck pain, provide corrective exercises, ergonomic advice and lifestyle modifications to keep your posture healthy and upright.

Use of braces for spinal support: Braces designed to provide support to the upper spine can assist individuals with hyperkyphosis in maintaining optimal spinal alignment and preventing further curvature progression. Consulting a orthopaedic healthcare professional to determine the suitable type of brace is essential for effective management.

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Case Report showing that Chiropractic Care Correlates with Remission of Dowager’s Hump

One current study “Remission of Dowager’s hump by manipulative correction of spinal alignment: a case report” documents a case of Dowager’s hump or excessive kyphotic curvature in the thoracic spine. The improvement of symptoms and range of motion following chiropractic therapy has been shown to correlate with radiographic markers of spinal realignment. The present research documented a instance of Dowager’s hump or an exaggerated kyphotic curve in the thoracic spine. The amelioration of symptoms and flexibility after receiving chiropractic treatment has been demonstrated to correspond with radiographic indicators of spinal realignment. You can read the full case report Remission of Dowager’s hump by manipulative correction of spinal alignment: a case report study here.

Diagnosis and Chiropractic Interventions at Healing Hands Chiropractic

The Importance of Diagnosing Hyperkyphosis in Chiropractic Care

The accurate diagnosis of hyperkyphosis often involves the use of X-rays to assess the degree of spinal curvature and identify any vertebral compression fractures. These diagnostic images enable healthcare professionals, including chiropractors like those at Healing Hands Chiropractic, to develop a targeted treatment plan tailored to the individual’s condition.

At Healing Hands Chiropractic, our diagnostic process includes one of the UK’s most thorough measurement-based chiropractic assessments. This 10-step process includes advanced imaging tests when needed, allowing us to identify the root cause of your discomfort and provide safe and effective care.

Chiropractic Interventions for Severe Spinal Curvature

Chiropractic is a great, safe and effective way of improving posture and preventing unhealthy spinal curvature from developing. In cases of severe spinal curvature and significant functional impairment, chiropractic interventions can play a crucial role in mitigating symptoms and improving overall spinal health. These interventions may be coupled with pain management strategies, medication, and physical therapy, depending on the individual’s specific needs and condition.

Our chiropractic interventions at Healing Hands Chiropractic are backed by accurate diagnostic data from our comprehensive assessment. This ensures that the interventions are not only safe but also effective, and tailored to your specific condition, delivering measurable results.

Surgical Options for Hyperkyphosis: A Last Resort

Surgical intervention may be considered for individuals with severe hyperkyphosis who do not respond to conservative treatments, including chiropractic care. Procedures aimed at correcting the spinal curvature and stabilising the spine may be undertaken after a thorough evaluation and consultation with a healthcare provider.

However, it’s important to remember that at Healing Hands Chiropractic, we recognise this as a potential option and generally view surgery as a last resort. Our natural conservative healthcare approach focuses on providing holistic, non-invasive care tailored to your needs, based on the results of our thorough, 10-step chiropractic assessment. We believe in exhausting all conservative and non-invasive treatment options before considering surgical intervention.

Our ultimate goal at Healing Hands Chiropractic is to not only alleviate your immediate discomfort but also to promote long-term spinal health, improving your quality of life, mobility, and well-being.

Lifestyle and Posture Maintenance

Adopting healthy habits for spinal health: Incorporating healthy lifestyle habits, including regular exercise, a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients for bone health, and adequate hydration, can contribute to overall spinal health and reduce the risk of developing a dowager’s hump.

Role of nutrition and exercise in preventing dowager’s hump: Healthy nutrition, including sufficient calcium and vitamin D intake, is crucial in maintaining bone density and minimising the risk of osteoporotic fractures that can contribute to hyperkyphosis. Additionally, engaging in regular exercise routines that promote spinal strength and flexibility can aid in preventing the development of a dowager’s hump.

Using ergonomic furniture and tools to maintain good posture: Utilising ergonomic furniture in work and home environments, along with incorporating posture-supportive tools and accessories, can help individuals maintain good posture and reduce the strain on the upper spine, ultimately preventing the formation of a hump behind the neck.

Q: What is a dowager’s hump?

A: A dowager’s hump, also known as kyphosis, is an excessive forward rounding of the upper back, resulting in a hunched or rounded appearance.

Q: What are the common causes of a dowager’s hump?

A: The common causes of a dowager’s hump include bad posture, aging, osteoporosis, and Scheuermann’s kyphosis, among others.

Q: What are the symptoms of kyphosis or a dowager’s hump?

A: Symptoms of kyphosis or a dowager’s hump may include a visible hump behind the shoulders, stiffness, back pain, and fatigue.

Q: What is a buffalo hump and how is it related to kyphosis?

A: A buffalo hump is a medical term used to describe a hump of fat that develops at the base of the neck, often associated with kyphosis or excessive curving of the spine.

Q: What are the possible causes of a hump behind the neck?

A: The possible causes include aging, poor posture, osteoporosis, spinal injuries, and certain medical conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome.

Q: How can one prevent a dowager’s hump?

A: To help prevent a dowager’s hump, it is important to maintain good posture, engage in regular exercise, and ensure adequate calcium intake to promote bone health.

Q: What should I do if I suspect that I have kyphosis?

A: If you suspect you have kyphosis or a dowager’s hump, it is advisable to seek medical advice. A healthcare provider can conduct a physical examination and recommend appropriate treatment or preventive measures.

Q: What kind of exercises and stretches can help with kyphosis?

A: Specific exercises and stretches focused on strengthening the back muscles and improving posture can be beneficial in managing kyphosis. Your healthcare provider or a physical therapist may recommend suitable exercises.

Q: Is kyphosis more common in women?

A: Yes, kyphosis is more common in women, particularly older women, but it can affect people of any age or gender.

Q: What causes the curvature of the spine in kyphosis?

A: The curvature of the spine in kyphosis can be caused by various factors, including osteoporosis, abnormal vertebral development, and unhealthy posture, among others.

How Healing Hands Chiropractors Help Clients with Dowager’s Hump

At Healing Hands Chiropractic, we are experienced in helping clients who are dealing with Dowager’s Hump, also known as an excessive forward curvature of the upper back. Our dedicated chiropractors understand the discomfort and challenges that can come with this condition, and we are here to provide effective treatments and support.

Dowager’s Hump can be caused by poor posture, spinal misalignments, weak postural muscles, or osteoporosis. Our skilled chiropractors will conduct a thorough assessment to determine the underlying factors contributing to your Dowager’s Hump. Through this assessment, we can create a personalised treatment plan to address your specific needs and goals.

Our approach to treating Dowager’s Hump may include:

  1. Spinal adjustments: Through gentle and precise spinal adjustments, we can help realign the vertebrae in your upper back, reducing the forward curvature and improving your posture.
  2. Postural exercises: We will guide you through specific exercises aimed at strengthening the postural muscles and improving overall spinal alignment. These exercises can help correct and prevent further progression of Dowager’s Hump.
  3. Lifestyle modifications: Our chiropractors will provide you with recommendations on ergonomic improvements, posture corrections, and lifestyle changes that can support your recovery and long-term postural health.
  4. Education and support: We believe in empowering our clients by providing them with education on healthy posture, ergonomics, and self-care techniques. We will support you throughout your treatment journey, answering your questions and providing guidance along the way.

Healing Hands Chiropractic Dowager’s Hump Reviews

“I had a dowagers hump due to poor posture this has now improved so much it’s hardly noticeable”

“Healing hands chiropractor provide a professional service, They are really friendly and knowledgeable, My mobility has improved so much along with my posture since coming to them, I had a dowagers hump due to poor posture this has now improved so much it’s hardly noticeable, When I first came I could not turn my neck very far to either left or right side, this has also improved, I was given appropriate exercises to do to help with my issues and this has helped so much I am more flexible and I am sleeping better, my headaches have almost gone and I suffered daily with them. They do not pressure you to book more sessions and advise accordingly, they take scans so you can see before and after results, as they are adjustment sessions you can fit them in easily into a busy schedule. I have had to cancel at last minute at times and they did not penalise me for cancelling last minute and they are flexible around my time.
I continue to attend although every few weeks for maintenance, I have been treated by Dr Chintan and I would highly recommend him if you are looking for an excellent chiropractor.”

I walked in hunched over with sciatica/nerve pain shooting down my leg

“I started to see sanvir about a year ago. I walked in hunched over with sciatica/nerve pain shooting down my leg, I had been on weeks of pain kills that numbed the pain but didn’t resolve it.
Slowly but surely I have regained by posture and weight bearing on my leg. It’s amazing how quickly the pain relief happened.
I am very fearful of being “clicked” and sanvir worked very gently on my back, hips and shoulders to return me to health.
I cannot recommend him and is whole team enough.”

“…I’m 6ft 2 anyway, but now look like I am that height rather than hunching) as well as exuding greater confidence in my outward presentation”

“I’ve been working with Dr Sanvir now for the last 4 months. Originally sceptical of chiropractic, a view borne largely because of the attitude of my healthcare provider towards the practice, I was drawn to consult with Healing Hands Chiropractic following my daughter’s successful ‘treatment’ there, having suffered frequent and debilitating migraines, largely cleared up after a few weeks of attending Healing Hands Chiropractic. I was interested to learn, on first consultation, of the ‘condition’ of my spine particularly in my neck (I have suffered neck ache for many years, putting it down to bad posture when working at a desk) as well as in my lower back (which had been treated many times following what had been described as slight ‘ruptures’ of the discs around L4-L5). Dr Sanvir was also interested and informative around previous medical history, especially old shoulder, knee and ankle injuries, which all had had an impact on my spinal health.

“The proof of the pudding on re-X-raying has been unequivocal – with a 10 degree improvement from what was a very poor 18 degree to 28 degree curvature in my neck”

Embarking on a course of corrective treatment designed to run over 13 weeks, work and life frequently disrupted the planned regularity of treatment, but the flexibility afforded to my treatment by Healing Hands has worked well. In overall terms I have suffered far less neck ache and lower back ache in the last 4 months during treatment than at any time in the last 5-10 years, so realised the impact was positive. The proof of the pudding on re-X-raying has been unequivocal – with a 10 degree improvement from what was a very poor 18 degree to 28 degree curvature in my neck, and even more significant change in my lower back. In fact this came as no surprise to me at all following last weekend, which was spent digging heavily in the garden, and which would ‘normally’ have been followed by a week or more of semi-crippling back pain. In fact, following my treatment, Monday came and I was right as rain. Overall it’s been suggested by work colleagues that I am walking taller (I’m 6ft 2 anyway, but now look like I am that height rather than hunching) as well as exuding greater confidence in my outward presentation, day to day and formally in business.

Chiropractic gets a fairly non-committal press, especially from the major UK healthcare providers. I’ve been wholly impressed with what I’ve experienced – now just to maintain my spine in the condition Dr Sanvir’s achieved for me. Highly recommended.  Thankyou.”

For more reviews for our Chiropractors in Richmond see our dedicated reviews page.

Start your Posture Healing Journey Today

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Don’t let Dowager’s Hump limit your quality of life. Our chiropractors at Healing Hands Chiropractic are here to help you find relief, improve your posture, and enhance your overall well-being. Contact us now to start your journey towards a healthier, more aligned spine. Let us guide you towards better posture and a happier, pain-free life.