Checked in the mirror one day and saw a lump at the base of your neck? It can be fixed with the help of neck hump exercises. And this condition is what the doctors generally refer to as Dowagers’ hump. The word originated from “Dowager,” which means an elderly lady. That is because the problem of neck hump was common in older females as their spine naturally starts to bend due to aging. But in recent years, this problem is getting more common among the younger generation.
So you must be thinking about why we are seeing this problem in the younger generation if it happens due to age only, right? That can only be explained in one way: extended use of phones or laptops. As your neck pokes forward more each day throughout the long screen hours when your back and neck muscles fatigue, it produces a counter strain at the base of your neck. The spine in that region becomes stiff to create stronger support for your protruding neck, thus creating a hump. You can fix it with neck hump exercises.
Although it does not cause any harm once the bump appears, it does give a very good idea of what is happening to your spine under all that muscle and skin. This causes aging. The continued stress on an individual's spine can accelerate the aging process, which may lead to problems as you get older such as muscle imbalance, slipped disc, and nerve compression.
Let us tell you the good news first, in most instances, the poor posture is reversible. But fixing the cause of the problem, i.e., your posture, your body will learn how to return to its original position, and that hump at the base of your neck will start to decrease and eventually disappear.
The bad news is that the magnified curve in your spine and the fatty deposits collected at the site around your neck will only get bigger and worse if you leave it untreated. If you do not take action from the early stage, it will get much harder to fix your dowager’s hump at a later time.
Keep in mind that slow change is a good change in physical therapy. Through a steady development of regular exercise, you can correct your body posture and get rid of your neck hump.
Below are some exercises we suggest to eliminate the neck hump and reverse the hunchback posture.
There are three different ways in which you can fix a postural issue such as the neck hump: strengthening, mobilization, and stretching.
So the first section of your routine will concentrate on loosening up the tight spot at the back of your neck. You will then stretch the tight muscles at the core of the issue and end with a few exercises that will promote good posture and strengthen the muscles in your body.
There are some techniques to increase your thoracic mobility; try and do at least one of the exercises every day if possible.
In a thoracic mobility drill, you need a chair with a solid back. Now sit on it and put the towel on the chair behind your back. The next step is to cross your arms, stretch your spine into the chair or towel for 1-2 seconds, and repeat the same action 15-20 times.
You can open your arms wide and put your hands behind your head for deep stretches inside your chest. But if you are beginning the exercise, it would be best if you just stick to the crossed arms version.
If you want to add some variation to this exercise, you can pick a foam roller or roll up a towel. Lie flat on the ground or a flat surface and put the towel or the roller horizontally under your shoulder blades. Repeat the same actions; stretch your spine over and into the foam roller 10-15 times.
Make sure you work steadily on your movements since your upper back is probably stiff. Eventually, you will realize that you can stretch your spine and body more and more with minimum discomfort.
Do you know the one thing that can make a poor posture problem even worse? Stiff muscles. If the muscles in your chest are stiff, they will keep pulling your shoulders inward and sustain your poor posture.
You can target these stiff chest muscles and reverse the rounded shoulders in your body with just a few stretches.
One way to reverse shoulder protraction is by doing the pec doorway stretch. This standing stretch exercise is carried out in a doorway or a corner- therefore, the name.
In a shallow lunge position, stand facing the doorway, with one foot in front of the other. Put your hands on either side of the door frame with elbows at shoulder length. Bend forward a little so that the weight of your body shifts to the front leg, and keep your head in a neutral position. Feel a light stretch in your pecs.
To perform this supine pec stretch, you will require the foam roller again. This time, you can lie down on the foam roller in a vertical position so that the roller is directly in line with your spine.
Keep your arms in the air and above the floor and in line with shoulders, palms up, and elbows bent. Keep this position for 20-30 seconds as you let gravity work and stretch those tight muscles in your body.
Now that you have worked on stretching your chest muscles and mobilizing your thoracic spine, your next step naturally is strengthening the muscles that keep you upright.
The diagonal band helps encourage thoracic extension, straighten a round back, and strengthen a rotator cuff. This exercise will pressure your mid-back, where you need support.
Clutch each end of the band and stretch it diagonal so that both your hands go in opposite directions. Change directions, then end it by stretching the band horizontally across the chest.
Pull the band, relax your neck, squeeze your shoulder blades, and keep your thumbs up.
Chin tucks can help people reverse the detrimental forward head posture by strengthening the small muscles in your neck area.
To do a chin tuck, lie down on your back with the knees bent and feet flat. All the while keeping your back straight, lower down your chin towards the chest, and replicate a double chin.
If you feel a light stretch on the backside of your neck hump, you are doing it perfectly. Just remember to keep all your muscles flat on the ground; otherwise, it will counteract your exercise.
Just understand that reducing your neck hump takes time. While there are exercises for neck hump treatment, the most effective way to treat your neck hump is by going to a chiropractor because they can amplify the results. With regular chiropractor check-ups and adjustments, you will be able to learn more effective neck hump exercises that will fix your posture and sustain it as well. Restore your neck’s curvature by getting your treatment done through our expert chiropractors at Realign Spine. We have an expert that can help solve your problems and treat you according to your specific problem.