Got a Neck Hump? Here's How to Stop It from Progressing

Aug 02, 2023
Got a Neck Hump? Here's How to Stop It from Progressing
Neck humps are an increasingly common distortion of spine curvature caused by awkward posture when texting or using computers and tablets. Called kyphosis, it may be reversible with a few small changes. 

There are many names used to describe the appearance of kyphosis, an irregular forward curve of the spine characterized by a hump on the back of your neck at your shoulders. Call it text hump, buffalo hump, hunchback, or dowager’s hump, and you’ll understand what the condition looks like. 

In this age of pervasive digital screens, where typing happens on the same plane as viewing, there’s a new ergonomic dynamic at play. It pulls your head forward, contracting your chest muscles and overextending your back muscles. But there are other reasons besides poor posture for neck humps. 

When you’re suffering discomfort or pain, plan a visit to Pain Management 360 to find relief that fits your lifestyle. Dr. Rudy Malayil and our team at Pain Management 360 in Huntington, Hurricane, and Charleston, West Virginia, are neck pain specialists and can help regardless of the cause of your neck hump and pain. 

Causes of neck humps

In most cases, bad posture is behind neck humps, and much of it can be blamed on digital screens. The head forward, curved shoulder position encouraged by smartphones, computer keyboards, gaming controllers, and other devices common in contemporary life pulls your spine against its natural neck curve. 

Besides posture-related causes, there are other medical reasons for a neck hump. These include: 

  • Degenerative changes in your spine, like arthritis and degenerative disc disease
  • Osteoporosis, a loss of bone density that can lead to compression fractures
  • Fractures, infections, tumors, and other conditions that affect the spine
  • Genetic changes in spinal anatomy

Cushing’s syndrome and the long-term use of steroids can also result in neck humps. 

Halting the progression

When your neck hump results from a medical condition, correcting the hump may depend on the condition and its effects on your cervical vertebrae. Causes like compression fractures may require surgery. 

Postural causes of neck humps are more likely reversible, provided permanent tissue damage hasn’t yet begun. 

The first step is a posture reset. It takes only a few seconds to shift from a head forward position to a balanced seated or standing position. 

  • Seated: feet flat on the floor, knees about 90 degrees, head up, and shoulders back
  • Standing: feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, hips level, chest forward and chin up

Balanced posture is easy to feel when you hit it. It’s keeping it that becomes a battle. Consider changes to your texting and screen viewing postures. Set timers throughout your day to change position and reset your posture. 

Quick repetitions of certain exercises can also help to counter the uneven loads that poor posture presents. Try exercises like these to counter your kyphosis neck hump: 

  • Chin tucks
  • Pectoral doorway stretches
  • Shoulder blade squeezes
  • Shoulder rolls
  • Cat-cow yoga pose

Increasing your activity level with 30 minutes of low-impact exercise like walking or swimming can also help to reset your posture overall while adding many other health benefits to your life. 

When you need pain management assistance to deal with a neck hump, contact us at Pain Management 360 today by calling our location nearest you, or clicking to request an appointment online.