A neck hump, or kyphosis, is a visible curvature at the base of the neck or in the upper spine. Various factors can cause one, but poor posture is a primary culprit. Spending prolonged periods with your head tilted forward and shoulders slouched contributes to this condition.
Our team at Coastal Spine, with six New Jersey locations, excels at diagnosing and treating spinal disorders that affect your musculoskeletal health. If you've noticed a curvature forming at the base of your neck, there are steps you can take to address and alleviate this issue.
Read our team’s insight regarding the causes of a neck hump and practical tips on how to get rid of it.
While poor posture is a significant contributor, several factors can contribute to a neck hump:
Characterized by weakened bones, osteoporosis can lead to compression fractures in the spine, contributing to an exaggerated curvature (kyphosis).
As people age, changes in the spine can occur, including the development of kyphosis. That’s partly due to the natural degeneration of the discs and vertebrae.
If your grandparents, parents, or siblings developed kyphosis, you may have a genetic predisposition to the condition.
Conditions such as Scheuermann's disease, which affects the development of the spine during adolescence, can contribute to an abnormal curvature in the upper spine.
Weakness in the muscles that support the spine can contribute to poor posture and an increased risk of kyphosis.
Hormonal imbalances, such as those associated with conditions like Cushing's syndrome, can affect bone health and contribute to kyphosis.
Addressing a neck hump requires a multifaceted approach that often involves improving posture, strengthening muscles, and incorporating lifestyle changes.
As part of our commitment to comprehensive care, the Coastal Spine team offers these tips for alleviating or preventing kyphosis:
The foundation of addressing a neck hump is correcting your posture. Be mindful of how you sit and stand. Sit up straight with your shoulders back and avoid slouching. Use ergonomic furniture and accessories to support proper posture, such as a chair with lumbar support.
Incorporate exercises that target the muscles supporting your neck and upper back. Simple exercises like neck tilts, shoulder blade squeezes, and chin tucks can help strengthen these areas and improve overall posture.
Stretching is crucial for maintaining flexibility and reducing neck and upper back tension. Perform stretches that target the neck, shoulders, and upper back to alleviate stiffness and improve range of motion.
When sleeping, use a support pillow to maintain proper spinal alignment. That can help prevent strain on the neck and upper back at night, contributing to better posture over time.
Regular physical activity is essential for overall health and can contribute to better posture. Engage in activities that promote strength and flexibility, such as yoga or Pilates. These exercises can help target the muscles involved in maintaining good posture.
Consider incorporating massage and heat therapy into your routine. Massage can help relax tight muscles, while heat therapy can promote blood circulation and reduce muscle tension.
If you suspect you have a neck hump or are experiencing pain or discomfort, our Coastal Spine team can diagnose the underlying cause and develop a treatment strategy to alleviate your symptoms.
Based on the results of a physical exam and imaging studies as necessary, your treatment may include physical therapy and exercises to strengthen the muscles supporting the spine.
In some cases, depending on the severity and cause of the condition, you may benefit from bracing or surgery.
Schedule a visit at Coastal Spine today by calling the office nearest you or booking an appointment online.