Are you guilty of spending uncountable hours on your gadgets and devices? Have you started to notice poor posture and a hump behind your neck?
While gadgets have replaced a lot of physical activities in our lives, the hump behind your neck is getting bigger. And even though you have successfully ignored it for so long, it’s becoming an eyesore for you now, and it’s time to treat it.
In this blog, I’ll show precisely eight exercises you can do at home to get rid of the neck hump.
Moreover, I’ll help you understand the reason and diagnosis behind the hump and how to prevent it from reappearing.
What Is A Neck Hump or Buffalo Hump?
If you spend hours sitting on the computers or on your desk, have little to no activity, and are not attentive about your postures, chances are that you may suffer from a neck hump sooner or later. You might even have one and cannot diagnose it yet.
The neck hump, also called the buffalo hump, is the fat accumulation between your shoulder blades behind your neck that is usually the result of poor posture while sitting or standing. It may also be caused by slouching too much when looking at your phone, causing your neck’s back muscles to stretch and the front muscles to shorten, resulting in a hump at the back.
While poor posture puts unwanted pressure on your spine, it also looks unflattering. But you don’t need to worry about it anymore. Once you’ve got the hump diagnosed by a doctor, and it has been declared as just fat accumulation, you can practice some easy neck exercises at home that can help you quickly get rid of the neck hump.
What Causes a Neck Hump?
Before you start exercising and assuming that the hump is a cause of poor posture, you must visit a professional health physician to get a proper diagnosis.
Look at the position of the hump; is it between your shoulder blades or at the back of your neck? Is it becoming more obvious when you lift your head or straighten up?
If you answered the last question with a yes, it is probably a medical condition called Kyphosis or forward curving of your spine in layman’s terms. While it may be just a result of poor posture, there are a few other causes that you must also rule out first.
- Scheuermann’s Kyphosis
One reason you might suffer from a neck hump is a medical condition called Scheuermann’s Kyphosis. This condition causes the vertebrae or the discs in your spine to grow unevenly during your teenage years.
This uneven spinal growth results in your upper back to bend forward and cause a hump or a hunch behind your neck.
- Excess Fat Accumulation
Another reason for a neck hump or buffalo hump can be the excess fat storage behind your neck. This fat build-up is not like Scheuermann’s Kyphosis, but it can be because of obesity, hormonal imbalance, medical conditions, and even long-term steroid therapy.
Regardless of the cause of this fat build-up behind your neck, managing it is necessary by taking care of your posture and performing the exercises mentioned in the article.
Osteoporosis, or brittle bone disease, is a medical condition where the bones start thinning. Mostly, women going through menopause or older adults are at risk of suffering from this condition because their bone’s ability to absorb calcium decreases.
Osteoporosis can cause the bones to deform and the spine to curve in a hump-like appearance called the neck hump or buffalo hump.
Arthritis is yet another condition that affects the joints. In this condition, the joints face inflammation, causing the individual to suffer pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. Over time it starts to affect the natural joint alignments in your spine, causing the neck and upper back area to curve forward or in a hunched posture like a neck hump.
- Cushing’s Syndrome
Cushing’s syndrome is a medical condition where the body has too much of the cortisol hormone stored due to corticosteroid medications or adrenal gland cancer. Cushing’s syndrome causes obesity above the waist, acne, irregular menstrual cycles, chronic pains, and even changes in sex drive.
Besides bone thinning and muscle weakening, Cushing’s syndrome causes fat to accumulate in different areas, which causes hump formation behind the neck.
While there may be many medical reasons behind hump formation in your neck, aging is a factor that you cannot ignore. Aging causes the discs between the spine to lose flexibility, weaken the muscles, and make it harder for you to stay straight.
This loss of flexibility causes you to slouch and bend forward, resulting in neck hump formations.
Related Article: 4 Best Neck Exercises For Boxers
8 Exercises To Get Rid Of Neck Hump
Now that you understand the many reasons behind neck hump formation, here are a few neck stretches and exercises to try at home using your body weight to get rid of the neck hump.
- Shoulder Rolls
Shoulder rolls are one of the most basic and easy stretches to perform anywhere. By completing this exercise, you can quickly relieve the tension and stiffness in your shoulders and neck. Adding such activities to your routine will help you get rid of neck hump and maintain flexibility and allow for a more confident and relaxed posture.
How to do:
- Stand or situp straight with your shoulders relaxed and arms by your sides
- Start moving your shoulders clockwise and then anticlockwise 12 times
- Pause for a few moments to relax
- Repeat three more cycles
- Cat Pose
Cat Pose is one of the most famous yoga poses. Whether you’ve been actively practicing yoga or not, you must have heard of it. This stretch helps relieve the tension and stiffness in your chest, leaving you in an upright position.
How to do:
- Assume a position on the floor with your hands and knees, ensuring your spine is neutral.
- Keep your wrists and shoulders aligned and your hips directly over your knees.
- Take a moment to inhale deeply while rounding your back upwards, taking it towards the ceiling, and tucking your chin to your chest.
- Now start exhaling and take your tailbone and forehead towards the ceiling while letting your belly loose.
- Hold each position for 12 seconds, relax, and repeat three cycles.
- Chin Tucks
Chin tucks are one of the easiest yet most effective workouts that you can perform to get rid of neck hump and align your spine better. It targets the front and back of your neck muscles, allowing them to gain strength and help you improve your posture.
How to do:
- Stand or sit up straight and look in front of you.
- Tuck or push your chin into your neck as if giving yourself a double chin.
- Now lift your chin back up and repeat it 12 times to complete one cycle
- Take a few seconds to rest and repeat the cycle three times
- Chin-to-Shoulder Stretch
Chin-to-shoulder is another one of the great stretches you can perform while watching TV or sitting on your couch. It targets your front and back neck muscles and helps you get rid of neck hump while helping you improve flexibility, reduce tension and improve your neck’s alignment.
How to do:
- Twist your neck to your right side
- Tilt your head downwards so that your chin touches your shoulder
- Use your hand to keep the head in the same position for a few seconds
- Repeat this 12 times at one side and take a rest
- Switch to your left side and repeat 12 times again
- Head Side-to-Side Stretch
Head side-to-side is a very similar stretch to the chin-to-shoulder stretch. The only difference is that this exercise does not require dropping your chin to your shoulder.
How to do:
- Sit up or stand straight with your head facing forward
- Turn your head to the right side and keep looking straight ahead
- Now, bring your head back to the center
- Repeat the exercise 12 times on your right side
- Take some rest and repeat 12 times on your left side
- Pec Stretch
It’s not always your neck alignment that can cause poor posture or lead to a neck hump. At times, it’s the tension and stiffness in your chest, and pec stretches are one of those exercises that can combat these issues.
How to do:
- Stand by a doorway or by a wall on your left side and stand in a split stance. Keep the left leg at the back and the right leg split in front.
- Now raise your left arm to your shoulder level and place it on the wall, with your palm and inner arm sticking to it.
- Move your chest forward and feel the stretch in your chest.
- Repeat four times on one side and then switch sides and repeat.
- Wall Extension Stretches
Wall extension stretches are a great exercise to help you stretch your spine and widen your chest and lungs. It allows you to strengthen the spine and get rid of neck hump without using any gym gears and within the boundaries of your home.
How to do:
- Stand in front of a wall and place your palms in front, at your shoulder level.
- Maintaining the distance and keeping your spine straight, slowly start lowering yourself down.
- Keep your body parallel to the floor and your legs straight, without lifting your palms or your feet.
- Repeat the stretch 10 times with rests in between.
- Diagonal Band Stretch
While all the workouts were bodyweight exercises, this Diagonal Band Stretch requires a stretch band. This simple yet effective stretch targets the neck and upper back muscles and fascia, improving muscle flexibility and posture. Adding this stretch into your routine can help reduce the neck hump.
How to do:
- Stand straight with your feet slightly open.
- Grab the band from each end with your hands on opposite sides
- Stretch the band apart in a diagonal motion across your body
- Stretch and hold it for 4-5 seconds
- Repeat for ten times with rests in between
How To Prevent Neck Hump From Reappearing
While you can get rid of neck hump by training your spine and neck muscles, there are some ways you can ensure that you do not have to face the neck hump problems again:
- Be conscious of your posture while sitting or working at your desks for long hours. Unfortunately, poor posture is a bad habit that needs consistent efforts and constant reminders to get rid of. Try and fix your posture whenever you’re hunching, and keep your phones and laptops at your eye level so you don’t have to bend forward or strain your neck. These minor additions will soon get you working in the upright posture.
- Another method to prevent neck hump is to wear a brace. Wearing a brace is a good way to fix poor postures. While braces are a great tool to keep yourself upright, make sure you’re not wearing them for long hours; it’s a tool to help you develop upright posture, not a solution to rely on forever.
The above-mentioned methods are a few ways to get rid of neck hump in case the cause is related to poor posture. If your hump is because of a medical condition like osteoporosis or arthritis you are not guaranteed to prevent the hump from reappearing, but you can try and reduce the risks of it.
Consume more calcium and Vitamin D every day to meet your daily requirement and prevent osteoporosis, unless your bones cannot absorb the calcium from dairy sources or supplements, talk to your doctor so they can suggest some supplements according to your health.
Practice a healthy lifestyle by including exercise in your everyday routine to build stronger thicker bones and keep yourself away from osteoporosis and obesity.
Lastly, if you’re in your menopausal stage, or are above the age of 51, consume more calcium than normal, go up to 1000 milligrams, but make sure to consult with your doctor first before you increase the dosage, especially if you have a medical condition or a family history of osteoporosis.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can neck hump go away?
Yes, neck humps or buffalo humps can go away if they are caused because of poor posture, by following a few stretching exercises. If there is a medical condition like arthritis, osteoporosis, cushing’s syndrome etc, you need to consult with your doctor or physician.
- Can you naturally get rid of a neck hump?
Kyphosis or neck hump can be reduced naturally by ensuring correct postures, exercising daily and using braces.
- How long does it take to lose a neck hump?
The time span depends on the severity of the hump. It may take anywhere between a few months to years, by following proper stretching exercises.
- What causes fatty neck hump?
Fatty neck hump or dorsocervical fat pad is caused by a medical condition called cushing’s syndrome, where the excess of hormone cortisol causes fat deposits in areas above the waistline.
Neck humps or buffalo humps are a condition where you develop a hump behind your neck. This hump in some cases can be a cause of just poor posture or aging, whereas in other more serious cases can be the result of osteoporosis, arthritis, or even Cushing’s syndrome.
Fortunately, these humps in case of poor posture can be resolved by practicing a few stretching exercises like shoulder rolls, cat pose, chin tucks, etc, and can be kept away for good by wearing a brace and becoming more conscious of your postures.
You need to keep track of your calcium intake to keep away from serious issues of arthritis and osteoporosis and include regular workouts so you can keep the chances of neck hump formation away for good.