Do you have a noticeable lump or hump at the back of your neck that you wish would go away? If so, you’re not alone. Neck humps, also known as buffalo humps or dowager’s humps, are common concerns that occur in the upper back between the shoulders. Though neck humps are often associated with older adults, they can develop at any age.
A neck hump forms when fat accumulates in the upper back region and causes a protrusion or hump on the neck. While usually not a serious medical condition, neck humps can look and feel unpleasant. The good news is there are ways to prevent a neck hump from worsening and even reduce its appearance.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into what causes neck humps to form, who is most at risk for developing them, and provide tips on how to get rid of neck humps through exercises, posture correction, weight loss, and other lifestyle changes. Read on to learn what you can do to bid farewell to that stubborn hump on your neck!
3 Methods to Get Rid of Neck Hump
A neck hump, also known as a buffalo hump or dowager’s hump, is an abnormal fat deposit that develops at the base of the neck. While a small hump may be harmless, a large prominent hump can be cosmetically unappealing and in some cases, indicative of an underlying health condition. Luckily, there are several methods to help get rid of neck hump.
Method 1: Exercise
Specific exercises can help strengthen the muscles around the neck and shoulders to reduce the appearance of a hump over time.
Some of the best exercises include:
- Chin tucks – Sit or stand with good posture. Pull your chin straight back, without tilting your head down. Hold for 5 seconds. Do 2 sets of 15 reps daily. This strengthens the neck flexors.
- Neck stretches – Gently tilt your neck to one side until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Do 2 sets daily. This stretches tight neck muscles.
- Wall angels – Lean against a wall with your head, back and hips touching it. Draw your shoulders up to your ears, then press them down and back. Repeat 10 times. Do 1-2 sets daily. This strengthens neck and shoulder muscles.
When doing these exercises, move slowly and smoothly. Do not force your neck into uncomfortable positions. Start with fewer reps if needed and gradually increase over time. Stop immediately if you feel pain.
Method 2: Massage
Massaging the neck area can help break up fatty deposits and enhance blood circulation. This may help reduce the size of a neck hump over time.
Self-massage techniques to try:
- Use your fingers to gently knead the muscles around the hump. Make circular motions and work your way up the base of the neck.
- Place a tennis ball on the floor and gently roll your neck over it. Focus on any tender spots for 5-10 seconds.
- Use a handheld massager on the neck area. Apply gentle pressure rather than going too deep.
Massage 2-3 times per week. Always move slowly and avoid pressing on the spine. See a massage therapist if you cannot reach the area easily yourself.
Method 3: Posture
Poor posture is a common cause of neck humps. Stooping forwards can strain neck muscles and lead to abnormal fat deposits.
To improve posture:
- When sitting, keep your back straight and shoulders down. Avoid hunching over devices.
- Use a small pillow behind your lower back for support if needed.
- When standing, envision a straight line passing through your ears, shoulders and hips. Keep your chin level.
- Remind yourself periodically to straighten up. Set phone alerts if needed.
- Consider a posture brace to reinforce good upright positions.
With consistent posture awareness and correction, you can retrain your neck and back muscles. This takes pressure off the neck area and prevents additional humping.
Making exercise, massage, and posture adjustments part of your regular routine can help reverse a neck hump for an improved appearance. But check with your doctor as well, since in some cases medical treatment may be recommended.
Tips for preventing a neck hump from forming in the first place
Here are some tips for preventing a neck hump from forming in the first place:
- Maintain good posture. Whether sitting, standing or walking, be aware of keeping your shoulders back, chin tucked in, and ears aligned over your shoulders. Slouching can strain neck muscles over time.
- Use ergonomic workspace setups. Position your computer monitor at eye level to avoid craning your neck down. Keep your keyboard and mouse at a comfortable position to avoid hunching.
- Avoid carrying heavy bags on just one shoulder. Distribute weight evenly in backpacks or purses to not put excessive strain on the neck.
- Sleep on your back or side. Stomach sleeping can twist the neck for prolonged periods. Use a slim pillow to keep your neck aligned.
- Do neck strengthening exercises. Even without a hump, exercises like chin tucks and wall angels can help build muscle and prevent fat deposits.
- Manage weight. Excess weight, especially around the upper back and neck area, increases the risk of developing a hump.
- Correct nutrition. Eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated. Lack of key nutrients can contribute to improper fat storage.
- Reduce stress. High stress levels increase cortisol which can cause abnormal fat distribution around the neck.
- Get evaluated for underlying conditions. If you have symptoms like fatigue or weight gain, see your doctor to rule out a medical issue.
Being proactive with posture, exercise, health habits, and managing weight can help prevent those abnormal fat deposits from accumulating around the neck.
In summary, there are several natural methods for reducing the appearance of a neck hump over time. Exercises that strengthen the neck and back muscles, massage techniques that break up fat deposits, and improving posture awareness can all help diminish a dowager’s hump.
However, it is important not to try getting rid of a neck hump too aggressively or quickly. Forcing your neck with intense exercises or massage could potentially cause injury or muscle strains. Take it slowly and make gradual lifestyle adjustments for the safest and most effective approach.
See your doctor before attempting to treat a neck hump on your own. In some cases, the hump may be due to an underlying condition like Cushing’s disease or genetic disorders, which require proper medical diagnosis and care.
Your doctor can determine if your neck hump is directly causing symptoms, assess any risk factors, and refer you to physical therapy or other treatments as needed. With your doctor’s guidance and natural home remedies, you can properly alleviate a neck hump for improved comfort and appearance.