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How to fix a hunchback

You may have noticed that many older people have a stooped appearance where their head juts forward creating a hunchback effect. This abnormal bending of the spine is called Dowager’s Hump but the actual medical term for it is kyphosis. It is estimated that the prevalence of kyphosis or Dowager’s Hump is between 20%-40% in older adults. The good news is you don’t just have to accept having a hunchback and the pain associated with it. In this video, Dr. Blake demonstrates 3 simple stretches you can do to improve Dowager’s Hump and reduce the pain associated with it. Contact our Lutherville-Timonium chiropractors to see how we can help.

What is Dowager’s Hump?

Dowager’s Hump is an outward curvature of the thoracic vertebrae of the upper back. It appears as a rounded hunch that many people refer to as a hunchback.

In addition to the bump on the base of the neck, Dowager’s Hump has a forward head posture where your head is jutting forward. One of the problems with this is that the more forward your head sits, the more stress is placed on the base of your neck. You be thinking, “but how much stress does that actually add” and the answer might surprise you. For every inch that your head protrudes forward from its normal alignment, you add approximately an extra 10 pounds of force on your neck. When you take that force and compound it over months or years it’s no surprise that your spine curvature changes.

Bad posture is the leading cause of Dowager’s Hump but it’s certainly not the only cause. Other possible causes include osteoporosis, a congenital problem, or Scheuermann’s kyphosis. No matter the specific underlying cause, Dowager’s Hump happens as a result of the weakening of muscles around your thoracic spine. When those muscles weaken, other muscles have to do their job for them and that puts those additional muscles under constant strain from overuse.

If left untreated, a person with Dowager’s Hump will begin to have pain in their shoulders and neck. Over time, their chin will move closer to their ribcage and the end result can be spinal degeneration. Many people with Dowager’s Hump experience intense headaches in addition to their neck and shoulder pain. Some people are more bothered by the physical aesthetic of Dowager’s Hump while others just want some relief from the pain it causes.

The good news is that Dowager’s Hump be treated and for some people, it can be cured entirely. In the video, Dr. Blake demonstrates 3 stretches that are particularly helpful for taking the pressure off of your neck and upper back, reducing headache pain, and reducing the Dowager’s Hump itself so you have less of a hunchback.

3 Stretches To Get Rid Of A Hunchback aka Dowager’s Hump

One of the most commonly asked questions we get is “I sit at a desk all day and I know I have poor posture but what can I do to reduce my hunchback?” There are 3 very simple stretches that will help strengthen the muscles surrounding your thoracic spine and bring your head back into proper alignment.

1. Pectoral Stretch

This first stretch is designed to stretch out your chest muscles. In order to do this pectoral stretch, all you need is a door jamb. Place your arms on either side of the door frame forming a 90-degree angle with each arm. Lean in further and further as you feel your muscles relax. If you find this stretch is too easy, bring your arms higher above the 90-degree position and try doing the stretch that way.

2. Upper Back Stretch

This stretch is Dr. Blake’s favorite golf warm-up stretch and is great for loosening up your muscles. You’ll need something to hold onto so you can simply face a wall and place your hands flat against it above your head. Keeping neck neutral, sink down into the stretch as demonstrated in the video. Be sure not to let your head drop as you’re doing this stretch. Focus on keeping your ears in line with your shoulders. After about 10-20 seconds, sink further into the stretch. If you have shoulder problems and it hurts to keep them above your head, you can keep your arms lower.

3. Chin Translation

This stretch is designed to improve your posture by taking that forward head posture that is emblematic of Dowager’s Hump and bringing it back in line over your body. Pretend your ears and your jaw are on a railroad cart and it’s going to go straight back like a cobra strike. This is not an up or down movement, it’s straight back. You can do this stretch just about anywhere to help with your posture. Once you get the hang of it, put 2 fingers behind your head to add some resistance.

Start doing these stretches to take the pressure off your neck and upper back, get rid of headaches, start to improve Dowager’s hump. Would you like help getting rid of Dowager’s Hump? Click here to schedule your appointment!

Do you slouch in your office chair at work? Are you starting to notice rounded shoulders with your neck protruding forward? Do you stand up at 5 P.M. and feel like your back resembles a question mark?

If you answered “Yes” to these questions, you are part of a growing trend of people who experience postural problems from working in an office.

Slouching all day in an office chair forces your chest muscles to tighten, which pulls your spine forward and rotates your shoulders inward, while at the same time weakening the muscles of your upper back that aid in posture.

In other words, you start looking like a hunchback and may experience pain in your neck, lower back, and even arms and legs.

The good news is that Postural Kyphosis, the clinical term for this condition, is completely reversible. The 5 corrective exercises below can relieve chest tightness and strengthen your upper back muscles to help you look more like superman and less like a hunchback. Choose 3 of the 5 exercises (one must be a chest exercise) to complete a few times per week until your posture is improved. Before starting any exercise program, be sure to consult with your doctor. A guide by Built Lean:

Chest Stretch

Facing the corner of a wall, extend your right arm and put your hand against the side of the wall. Turn your body left and lean forward as you feel the stretch in your chest and shoulder. Be sure to keep your arm in line with the plane of your shoulder as you complete the stretch. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and complete on both sides for 3 sets.

Chest Compression With A Massage Ball

In addition to stretching, deep tissue massage using a tennis, or massage ball can help restore muscle flexibility in your chest.

Holding a massage ball with both hands, press the ball and slowly roll it around the side of your chest. As you move the ball around, apply steady pressure to areas of tightness to relieve tension. Massage for 30 seconds on each side of your chest and complete for 3 sets.

Upper Back Foam Rolling

Foam rolling is another massage technique that can improve your spine mobility and correct rounded shoulders. Lay the foam roller across the spine in the middle of your back right below your shoulder blades. Your knees should be bent, feet firmly planted against the ground, and hands comfortably behind your head. Lifting your hips off the ground, roll forward so the foam roller travels down your back an inch, then drop your hips to the floor. Repeat until the foam roller is hovering a couple inches below your neck, then slowly roll back down following the same pattern. If you feel any areas of stiffness, stay roll back and forth on top of the area for 10-15 seconds.

Complete this exercise for 3 sets going up, down, and up again. You may feel some pain and discomfort the first few times you complete this exercise, but over time, your upper back mobility will improve.

Prone Y Extension

The Prone Y Extension accomplishes a lot in one exercise: it rotates your shoulders outward, stretches your abdomen (which is normally flexed), stretches your chest, and strengthens your lower back extensor muscles, along with the upper back muscles associated with posture.

Lie flat on the floor with your legs shoulder width apart and your arms extended in a “Y” over your head. Lift your torso off the ground while simultaneously externally rotating your shoulders so that your palms are facing upwards. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, then lower down. Repeat for 3 sets of 8 repetitions.

Close Grip Row

The Close Grip Row can be completed seated using a cable machine, or standing using a resistance band demonstrated in the photo above.

Wrap the resistance band around a stable object at chest level and walk back a few feet until you feel moderate tension on the band. Your arms should be extended with a slight bend in your knees and feet placed shoulder width apart. Keeping your head up, shoulders back, chest out, back straight, and abs tight, slowly pull the bands toward the sides of your torso while squeezing your shoulder blades. Slowly resist the band until your arms are fully extended. Complete 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

To complement the exercises above, work in these everyday techniques into your business day:

Be Conscious of Your Posture

To ensure long term changes, it is critical that you become more conscious of posture when standing and sitting. Needless to say, human beings are not designed to sit in an office all day. We are built to move. Getting out of your office chair to walk around several times throughout the day can go a long way.

Follow A Balanced Exercise Program

If you are doing a lot of bench press, curls, and crunches, in combination with slouching in a chair all day long, kyphosis can worsen. Be sure to stretch your chest muscles and incorporate leg and back exercises into your fitness routine. An effectively structured fitness program can help improve your posture, functional strength, and overall health and well-being. If you are not regularly exercising, I would put it as #1 on your To-Do list.

Use Proper Ergonomics At Work

The monitor should be placed at arm’s length directly in front of you at 15- 30 degrees below your line of sight. Your forearms should form a 90 degree angle as you type and your legs should form a 90 degree angle as you sit. Keep your shoulders back, chest out, head up and use a wrist pad placed directly behind the keyboard.

How to fix a hunchback

The dowager’s hump can develop in both men and women, but it gets its nickname from the slightly rounded hunch you might see at the base of an elderly woman’s neck.

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This condition, which doctors call kyphosis, results from chronic forward-leaning, a posture that is too common in our world of computer screens and other devices. Over time, a habit of poor posture can cause you to develop an abnormal curve of the upper vertebrae and a mass of tissue at the lower part of the neck.

What causes a dowager’s hump?

Spine expert Fredrick Wilson, DO, says “Bad posture is the most common cause of a dowager’s hump. Y ou have an increased curve in the upper neck so you have to lift the head, so it protrudes forward.”

Other possible causes include:

  • Osteoporosis. A compression fracture causes the increased forward curve. This makes you drop your head forward more than normal and then pull it back and up to see forward. It’s those two things that cause the bump in the upper back.
  • Congenital problem. Less frequently, the spine doesn’t form properly before birth.
  • Scheuermann’s kyphosis. This shows up in teenagers, when the spine develops into a wedge shape instead of a rectangle.

This problem usually shows up around middle age. “It generally takes a while to develop because it’s a long-term weakening of the thoracic extensor muscles,” Dr. Wilson says.

How do you prevent a dowager’s hump?

If you are always bent forward, that’s extra weight pulling on and straining the back.

“That forward curve is bad for disks and increases the risk of disk problems and neck fatigue. Our muscles aren’t made for that kind of curve. It can cause upper and lower back pain and even some difficulty with tightness in the legs,” he says.

Maintaining good posture is the best way to prevent this problem. Also, try to keep osteoporosis from progressing to prevent the spine from developing compression fractures, which increase the forward curve of the upper back.

Can you reverse or cure a dowager’s hump?

  • Start by doing chin tucks of the neck where you pull the chin straight back. This is good for the discs in the neck and strengthens the neck muscles.
  • Perform scapular squeezes, where you squeeze the shoulder blades together, to improve the upper back muscles.
  • Do push-ups into the corner of a room or through a door frame where you move the shoulders past the hands.

“I typically send people to physical therapy to help them learn to do these exercises correctly,” Dr. Wilson says.

“Luckily, they don’t take a lot of time. And if you do them regularly, you are going to have less pain, more energy and you’ll feel all around better.”

Dr. Wilson cautions that a dowager’s hump won’t go away overnight. It can take a long time to correct itself — months even. And, if you wait too long, it’s almost impossible to make it disappear completely.

If you think you might have a dowager’s hump, talk to your doctor about your therapy and treatment options.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

A US-based chiropractor has shared a number of exercises and best practices for people who work from home.

As the pandemic forced more people into remote working, some may have found that their posture has suffered.

In the early months of the pandemic, research by Bupa found that 63 per cent of UK adults had injured their back, neck, hips, knees or wrists while working from home in a “makeshift office”.

At least a quarter of the 2,000 people surveyed said they sit “hunched over” their computers or laptops, while less than a third (32 per cent) said they have a dedicated workspace in their homes.

Recommended

Daniel Nye, a chiropractor from Colorado, regularly posts videos on TikTok sharing his expertise with his 163,000 followers.

One video, which has been viewed almost 39 million times, explains a simple exercise to help alleviate a “hunch back”.

It involves lying on your back in front of a chair, with your head on a rolled-up towel and lifting your legs and feet up onto the seat at a 90-degree angle.

Your arms should also lay flat at each side, with palms of the hands facing up toward the ceiling.

Nye advises doing this for ten minutes every day.

The video has received thousands of comments, some from people who have tried out the exercise.

“I just [tried] it for the first time, I feel it’s affective. I feel something in [the] back of my neck and my back, the muscles are moving,” one person said.

Another said they had also received the same advice from their own chiropractor.

“My chiropractor just told me this last week! LIFE CHANGING!” they said.

A third person wrote: “Thanks. I did this right away. It felt so good, I laughed and cried out of joy.”

Recommended

One TikTok user said they experience pins and needles in their legs if they do the exercise.

In response, Nye advised trying it for a shorter period or putting a pillow under the knees instead of putting feet up on a chair.

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Physiotherapist Nick Sinfield describes 8 common posture mistakes and how to correct them with strength and stretching exercises.

If you have back pain, improving your posture is unlikely to address the root cause of your pain, but it may help alleviate muscle tension.

“Correcting your posture may feel awkward at first because your body has become so used to sitting and standing in a particular way,” says Sinfield.

“But with a bit of practise, good posture will become second nature and be 1 step to helping your back in the long term.”

Slouching in a chair

This strain may increase tension in the muscles, which may in turn cause pain.

Get into the habit of sitting correctly. It may not feel comfortable initially because your muscles have not been conditioned to support you in the correct position.

Exercises to strengthen your core and buttock muscles, and back extensions, will help correct a slouching posture.

Sticking your bottom out

Wearing high heels, excessive weight around the stomach and pregnancy can all contribue to a “Donald Duck” posture.

To help correct your standing posture, imagine a string attached to the top of your head pulling you upwards.

The idea is to keep your body in perfect alignment, maintaining the spine’s natural curvature, with your neck straight and shoulders parallel with the hips:

  • keep your shoulders back and relaxed
  • pull in your abdomen
  • keep your feet about hip distance apart
  • balance your weight evenly on both feet
  • try not to tilt your head forward, backwards or sideways
  • keep your legs straight, but knees relaxed

Watch a video on improving your posture.

Video: NHS Strength and flexibility – posture

In this video, Laura from the NHS Couch to 5K programme, shows you how to have the correct posture.

The exercises in this video are suitable for most people. They are general exercises only and are not aimed at treating any specific cause of pain or condition.

Get advice from a GP or health professional before trying it, especially if:

  • you have any concerns about your health
  • you are not sure if the exercises are suitable
  • you have any pre-existing health problems or injuries, or any current symptoms

Stop the exercise immediately and get medical help if you feel any pain or feel unwell.

Standing with a flat back

This posture is often caused by muscle imbalances, which encourage you to adopt such a position. Spending long periods sitting down can also contribute to a flat back.

A flat back also tends to make you lean your neck and head forwards, which can cause neck and upper back strain.

Exercises to strengthen your core, buttocks, neck and rear shoulder muscles, and back extensions, are recommended to help correct a flat back.

Leaning on 1 leg

Over time, you may develop muscle imbalances around the pelvis area, which can cause muscular strain in the lower back and buttocks.

Other causes of uneven hips include carrying heavy backpacks on 1 shoulder, and parents carrying toddlers on 1 hip.

To improve this posture, try to get into the habit of standing with your weight evenly distributed on both legs.

Hunched back and ‘text neck’

When hunching over a computer, your head may tend to lean forward, which can lead to poor posture. Using a mobile can cause similar problems dubbed “text neck”.

Upper back, neck and rear shoulder strengthening exercises, chest stretches and neck posture drills are recommended to help correct a hunched back.

Poking your chin

Correcting a poking chin involves improving your sitting habits and exercises to correct your posture.

How to correct a poking chin:

  • gently lengthen your neck upwards as you tuck in your chin
  • bring your shoulder blades down and back towards your spine
  • pull in your lower tummy muscles to maintain a natural curve in your lower back
  • adjust your seating

Rounded shoulders

Rounded shoulders are typically caused by poor posture habits, muscle imbalances and focusing too much on certain exercises, such as too much focus on chest strength while neglecting the upper back.

Cradling your phone

Over time, this posture can place strain on the muscles and other soft tissues, and lead to muscle imbalances between the left and right side of your neck.

Try to get into the habit of holding the phone with your hand, or use a hands-free device.

Exercises for neck stiffness and pain:

  • neck stretches – gently lower your left ear towards your left shoulder; hold for 10 to 15 deep breaths, then repeat on opposite side
  • neck rotations – slowly turn your chin towards 1 shoulder; hold for 10 to 15 deep breaths, then repeat on opposite side

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Kyphosis (pronounced: kye-FOH-sis) makes a person’s spine rounded so the back looks hunched over. Everyone has some rounding of the spine. But a larger rounding than normal can cause health problems like pain and breathing trouble.

Doctors sometimes treat kyphosis with back braces and physical therapy. A larger curve might need surgery.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Kyphosis?

The main signs of kyphosis are:

  • A rounded, hunched back. Sometimes the rounding is hard to see. Other times it’s more noticeable. Some teens can’t straighten their curve by standing up and some can.
  • Back pain. Some teens with kyphosis have back pain.

The signs of kyphosis often become obvious during the growth spurt that happens around puberty.

What Are the Kinds of Kyphosis?

There are three main types of kyphosis:

  • Congenital kyphosis: This means someone is born with it. Even though it has been there since birth, sometimes it isn’t noticed until a teen has done a lot of growing.
  • Postural kyphosis: Teens who slouch over a lot can develop a rounded back. The muscles and bones get used to being hunched over. Teens with this type of kyphosis can straighten their curve by standing up.
  • Scheuermann’s kyphosis: Viewed from the side, normal vertebrae look like stacked rectangles. In Scheuermann’s kyphosis, the vertebrae are triangles, or wedge shaped. This makes the spine hunch forward. Kids with this kind of kyphosis aren’t able to straighten their curve by standing up straight.

What Causes Kyphosis?

The causes of kyphosis depend on the type:

  • Congenital kyphosis: Doctors don’t know exactly why some kids are born with this.
  • Postural kyphosis: This happens to many people, especially those who look down a lot of time, such as at schoolwork or a phone.
  • Scheuermann’s kyphosis: Doctors don’t know the exact cause, but it runs in families.

How Is Kyphosis Diagnosed?

To diagnose kyphosis, a doctor or nurse will:

  • examine the spine: while you stand, bend from the waist, and lie down
  • get X-rays: to see the curve

How Is Kyphosis Treated?

Someone with kyphosis will see an orthopedist (a specialist who treats conditions involving the bones). The orthopedist will examine the spine, look at the X-rays, and recommend treatment.

Postural kyphosis is treated with physical therapy to improve posture. Exercises can strengthen the back muscles to help them better support the spine.

For congenital and Scheuermann’s kyphosis, treatment options include:

Observation. This means routine checkups to make sure the rounding isn’t starting to cause problems. Treatment might not be needed. Most cases will stop progressing when teens are done growing.

Back brace. Sometimes specialists recommend a back brace. This brace is like a jacket that can be worn under clothes. It won’t straighten the curve, but for some kids and teens it could keep the curve from getting worse. Some wear the brace only at night while others might wear it for 18–20 hours a day. The brace is usually worn until someone stops growing.

Physical therapy. Exercises that strengthen the muscles in the back and abdomen to better support the spine can sometimes help.

Surgery. Surgery isn’t usually needed. But doctors might recommend a procedure called a spinal fusion for a severe case that causes pain, or to prevent problems in the future.

What Else Should I Know?

If you have back pain or notice a rounded upper back, talk to your parent about seeing your doctor or nurse.

We’ve all seen the older person walking in the store with their head and neck protruding all the way forward causing a hunchback. This abnormality is called a Dowager’s Hump but if you ask your Rochester chiropractor, it is actually a hyperkyphosis of the upper thoracic spine.

The Dowager’s Hump only describes the hunchback position of the upper back, the other postural change that coincides with this is a forward head carriage where your head juts forward in front of your body. The forward head position puts significant strain on the neck – about 10lbs of force for every inch your head is forward! This extra strain can cause chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain.

The leading cause of Dowager’s Hump is poor posture over the course of time. Other causes for Dowager’s Hump include osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, Scheuermann’s kyphosis, or a hereditary condition. While there isn’t much that can be done to prevent these other causes, your Rochester chiropractor can help you correct your poor posture!

Many people seek treatment simply because they are worried about the physical aesthetic of the slouch and hunchback; other people seek treatment because of the aches and pains that a Dowager’s Hump can cause. Whatever the case, your chiropractor in Rochester, NY can help you accomplish your goals through chiropractic treatment and rehab exercises! Check out our YouTube page for a couple videos demonstrating how we can help in the office as well as simple exercises you can perform at home!

A bad posture, which usually is a result of the amount of time we spend sitting in front of our computers or being hunched in front of our phones, not only causes health problems such as back pain but also affects us mentally.(Getty Images)

Thanks to our sedentary lifestyle, health problems arising due to a poor posture are becoming increasingly common. A bad posture, which usually is a result of the amount of time we spend sitting in front of our computers or being hunched in front of our phones, not only causes health problems such as back pain but also makes us feel low, tired and sluggish. However, with the right exercises, you can definitely correct your bad postures. Here’s what fitness experts Jinnie Gogia Chugh and Ilu Singh suggest you do.

How to know if your posture is incorrect

1)If you have rounded shoulders, you slouch, your head is tilted forward and your knees are bent, then you can tell yourself that your posture is poor.

2)If you have a straight line from your ear to shoulder to your hip then you can say that your posture is good.

One of the most simple and effective exercises to strengthen your core and correct your posture is planks. (Getty Images)

5 exercises that can help fix a bad posture

1)Reverse plank and reverse plank bridge

These are among the most effective exercises to fix your back, and effectively, remove your slouch. This exercise specifically targets your hip abductors, hip adductors, hip flexors, and the lumbar spine. Reverse plank and reverse plank bridge strengthen also your lower back, which is essential for good posture.

For good posture, your back needs to be straight. And if there is one exercise that straightens and strengthens your lower back, it is the deadlift. Good posture is also the result of a strong core, legs and hips. Deadlifts work all three in one movement.

3)Face pulls

If you slouch or have developed a hunchback, then face pulls are just what you need. A hunched back is usually caused by having tight chest muscles and weak upper back muscles. Face pulls work by strengthening your upper back and rear delts.

4)Goblet squat

Apart from developing your leg muscles, goblet squats also stretch your hip flexors, abductors and lumbar spine. Their stretchability is essential for good posture. Their tightness or rigidity can lead to bad posture.

It goes without saying that if your core muscles are weak, then you tend to slouch or slump forward, which again leads to poor posture. One of the most simple and effective exercises to strengthen your core and correct your posture is planks, a comprehensive exercise for the core.

  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Abhinav Verma writes on food and health, for the daily Entertainment & Lifestyle supplement, HT City. . view detail

A US-based chiropractor has shared a number of exercises and best practices for people who work from home.

As the pandemic forced more people into remote working, some may have found that their posture has suffered.

In the early months of the pandemic, research by Bupa found that 63 per cent of UK adults had injured their back, neck, hips, knees or wrists while working from home in a “makeshift office”.

At least a quarter of the 2,000 people surveyed said they sit “hunched over” their computers or laptops, while less than a third (32 per cent) said they have a dedicated workspace in their homes.

Daniel Nye, a chiropractor from Colorado, regularly posts videos on TikTok sharing his expertise with his 163,000 followers.

One video, which has been viewed almost 39 million times, explains a simple exercise to help alleviate a “hunch back”.

It involves lying on your back in front of a chair, with your head on a rolled-up towel and lifting your legs and feet up onto the seat at a 90-degree angle.

Your arms should also lay flat at each side, with palms of the hands facing up toward the ceiling.

Nye advises doing this for ten minutes every day.

The video has received thousands of comments, some from people who have tried out the exercise.

“I just [tried] it for the first time, I feel it’s affective. I feel something in [the] back of my neck and my back, the muscles are moving,” one person said.

Another said they had also received the same advice from their own chiropractor.

“My chiropractor just told me this last week! LIFE CHANGING!” they said.

A third person wrote: “Thanks. I did this right away. It felt so good, I laughed and cried out of joy.”

One TikTok user said they experience pins and needles in their legs if they do the exercise.

In response, Nye advised trying it for a shorter period or putting a pillow under the knees instead of putting feet up on a chair.