Today, we will discuss what Dowager’s Hump is? What causes it? What are its symptoms? And what to do to prevent and cure Dowager’s Hump. You might have noticed in older age people that they develop this abnormal bending of the spine, which is called a Dowager’s Hump. The scientific name for Dowager’s Hump is kyphosis.
What is Dowager’s Hump?
A Dowager’s Hump is a bending of the upper back of the spine. This condition can develop in both men and women, but it gets its name from the slightly rounded hunch that you see at the base of some elderly woman’s neck. Other than the bump on the base of the neck, it has a slightly forward head posture where your head is sitting forward than your neck. One of the many problems with a Dowager’s Hump is that the more forward your head sits, the more stress is placed on the base of your neck.
Now you might be thinking about the amount of stress that it puts on the neck, well, let me tell you that each inch of your head sitting forward than its normal position, which places approximately 10 pounds of stress on the neck.
Causes of Dowager’s Hump
Many causes can cause Dowager’s Hump; Some of them are:
- Bad Posture
The main cause of the Dowager’s Hump is bad body posture; Some people don’t pay much attention to their body posture, which can cause a Dowager’s Hump. Bad Posture includes using your computer while lying improperly. Slouching, or crossed arms.
A broken or crushed backbone can also cause Dowager’s hump. So it’s best to treat the fracture as soon as possible.
Osteoporosis (bone thinning) can also be the cause of Dowager’s Hump, especially if the bone-thinning caused the fracture of bones. Osteoporosis is most common in older and weaker women.
- Birth Defects
Spinal bones that are not developed well before birth can also cause Dowager’s Hump.
- Scheuermann’s disease
This disease, also known as Scheuermann’s kyphosis, usually develops before puberty. Boys suffer from this disease more than girls.
Dowager’s hump can be caused by certain syndromes including Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Marfan syndrome.
Cancers in the spine can cause Dowager’s Hump. Spine Cancer can cause the spine to weaken and fracture, which can then result in bending of the spine.
Symptoms of Dowager’s Hump
Many symptoms can show at different stages of the Dowager’s Hump.
- nausea and vomiting,
- Breathing problems.
- Digestive problems.
- Numbness and weakness in the upper limb of the body
- Rounded Shoulders
- Feeling tired most of the time.
- Muscle fatigue
- Chronic pain in back, shoulders, and neck
- Back Stiffness
How to Prevent Dowager’s Hump
To prevent Dowager’s hump from happening, you can follow the instructions given below.
Maintain A Good Body Posture
If you are always bending while doing your routine work, that extra weight and stress are damaging the back. Eat good weight loss friendly food to reduce the weight and stress on your body. The bending can be very harmful to your disks and can cause damage to the disks and neck. Our neck is not made for this kind of weight and stress. It can cause pain in the upper and lower part of the back. Maintaining a good body posture is the best way to prevent this problem.
Correct Your Walking Posture
To prevent Dowager’s Hump, you need to correct your walking posture. To Correct Your Walking Posture, find your center by standing straight, keeping your chin parallel, keeping your stomach in, and keeping your shoulders back. Suppose you are attached to a string from the ceiling and pulling you up as you stand.
Don’t Look at Your Phone While Walking
Try not to use your phone while walking, because it is very dangerous for you, you can get hit by a car or fall. It will also help you correct your body posture and prevent Dowager’s Hump.
Consume More Calcium
Osteoporosis is a major cause of Dowager’s Hump, and it is found more in women than men. If you are a woman, I would advise you to consume more calcium. Osteoporosis is a disease that makes bones weak and calcium can make bones strong. But before consuming any calcium, consult your doctor first.
In addition to correcting your posture and strengthening your bones, you should also try to make your body more flexible. When neck and back muscles become tighter, your chest goes inwards and the shoulders pull forward, you can do yoga to prevent the Dowager’s hump if it is in its starting stages. Most of the yoga positions focus on the proper alignment of the backbone.
Set Alarms To Correct Your Posture
It’s normal to forget to do something. If you are having difficulty remembering to correct your posture, set an alarm on your wristwatch or mobile for every 15 to 20 minutes; that way the alarm will make sure that you correct and maintain the correct body posture.
How to Cure Dowager’s Hump?
Many methods can be practiced regularly to cure Dowager’s hump; some of them might be difficult to do in the starting but as you progress, you will notice quite an improvement in your body posture and a decrease in the hump.
Stretching can help you in reducing the hunch in your back. We will describe some of the stretchings here.
- Pectoral Stretch: This type of stretch focuses more on your chest, all you need is a door jamb, place your arms on either of the jambs and farm an angle of 90 degrees with both of your arms, and lean in further as you feel your muscles relax.
- Upper back Stretching: for this stretch, you’ll need to hold something, so its best to find a wall and face the wall while placing your hand straight on it while keeping your neck neutral and don’t let your head drop as you are doing this stretch, and remember to keep your ears align with your shoulders.
By Doing simple Exercise
Dr. Wilson suggests doing these simple exercises that will not only improve your Dowager’s hump but also strengthen your muscles.
He Suggests doing 10 reps of each of the following exercises.
- Start by doing chin tucks, where you move your chin forwards and backwards. This exercise is very good for the discs in the neck.
- Perform shoulder squeeze, where you squeeze your shoulder blades together, to improve the upper back muscles.
- He also suggests doing pushups into a corner of a room or through a room door.
If you are too old or your Dowager’s hump condition is very serious, you can also consult a therapist who will help you in improving your body posture a lot.