Have you noticed a hump at the base of your neck? You’re not alone. We often get questions from patients about what the hump is and what can be done to reduce it.
This hump is referred to as Dowager’s hump, hyperkyphosis or a hunchback and is characterized by forward head posture, rounding of the upper back and excess fatty tissue being laid down at the base of the neck.
Your spine has three natural curves when viewed from the side. The C-shaped curves of the neck (cervical spine) and lower back (lumbar spine) are called a lordosis while the reverse C-shaped curve of the middle back (thoracic) is called a kyphosis. In a normal spine, the thoracic curve measures between 35-45 degrees, but with a hyperkyphosis the curve is greater than 50 degrees. It is this excess curvature that gives the appearance of a hump.
The most common causes of Dowager’s hump include:
People are usually most concerned about the physical unattractiveness of their hump. However, we also need to be aware that it can negatively impact our spinal function and cause the following:
Chiropractors may be able to help a Dowager’s hump resulting from poor posture. Our hands on treatment can improve spinal motion and reduce muscular tension and we can also provide exercises to help correct poor posture combined with lifestyle advice to improve postural habits.
To get you started, here are our top 3 stretches to help rehabilitate posture and reduce the appearance of a hump.
If you are concerned about your neck hump and you would like to know more about how to help it, chat to one of our Chiropractors.
Did you know it has been more than 6 months since we have come out of lockdown here in Ballarat? With it looking likely we will be able to keep going, uninterrupted, it is more important than ever to pace ourselves. This includes taking time to plan for holidays and events, making time for self care (not just a lockdown to-do list!) and making this ‘return to normality’ as sustainable as possible. The last 2 years have shown us that it is possible to stop completely, and life will continue around us. But instead of forced breaks, we need to learn how to make time for ourselves, for rest, for self care and for relaxation.
This brings us to the idea of self care. Taking time to look after yourself and do something you enjoy or that will relax you. It doesn’t need to be a big commitment, sometimes 30 seconds is all you need to reset and relax a little. The term ‘self care’ has a lot of different connotations, with some people making it look like a week long yoga ashram retreat or full day spa days are the norm. Self care can be as simple as 30 seconds to take a few deep breaths, a couple of minutes to stretch, or an hour to finally declutter that workspace. Other examples of self care include making a to do list (and delegating!), making time to tackle that stressful thing (email inbox comes to mind) or catching up on work so you can relax with no pressing tasks to procrastinate on. Self care is anything that makes you feel better!
To be able to make time to relax, you need to plan and create the time for yourself. Do you have a time through the week that is just yours? A chunk of time to fill your cup and do something you enjoy? A physical activity, like walking, running, dancing lessons or a gym sesh, a creative time for sewing, painting and creating, a time to grab a coffee with a friend or read a book in the sunshine. Now that we are back to the frantic pace of life, carving out this time can be more important than ever to keep you energised and looking forward to the week ahead, instead of running on empty to the next obligation.
Have you planned out your year? Including when you are going to take a break or a holiday? This may seem like a completely foreign concept at the moment, we have barely been able to plan for next month, let alone the year! For Kristian and myself, we plan mini holidays at home, trips in the school holidays and ‘no work weekends’ where we won’t talk or think about work for the full 2 days. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but when you have a business, work conversations can happen anytime unless there are strict boundaries in place.
Preparing for a break can be just as important as taking the time away. Decide what needs to be done before you go, and get it done, so you can relax knowing that you are all up to date.
So let’s make time to get away on holiday, have holidays at home, make time for ourselves in day to day life, even if it is just 30 seconds at a time!
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At Ballarat and District Chiropractic we know you want to be empowered when it comes your health so we want to help you by sharing all our knowledge about Chiropractic.