Buffalo Hump

How to get rid of BUFFALO HUMP

Buffalo Hump is an increase in fat at the base of the neck and looks like this

posture baffalo hump spine alignment

This fatty deposit can occur on everyone, but pre and post menopausal women are the likeliest candidates. Tradition Medicine suggests it occurs because of a change in hormone levels, particularly chronic high levels of cortisol, (the stress hormone), changes in estrogen and progesterone. In men, an increase in cortisol and a decrease in testosterone show similar findings.  It is associated with, usually benign, Cushing's Disease (pituitary gland) with the main characterization of fat deposition at the base of the neck.

While a disease like Cushing's may produce a rapid increase in fat, our opinion is different.

We know improper head carriage, the head being carried in front of the body as opposed to on top of the body, dramatically increases the look of Buffalo Hump. 

Take a look at the "before and after" picture below 

buffalo hump, posture, spinal alignment, Cushing's Disease, pureposture

This is one of hundred of photographs showing a difference in the proper alignment, including of Buffalo Hump.

Nothing ages you more than your posture.

Correct alignment of the spine is attained when the middle of your ear is in line with the middle of your shoulder (see red line above). For every 1 inch the head is in front of that line, an extra 10 pounds is loaded onto your neck. In the case above, her head is 3 inches forward, so her neck is carrying an extra 30 pounds, plus about 12 pounds for the weight of her head. A total of 42 EXTRA pounds loaded onto the neck!

This extra load forces your head to go even farther forward. Years of carrying your head this way can add fat at the base of the neck as the body's way to help protect the delicate bones (bony prominences) in the cervical spine. 

In addition to fat on the neck, chronic forward head, can damage the joints and bones resulting in degenerative joint disease. These changes can be permanent. What is often ignored, like arthritis will only progress if nothing is done. 

This condition is largely preventable. 

It only makes sense carrying your body in better alignment is a good thing. Your body was built symmetrically but poor postural habits, excessive sitting, using electronic devices and gravity pulls us down and forces our heads forward. 

Whether you currently show a Buffalo Hump or are afraid you are heading in that direction, there is help.  Poor posture involves the neck but it really starts in the upper back - around the shoulder blade area. We find in so many of our patients, their mid backs are stiff and weak while their shoulder area the muscles are bulky and tight. 

Correcting the stiffness in the mid back and increasing flexibiliy will naturally bring your head and neck into a better position. Increasing the muscles of the lower traps (trapezius) and lats (latissimus dorsi) will help hold your frame in good posture. 

To read more about Buffalo Hump, Dowager's Hump, compression fractures and how to avoid these, click here.

If you want to read about losing height as you age, read here

The best way to deal with Buffalo Hump and Dowager's Hump is to try and prevent it in the first place.  PurePosture can help with the Humps. By correctly aligning your spine so your head is on TOP of your body, you can stand taller, look better and prevent compression fractures. Check out PurePosture!

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