One body complaint that individuals have has to do with their neck and posture. For instance, a “neck hump” can be incredibly frustrating and cause some people to feel self-conscious. If this sounds all too familiar, we’re here to help with five neck hump exercises that will totally save your posture. Read on, and get ready to improve your appearance now!
What is a neck hump?
To learn about this part of the body, we spoke with Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM, the Director of Medical Content & Education at Ro and a member of our Medical Expert Board, who explains there are two types of neck humps that people have.
Dr. Bohl tells us, “The first is a dorsocervical fat pad, commonly called a buffalo hump. This kind of hump is actually a buildup of fat that develops on the upper back and between the shoulder blades.” A buffalo hump can be caused by using steroids, a side effect of certain medications, or Cushing’s syndrome. Dr. Bohl explains that the best way to go about treating this is to address the underlying cause. Surgical removal of the hump can be the answer for some individuals.
The second type of neck hump is called hyperkyphosis. This involves an over-curvature of the spine. With hyperkyphosis, the individual has a bony hump. Dr. Bohl explains, “It reflects the shape of the thoracic and cervical spine (the top half of the spine).” There are several causes of this kind of hump, including osteoporosis, poor posture, genetics, weakened muscles, spine fractures, and developmental issues. Individuals who lean forward frequently, slouch often, or are even constantly looking down toward their cell phone or laptop are at risk of developing this type of hump.
How can you prevent a neck hump?
It’s important to evaluate your posture on a consistent basis if your goal is to prevent a neck hump from occurring. This includes a small checklist, which consists of sitting up straight consistently and keeping your shoulders relaxed and back.
Dr. Bohl advises, “If you have difficulty doing this on your own, there are a number of posture corrector devices available on the market, from braces that hold your shoulders back to devices you wear on your back that vibrate when you slouch, reminding you to sit up again.”
There are some effective exercises you can do when dealing with a neck hump.
There are also exercises you can perform when dealing with a neck hump. These are quite effective since they will help to strengthen your shoulder muscles and upper back. Consistency with these moves will help to hold your head back in a “more neutral position.”
The chink tuck starts by pulling your head back, “as if you’re trying to give yourself a double chin,” according to Dr. Bohl. Remain in that position for several seconds, and repeat the move several times during the day.
Shoulder Blade Squeeze
For this squeezing exercise, pull your shoulder blades back, pretending you want both to meet in the middle. Repeat the shoulder blade squeeze often during the day.
The cat-cow yoga move can be quite beneficial in saving your posture. To begin, lower yourself onto your hands and knees. Then, switch your position by rounding your back, looking toward the floor, and then arching your back as you look up to the ceiling.
Pectoral Muscle Stretch
This muscle stretch involves pulling your arms back until you feel your chest stretching. You can do this in a doorway to get a good workout on both sides simultaneously. Simply hold both sides as you lean forward until you can feel a solid stretch.
For the Superman exercise, lie down flat on your stomach, keeping your arms above your head. At the same time, lift your arms and feet off the floor. Repeat this move three to four times.