The types of health disorders and medical conditions prevalent in today’s time are higher in number compared to the previous few decades. Owing to the factors like sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition intake, and excessive stress, many new diseases, and health issues have arisen today.
However, in this blog post, we are not going to talk about them. Instead, we will shed light on an age-old condition known as ‘Dowager’s Hump’. It’s not a new health problem, but the number of cases might have increased today. One of the reasons behind this phenomenon can be a sedentary lifestyle (which is one of the three primary factors contributing to health issues).
People spend most of their time sitting on a chair, sofa, or bed without maintaining a proper posture. They don’t frequently move, so over time, their posture leads to various problems. One of these problems is a dowager’s hump. There are many other causes of this medical condition as well. We will discuss them and will also try to answer the question, ‘how to get rid of dowager’s hump?” in this blog post.
What Exactly is Dowager’s Hump?
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‘Dowager’s Hump’ is a popular name for the medical condition ‘Kyphosis’, which is characterized by the curving of the spine out of the typical range. The spine of a human body is naturally curvy to a certain extent because the curves enable people to maintain balance while standing upright.
But when the curve is beyond the extent or out of the range, the person is said to be suffering from kyphosis. As the spine is curved, the upper back appears hunched or rounded. The rounded hunch appears at the lower part of the neck as the upper vertebrae form an abnormal curve.
Before learning how to get rid of dowager’s hump, you should know why this condition got this infamous name. The word ‘Dowager’ refers to ‘An Elderly Woman’, and many elderly women have a hunched upper back. So, the medical condition kyphosis came to be known as ‘Dowager’s Hump’. It’s important to know that both men and women of all age groups can encounter this medical condition.
Why Does Dowager’s Hump Occur?
Dowager’s hump or Kyphosis can occur due to various reasons, as we have already mentioned earlier in this blog post. The treatment options for this health issue are also multiple. You cannot determine the right treatment option without having the knowledge of the exact cause.
The common causes or reasons that lead to the occurrence of a dowager’s hump are listed below:
It is one of the most common reasons for the development of a hunched upper back. People don’t pay attention to their posture while sitting. Whether they are working, relaxing, watching television, or using a mobile phone, they slouch or hunch. In simple words, they lean too forward toward a television set, video game monitor, desktop, laptop, or mobile phone.
The definition of poor posture also includes leaning back in chairs. In this technologically-advanced age, people cannot stay away from computers and other devices. They sit with an improper posture and become a patient of ‘Postural Kyphosis’. It is a form of kyphosis that takes place due to poor posture.
Finding out how to get rid of dowager’s hump is beneficial for people of every gender and age group. But as you can guess from the fact that ‘Kyphosis’ came to be known as ‘Dowager’s Hump’, older people are more likely to encounter this health condition.
Aging is a prominent factor that makes people get a hunched upper back. The spine becomes curvier as the person grows old. Moreover, the common outcomes of old age also lead to the development of kyphosis. These outcomes include but are not limited to weakened back muscles, reduced mobility, and sensory disorders.
Spine cancer is also one of the causes behind the occurrence of kyphosis or a dowager’s hump. Both spine cancer and the chemotherapy treatment method used to treat it can weaken the vertebrae. Those who are struggling with this form of cancer or have defeated it should watch out for kyphosis.
Before learning how to get rid of dowager’s hump, you should know about all the small and big health-related issues that can damage the spine and make you a patient of kyphosis. Not just a life-threatening disease such as spine cancer, but even a small spinal injury can cause a dowager’s hump. Spinal injuries like fractures can affect the natural curve of the spine, thereby leading to kyphosis.
Underlying Conditions and Developmental Conditions
Just like spinal injuries, underlying medical conditions or developmental conditions that affect the spine or bones can also lead to the development of a dowager’s hump. Some of these conditions are osteoporosis, congenital problems, Scheuermann’s kyphosis, and degenerative disk disease.
How to Treat a Dowager’s Hump?
As we mentioned earlier, there are multiple treatment options available for a dowager’s hump. We have tried to explain each of them in short here. But before we begin, we must tell you that no amount of knowledge can replace the advice of a professional.
Although you might get an idea of the treatment option you need to choose depending on the specific cause behind your health condition, you should consult a doctor to know the best course of treatment. Let’s have a look at all the treatment options that are answers to the question, ‘how to get rid of dowager’s hump’.
Treatment of Underlying Conditions
If you have encountered kyphosis because of some underlying medical condition, you should first receive the appropriate treatment for that condition. It will help prevent the kyphosis from developing further. Gradually, you might get complete relief from kyphosis when the underlying condition has been treated fully.
Rectification of Sitting Posture
The first recommendation often given to the people who want to know how to get rid of dowager’s hump is that they should improve their sitting posture. This recommendation is accurate in the case of postural kyphosis. Patients suffering from this form of kyphosis should sit in a proper posture. You can also use ergonomic furniture pieces.
Medications, Therapies, and Surgeries
Some patients take over-the-counter medications and prescribed drugs to get relief from the pain that has occurred due to a dowager’s hump. Your doctor may advise you to undergo physical therapy. In the case of patients with severe kyphosis, surgery might be the correct treatment option.
Physical Activities Like Exercise and Yoga
Patients with mild symptoms of kyphosis can experience a lot of benefits by performing physical activities like exercise and yoga. You can choose suitable types of exercises and yoga poses that can improve the strength and flexibility of muscles in your back.
You should be aware of the symptoms of a dowager’s hump so that whenever you notice such symptoms in yourself or anyone else, you can seek a proper remedy. Only after having the knowledge of the symptoms will you be curious to learn how to get rid of dowager’s hump.
As you might have understood by now, the most common symptom which becomes easily visible is the hump on your back, i.e., your upper back will look hunched or rounded. The other symptoms that are experienced by patients include tight hamstrings, back pain, stiffness in the back, and fatigue.
You should consult a reputable specialist for the diagnosis and treatment of kyphosis. You should discuss your symptoms and other details thoroughly with the doctor in order to receive the most suitable and effective treatment.