Table of contents:

What is a widow's hump and how to get rid of it
What is a widow's hump and how to get rid of it

Sometimes he can talk about a dangerous illness or inappropriate treatment.

Where does the widow's hump come from and how to get rid of it
Where does the widow's hump come from and how to get rid of it

What is a widow's hump

This is the colloquial name for a thickening in the upper back, under the neck, because of which a person looks stooped and drooping.

Some experts consider this definition to be incorrect and offensive. At least because the problem occurs not only in women, but also in men.

Where does the widow's hump come from?

Widow's hump is not an independent disease, but a symptom. In Western medicine, its appearance is usually associated with curvature of the spine, or kyphosis. In Russian, the term is most often understood as "Widow's hump", or "withers" / Invitro, the accumulation of adipose tissue in the lower part of the neck. Western doctors agree with this reason, but they call a hump of this origin differently - not "widow's", but "buffalo hump".

Be that as it may, in both cases, the thickening looks about the same. Here are the factors that lead to its appearance.

1. Poor posture

Perhaps the person hunched over a lot at the desk or was engaged in hard physical labor. For example, he carried a heavy backpack or bag behind his back, washed it with his hands, worked in the field. Chronic overstrain of the muscles of the neck and shoulder girdle associated with improper posture is considered the most common cause of kyphosis and "widow's hump" as a manifestation of a curved spine.

2. Osteoporosis

In this disease, calcium is washed out of the bone tissue. Therefore, they become fragile, the risk of fractures increases sharply.

The spine is subjected to vertical stress, so vertebral fractures are most often compressional, that is, caused by pressure. Recognizing such an injury can be difficult. Kyphosis is often one of the most visible signs. It is formed like this: a person unconsciously tilts his head forward to relieve the load from the damaged vertebra, and then lifts it up and slightly back to see in front of him.

3. Aging

Over the years, the muscles in the back lose strength and cannot support the spine in a normal position. A role is also played by age-related decrease in vision and hearing, due to which a person begins to stretch his head forward in order to better hear or consider something. In combination, this leads to the appearance of kyphosis and a distinct hump in the lower part of the neck.

4. Obesity

Excess fat is deposited in the area behind the neck, which can lead to the formation of a widow's hump.

5. Menopause in women

With it, the production of the hormone estrogen decreases. It is essential for the production of bone tissue. When its amount drops sharply, bones become fragile, and the risk of osteoporosis, and therefore kyphosis, increases.

On the other hand, hormonal imbalances can lead to rapid weight gain. Usually fatty tissue is deposited in the abdomen. However, if things go to obesity, then a "widow's withers" may appear.

6. Cushing's syndrome

This is a disorder in which the body accumulates too much of the stress hormone cortisol. Symptoms of Cushing's syndrome include rapid weight gain and the appearance of a "buffalo hump".

7. Some types of cancer

Adrenal cancer or pituitary tumors cause the adrenal glands to produce too much cortisol. This causes the same symptoms as with Cushing's syndrome. Including the appearance of a fat hump.

8. Taking some medications

The accumulation of fat in the lower part of the neck can also be caused by the use of corticosteroid medications. The mechanism is the same as in the development of Cushing's syndrome: the body accumulates too much cortisol, which is contained in such drugs.

Some older generation HIV drugs are also under suspicion. It is assumed that taking these drugs can affect the adrenal glands and lead to a condition similar to Cushing's syndrome.

9. Congenital disorders

Some people are born with a malformed spine, so the widow's hump is found in them since childhood.

Another variant of the disorder is Scheuermann's kyphosis. It is a hereditary disorder that leads to a gradual curvature of the spine. Usually, the pathology becomes noticeable in adolescence, which is why it is sometimes called juvenile kyphosis.

How to get rid of a widow's hump

The most effective way is to eliminate the cause that led to the formation of the hump.

A qualified doctor will help with this. The therapist will conduct an examination, look into the medical history, and ask you about your lifestyle. Perhaps he will offer to go through additional research:

  • a blood test to determine the level of cortisol;
  • X-rays of the upper spine and neck to determine the degree of kyphosis or to establish a compression fracture;
  • a bone density test is a test for osteoporosis;
  • MRI or CT of the spine to study the condition of the vertebrae in more detail.

When the doctor understands the reasons, he will recommend ways to get rid of the hump. Suppose, if it is found that it is a side effect of drugs, the physician will select an alternative drug or look for an opportunity to reduce the dose. If the defect is a consequence of obesity, he will advise diet and exercise therapy.

With kyphosis, the emphasis is on strengthening the muscles of the back and maintaining correct posture. A physiotherapist, massage therapist, and a qualified physiotherapy coach can help with this. Osteoporosis is corrected with drugs that increase bone density. With Cushing's syndrome, tumors, the doctor will refer you to specialized specialists - an endocrinologist or oncologist. They will prescribe further treatment.

How to prevent a widow's hump

Here are some methods to reduce your risk of withers.

1. Monitor your posture

This is the most effective way to prevent kyphosis and hump symptoms.

2. Strengthen the muscles of the upper back

They help relieve unnecessary stress on the spine and keep it in a normal position.

There are many exercises for the back muscles. If you're unsure where to start, see a physical therapist or sign up for exercise therapy.

3. Lead an active lifestyle

Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to maintain bone strength and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Move more: walk, run, do fitness and strength training.

4. Monitor your diet

It should have enough vitamins and minerals. In particular, we are talking about calcium and vitamin D - they are especially important in the prevention of osteoporosis.

Here are foods high in calcium:

  • salmon, sardines;
  • white cabbage, broccoli;
  • dairy products;
  • dried figs;
  • calcium-fortified store juices and breads.

Here are some foods to help you maintain healthy vitamin D levels:

  • sea fish: salmon, sardines, tuna;
  • seafood: shrimps, oysters;
  • egg yolks;
  • store foods fortified with vitamin D, such as breakfast cereals, milk, bread.

5. Do not overeat

This is essential to maintain a healthy weight. In order not to feel constant hunger, try to eat more often, but in small portions.

6. Be attentive to your health

If you notice that you have begun to gain weight and cannot cope with it, or that your back regularly hurts, but neither exercise nor pain relievers help, be sure to talk about it with a therapist. The doctor will tell you how to proceed.

The sooner you see a doctor, the easier it will be to stop potential violations.