Thank you for joining us for today’s livestream where we talked about how to fix a hump, the bony lump you can commonly get at the base of the neck. We’re going to explain exactly what it is and what can help put your neck in a better position so that you don’t have one of these as it’s something a lot of our patients come into the clinic trying to fix.
A neck hump can often bother you from a cosmetic perspective, so we’re going to explain what causes it as it is possible to do things at home to help. There’s two types of these humps, one that has been caused by excess fat tissue at the base of the neck, known as a Dowager’s Hump, and one that is bone, due to altered alignment of the neck. We’re not going to be covering Dowager’s hump today.
The bone that’s at the base of the neck is normal, however it becomes more prominent as a result of stress and strain on the neck where the alignment has shifted forwards. The C7 vertebra is the bony lump that you can feel at the base of the neck. This bone has many muscles that attach onto it as an anchor point, which is why it’s slightly more prominent. The other vertebra don’t stick out. When your alignment shifts forwards, you stretch the skin so that bone feels more prominent. You can simulate this by shifting your head forwards but it may be present all the time if your alignment has shifted naturally forwards due to poor habits.
We often see young people who don’t have pain but may have experienced discomfort, who have the loss of curve in their neck due to smartphone usage.
You need to avoid doing chin tucks, this is an exercise that is commonly recommended for neck problems. In this kind of position where the neck comes forwards, this exercise will bring your neck back but will make it straight – which may feel more upright but will cause further problems due to again a loss of curvature.
Instead, using an exercise band of relatively high strength placed at the back of the neck, you simply pull forwards and look up, as shown in the video. This supports the natural pivot point. You can also use the towel stretch to relieve the pressure on those structures for 3-5 minutes and use ice for around 5 minutes at a time straight afterwards, a few times a day.