This is a common question that patients often ask in my office. The humpback that is being questioned is what we call a Dowager’s Hump. This is typically found in women over 60, but is actually becoming more common in women that are younger and younger. This condition can drastically alter a woman’s appearance, but also has many negative impacts on health as well.
Have you ever seen an older individual walking down the street and it appears they are looking at the ground as they walk? That person is suffering from Dowager’s hump.
The humpback appearance associated with a Dowager’s hump is often-time related to osteoporosis and arthritis, but is now becoming more common due to a sedentary lifestyle and too many hours slouched over a computer. Posture plays a major role in the development of this condition, and therefore it is often preventable and correctable. Like mentioned above, it is so much more then just a cosmetic problem. The changes in the spine can lead to pain, headaches, shoulder issues, and even fatigue and lung capacity issues. One study confirms that this type of posture can decrease lung capacity by up to 30%!
Chiropractors help improve or prevent this condition by utilizing spinal adjustments and corrective stretches and exercises to improve posture and spinal mechanics. If you believe you are starting to develop a humpback, or if others in your family have this, it is imperative to work with a chiropractor to correct and/or prevent this issue.