Top Stretches to Relieve Pain and Lessen a Neck Hump
Neck and Back Stretches That Improve Your Posture
The spine has 3 natural curves that structurally help your body distribute weight evenly, absorb shock like a coiled spring, and facilitate a full range of motion. A healthy curve within the neck forms a “C” shape, or lordotic curve, whereby the tips of the C land at the base of the head and the line just above your shoulders. When the curvature between the upper back and neck rounds forward it begins to create a hump-like appearance called cervical kyphosis.
Cervical kyphosis (also known as neck hump, dowager’s hump, and buffalo hump) is a mild to severe rounding of the upper back that causes the head to project forward in a way that stresses or strains the muscles. In some cases the hump is further exaggerated by fatty tissues that develop around the spine to protect it from additional pressure. This condition can happen at any age and to anyone, however there are instances in which it is associated with a more serious medical issue. Common symptoms include: stiffness, pain, headaches, and/or chronic migraines.
In this day and age people are spending more time looking at their phones, bending over paperwork, and/or staring at their computer screens. These types of habitual body posturing can begin to cause cervical kyphosis. The good news is there are several simple and effective stretches that you can routinely do to help counteract it. Follow the stretching regime provided below to help reverse the appearance of a hump within your upper back and experience more mobility, pain relief, and less frequent headaches or migraines.
First and Foremost, Check Your Posture
Before you begin, take a look at how you naturally sit and stand. Pay attention to the alignment of your neck as it relates to your shoulders. If you notice your head is slightly forward or your back is beginning to round, attempt to stand up straight with your shoulders pulled slighting back and down with your chin retracted or tucked. This change in your physical posture will help prevent tension in the neck’s musculature. To learn more, check out the blog Why is Posture Health Important.
5 Do-It-Yourself Stretches That Make a Difference
Now that you’re aware of your body posture let’s do a few focused activities. These 5 stretches are designed to help.
First, the YWTL Stretches
The purpose of these stretches is to lengthen the entire thoracic spine, and to correct how your upper back relates to your neck.
- Y – Start out with both arms in the air with your palms facing forward. Pull your arms backward, while keeping your elbows straight. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times, if you want a challenge.
- W – From the Y position, bring your arms down to form a W. Pull your arms back and make sure your elbows are pointing down to the ground. Pull your arms back. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times, if you want a challenge.
- T – From the W position, spread your arms out with your elbows extended and palms facing forward. Pull your arms back. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times, if you want a challenge.
- L – From the I position, pull arms in with your elbows in your sides. Pull your arms back. Repeat 3 times, if you want a challenge.
Last But Not Least, The Doorway Pec Stretch
People with forward head posture will likely have issues with rounded shoulders, which results in tight pectorals. This stretch helps lengthen your tight chest and shoulder muscles, which in turn helps relieve pressure on the cervical spine and improve your overall posture.
- Place hands on either side of a doorway.
- Lunge forward until you feel a stretch across your chest and shoulders.
- Hold for 30 seconds.
- Repeat 3 times
Complement Your Stretches with Chiropractic Care
While these stretches are effective at addressing the hump in your neck, we highly suggest contacting a chiropractor near you to amplify the results. With routine chiropractic care and adjustments you’ll be able to work on more techniques that improve your posture, as well as create a long term plan to sustain it. Restore your neck’s healthy curvature and improve the quality of your life by feeling better.
With clinics in the following metro areas: Chicago, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Madison, Vancouver, and St. Louis you’ll be able to find a chiropractor near you. Make an appointment to start your wellness plan today. Your body will thank you!