Category: Featured Articles

how to treat hunchback

How to treat hunchback (and what causes it to begin with)

You may know it as a “Dowager’s Hump”…or simply hunchback. You may think it only affects senior citizens. The reality is that hunchback, or hyperkyphosis as it is professionally called, is affecting more and more people of varying ages. I often get asked about how to treat hunchback and if there is anything that can be done to prevent it.


Understanding hyperkyphosis (hunchback)

Physicians refer to the chronic, forward-leaning posture as hyperkyphosis. This condition is characterized by a rounding of the upper spine into a C-shaped curvature. If you have poor posture, over time you can develop an abnormal curve of the upper thoracic vertebrae and a sometimes a mass of tissue at the lower part of your neck. Typically, you have a head forward posture and loss of the normal cervical curve.

The severity of the condition can vary as can the symptoms, including:

  • rounded shoulders or a hump on the back
  • back or neck pain or stiffness
  • feeling of head being too heavy or fatigued muscles in the back or neck
  • tension headaches

Both men and women are susceptible, with an increased occurrence during middle-age.


What Causes Hunchback

how to treat hunchbackBad posture is the most common cause. You’ve heard me talk about posture before and how much it impacts your health. With the increased use of smartphones, tablets and laptops, many people are in a slouched head forward position for hours a day, not to mention if their desktop computer is not set up ergonomically correct.

With a hunchback condition, your head is jutting forward, putting a lot of stress on the base of your neck. How much stress? Well, for every inch your head protrudes forward from its normal alignment, an extra 10 pounds of force is placed on your neck! Studies show that a loss of cervical curve as well as hyperkyphosis can reduce conductivity of the spinal cord as well as reduce lung capacity!

Poor posture can also develop from:

  • slouching or hunching, such as at a computer or in front of a TV
  • leaning back in chairs
  • carrying heavy loads on your back, such as a backpack full of books

If you develop hunchback from poor posture, the condition can often be corrected through exercise and practicing good posture. Some individuals develop more severe hyperkyphosis as a result of:

  • Compression fractures/osteoporosis
  • Congenital problem
  • Loss of postural muscle tone with aging – it’s estimated that 20 to 40 percent of older adults have hyperkyphosis.

Maintaining good posture is the best way for you to prevent hunchback. Core-strengthening exercises can be beneficial too.


Stretches to treat hunchback

Depending on your age and the severity, you can improve or reverse your hunchback. The key is to strengthen the upper back muscles as well to reduce the head forward posture and restore the cervical curve. Increasing muscle tone helps pull back the shoulders and put the head back on top of the shoulders. Just understand that even with practicing good posture and doing specific exercises, hunchback won’t go away overnight. It may take months of effort. And waiting too late to deal with it could mean that you’ll never completely get rid of it.

These exercises are excellent for improving your condition…but they are great preventatives too!


Chin tuck

Hold your head level, tuck your chin slightly and bring your head back directly over your shoulders (like you are a cobra about to strike). This is not an up or down movement, it’s straight back, so your nose should not tip down but stay level. You can do this exercise just about anywhere to help with your posture. Do chin tucks in sets of ten, rest and repeat.


Upper back stretch

Face a wall and place your hands flat against it above your head. Keeping your neck neutral, sink down into the stretch, being sure not to let your head drop as you’re doing this stretch. Keep your ears in line with your shoulders. After about 10-20 seconds, sink further into the stretch. Repeat several times.


Wall pushups

Again, face a wall with your hands head-level and shoulder width apart. Do a traditional push-up, making sure not to let your chin drop. You’ll feel the scapula in your back come together as you lean towards the wall. Do pushups in sets up ten, take a break, then do another set.


Finally, as an augment to exercises, we highly recommend this wedge, which we sell in our office. The Apex Premium with Heat counteracts forward head posture to help relieve headaches and neck pain. The wedge not only provides better support but also moist heat therapy. Patients rave about it! It’s well worth the $35 investment.

If you’d like some help getting started with treating hunchback at home or wonder if chiropractic treatments can aid the reversal (they can), please reach out and make an appointment to meet with myself or Dr. A.

Dr. Sharman



gift of wellness

How to Give the Gift of Wellness

Gift giving is a challenge – especially for those in your life who basically have all the “stuff” that they need. So why not consider giving the gift of wellness this holiday season?

Here are three ideas for wellness gifts that the special people in your life are sure to enjoy! And all can be purchased at our office.


The gift of….better sleep!

Product: Pillowise Cervical Pillow

Cost: $119

More details:

gift of wellnessOne of the issues I hear the most about from patients is poor sleep. For many, getting a good night’s sleep is worth its weight in gold! So it’s natural that the perfect pillow is one of my first wellness gift recommendations.

Pillowise Cervical Pillows are measured to fit your body – essentially, they are custom designed for YOU. We fit the pillow to your body at our office by taking measurements along with asking a series of questions about your sleep habits and environment. Most custom pillow products offer a few sizes while Pillowise has six! The Pillowise system yields the perfect pillow fitted to your dimensions, with optimal support to the cervical spine and head.

This attention to “fit” allows your muscles to relax during sleep…and provides the optimal resting space for your head and neck so you can have quality sleep. Our patients love them so much they often buy a travel size pillow too!

Pillowise has a money-back guarantee, and we have samples in the office so stop by and feel just how comfortable these pillows really are.


The gift of….reduced pain!

Product: Max and Stevens Full Spectrum CBD drops

Price: $55

More details:

gift of wellnessSometimes our bodies need a little help recovering. Hemp products, or products made with CBD extract, have been shown to be beneficial, safe and effective at improving multiple conditions. Some of these include stress, anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, inflammation, muscle recovery and migraine headaches.

So what makes this CBD product so special?

Unlike CBD cream, Max and Stevens drops can be taken both under the tongue AND used topically. When used topically, the drops help to reduce pain and inflammation locally. When used sublingually (or under the tongue) they helps reduce pain and inflammation systemically. As well, drops under the tongue can help with stress, anxiety and sleep.

The hemp extracts used in the Max & Steven’s product are derived from premium, organically farmed hemp. They are grown and harvested by hand in North Carolina then very carefully extracted to retain the fullest possible expression of the whole plant. So with these CBD drops, you are getting more of the whole plant. The CBD drops are certified by third-party laboratory reports and have been proven safe and free from any heavy metals, pesticides, mycotoxins and residual solvents.

At our office, we’ll show you how to measure on the dropper, determine the dosage and how apply the product topically.


The gift of….relaxation!

Product: Massage Wellness Package

Price: $360 for six-60 minutes massages, $540 for six-90 minute massages

massage for pain reliefThe benefits of a massage are well known. Many folks don’t realize is that getting a massage regularly can do more for the body and spirit than a one-time massage for relaxation.

Regular massage can help healing and pain relief happen faster. Massage improves blood circulation. When you have more efficient blood circulation, oxygen and other nutrients are distributed throughout the body better. This helps in repairing tissue and hastens the recovery process.

By giving the gift of a package of massage therapy treatments, you can help a loved one truly be on their way to reduced pain, lower stress and of course, relaxation! Your recipient will have a year to use their massage wellness package. And if you’d rather use the six massage gift certificates to gift six people with massages, you absolutely can!

We hope these gift ideas help you spread wellness with the loved ones in your life. And take time to relax, reflect and enjoy this holiday season once the hustle and bustle has resided. Your body and mind will thank you!

Happy Holidays!

Dr. Sharman