What is Buffalo Hump and how is it treated?

What is Buffalo Hump and how is it treated?

Buffalo Hump – an unpleasant name for an even more unpleasant condition.

Buffalo or Dowagers Hump (or as it’s referred to medically Dorsocervical fat pad), is a condition where a fat deposit appears in between the shoulders and on the base of the neck. Those who suffer from it often feel embarrassed by it and the way it affects their posture and general appearance. But Buffalo Hump can be a lot more serious than just a cosmetic nuisance. In many cases, it is a sign that can indicate hormonal imbalance.

Buffalo Hump Treatment

By performing a quick search on google you will find that Buffalo Hump is usually connected directly to Cushing’s syndrome, which is a chronic condition of Cortisol hormone imbalance. It can also be caused by steroidal medications that are prescribed to treat autoimmune and inflammatory responses. Or it can be generated by the body itself when the metabolism and various bodily functions are off balance. If you suspect that your Buffalo Hump might be a sign of an illness, don’t hesitate to contact your GP and ask for a hormonal screening and mapping.

Another way to get some clues about it is to try and notice whether you’re experiencing any other symptoms, such as; weight gain in the stomach and face while losing weight in the legs, fatigue, mild depression, skin thinning and bruising easily. Since these symptoms can be connected to many other issues, it would be best to seek advice from a medical doctor.

Other reasons for Buffalo hump are poor posture, osteoporosis (bone tissue thinning), genetic tendency, menopause, giving birth, nursing without proper support, obesity, lifting heavy weights regularly and kyphosis. In most cases it’s a combination of a few of these.

It is common to see Buffalo Hump in women a few months after giving birth and to find out that their mother and grandmother experienced the same thing.

In other cases, a client may state that their posture has been horrible for ages and they may have developed spinal kyphosis as a result.  This, combined with hard physical work and recent weight gain, has resulted in a fatty lump in between their shoulders.

So, how do you treat Buffalo Hump?

First of all, rule out any serious issue by seeing a medical doctor. I know, I know, I said it already, but it is really, really important! Catching Cushing’s syndrome at its earliest stages can prevent serious complications to your health later on.

Once we’ve ruled that out, we can look at the options in front of us. The two most common ones are liposuction and posture correction exercises.

The problem with liposuction is that, like any other surgical procedure, it has serious risks to your health. Another issue is that with liposuction you eliminate a big amount of tissue at once. It’s as if a part of your body just vanished! Your mind would have trouble dealing with it.  So, in many cases, the body will start to regenerate the same tissue, sometimes doubly as fast, until the hump has returned, sometimes even worse than before.

Dowigers hump treatment

Ok, so Exercise it is, right? Not exactly. Exercise and posture correction are wonderful, helpful and benefit not only Buffalo Hump cases, but all postural issues. The problem with this condition is that even by doing the best exercises every day and meeting your coach once a week this stubborn fatty tissue won’t just disappear in a week or a month.

So what would be the optimal solution?

The best solution that I’ve found so far is a combination of hands on treatment that is pretty simple, not really pleasant but quite fast and beneficial in a combination with postural correction. Both by a therapist and by exercise.

It will allow you to enjoy the benefits of both conventional options in a non-invasive and safe way and most likely shorten the process.

In most cases the change is noticeable right after the first session and the responses are amazing!

This solution will target both the aesthetic and postural issue. The duration of treatment will vary according to all the different factors playing a role in each case.

So as you can see, Buffalo Hump isn’t as simple as just a hump on your back. It has many different causes, factors and treatment options. Again, it is always best to start your treatment consideration by seeing your GP to confirm any underlying issues. But once they have been ruled out, we have found that conservative options, combining hands on therapy and specifically prescribed exercises, have produced the best, quickest and safest results.

If you are suffering from Buffalo or Dowigers Hump, make an appointment with our Manual Therapist Valery today to see how she can help. You can book an appointment by calling 9193 2170 or book online here.


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What is Buffalo Hump and how is it treated?

Centre 4 Health
Manual Therapy Caulfield
368B Hawthorn Road
Caulfield South
VIC   3162