Dowager’s Hump: How Chiropractic Care Can Help!

Dowager's Hump, also knows as kyphosis, is a condition characterised by an excessive outward curvature to the upper thoracic spine, leading to a noticeable hump at the base of the cervical spine. The condition primarily affects older individuals, particularly post menopausal women. It can also occur in younger individuals due to varying factors. In this blog we will delve into what dowagers hump is, who is most susceptible to it, its symptoms and how chiropractic care can be an effective approach for managing and potentially reducing the curvature to the spine.

Understanding Dowagers Hump

Dowager's hump gets its name from the idea that it often affects older women, typically those who have reached menopause. However it is important to understand that this condition can develop in individuals of all ages and gender. The primary characteristic of dowagers hump is the excessive rounding of the upper thoracic spine, rounded shoulders and an anterior head carriage.  This combination of structural changes can lead to increased pain, reduced mobility, imbalance in postural muscles and a this in turn creates an imbalance to the upper posture. As the head juts forward this applies greater stress to the joint of the lower cervical spine.  For every inch that the head protrudes forward away from its correct alignment, it adds approximately 10lbs of force to the cervical joints.  When you consider this force is present for many months or even years, it is no surprise that the curvature begins to change.

Causes of Dowager's Hump

Several factors contribute to the development of a Dowager's Hump:


  • Age: As people age, they become more susceptible to dowagers hump due to natural changes in bone density, muscle strength, and the shape of the spine. The loss of bone density can weaken the vertebra, making them more prone to curvature.
  • Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a condition that causes Bones to become more fragile and more susceptible to fractures. When osteoporosis affects the vertebrae in the upper spine it can lead to a kyphosis.
  • Poor Posture: Chronic poor posture, which is increasingly common in this digital age, can contribute to the development of dowagers hump. Spending long hours hunched over a screen or book can strain the muscle and ligaments that support the spine, over time they fatigue and are not able to do their job efficiently.
  • Genetics: Some individuals may be genetically predisposed to developing kyphosis. If a family member has a dowagers hump this could increase the risk for other familiar members.
  • Injury or Trauma: Severe injury to the spine, such as whiplash type injury or a compression fracture, can result in a weakening to the spinal segments to to the discs, resulting in disfunction and an increase in structural degeneration.

Symptoms That Can Occur From Dowager's Hump

  • Back/Neck Pain: A kyphotic curvature can cause chronic pain, especially in the upper thoracic and cervical spine.
  • Stiffness and Reduced Mobility: Individuals with this condition often experience reduced range of motion, making it difficult to flex and bend, difficulty driving due to the reduced ability to turn quickly. Difficulty getting comfortable to sleep or read at night.
  • Fatigue: The constant strain on the muscle and ligaments can lead to fatigue and discomfort.
  • Emotional and Physical Effects: visible differences in posture can lead to a lack of self-esteem and body image concerns, affecting one’s mental-wellbeing

How Chiropractic Care Can Help

Chiropractic care is a non invasive approach that focuses on the relationship between the spine and the nervous system. Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat conditions relating to the spine. Dowager's hump can be improved and posture rebalanced, with the use of spinal adjustments. Chiropractic aims to improve spinal function, reduce the musculoskeletal pain and improve spinal mobility. Chiropractic and exercises used together will help to restore muscle condition and rebalances the musculoskeletal system.


  • Postural correction: Chiropractor can work with the individual to improve their posture and spinal alignment. They can apply spinal adjustments along with exercises and stretches to help reduce the curvature of the spine.
  • Pain Management: Chiropractic adjustments can alleviate pain and discomfort associated with the spinal curvature and muscle imbalances. By removing nerve interference, this will restore proper nerve function.
  • Strengthening Exercises: Specific exercise can be given to strengthen the muscles that support the spine helping to prevent further degeneration.
  • Educational Support: Chiropractors can provide valuable information on ergonomics, lifestyle changes and self-care strategies.


If you suffer from Dowager's Hump or have any similar symptoms, please feel free to book in a New Patient Examination with Dr. Amy here!


And if you would like to learn about other issues that chiropractic can help with, please check out our other blog posts here or look through our 'Find Out More' section below!


  • Katz man, W.B., &Wanek, L (2013). Kyphosis: Evaluation and treatment. The Orchsner Journel, 13 (2), 193-198.
  • Kano, D. M., Prenovost, K., Crandall, C., Han, S., Ensrud, K., Study of Osteoporostic Fractures. (2007). Narrative review: Hyperkyphosis in older persons. Annals of internal medicine, 147 (5), 330-338.
  • American Chiropractic Association. (n.d). Kyphosis (Roundback) of the spine. /kyphosis-roundback-of the spine.

Find Out More!

Neck Pain - here

Low Back Pain Recovery - here

Dizziness – here

Whiplash and Whiplash-Associated Disorder (WAD) - here

Lumbar Spine and Sciatica - here

Upper Cervical Misalignment and Malformations - here

Sports Injuries - here

Arthritis - here

Trigeminal Neuralgia - here

Lumbar Instability - here

Spinal Surgery - here

Stress Management - here

Sleep Issues - here

Hypermobility - here

Pregnancy - here

Chiropractic Care for Babies - here

Menstrual Cycle - here

Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) - here

Hypothyroidism - here

Hyperthyroidism - here

Diet Guidance - here

Vitamin C - here

Referred Pain - here

Poor Posture - here