What is this lump on my back? Is it a hump? Should I be worried?

What is this lump on my back? Is it a hump? Should I be worried?

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I am often asked about the bony lump between the top of our shoulder blades, so let's look at what it is and when you should consider it an issue. Sometimes people think that this lump being bigger on them means that they're going to turn into Quasimodo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I firstly want to assure you that the likelihood of a permanent, irreversible hunch is extremely remote for most of us without congenital spinal disorders (and even then, it is rare!).

 

What is it?

The bony prominence is called the C7 Vertebral Prominens, it is a part of the neck and is a normal part of the spine. There are just a couple of considerations before we call it "perfectly normal" though.

  1. Is it bony, or is it a growth on the skin that you are feeling?
  2. Have you noticed that yours looks bigger or more accentuated that the people around you?

Why is mine bigger than others?

Usually the reason someone has a larger "lump" than others is posture. The posture I am talking about is sometimes called a "Dowager's Hump" a term that is not a medical term, nor really acceptable, but it is something I still hear from time-to-time. This "hump" is an increased thoracic kyphosis and a posture with neck flexion. Do you slump your back, neck and shoulders forward? That is usually the answer!

What can I do about it?

  1. If you're worried, speak to your manual therapist, either me, or your physiotherapist or other health professional.
  2. Check your posture. There are exercises and posture aids that I can provide you with to improve your posture
  3. Get adjusted! Seeing a chiropractor can improve your posture. That is one of the reasons we take postural images regularly, so that you can see the changes chiropractic care is making to your body
  4. Strengthen your back muscles
  5. Stretch your pectoral and neck muscles (as poor posture and slumping cause them to shorten and tighten over time)
  6. Remedial massage, particularly on the pectoral (chest) muscles