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The Hump at the Back of Your Neck: What Is It, and Its Treatment

You’re likely wondering what it is if you’ve developed a mass or hump behind your neck. This “hump” is probably a pocket of accumulated fat commonly called a buffalo hump; however, the standard term is neck hump. It is always best to consult your doctor about the underlying causes of a buffalo hump and the best approach for a buffalo hump treatment at home. If your hump isn’t severe, you can probably correct it with occupational therapy or at-home stretches. Once you get rid of your hump, you can take steps to avoid it from reappearing.

What is a buffalo hump?

A hump at the back of your neck, also known as a buffalo hump, develops when fat accumulates. This medical condition is not always serious.

Tumors, cysts, and irregular growths can also develop on your shoulders, producing a hump. Other times a hump results in the curvature of the spine.

If you are unsure about the lump, you should talk to your doctor about the physical changes at the back of your neck.

What causes a buffalo hump?

Buffalo humps arise because of various reasons. However, they are usually caused by excessive fat accumulation or a hormone imbalance.

Hormone imbalances can result from high dosages of some medications, like steroids, or from endocrine conditions, like Cushing’s syndrome. This happens when the body makes too much of a hormone called cortisol.

A pituitary tumor can also be one of the causes of Cushing’s syndrome, and this happens more commonly in adults.

Medicinal causes of a buffalo hump

Buffalo humps also occur due to various medications, including:

  • Prednisone
  • AIDS medications
  • Cortisone
  • Hydrocortisone

Endocrine causes of a neck hump

A buffalo hump may also result from endocrine problems, like:

  • Adrenal hyperplasia is the excess growth of the adrenal glands
  • Adrenal tumors
  • Pituitary dysfunction

Additional causes of a neck hump

Other underlying causes of buffalo hump include adipose metabolism disorders and obesity, such as Madelung’s disease.

Life-threatening causes of a neck hump

In some cases, the causes of buffalo hump can become the symptom of a severe and life-threatening condition that requires immediate evaluation. These conditions include tumors in the pituitary gland or the adrenal glands.

How is buffalo hump diagnosed?

Your doctor can typically diagnose a buffalo hump with various physical exams. However, they still need some tests to diagnose the reason for the neck hump.

At the beginning of the process, your doctor asks about your medical history and the additional symptoms you might have been experiencing.

Some standard tests include:

  • Bone density test
  • Blood test
  • Ct scan
  • MRI
  • X-ray

Based on these diagnoses, a buffalo hump non-surgical treatment may be suggested.

The five ways prevent a hunched neck.

Here we’ll talk about the five best ways to prevent buffalo hump naturally.

Strike a pose

Let’s start with the hardest––your body posture. Incorporate posture-strengthening exercises into your daily life/

Now no more slouching while watching your favorite movie or looking down at your phone for hours while traveling. Instead, adjust your body posture, neck, and back to stay as straight as possible.

If you have a 9 to 5 job, it’s best to invest in a good chair that maintains your body posture; in the end, it’s not a luxury; it’s your health.

Posture correcting corsets

If you can’t manage to stay straight on your own, there are some effective at-home buffalo hump treatment options to help. Posture-correcting bras and corsets help straighten your upper back so you enjoy a good posture.

While you may find these options to be a little uncomfortable initially, over time, you’ll start to hold better posture on your own.


Besides balancing your mind, yoga is one of the best buffalo hump non-surgical treatment options for improving your posture. There are various neck, and back fat hump-reducing stretches that you can try to find the one that is effective for your case.

Yoga helps your body build strength, making it a helpful treatment option for reducing upper back fat.

Physical therapy and massage

Maybe you’ve tried many things, but nothing is working. A physical therapist or occupational therapist works with your body and can recommend some particular buffalo hump exercises and massages to reduce that buffalo hump and correct your posture.

The activities can vary from daily targeted exercises to a heavy-duty course of massage to put you back in one place.

Effective stretches

1. Shoulder rolls

Stand or sit up straight with your hands at your sides. And roll your shoulders backward and forward ten times each. Rest for a beat, and repeat the process three more times.

2. Cat pose

Start on your knees and hands. Then, on an exhale, fold your tailbone inside, lower your head, and round your back facing the ceiling, pushing down through your hands as you do so.

Retain for 5 seconds and repeat 12 times.

3. Chin tucks

Drop your chin, push it into your neck, and slowly lift it back up. Repeat 10 times, rest briefly, and repeat the cycle three times.

4. Chin-to-shoulder stretch

Turn your neck at the sides and down till your chin nearly touches your shoulder. Then, slowly come back to the middle. Do one side at a time ten times before repeating and resting three times.

5. Head side-to-side stretch

Move your head to the side, but don’t drop your chin with this one. Bring your head to the center and repeat ten times, concentrating on each side simultaneously. Take a pause, and repeat the process three times.


Sometimes that neck hump requires a professional touch. For example, getting rid of a neck and back fat hump in a severe case requires an expert.

These professionals specialize in improving the mechanical problems related to your muscular-skeletal system, in other words, your spine. Remember, visiting the chiropractor is not always a walk in the park, but if the treatment is successful, you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted at the end of the day.

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