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The dreaded “granny hump”

You know what I’m referring to. That ‘granny hump’ on the upper back that you’ve likely seen on people usually older than 50. Sadly, we are seeing it more and more in younger and younger people.

This week’s blog will answer some of the important questions regarding “Granny Hump”

What is it?
Why does it happen?
What can we do to get rid of it?
How do we get rid of it?

In order to understand what it is, we need to start with what a normal posture is.

From the front, the hips, shoulders and ears should all be level and the head should line up directly over the midline of the hips. From the side, the ear should line up over the shoulder; the shoulder over the hips; and the hips over the outside of the ankle. That’s what things look like on the outside. On the inside (via an x-ray), we should see a forward c-shaped curve in the neck, a backward c-shaped curve in the mid back and another forward c-shaped curve in the low back. In this position, the spine is in the strongest position possible and most importantly, the nervous system is free to move and is relaxed neuro-structurally.

The Granny Hump

The hump, technically referred to as Dowager’s Hump, can be the result of several bio-mechanical faults that come with a lack of maintenance. Our heads weigh between 12-14lbs on average. As the head translates (shifts) forward over the shoulders, it causes a reciprocal backward shift of the shoulders to compensate. The weight of the head is pulled down by gravity and we end up losing and gravity ends up winning Not good. We call this (AHS) Anterior Head Syndrome. AHS causes a myriad of secondary problems like TMJ dysfunction, headaches, neck pain, mid back pain, low back pain, cervicogenic vertigo, numbness and tingling into the arms and hands, and more.

As a result of this forward shift of the head, the ligaments and soft tissues on the back of the neck become weak, tired and irritated from constantly trying to keep the head up. In an effort to counter this, the body begins to lay down fat tissue in an effort to stabilize the tissues. Over time, the fat accumulates and the we see a hump emerge.

Left alone, the hump grows as we age and gravity pulls us further forward. The shoulders shift further back and the hips then move forward to counter the balance of the body and a ‘sway-back’ effect happens.

Other causes of the Dowager’s hump can be osteoporosis (softening of the bones causes compression fractures within the vertebrae), hemi-vertebrae (the vertebrae are malformed when they developed in the fetus), arthritides like Sheuermann’s disease.  Regardless of the condition, the following exercises can help improve the posture and add strength to the system of joints and muscles.

The Fix

We have to correct the posture and the Anterior Head Syndrome. We have to ensure that the proper neck curve is present and we have to be aware and cognizant of our posture always.

Try these exercises:
1. Wall Slides:

Wall Slides

Great for strengthening the upper back

 

 

 

 

 

2. Chin Tucks:

chin tucks

Chin tucks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Thoracic extension exercises

thoracic extensions

Remedy for prolonged sitting

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Seated cat/cow

Cat/Cow

Seated cat cow exercises are great to do every hour at work or school

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Swimmers

Swimmers

Swimmers exercise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By working through this series of exercises, daily, you will strengthen the muscles of the upper back and neck to work on correcting your posture. Now truly, working the muscles and strengthening will help but only so far. Creating the spinal neuro-structural shifts takes time through proper alignment and neuro-structural corrective traction. If you find that after doing these exercises, you aren’t seeing a change in your postural alignment, then I recommend scheduling a consultation to determine whether a NeuroStructural shift or a loss of normal cervical curve in your spine is holding you back from getting rid of the Granny hump.

Evidence-Based Solutions for Back Pain

So you’ve got back pain. It’s altered your life, changed your daily activities, curbed your exercise, and maybe even made you a bit irritable. Now what? Well, it’s important to know you’re not alone. Nearly everyone will experience back pain at some point in their life. Thankfully we have a method of care to help you get back on your feet without the risks associated with medications and surgery. Chiropractic!  Research has shown that adjustments help over 90% of people recover from back pain.

Recovering from a back injury can be mentally tough. Many of us don’t realize what we take for granted until an injury alters our perspective. But with the correct evidence-based care, you will be back and better than ever in no time. Over the past few years, there have been considerable advancements in our understanding of the best treatments for back pain.

Here are a few of the latest research updates:

  • Adjustments have been shown to be more effective at reducing pain than many commonly prescribed medications
  • Chiropractic adjustments provided more patients with relief than spinal injections;  showed  a recent study from JMPT
  • Researchers found patients had just as much relief with chiropractic adjustments as they did with surgery

When recovering from a back injury it’s important to keep a positive attitude, stick with your care plan, and avoid “pushing” through the pain. Your body is designed to heal naturally, without the need for drugs and surgery. Our chiropractic team will work with your bodies natural healing instinct to create a specific care plan andhelp you get your life back.

To find out more about the NeuroStructural difference click here

Science Source:
Symptomatic MRI-Confirmed Lumbar Disk Herniation Patients: A Comparative Effectiveness Prospective Observational Study of 2 Age- and Sex-Matched Cohorts Treated with Either High-Velocity, Low Amplitude Spinal Manipulative Therapy or Imaging-Guided Lumbar Nerve Root Injections. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2013
Manipulation or Microdiskectomy for Sciatica? A Prospective Randomized Clinical Study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2010
Spinal High-Velocity Low Amplitude Manipulation in Acute Nonspecific Low Back Pain. SPINE. 2013
Dr. Craig Hazel’s mission is to help families THRIVE. After graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, he went on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas Texas. He is passionate about seeing children and families in his private practice at Synergy Chiropractic in Kanata Ontario. A sought after speaker, he has been featured regularly on TSN Team 1200, CTV and Rogers TV. He is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Chiropractic of Ontario.

Bad Disc Slowing You Down?

Spinal discs play an essential role in your low back, acting as small shock absorbers and giving you the ability to move in many different directions. Your discs are comprised of two major parts- an outer ring of cartilage which provides support and a jelly-like center that facilities motion. As age and injuries catch up with us, the disc can herniate. A herniated disc is when the middle (the jelly) of the disc breaks through the outer wall irritating a spinal nerve and causing severe pain in your back or leg. Researchers have found this most often occurs between the ages of 35-50.

herniation

Disc herniations can be a source of back pain

Almost everyone knows someone who has suffered from pain caused by a herniated, slipped, or bulging disc. The pain can be so intense that many people think surgery is the only way to correct it. Well, we have good news. Research has shown people who choose chiropractic adjustments had the same amount of relief as those who chose surgery! And what about those medications that mask the pain but fail to correct the problem? Well, research has shown chiropractic adjustment to be significantly better than many of the common drugs prescribed for back pain.  Here are some take away points:

– Top-research journal, SPINE, has recommended the use of adjustments for back pain

– Chiropractic adjustments were shown to provide significantly more relief than medications

– Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to be just as effective as surgery for taking care of herniated discs

Next Steps: Your spinal discs stay healthy by having strong muscular support and a full range of motion. Keep your spine stabilizing muscles healthy by committing to daily exercise. And what about maintaining a full range of motion? It’s easy! Chiropractic adjustments gently and effective help restore proper range of motion in your neck, mid-back, and low back.  When your spine is moving well with appropriate support- you are going to be feeling great!

Get yourself and friend registered for our workshop – BULLETPROOF YOUR LOW BACK
Science Source:
Spinal High-Velocity Low Amplitude Manipulation in Acute Nonspecific Low Back Pain. SPINE. 2013
Manipulation or Microdiskectomy for Sciatica? A Prospective Randomized Clinical Study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2010
Dr. Craig Hazel’s mission is to help families THRIVE. After graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, he went on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas Texas. He is passionate about seeing children and families in his private practice at Synergy Chiropractic in Kanata Ontario. A sought after speaker, he has been featured regularly on TSN Team 1200, CTV and Rogers TV. He is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Chiropractic of Ontario.

Back Facts to Keep You Active

Nothing can slow you down faster than a bad back. It can be difficult to exercise, play sports, or even get to the grocery store when your back hurts. Age, lack of exercise, excess weight, improper lifting, and too many hours sitting can all result in low back pain. Research has shown that over 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their life. The good news is that researchers have also found that chiropractic care can not only help get you back on track after an injury, but could also help prevent future episodes of low back pain from occurring.

Your spine is a marvel of engineering and design. Curves in your neck, mid-back, and low back distribute the load of

vertebrae

The spine is an engineering marvel

gravity just like Roman architecture. When intact, these three curves allow your spine to withstand the force of 3x your body weight. The spinal discs between your vertebrae act as a natural shock absorption system that is both strong and flexible. And winding its way through it all is our spinal cord and nerve roots- the magnificent communication system within our body. Keeping your back healthy is much more important than just avoiding aches and pains. A stable and supported back is essential to maintaining a high quality of life.  The role of chiropractic in the health care system is to optimize the function and health of the spine and nervous system.

Through the month of March, we will be focusing on the spine and will show you how to take care of yours.

Here are a few take away points:

– The nervous system is protected and housed within your spinal column as it travels to and from your brain to body

– Back pain is often caused by the muscles or discs of the spine

– Muscle spasms result when the bones of the spine shift or become fixated causing irritation to the nerves.  These nerves communicate to the muscles telling them to ‘spasm’ in order to ensure the bones don’t shift more.

– Chiropractic care has been shown to help over 90% of people find relief from back pain while also providing a statistically significant improvement in function

Next Steps: Chiropractors can assess the “health” of your spine through x-ray and a physical exam looking at range of motion, strength, and posture. By periodically checking your spine, we can help you take a pro-active approach to your spinal health. Research has shown that maintenance chiropractic care can help evaluate, detect, and prevent future episodes of low back pain. And, as you now know, spinal health is directly associated with living your best life.

Join us March 13 for our BULLETPROOF YOUR LOW BACK workshop!
Science Source:
A Nonsurgical Approach to the Management of Patients with Lumbar Radiculopathy Secondary to Herniated Disk: A Prospective Observational Cohort Study with Follow-Up. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2009
Does Maintained Spinal Manipulation Therapy for Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain Result in Better Long-Term Outcome? SPINE. 2011
Dr. Craig Hazel’s mission is to help families THRIVE. After graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, he went on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas Texas. He is passionate about seeing children and families in his private practice at Synergy Chiropractic in Kanata Ontario. A sought after speaker, he has been featured regularly on TSN Team 1200, CTV and Rogers TV. He is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Chiropractic of Ontario.