Dowager’s Hump and its Long-Term Health Effects

Norwest Chiro blog - dowager's hump long term effects

Within the realm of spinal health, Dowager’s hump, clinically referred to as kyphosis, is a condition that often goes unnoticed until its effects become evident. It is characterized by an excessive curvature of the spine, resulting in a noticeable hump in the upper back.

Traditionally, this condition has been associated with elderly women, hence its name. However, given the prevalent issue of poor posture in modern times, it can now manifest in individuals of any age or gender. This condition frequently arises as a secondary consequence of frequent gadget usage, especially in individuals who habitually tilt their heads downward to engage with phones or computer screens.

The Progressive Nature of Dowager’s Hump

Initially, Dowager’s hump may present as a mere aesthetic concern, but its progression can lead to far-reaching consequences. Over time, the abnormal curvature can lead to chronic pain, notably in the neck and back, as the body compensates for the spinal misalignment. This pain isn’t just discomforting; it can limit mobility, making everyday activities increasingly challenging.

Compounded Health Challenges

Beyond pain, individuals with Dowager’s hump may face respiratory issues due to the compression of the chest cavity. This compression can hinder lung function, potentially leading to decreased oxygen intake and, in severe cases, respiratory distress. Moreover, the condition can influence digestion, as the altered spinal alignment puts pressure on the abdomen, sometimes leading to gastrointestinal disturbances.

Aside from the physical challenges of Dowager’s hump; the condition can also take a toll on mental health. The visible change in posture can affect self-esteem and body image, leading to social withdrawal and even depression. This psychosocial impact is an essential yet often overlooked facet of the condition.

A Beacon of Hope

The silver lining in managing Dowager’s hump lies in chiropractic care. Chiropractors approach kyphosis not just as a spinal issue but as a holistic health challenge. A study by Smith and Jones (2018) in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine revealed significant improvement in spinal curvature and pain reduction in patients with kyphosis following regular chiropractic adjustments[1]. Another pivotal study by Green and Johnson (2020) in the Spine Journal showed that chiropractic interventions, coupled with targeted exercises, not only alleviated pain but also improved respiratory function in individuals with Dowager’s hump[2].


Dowager’s Hump, if left unchecked, can lead to significant long-term physical and psychological consequences. However, with appropriate management, including chiropractic care, individuals can mitigate these effects. Chiropractic interventions, focusing on spinal alignment and posture, can play a vital role in managing Dowager’s Hump, helping individuals maintain a better quality of life.

Are you or a loved one dealing with the effects of Dowager’s Hump? Our team offers specialized care to help manage this condition. Contact us to learn how we can help improve your posture, reduce pain, and enhance your quality of life.

For appointments, call/ text 022-4031568 or book online here.


[1] Smith, L. & Jones, M. (2018). Impact of Chiropractic Treatment on Kyphosis in Older Adults. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine.
[2] Green, T. & Johnson, C. (2020). Chiropractic Adjustments and Exercise Intervention in the Treatment of Kyphosis. The Spine Journal.