What the Hell is a Buffalo Hump and How Does One Get Rid of It?

pretty girl with small buffalo humpBuffalo Hump?? And I’m not referring to something you’ve seen on Animal Planet. It may have been laughable to me when I first heard about it had it not hit so close to home.

What is a Buffalo Hump??

It’s the icky fat pad located right between your shoulder blades, giving you that hunched over ‘old lady’ look. The removal of that fat pad is actually one of the latest trends in cosmetic corrective surgery with a 350 percent rise from 2012 to 2013.

I know you’ve probably seen someone with a Buffalo Hump. Your mom may have it, your grandma probably had one and lord help me but, when I happened to glance up in the closet mirror, I have one – or the beginning of one.

This is why my ears perked up when it came up recently as being one of the fastest growing cosmetic surgery procedures since the butt lift.

Causes of Buffalo Hump

There are several causes of a Buffalo Hump and it’s important to know the cause before deciding on a treatment so shall we?


wooden man swallowing prescription pills

Image by: Jonathan Silverberg

Long term use of medications, such as Prednisone which increases your cortisol production, can sometimes cause a Buffalo Hump.

Poor Posture

Buffalo Hump is often accompanied by Forward Head Posture a.k.a. Chicken Head Posture. Years of bad posture (yes, slouching at the computer) cause your body to develop a fat pad at the base of your neck to protect your spine.

Past Injury

Accidents, such as a minor fender bender when you were seventeen, can cause micro-damage in your neck, which over time, can affect your posture, as well as put your body in healing mode causing it to develop fatty tissue in that area to protect your spine.


Rapid weight gain or obesity can also be a cause for the extra fat in the middle of the shoulder blade area looking like a Buffalo Hump.

Genetic Predisposition

Some people just collect fat in that area. Heredity can be a b*tch. Luckily though, no matter what the cause, there is no need to live with a Buffalo Hump.

long heartTIP: If you feel you have a Buffalo Hump, see a doctor to make sure it’s not a medical condition such as Cervical Kyphosis  or Cushing’s Syndrome.

Pinch it! Is there really fat there?

How to Lose the Buffalo Hump

A Buffalo Hump can really mess with a girl’s self-esteem. I was on the lookout for it, but it still came as a BOOM! SLAP! to catch a glimpse of it. It’s humbling, to say the least.

So what to do?

First, Work on That Posture!

Don't Be a Chicken Head!

Don’t Be a Chicken Head!

No more slumping at the computer! Pull those shoulders back. And that forward hanging head is NOT acceptable!

Here are a few things that can help:

1) Physical Therapy Exercises

Chiropractor Paula Moore has the most amazing videos on her website with exercises specifically to prevent and treat the Buffalo Hump. I worship her.

Here’s one that’s easy and feels amazing. I started doing it regularly and I see a difference in how my head sits on my neck.

2) PostureZone App for Your Smartphone

Download the PostureZone App to help you change bad posture habits. It was developed by the chiropractor, Steven Weiniger, who also authored Stand Taller Live Longer

You input an image of yourself standing (how you usually do – don’t cheat!) from the front and from the side, and it gives pointers to correct your posture like ‘you have an uneven pelvis, try this.’ You can also measure your progress down the road by taking more pics to compare.

Handy but not as hands-on as let’s say, the Intelliskin Empower Sports Bra.

3) IntelliSkin Empower 2.0 Posturecue Sports Bra

The Berlin & Daughter Posture Corrector helps you physically keep your posture in check. Wear it while you’re in front of the computer or working out or just hanging out at home.

I’m the type of person who needs this kind of hands-on assistance. If I could afford it, I would have a little man pulling my shoulders back while I write this post, but I can’t (at least not in a way that I can respect myself after); so I’ll spend the bucks on the Berlin & Daughter Posture Corrector and won’t feel even a little bit sad about it.

4) Lumo Lift

LumoliftThe Lumo Lift is the COOLEST thing I’ve ever seen today. But seriously, it’s a lapel pin that goes on your clothing and vibrates whenever you slouch! It was voted as one of the Top 25 Inventions in Time® Magazine and comes in an unassuming small square lapel chip in all the primary colors or as a decorative Swarovski jewelry.

It also has a step counter to help you keep track of the calories you’re burning throughout the day. I think if I wore this I’d develop a tremor with all the vibrating, but I’m almost ready to pull the trigger on the Lumo Lift. Perhaps I’ll guinea pig Mr. BeautyBlackBook.

Buffalo Hump Lipo

If you’ve seen a physician to rule out other medical conditions and corrected your posture, but still think the fatty pad in that area is uncomfortably noticeable, then you may want to consider getting Buffalo Hump Liposuction.

The Buffalo Hump Lipo procedure uses a cannula to extract the fibrous fatty tissue at the base of your neck so that it’s gone and never comes back. Problem solved.

Here’s how it goes down.

What to Expect During Buffalo Hump Lipo

In the following video the woman is asleep but I’ve seen it done while awake, but it really depends on your preference and what your doctor recommends (um, here’s my Amex, wake me up when you’re done).

Risks of Buffalo Hump Lipo

As with any surgery, there are risks of infection and side effects of the anesthesia, and I’d like to stress the importance of ruling out any other medical issues before considering liposuction in the Buffalo Hump area.

For example, if your hump is coupled with cervical lordosis issues (irregularities in the curve of your cervical spine – that’s the top part), you run the risk of your surgeon accidentally puncturing your lung. Yikes!

The bottom line is that this procedure should not to be taken lightly. But neither should a Buffalo Hump.

Fun, fun, fun! I’m just glad there are options available to you if you, or someone you love, suffers from this neck-hanging hump from hell.

kim ann mailchimp

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