Buffalo Hump on Neck


What is a Buffalo Hump?

A buffalo hump, more properly referred to as a dorsocervical fat pad, is a collection of fat between the shoulders at the base of the neck. It’s important to note that the hump is specifically a fat deposit and is not the result of a spinal curvature. A similar hump sometimes appears in kyphosis, a condition also known as dowager’s hump. In this condition the bump is caused by bone, and it is not the same as a buffalo hump.

Normal Neck Versus Buffalo Hump Neck

Can the Hump Be Located in Other Areas of the Back?

No. Buffalo hump specifically refers to a bump at the base of the neck between the shoulders. A bump anywhere else on the back is not a buffalo hump.

What Causes a Buffalo Hump?

There are several potential causes for buffalo hump. Some of them do involve medical conditions, so a checkup with your doctor may be in order if you’re unsure what caused your hump.

Cushing’s Syndrome

Cushing’s syndrome is a condition in which the body contains large amounts of the hormone cortisol. This leads to an excess production of fat, and this fat is typically deposited at the base of the neck.

Excess Weight Gain/Obesity

When we carry excess weight, our body must decide where to store the fat. One of the places it may choose to do so is at the base of the neck, resulting in a buffalo hump. Losing weight may help, but there is no way to specifically target this area with diet or exercise.

Certain Medications

Because they increase the level of cortisol in the body, some medications can cause a buffalo hump when taken for an extended period. These medications include glucocorticoids, like prednisone, and antiretroviral medications used in the treatment of HIV and AIDS.

Madelung’s Disease

Madelung’s disease is a rare fat storage disorder that causes fat deposits throughout the body. Fat deposits from Madelung’s disease typically form in the neck, shoulders, torso, hips, upper arms, and thighs. Madelung’s can cause a buffalo hump.

Is a Buffalo Hump Typically Painful?

A buffalo hump is not usually painful, although it can become large enough to make turning your head or tilting it back difficult. Most patients seek treatment for buffalo hump because they find the problem embarrassing rather than painful.

Can Mia Aesthetics Treat Buffalo Hump?

Mia Aesthetics can absolutely help you get rid of a buffalo hump. Removal is done via liposuction which you may choose to do under general anesthesia or awake. If medication is the cause of your hump, you may need to change the dosage or find a new course of treatment to make sure your hump doesn’t come back. Whatever the cause, however, liposuction is the fastest, and in many cases best way, to get rid of a buffalo hump.

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