Understanding Dowager’s Hump: Causes, Treatment, and Celebrities Who Have Dealt With It


Dowager’s hump, medically known as kyphosis or hyperkyphosis, refers to an abnormal curvature of the upper spine, resulting in a hunched or rounded appearance of the upper back. While it commonly affects older individuals, it can occur in people of any age. In this article, we will delve into the causes and treatment options for dowager’s hump and explore a few celebrities with dowager’s hump.

Dowager’s Hump, also known as kyphosis or hyperkyphosis, refers to an excessive outward curvature of the upper spine. It typically affects the thoracic vertebrae, leading to a noticeable hump at the back of the neck and shoulders. The condition can impact people of different ages and is often associated with older individuals due to age-related changes in the spine.


Causes of Dowager’s Hump:


Osteoporosis: One of the leading causes of dowager’s hump is osteoporosis, a condition characterized by low bone density. When the bones in the spine become weakened and brittle due to osteoporosis, it can lead to compression fractures and the development of an exaggerated curvature.

Poor posture: Maintaining poor posture over an extended period can contribute to the development of dowager’s hump. Spending prolonged periods sitting or slouching can weaken the muscles that support the spine, leading to an abnormal curvature.

Age-related degeneration: As we age, the discs in our spine can degenerate, causing a loss of spinal flexibility and contributing to the development of dowager’s hump.

Genetic factors: Certain genetic conditions, such as Scheuermann’s disease, can predispose individuals to develop excessive thoracic kyphosis.


Treatment Options:


Physical therapy and exercise: Physical therapy programs that focus on strengthening the muscles supporting the spine can help improve posture and reduce the progression of dowager’s hump.

Pain management: Over-the-counter pain medications or prescribed medications can help alleviate any discomfort associated with dowager’s hump.

Bracing: In some cases, wearing a brace may be recommended to help improve posture and prevent further progression of the curvature.

Surgical intervention: Severe cases of dowager’s hump, especially when caused by compression fractures or underlying spinal conditions, may require surgical intervention to correct the curvature and stabilize the spine.

Causes of Dowager’s Hump

Posture and Spinal Alignment

One of the primary causes of Dowager’s Hump is poor posture, especially with prolonged slouching or hunching over electronic devices. Incorrect spinal alignment can gradually lead to the development of a hump-like appearance.

Osteoporosis and Bone Density Loss

Osteoporosis, a condition characterized by decreased bone density, can weaken the vertebrae in the upper back. This weakening increases the risk of compression fractures, contributing to the development of Dowager’s Hump.

Aging and Degenerative Changes

As individuals age, the spinal discs lose water content and the vertebrae may deteriorate, resulting in kyphosis. Degenerative changes in the spine can further exacerbate the curvature.

Celebrities with Dowager’s Hump:


Dame Judi Dench: The renowned British actress, Judi Dench, has openly discussed her experience with osteoporosis and dowager’s hump. She has used her platform to raise awareness about the condition and advocate for better bone health.


Hillary Clinton: The former U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has also been observed with a noticeable curvature in her upper back, believed to be caused by dowager’s hump. Despite this, she continues to maintain an active public life and advocate for various causes.


Maggie Smith: Another esteemed British actress, Maggie Smith, has also revealed her battle with osteoporosis and dowager’s hump. Despite her condition, she has continued to grace the screen with her talent and remains an inspiration to many.



Dowager’s hump is a condition that affects individuals of various ages and can have a significant impact on their physical appearance and overall well-being. While it is often associated with osteoporosis and poor posture, there are various treatment options available, including physical therapy, medication, bracing, and surgery, depending on the severity and underlying cause. By shedding light on celebrities who have dealt with dowager’s hump, we hope to raise awareness about the condition and encourage individuals to seek appropriate medical care and support for their own spinal health.


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