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Alternative NamesBuffalo hump; Dorsocervical fat pad
Definition Return to top
Hump behind the shoulders is a lump of fat on the back of the neck.
Considerations Return to top
A hump behind the shoulders by itself is not a sign of any one, specific condition. The doctor must consider this along with other symptoms and test results.
Causes Return to top
Osteoporosis may cause a curvature of the spine in the neck called kyphoscoliosis.
Home Care Return to top
If the hump is caused by a certain medicine, your doctor may tell you to stop taking the drug or change your dosage. Never stop taking any medicine without first talking to your doctor.
Diet and exercise can help you to lose weight and may relieve some humps due to extreme obesity.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have an unexplained hump behind the shoulders.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
Your doctor will perform a physical examination and ask questions about your medical history and symptoms. Questions may include:
Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:
Treatment will be aimed at the problem that caused the fat to develop in the first place.
References Return to top
Young WF. Clinical practice: The incidentally discovered adrenal mass. N Engl J Med. 2007;356:601-610.
Stewart PM. The adrenal cortex. In: Kronenberg HM, Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2008: chap 14.Update Date: 3/18/2008 Updated by: Elizabeth H. Holt, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Yale University. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.